It’s the moment we all dread, your child starts scratching their head. Not just the usual little itchy scratch, it’s the frantic “there’s something crawling in my hair” scratch, and you know you’re going to be in for a long night! Head lice are prevalent at your kid’s school and your child has just gone and got herself a dose! What should you do? Well, firstly do not panic! In this post, we will show you how to get rid of head lice fast and give you some tips on how to get rid of lice naturally. Buckle up for some amazing facts about headlice including the question everyone is asking, does hair dye kill lice?
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Does hair dye kill lice?
Firstly lets learn a little bit about head lice and dispel a few myths!
Head lice are human parasites. They are wingless insects which live on the human scalp, head lice feed on human blood.
Nits are the egg or young of a head louse. They are cemented onto the hair shaft with a very strong glue like substance.
Head lice are caught by close head contact, especially between young children. Kids play closely together and pass on head lice from person to person through close contact very easily.
Live lice walk along the hair shaft from one head to another head. Head lice are wingless therefore they cannot fly jump or swim.
Most head lice are caught via family members or friends at school.
Newly hatched head lice are very small and thin, are grey in colour and can be difficult to spot.
Adult lice are bigger and get darker as they feed
Nits or eggs are very tiny and look like dark specs of dust close to the
A female head louse can lay up to 8 head lice eggs on the hair shaft every night. The eggs are cemented onto the root of the hair shaft, which makes them very difficult to remove just by brushing or shampooing.
The louse eggs or nits hatch into lice after about 7 to 10 days.
Head lice can live on a human head for up to 30 days. An adult louse will struggle to live away from a human for longer than 24 hours.
You may notice that your child is scratching their head more than usual. One clue that your child may have nits, is that you may notice that they have a rash of spots down the back of their neck, especially first thing in the morning.
You may notice a live louse running in your child’s hair, try to remain calm so you don’t scare your child!
Sometimes, you may see tiny speckles of dust on your child’s pillows this can be from the louse poo as your child sleeps.
You may find that your child doesn’t have any of these symptoms until you discover a full blown lice infestation. This can be prevented by taking the time to check your child’s hair regularly with a nit comb as described in the steps below.
Will hair dye kill lice is a question I’m asked all the time. Most hair dyes will not kill lice, however, some hair dyes contain hydrogen peroxide lice do not like, or ammonia which may kill some lice, but will not kill lice eggs. So the eggs will go on to hatch again and reinfest the hair. So if you are wondering if hair dye kills lice the answer in my view, is probably not! although hair dye and lice to not mix well they will not be eradicated for good! You also need to be careful that you are not dying the lice as well making it harder to see them against the hair.
Head lice will live in any hair, dyed hair is no different from any other head of hair they can still grip on and stay on! You will still find head lice in adults with colour treated hair.
It is believed that some hair dyes containing hydrogen peroxide will kill lice but head lice are crafty little things these days and are immune to hydrogen peroxide. Any semi permanent hair dye will not have any affect on head lice or their eggs .
Does bleach kill lice? Good question, you would have thought so wouldn’t you with it being such a strong solution. Using hair bleach may be somewhat effective at killing a few lice, however, like hair dye it will not kill the eggs.
Some lice may be killed by the heat but most of the eggs will live to hatch into more lice.
Knowing how to kill lice can be overwhelming at first, however in reality knowing how to get rid of lice super fast is not hard, it’s just very, very time consuming, therefore, you have to be committed and thorough. The best way to get rid of lice is to buy a solution from your local pharmacist. They will advise you how to get rid of lice fast!
If a live louse crawls onto a pillow or headrest it is possible that it will crawl onto another persons head. A live louse will live for up to 24 hours without a human host. It is advisable to wash all bedding, towels, hats , thoroughly, and vacuum furniture car seats and any other areas that may have been in contact with the infected person.
You may be lucky and have caught the louse within seconds of it moving to the hair but it’s doubtful, it’s advisable to treat each member of the house for headlice.
Some people home lice for days without noticing and some people notice almost immediately, the quicker you catch them the easier it is to get rid of them!
Can lice jump? No, it’s one of the most common facts about headlice that is often confused with fleas.
Fleas jump, lice crawl!
How to get rid of head lice?
Lets find out a little bit more about how remove lice.
- How to detect lice.
To make sure that you have every chance of catching lice before your child gets a
full-blownhead lice infestation, you should check your child’s hair every week for head lice. Work in sections checking every section of hair and the scalp. checking your child’s hair regularly will help to prevent the lice spread so rapidly.
- How to get rid of lice by combing
If you’re wondering how to naturally get rid of lice, combing can be very effective if the correct procedure is followed. Shampoo and towel dry hair thoroughly. Add a very liberal amount of hair conditioner or olive oil to the hair so the comb slides more easily through the hair shaft. Working from the root of the hair, comb the hair through to the ends using a lice comb. If the hair is very long, section it with clips and work through the sections.
