Even if we live in the 21st century and we have a variety of means and possibilities to stay clean, lice are very much around and they can cause us trouble. These pesky parasites love a nice thick hair, where they find shelter, warmth, and food. Of course, you can find treatments for lice in almost any pharmacy, but it can be quite unpleasant and challenging to walk in and say you have lice. So, we are going to look at a theory that claims that hair dye has the power to kill lice and their eggs. Will hair dye kill lice? Let us take a deeper look and see if this is true.
What are the symptoms of head lice?
Although lice bite, being parasites that feed on the blood they get through the skin, they go usually unnoticed in the first weeks, because the infestation is light at this point. The most common symptom when having lice is itchiness of the scalp, ears, or neck, caused by an allergic reaction caused by the bites of the lice. But, as mentioned earlier, 6 weeks may pass since you got the lice until you actually notice something wrong. Besides a rather intense and bothering itching, there are other symptoms related to having head lice as well. For instance, you may experience a tickling sensation on your scalp, like something is crawling over there, which means that the lice are moving. You will also feel irritated, will have a hard time getting sleep, sores on the scalp from too much itching, red bumps on your head and neck, and the appearance of lice eggs, which are small and white but visible on your hair.
Do they jump or fly from head to head?
The answer to this question is no. Lice cannot fly or jump, being transmitted from one person to another through direct contact only. This means that you will have to get very close to an infested person, like head-to-head close, or share items that carry the parasite, like clothes, hats, scarves, towels, hair brushes and combs, or sleep on a pillow that has lice eggs or where lice hide. Lice are not like fleas or mosquitoes, having special abilities when it comes to getting around, crawling being their way of finding hosts which explains why they need direct contact to get into someone’s hair.
Will I have to shave my head?
The truth that once you remove the habitat of lice, they won’t be able to thrive and survive on your scalp. So, shaving your head would be a very efficient and natural way to get rid of lice immediately. Still, before panicking, you should know that shaving your head is not necessary in case of lice infestation. There are other ways to get rid of lice and still keep your hair right where it belongs and avoid this rather traumatizing experience. This brings us to our initial problem, will hair dye kill lice? It is well known that there are certain chemical substances that upset lice very much, chemicals that are usually contained by the lice treatments we can find in drug stores. But, does hair dye have the right chemicals to get rid of lice? It would be great if this would be true because we could kill the lice and look better at the same time.
Will hair dye kill lice?
As mentioned before, lice are rather sensitive to chemicals and will hate if their environment will suddenly be flooded with them. You probably know that hair dye, or at lost most of the hair dyes found on the market, contained a wide array of chemicals. These chemicals can even turn out to be dangerous for us, so if they can do us harm, maybe they can do harm to lice as well and help us get rid of them. But will hair dye kill lice for sure? The truth is that there is absolutely no scientific proof or research that will back up this statement. Still, some people claim that dying their hair helped them remove lice due to their chemical content.
There are two main components of hair dye that are believed to be responsible for the disappearance of head lice. The first component is hydrogen peroxide, the one responsible for forming the color on your hair and keeping it for long periods on it. Unfortunately, it also makes your hair loose sulfur, which it time will make your hair to get harder, rather than remain nice and soft. This is why persons that dye their hair blonde or bleach it, due to the high amount of hydrogen peroxide used, will usually have a rather dry and hard hair. The second component we are talking about is ammonia, used for lightening the hair and for allowing the hair color to penetrate the hair better by separating the cuticles. It is the substance that can make hair dye smell rather unpleasant, the nasty scent being proof that ammonia is present. Besides these two substances, hair dyes also contain all kinds of alcohols, which can dry the hair and convince lice to move out.
But because both hydrogen peroxide and ammonia are considered to be highly toxic, it is not recommended to use hair dye to remove lice, especially in the case of children. These two substances produce vapors that can cause health problems when inhaled or if they are accidentally ingested; this is why it is never a good idea to use hair dye on children. However, you could use high-quality products for hair coloring, such as henna, as they are entirely safe and natural. It is believed that besides killing and removing lice, henna products can also have a positive impact on dandruff, helping us get rid of it as well, and strengthen the hair. If “will hair dye kill lice” is a question you want to be answered, the answer is that it might work. There is no scientific evidence to support the fact that hair dye will help you kill lice, so if you decide to try this on your own head, it is entirely your call and your responsibility, now that you know a bit more about this particular method.
