Does Hair Dye Kill Lice?
Our fully inclusive guide on whether or not hair dye will kill lice.
Head lice. They’re likely to be something you’re more familiar with if you have children of a young age, aren’t they? There isn’t much more that instils fear into the hearts of parents than that one sentence: “your child has head lice”.
Your child having lice means one thing. You’re likely to get it too. Yikes.
Head lice, are very simply, parasitic insects that don’t have wings and live in the hair of humans, and they require human blood to survive.
Today, we’re going to be addressing the rumour that hair dye kills lice.
Read on for out fully inclusive guide on whether or not hair dye will actually kill lice.
How Does Hair Dye Actually Affect Lice?
Because there are many different kinds of hair dye, it’s important to know which of these will have an effect on head lice. In order to kill head lice, you must use permanent hair dye.
This is because permanent hair dye contains an ingredient called ammonia. Ammonia is a well known alkaline which produces an irritating gas, which is likely the reason why it’s effective in killing head lice.
Some other permanent dye solutions will include hydrogen peroxide in their ingredients, which can also be effective in the killing of lice.
The eggs of head lice – also commonly referred to as nits – are encased in a hard shell, for protective reasons. Because of this, the chemicals found in hair dye cannot penetrate these shells, and therefore make it ineffective in killing them off before they hatch.
Hair dye also can’t dissolve the glue – like substance that sticks the shells to the hair, meaning it won’t wash them out either.
So does hair dye affect lice? Yes it kills them. But it is entirely ineffective against nits.
Will Hair Bleach Kill Lice?
Many people will bleach their hair in order to get that “blonde bombshell” look. But is hair bleach any good in the fight against head lice?
Hair bleach contains certain chemicals including ammonium persulfate. This is an oxidiser that helps to remove the colour from hair. It also tends to contain hydrogen and stearyl alcohol.
These ingredients can come in handy killing lice on the scalp, however similarly to other kinds of dye, will not be helpful against nits.
How Might Hair Dye Help in Killing Lice?
Lastly, it’s a bit of an unorthodox method, but if you really wanted to use hair dye in order to kill off a head lice infestation, then you’d have to repeat the process weekly in order to be thorough.
Furthermore, you also shouldn’t solely rely on hair dye. If you are dying or bleaching your hair and want to get rid of lice, then you should combine this with other methods of removal, such as using a nit comb, or even using vinegar.
Even when it comes to vinegar, however, there is no scientific evidence that it actually helps to eradicate head lice. It’s a bit of an “old wives’ tale” if you like, but people swear it works!
If you want to use hair dye to get rid of lice, you should follow these steps:
- Start with vinegar, and cover your scalp with a half and half solution of water and vinegar. Wash off after 5 to 15 minutes, but if it burns wash off straight away.
- Use a nit comb to remove nits.
- Follow the mixing instructions on the hair dye packet, then cover the scalp with the dye.
- Rinse out the dye after the stated time.
- Comb hair with a lice comb, and dry on a hot hairdryer setting.
Thanks for reading.
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