Check the teeth of the comb for any nits or live lice, and rinse the lice comb well after each stroke of the hair. Repeat this every night for at least a week until you can no longer find any live lice or eggs.
This process will not kill lice, it will just remove them from your child’s hair.
- How to get rid of lice overnight
Insecticide head lice treatments from the pharmacy can be applied to the hair and can start to work within a few minutes depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. You will still need to use the comb through technique as described above, for getting rid of any dead lice and eggs.
- How to get rid of lice eggs in hair.
Knowing how to get rid of nits or lice eggs and learning the common facts about headlice are the most important elements in killing lice. Because the lice eggs are cemented or glued onto the hair shaft it can be very difficult to get rid of them. I’ve found the best way to get rid of lice fast is to use an over the counter lice treatment or lice killer to kill lice and eggs. A
fteryou have treated the hair and rinsed it well, methodically comb the hair through with conditioner and a nit comb as described above. Don’t rush this stage of the lice removal process as it is important to remove any eggs which are alive and also any young newly hatched lice which may have hatched overnight. I prefer to repeat this process for up to a week after a lice infestation.
- How to get rid of lice when pregnant
If you’re wondering how to get rid of lice naturally when you are pregnant or breastfeeding you could try smothering the lice. A simple way to do this would be to use the comb through
methodas discussed above, using a couple of drops of tea tree oil mixed in with approximately 2oz olive oil. This may help to smother the lice and is one of the most popular home remedies for lice. If this method does not work for you, you might like to seek medical advice on which over the counter methods are the best products without compromising you or your baby’s health.
- How to stop the spread of head lice
If you find your child has head lice you do not need to be embarrassed at all, most children at some time in their lives will encounter lice.
Check and treat all family members.
For disease control, avoid sharing hats, pillows, brushes, combs, towels and headphones.
Ensure all towels and bedding are washed thoroughly in a hot wash.
It’s always best to tell family, friends, other parents and carers that your child has lice so that they can check their child too, and treat them if necessary. Letting other parents know about a lice outbreak will help to control reinfection within your child’s friendship groups.
Let your child’s teacher know there is a problem too, so they can send a letter home with facts about head lice, advising all parents to check their children regularly.
One of the main reasons schools have a problem with head lice is that not everyone checks their child’s hair regularly and don’t know how to treat head lice quickly should they discover any. Many people don’t know the full facts about headlice and how to get rid of them.
- Head lice prevention
Knowing how to get rid of lice permanently is one of the best things you can do to stop a re-infestation.
Tea tree oil is deemed to be an effective way to repel head lice. You could add a few drops to your conditioner or shampoo bottle to make a repelling head lice shampoo lice will avoid! This is one of the cheapest and effective head lice home remedies you could try. Special tea tree shampoos are also available as are tea tree leave in hair sprays.
If your child has long hair, tie it up very tight to make it more difficult for the lice to walk from one child’s head to your child’s hair, don’t make your child’s hair
an attractivelice home!
- How to get rid of lice with household items
If you’re wondering how to treat lice with household items, butter, mayonnaise or olive oil is sometimes used to smother head lice, however, it is debatable how well these methods work to kill head lice.
Does peroxide kill lice? Unfortunately not, so you can put that bottle back in the medicine cabinet!
- How to get rid of lice with vinegar
Does vinegar kill lice? It is believed that vinegar may help to dissolve the cement or gluey like substance which adheres the eggs to the hair shaft.
A solution of 1 cup of vinegar to 1 cup of water is used to apply to the hair. The solution is then left for a few minutes before rinsing. This may help the eggs to detach from the hair shaft. This method will not kill any lice or eggs,b however it may soften the gluey substance on the eggs to make them easier to remove from the hair when using the combing method as described in step 2.
This method should be repeated every day until the infestation has gone and no live lice or eggs are found in the hair.
- How to get rid of head lice with salt
There is little evidence to suggest that salt is the best head lice treatment. One of the most common headlice facts is that Head lice can survive in water for up to half an hour and seem to cling on tight to the hair shaft when submerged in water. If you’re looking for an effective way to get rid of lice in hair this might not be the best method and you might want to try something else!
If you want to give it a try for head lice removal, make a saturated salt solution using one pound of Epsom salts in a basin of water, and stir until dissolved, saturate your hair with the solution massaging in well. Leave for approximately 2 minutes, then rinse all the solution out well. Comb out the eggs and lice as directed above in step
If you are struggling getting rid of lice infestation please seek medical advice or go to a treatment center or seek help from your pharmacy service. You can read more about head lice here at the British Association of Dermatology.
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Do you have any tips headlice treatments or do you have any head lice home remedies? Which is your best lice treatment? Now you’ve read “does hair dye kill lice” we’d love to hear your thoughts, drop us a line in the comments!