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Summary The degree of sun protection provided by various styles of hat at different anatomical sites on the head was measured using model headforms and ultraviolet-sensitive film badges. It was found that hats with a small brim, such as the flat cap favoured by elderly male photosensitive patients, provided negligible protection at all sites apart from the vertex and forehead. Peaked baseball-style caps offer good protection to the nose but are relatively ineffective at other sites on the face. Hats with a wide (>7.5 cm) brim are necessary in order to provide reasonable protection factors (>3) around the nose and cheeks.