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UPF Sun Protection

Why You Need to Keep a Hat on Your Head This Summer

Its rapidly becoming one of the most frequently asked questions when a customer contacts us prior to purchasing a summer hat, does this hat offer UPF protection and is the brim width generous enough to provide shade to my neck?

There has been an unfortunate rise in the amount of people developing skin cancers in recent years with many studies indicating patients with melanomas of the head and neck to almost double the risk of death from the disease compared to other parts of the body. As we all know it is incredibly difficult to apply SPF sunscreens to the scalp for the majority of people so the importance of wearing hats carrying UPF ratings has surged.

A wide brimmed hat will provide shade to not only the scalp but to the neck, ears and parts of the face, significantly shielding those vulnerable area's from the sun. A few materials used in hat manufacture feature high levels of UPF protection in their natural state. One of top materials offering the highest protection is polyester. A lightweight material which offers high levels of UV resistance without the need of added chemicals or dyes. Although we can't expect every summer hat to be made from polyester. Its not a particularly popular material on its own, you will often find it combined with other materials such as cotton, nylon or rayon. These 3 materials offer low levels of UV on their own but combined with polyester, dyes and added chemicals the protection is increased substantially.

I have mentioned dyes a few times in previous sections, it is a fact that certain types of dyes at high concentration levels can impact the UV resistance of your hat. The colour of the dye has no relevance at all. Another important factor is the weave of the straw or material, the tighter the weave the better the protection. Hats with a very open weave, which allow great air circulation always offer very low protection. Remember if air can pass through then so can UV rays. Straw is not naturally resistant to UV rays, a tight closed weave certainly increases its chances of achieving a rating. To enhance straws deflecting abilities manufactures often spray the straw with chemicals like teflon. These chemicals offer water and sun resistance. UPF levels will always be noted in the product description as some materials provide a higher protection than others at blocking UV rays. Of course not every sun hat we sell offers UPF protection, the majority will have a minimum rating of 40+. However any hat will always be better than no hat!!