hair dye for lice treatment

Does Hair Dye Kill Lice? We Investigate.

Need a new hair style?

Have Lice?

Why not kill two birds with one stone?

If you have dyed your hair before, then you have smelled that pungent chemical smell and felt the tingle on your scalp. It makes sense that a bug might have a hard time living through that kind of chemical warfare. However, does it actually work?

hair dye for lice

The Claim

If you do a Google search about whether or not hair dye kills lice, you will find a lot of sites with success stories. The idea is that the chemicals in the dye are strong enough to eliminate the lice. The idea is that, much like an insecticide based lice product, the bug will not be able to survive the conditions.

The Variables

The claim sounds so convenient and, honestly, reasonable. Like I pointed out earlier, if you have dyed your hair, you know that whatever those dyes are made from seems strong!

First, there is an issue verifying that hair dye eliminates lice because there are so many different brands. With actual lice treatments they can study the active ingredient to see if it kills lice. With hair dye, different companies use different formulations and the chemicals are not studied for their effects on lice.

Second, the process could have an effect on whether or not the dye treatment works. For instance, regarding the actual insecticide treatments, the CDC warns, “Do not use a combination shampoo/conditioner, or conditioner before using lice medicine. Do not re-wash the hair for 1-2 days after the lice medicine is removed.” If it is important to be that careful about the medication that is designed specifically to kill lice, could using conditioner before the hair dye or washing too soon after affect the results?

Third, not even medicated shampoos made to kill lice kill off the eggs. A chemical treatment may kill the live lice, but what about the eggs? It’s the eggs that are the hardest to get rid of. The nits are attached to the hair with a glue-like substance and the egg protects the little bug developing inside.

The Result

Alright, so what is the result? Well, the result is mixed. Probably there have been people for whom dyeing their hair did the trick. And, probably, hair dye has worked for some to eliminate the live lice, but then the eggs hatched a few days later and they had to deal with the new infestation. Finally, there are many for whom hair dye just didn’t work.

There are not definitive statistics for things like this.

If you wanted to dye your hair anyway, by all means, dye your hair. Just be sure to have someone monitor your hair continually for the next 10-15 days to see if it worked. You may have to experiment with different brands or leaving the dye in for different amounts of time.

If that process sounds too iffy for you, stick around, because we have an easy treatment method for you.

One More Consideration

kids with lice

Lice is often an issue with children. Using hair dye on children’s hair is not nearly so common. Good Housekeeping ran an article suggesting to wait until around 16 to dye hair. So while hair dye may have some beneficial consequences for adults, it probably should not be used for children.

The Answer

So maybe you have wanted to dye your hair blue or purple or green since you were in middle school. Maybe now is the time to go for it and blame the lice!

Then, even before you begin to enjoy the attention from your new hair color, head over to the website for the Lice Clinics of America. LCA has a method that kills both the lice and nits at once. It doesn’t take long and it actually works. There is no guess work here.

head lice treatment clinicians

Head lice treatments in process

For those of you who aren’t interested in finding an excuse for green hair or if you need treatment for your children, you will be happy to know that this treatment is chemical free. There are no harsh chemicals used.

Find your nearest clinic and set up an appointment or call us at 951-286-5958.


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