Have you heard that hair dye can kill lice and get rid of them? is this true? if so, is this all hair dyes, or just particular brands or formulations? Let’s discuss.

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Head lice eggs (nits) have a hard, protective shell, and they’re stuck to the hair shaft with a glue-like substance that makes them extremely difficult to remove.

Unfortunately, the nit’s shell makes it impervious to the effects of hair dye. So, even if dying your hair kills all the adult lice, you’ll still be left with nits, stubbornly clinging to your hair.

The head louse lifecycle typically lasts for between 38 and 45 days. Nits take from one week to 12 days to mature and hatch. Once hatched, the head lice nymphs attach themselves to the scalp and feed on your blood until they’re mature enough to reproduce. The adult head lice then lay their eggs on your hair shafts, and the cycle begins again.

How to Break the Cycle …

There is a strategy that will get rid of your head lice.

On day one, dye your hair, using a brand of hair dye that contains ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. Follow the dye manufacturer’s instructions and leave the dye on your hair for the recommended time. Any adult head lice should now be dead.To tackle any newly-hatched nymphs, dye your hair gain on the seventh day after the initial dye application.Finally, repeat the exercise and dye your hair again on the fourteenth day following the second application. That will take care of any remaining nits and nymphs that escaped the second dying session.

This strategy should break the cycle and get rid of the lice, but it might also damage your hair.


NEVER use hair dye on a child’s hair. Although kids do tend to be more prone to getting lice than adults, their hair is much more delicate and susceptible to damage from hair dyes that contain bleach.

If you’ve had head lice, the chances are you’ve been scratching your scalp and broken the skin. The harsh chemicals that hair dye contains can irritate broken, infected skin and may cause an allergic reaction.

Also, if you suffer from existing skin conditions such as psoriasis, you should take extreme care when using hair dyes, as they can aggravate the condition.

Wrapping it up

Certain brands and types of hair dye can kill head lice, but you will need to carry out three consecutive treatments to be sure that you’ve caught the adult lice and any nymphs that are hatching from nits that are attached to your hair shafts.

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If you don’t fancy the idea of dying your hair, ask your GP or pharmacist for advice on other lice-specific products you could use instead.