Does Hair Dye Kill Lice

Does Hair Dye Kill Lice? – A Simple Answer

So, you are just about to color your hair and find lice. What do you do now? Well, you’re probably wondering, does hair dye kill lice? Before we get into the answer to that question, you should understand how to identify them.

Of course, the first thing you will notice is that your head is extremely itchy and irritating. However, having an itchy authority does not always mean you have head lice or nits. The American Academy of Pediatrics has set out guidelines for a diagnosis you can follow.

Diagnosis Of Lice

Identifying eggs, nymphs, or adult lice is enough to confirm the diagnosis. Lice are quick. Try to avoid light. You may struggle to find them when looking at dry hair.

Some experts suggest an oil or conditioner will slow the nits down enough for you to use the comb to catch at least one of them for identification. They also say that using a comb with a lubricant in the hair to try and find them is the easiest method of diagnosis. However, if you think, “does hair dye kill lice, ” you want to dye your hair. Therefore, you will not want to use oils or conditioners as it will also stop the color from working.

That leaves you with the option of using water to check for the lice. If you are not coloring your hair, it will not matter what you use; oil or conditioner may work better. However, as we are talking about hair dye killing lice, water is the best option. Typically, most lice will stay at the base of the hair near the neck or behind your ears. They can appear white, tan, or even greyish. You can distinguish lice from other substances such as dandruff by looking for movement.

If you have already identified the lice, let’s answer the question you came here for.

Does Hair Dye Kill Lice

The simple answer to this question is yes, sometimes. The strong chemicals in hair dye and bleach can often kill lice and nymphs by drying them out. However, it will not kill any lice eggs in your hair, and some people report dye only being able to kill some of the adult lice in their hair. Therefore, as with regular hair lice treatments, you will have to get rid of those eggs once they hatch too.

Eggs take anywhere between 7 and 10 days to hatch, so it’s advised to repeat the treatment after that, so you will have to do something different. Alternatively, you could use an over-the-counter or prescribed medicine if you plan on dying your hair in a week or so but found lice. Then, dye your hair after a 7-10 days incubation period.

In short, although many people have success with hair dye killing some of the lice on their heads, you’ll need to resort to additional treatments to eradicate these creatures.


Does hair dye kill lice? Yes, it can. However, it is not the best option for treatment as you’ll have to treat lice multiple times. Furthermore, as it is only some of the chemicals that you may find in a dye that will kill them, you may use a colour or bleach that doesn’t have them. Your overall best option is to treat lice before dying your hair.

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