A lot of people believe, or at least have heard, that hair dye kills head lice. Or that people with dyed hair can’t get lice. And many people will claim this is true, even if they’ve never seen any proof. So let’s take a quick look at the evidence to try and answer the question: does hair dye kill head lice?
Does hair dye kill head lice?
It’s true that the chemicals in some hair dyes can kill the active head lice.
The chemicals act as pesticides that kill the adult and young lice. The problem is that the nits (the lice eggs) have a hard shell that the chemicals can’t penetrate.
This means the hair dye won’t kill the eggs. And the lice eggs take about a week to ten days to hatch.
So even if the hair dye kills all the live lice, the eggs will soon hatch and the lice will be back within a week or so. And then you’ll be right back to square one, with a head full of lice.
The statistics back this up too. They show that people with dyed hair are just as likely to get head lice as anyone else.
And there are many health professionals who’ve treated people with dyed hair for lice. Just ask them and they’ll soon tell you – no, hair dye doesn’t kill head lice. Or at least, it doesn’t cure the whole problem and prevent them from returning.
Of course, you could keep dyeing your hair every time the lice return. But that can’t be healthy for your hair, or for your scalp. Not to mention your bank balance!
How to treat head lice then?
The best way to kill head lice is to use one of the many over the counter products you can buy. These most often come in the form of medicated shampoos. Your doctor may give you a prescription medication if none of these over the counter products work.