Does Hair Dye Kill Lice?


Does Hair Dye Kill Lice

Ugh, lice, right? Everyone hates them. It’s the worst thing that could happen to anyone in the second grade.

So many of us can remember our moms spendings hours cleaning up our hair when we were little. It was truly ungrateful work because sure enough, we’d come back with lice once again.

Maybe you cannot relate to that, but you surely know how annoying and time-consuming getting rid of lice can be. If you don’t clean it up properly, they will remain in your hair.

What’s more annoying is that having lice itches…bad. Just a few days of lice could result in getting open wounds on your scalp from scratching. 

Luckily, there are a few known methods of cleaning up hair from lice. Some are old wives’ tales, and some seem to truly help out.

For example, there is a story that dying your hair will kill lice. However, does hair dye kill lice? Does it, really? Continue reading to find out!


What Are Lice?

Lice are small, parasitic insects that live off human blood. They are easily spread among humans with close personal contact and sharing personal belongings. Lice are most common in schoolchildren.

There are three types of lice:

Head liceFound on the human scalp
Easiest to see on the nape of the neck and around the ears
Body liceFound on clothing and bedding
They move to the skin to feed
This type of lice usually affects people who aren’t able to do laundry often or bathe
Pubic liceOften called crabs
Occur on the skin and hair of the pubic area

Symptoms When You Have Lice

  • Extreme itchiness on the scalp, body, or the pubic area;
  • Tickling feeling on the head, when the hair is moving
  • Lice on the scalp, body, clothes, pubic or body hair – lice are usually the size of a sesame seed;
  • Lice nits (eggs) on the hair shaft. The nits can be difficult to see due to their small size – but they can be seen around the ears and nape of the neck. They are often confused with dandruff;
  • Sores on the scalp, neck, and shoulders. Scratching can lead to open wounds and sores which get infected with bacteria;
  • Bite marks can usually be seen around the waist, groin, upper thighs, and pubic area.

How Can You Get Lice?

As we already mentioned, lice feed on human blood. They can infest the entire head, body, or the pubic area, very fast. The female louse produces a sticky substance that sticks each egg to the base of a hair shaft.

Since the substance is very sticky, the eggs will not budge until they are hatched. Eggs hatch in around six to nine days, and after that time the head could be entirely infested.

The lice are spread by coming into contact with lice or the lice nits. Lice cannot jump or fly, but they are easily spread nonetheless.

The easiest ways to spread lice are:

  • Head To Head Or Body To Body Contact
    • This is the most common way to spread lice. This is the ideal way to get lice between children playing, and from children to their family members when they’re playing together or interacting.
  • Belongings That Are Stored Closely Together
    • Storing infested clothes in school, in lockers or the hooks, can help spread lice. Also, storing pillows and blankets close to stuffed toys can help spread lice to other family members.
  • Items Shared Between Friends And Family
    • These items usually are brushes, combs, hair extensions, headphones, pillows, and clothes. 
  • Contact With Contaminated Furniture
    • Lying on a bed or sofa that was recently used by someone with a lice infestation can give you lice, too. Lice can survive up to two days off the human body.
  • Sexual Contact
    • Pubic lice, or crabs, usually spread through sexual contact and they mostly affect adults. 

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Does Hair Dye Kill Lice?

Lav Does Hair Dye Kill Lice

Stuff happens, and sometimes you get lice. Maybe you got it from your children, or you got it from playing with a friend’s child just a few days ago.

It happens – and it’s horrible. Scratching and itching seem to get worse whenever you feel the urge. There are quite a few ways to get rid of lice, but you heard once that hair dye kills lice.

You’re due at the salon for some hair dye, and it may seem like a perfect idea to kill off the lice. It seems like two birds one stone kind of a deal. 

But, does it? Does hair dye kill lice?

Yes, hair dye can kill lice. However, hair dye is not as effective for killing off lice as other methods out there.

The hair dye, and even bleach, can kill live lice. On the other hand, the hair dye is not very effective for killing nits.

Nits are very hard to kill, even with strong chemicals in hair dye. Nits have to be treated well and the hair must be completely combed out to remove all nits.

If you fail to remove nits, they will hatch and you will experience that horrible itch once again. It’s tough to get rid of lice, but of course, it’s possible.

It takes work, time, and a lot of patience.  But once you’re done, you’ll be able to finally relax.

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Does Hair Dye Kill Lice – The Method

If you’re set on killing lice with hair dye, we have the ideal method. Continue reading this section to find out!

This is a good and effective method to remove nits and lice from your hair. So, let’s get to it.

  • Step 1. Start with vinegar – make a 1:1 solution of water and vinegar. Make sure to use 5% acidity, white vinegar. Saturate your entire scalp with this solution, work it down all your hair shafts, behind the ears, nape of the neck, and so on.
    • Leave the solution on for at least a few minutes, but around 15 minutes is best. If you feel the vinegar burning your scalp, rinse off immediately.
  • Step 2. Use warm water to rinse out the water and vinegar solution from your head.
  • Step 3. Use a metal lice comb to comb out as many nits and live lice from your head as you can. After each comb-down, soak the lice comb in very hot water to kill the lice. Make sure that the lice comb is completely free of lice and nits before you start combing.
  • Step 4. Mix the hair dye or bleach according to the directions on the package. Please mix the hair dye in a well-ventilated area to avoid losing consciousness. Make sure to use permanent hair dye, and not demi or semi-permanent hair dyes. The permanent dye contains ammonia, which is deadly to live lice. 
  • Step 5. Start dying your hair. Make sure to saturate the scalp entirely – if you’re not able to, ask a family member or a friend to help. Make sure to saturate well the same areas you were supposed to saturate with the vinegar solution. Cover the base of all hair shafts, the nape of the neck, and behind the ears.
  • Step 6. Let the hair dye sit for the time advised on the hair dye package. Once the time is up, thoroughly rinse out the hair dye. 
  • Step 7. Use the lice comb to comb the hair again. Use hot water to rinse out the lice when you’re done, and make sure the comb is clean after each stroke.
  • Step 8. Use a hairdryer to dry your hair, and use the hottest setting available. This can help kill off any lice that may be left on your head.

Make sure that you clean your head out perfectly. If you fail to do it well, the lice will come back in around a week.


Does Hair Dye Kill Lice? – Conclusion

To conclude, hair dye can kill lice. It, however, cannot kill nits, and nits are the pesky eggs you have to get rid of.

If the nits stay, it doesn’t matter whether you have live lice in your head or not. Once the nits hatch, you will get more and more lice.

The hair dye can help kill off lice, but only if you follow our step-by-step method. If you just dye your hair, as usual, you will find it doesn’t do much to the lice.

However, if you’re having trouble getting rid of these pesky bugs, consider going to a special lice salon. Specialists for lice work in these salons, and there may be one in your town, too. Check online for those salons, because they work fast and discreet at getting your head back on track.

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