Head lice treatments that work (and a few that don’t)
Believe it or not, even if we are fighting against hair lice for centuries already, we still haven’t found an effective treatment for this parasite. Even so, let us look at some lice treatments that will work, more or less.
Comb your hair when wet
Get your hair wet, separate it into sections, use a plastic fine-toothed comb like Mason Pearson Styling Comb or Nit Free Terminator Lice Comb, and get the help of a clean towel to wipe your comb each time you get it out of your hair. This way you will catch both the lice and their eggs.
Use lice combs
There are both metal and plastic lice combs, although metal combs are more durable and efficient than plastic ones. They usually have micro spirals around their teeth that help to grab the bugs and their tiny eggs as well.
Use combs that zap lice
This is an efficient and rather fun way to get rid of lice, which should be used on dry hair only. Children may like this particular method more than wet combing.
Get suction combs to remove lice
With the help of these combs, you will comb your hair and suck out lice and eggs with one single move, due to the comb’s teeth that act like vacuum cleaners.
Over-the-counter lice treatments
There are quite a few over-the-counter treatments you can get for lice, which contain permethrin or pyrethrin, under the form of shampoos, creams, or lotions; although it is good to remember that they can be toxic.
Non-toxic OTC lice treatments
If you want to stay away from toxic lice treatments, there are always options. Treatments based on table salts, such as Licefreee Spray, or dimethicone, like LiceMD, gets rid of lice naturally and safe.
You can always use natural oils to suffocate the lice, like olive oil, coconut oil, even melted butter or a generous dose of conditioner. Just apply the oil on the hair, covering it completely, apply a hair cap, and let it sit for approximately 12 hours, to make sure that the lice will not survive the treatment. You can also use vinegar or acidic shampoos, lice hating acidic environment and eggs being efficiently removed as well.
Treatments that dehydrate
If you use the common table salt, alcohol, or saponins, which dehydrate, left in your hair overnight, you will be able to wash out in the morning all the dried out lice and their eggs.
Use essential oils
There are quite a few essential oils that are potent natural insecticides, tea tree oil and lavender oil providing great results in the case of lice.
This is quite a rudimentary method and won’t get you too far because you won’t be able to pick the lice eggs and their nymphs, just the adult bugs.
Head Lice Prevention Tips
1. Even if you got rid of lice, continue wet combing for a couple of weeks just to make sure.
2. IMPORTATN: Sterilize every item that comes in contact with your hair, like combs, brushes, hats, pillowcases, and so on. We recommend Eco Defense Spray – safe, organic, natural and non-toxic ingredients.
3. Use lice treatment sprays as a preventive method, applied on your belongings.
4. Keep your hair up, stay away from hugging people, do your best not to get too close to people in crowded areas, and don’t borrow personal items from others and don’t give away yours either.
Can lice drown during a swim or bath?
We wish it would be that easy. No, lice won’t drown; shutting themselves down instead, something that is called sham death, and recovering within 5 minutes after you get out of the water.
Can lice become resistant to pesticides?
Because there are many lice treatments based on pesticide, the chance of the lice to become resistant to these substances is very high. This happens due to the rapid reproduction cycle of the lice, which are able to produce a pesticide-resistant generation very quickly after a pesticide exposure.
Is it important to comb the hair while trying to get rid of lice?
It is very important to comb your hair during lice treatments because pesticide treatments don’t have the ability to penetrate and kill the lice eggs, so you’ll have to use a comb to get rid of them. Check out Nit Free Terminator Lice Comb.
Will combing break the lice’s legs and keep them from moving around and laying eggs?
This is completely false. Instead of breaking their legs, energetic combing will actually create an electric charge between the lice and hair, making them spread easier to nearby heads.
Is it possible to kill lice with hair dye?
It is very less likely to get rid of lice with hair dye. What you’ll achieve by dying your hair is to color the eggs in the same color as the hair, making them unnoticeable, although they will still be there and allow lice to hatch.
Do lice hate hairdryers?
Yes, they do, but it is almost impossible to kill lice with the help of the hairdryer alone.
Is it necessary to wash the bedding in hot water in case of lice infestation in the family?
No, that’s not necessary. Lice don’t usually reside in pillowcases or bedding too much, only if they die and end up there. But you can use Eco Defense Spray to sterilize every item you touched.
Do natural lice treatments, such as olive oil and vinegar, actually work?
There is no relevant proof that natural treatments like natural oils and vinegar will kill the lice. However, they may stun the bugs or suffocate them which will become easier to remove through combing and washing.