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’ll 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 asks: does hair dye kill lice?
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Does hair dye kill lice?
Firstly let’s learn a little about head lice and dispel a few myths!
Head lice are human parasites. They are wingless insects that 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 by family members or friends at school.
Newly hatched head lice are very small and thin, are grey in color, and can be difficult to spot.
Adult lice are bigger and get darker as they feed off
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 hair shaft’s root, making them very difficult to remove just by brushing or shampooing.
The louse eggs or nits hatch into lice after 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 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 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 has no symptoms until you discover a full-blown lice infestation. This can be prevented by regularly checking your child’s hair with a nit comb, as described in the steps below.
Will hair dye kill lice is a question I’m always asked. 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 do not mix well, they will not be eradicated for good! You also need to be careful not to die the lice and make 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 color-treated hair.
Some hair dyes containing hydrogen peroxide are believed to kill lice, but head lice are crafty little things these days and are immune to hydrogen peroxide. Any semi-permanent hair dye will not affect 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 eggs will live to hatch into more lice.
Knowing how to kill lice can be overwhelming at first. However, 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 eliminate lice is to buy a solution from your local pharmacist. They will advise you on how to get rid of lice fast!
If a live louse crawls onto a pillow or headrest, it may crawl onto another person’s head. A live louse will live for up to 24 hours without a human host. It is advisable to wash all bedding, towels, and 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 house member 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 eliminate 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
Let’s find out a little bit more about how to remove lice.
- How to detect lice.
To ensure you have every chance of catching lice before your child gets a full-blown head lice infestation, you should check your child’s hair weekly. Work in sections, checking every section of hair and the scalp. Checking your child’s hair regularly will help prevent the lice from spreading rapidly.
- How to get rid of lice by combing
If you’re wondering how to get rid of lice naturally, 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 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 hair stroke. Repeat this every night for at least a week until you can no longer find 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 start working within a few minutes, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. You will still need to use the comb-through technique described above to get 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, removing them can be very difficult. 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. After you have treated and rinsed the hair well, methodically comb the hair 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 that are alive and also any young newly hatched lice that 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 pregnant or breastfeeding, you could try smothering the lice. A simple way to do this would be to use the comb-through method discussed above, using a couple of drops of tea tree oil mixed in with approximately 2oz of olive oil. This may help smother the lice and is one of the most popular home remedies. If this method does not work for you, you might 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 will encounter lice at some time in their lives.
Check and treat all family members.
Avoid sharing hats, pillows, brushes, combs, towels, and headphones for disease control.
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 doesn’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 remove lice permanently is one of the best things you can do to stop a re-infestation.
Tea tree oil is an effective way to repel head lice. 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 most effective head lice home remedies. 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 can sometimes be used to smother head lice. However, how well these methods kill head lice is debatable.
Does peroxide kill lice? Unfortunately not, 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 dissolve the cement or gluey-like substance that 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. However, it may soften the gluey substance on the eggs to make them easier to remove from the hair when using the combing method described in step 2.
This method should be repeated daily 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
Little evidence suggests that salt is the best head lice treatment. One of the most common facts is that head lice can survive in water for up to half an hour and seem to cling tight to the hair shaft when submerged. If you’re looking for an effective way to eliminate lice in your hair, this might not be the best method, and you might want to try something else!
If you want to try it for head lice removal, make a saturated salt solution using one pound of Epsom salts in a water basin and stir until dissolved. Saturate your hair with the solution as 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 to get rid of a lice infestation, please seek medical advice, a treatment center, or help from your pharmacy service. You can read more about head lice at the British Association of Dermatology.
Do you have any tips on headlice treatments? Now you’ve read this, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop us a line in the comments!