page title icon Does Hair Dye Kill Lice?

Who gets attacked by lice mostly? It’s usually the children, right? But, that doesn’t mean that adults are an exception. Anybody growing hair on the head can get lice. The little kids going through preschool and kindergarten plus their household and caregivers are at higher infestation risk. Lice are wingless parasitic insects living in people’s hair and scalp.

Do you know sesame seeds? Yes, that’s how tiny lice are. They are of different colours ranging from brown to translucent white. They can stay up to a whole month sucking blood in your scalp for survival. In a day, they can lay around five eggs- nits. A lot of studies have been done to find out if hair dye kills nits and lice. Keep reading to learn more about hair dye and lice.

hair lice

Effect of hair dye on lice

Does hair dye kill lice? Well, let’s begin by looking at the hair dye components to try and relate. They include;

  • Hydrogen peroxide- It’s the chemical that changes your hair’s colour and making it lose Sulphur. Consequently, your hair’s texture locks drier and gets rougher. It, therefore, works by scaring lice from firmly lodging onto your scalp. It’s because the hair isn’t smooth and soft to favour their stay.
  • Ammonia– Is a corrosive chemical that develops a pungent smell to your hair dye and normally, it’s used for lightening the hair. A scalp exposed to ammonia has a highly alkaline environment. Unfortunately, lice can’t stand certain alkaline levels caused by ammonia. It may be the cause of saying they die after staying in such surrounding for some time.

Did you know that nits are covered by a hard shell to offer protection? The claims may be right but can hair dye chemicals penetrate this shell? Let’s go back to the question. Does hair dye kill lice? The answer is no because, before nits hatch, hair dye may be ineffective in removing them. That means lice growth isn’t affected. However, is there something to be modified to achieve getting rid of lice using hair dye? Probably, yes.

If you wish to eliminate hair lice with dye, please be advised to do the dying process every now and then until you succeed. You can consistently try once or twice a week until they go entirely. Again, think about combining the dye, bleach and other techniques, including combing the hair using vinegar. Don’t forget that there’s still no scientific evidence supporting the claims that dye kills lice. If you’d like to try removing lice, kindly follow the following steps and see if it works;

Steps to lice removal 

  • Add water to vinegar with 5% acidity in the ratio of 1:1. Apply the mixture in every hair shaft on the scalp, at the nape’s neck, and behind your ears. Let the solution stay on your scalp for 10-15 minutes. In case you have a burning sensation following application, please wash it off immediately.
  • Thoroughly wash your hair with warm water to rinse the vinegar and water solution.
  • Using a lice comb, for removing any possible lice from the head. After that, soak and clean it in hot water, and ensure it’s free from lice before reusing it for the same purpose.
  • Follow the package instructions to mix the hair dye. Make sure you are in a well-ventilated space.
  • Use it on your hair, paying attention to the areas you tackled with the vinegar solution.
  • Rinse the dye with warm water.
  • Comb the hair again with a clean lice comb.
  • Get into a hot hairdryer to dry the hair to kill any lice that may have escaped the chemicals applied. You may have to repeat this procedure after a few days for some time to rid them completely. Remember, dying your hair doesn’t prevent lice from getting back to your scalp, coming into contact can still get you infested. You should take care.

Safety precautions

Dyes are not the best for your skin’s safety. Think about how permanent dyes change your hair’s colour. What about your scalp? It’s possible they can irritate it and may cause allergic responses. A dye’s side effects can be seen or sensed on the neck, face, and scalp through sensations such as;

  • Burning
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Welts or hives.

Sometimes, the situation may be severe if you’re using the dye and other chemicals more than supposed. Additionally, your hair may be damaged by becoming thin. Using dye severally in a month may be hazardous. When dying your hair, ensure you cover with your hands with disposable gloves. Don’t get stressed because the gloves are free and come packed together with the dye. You should protect your hands and any other areas you might accidentally touch with dye-filled hands.

Does Hair Dye Kill Lice

Another important thing is to avoid contact with your nose, eyes, or mouth. Don’t breathe the emitted fumes by the dye, that’s why it’s essential to mix it in open air space- room with proper ventilation. When dealing with children, it’s not advisable to use hair dye for removing lice. Knowing very well that their hair is smoother than an adult’s, don’t involve it with bleach and dye as it’ll only cause more damage. The chemical reactions would be worse on their skin surface, nose, eyes, and other sensitive parts. Kindly save them the burden of such adverse reactions.

The Bottom Line

After going through the text above, what do you think about dye and lice? Does hair dye kill lice from your understanding of how it works? So far, no scientific proof indicates that hair dye kills nits and lice. Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence suggests that it may be effective except for killing nits- a louse’s egg.

Addition of various other chemical products may increase the effectiveness and help clear the lice, for example vinegar.  Always ensure you use a lice comb for eliminating nits and lice after dying your hair and rinsing. Moreover, don’t forget to wash the used lice comb with hot water before reusing. Understand the precautions involved to keep safe during your lice removal treatment.

Also Read: How to Remove Dipped Nails

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