Does hair dye kill lice? The whole truth here

dyed hair

There couldn’t be a more disgusting thing.

More repulsive.

More unbearably stinging that when your hair is full of lice.

Those horrible, almost microscopic bugs that hide in your hair with the only objective being to suck out your blood.

And make you continuously scratch your head.

Do you want to know if hair dye kills lice?


The answer is yes

 The dye kills lice. 

But it doesn’t finish them off.


The worst ones are the version of Bruce Willis, but in lice form.

They are Die Hard.

Die Hard 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6… and all the other sequels that come about of that movie.


That’s why I will tell you:

  • Why the dyes kill lice, but don’t finish them off
  • What you should do after applying the dye if you have lice
  • Treatments to combat lice in adults
  • Natural treatments to combat lice


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Why do the hair dyes kill lice but they don’t finish them off?

mother brushes her daughter

I’m a forty-year-old woman that has only had lice once in my life.

It was in the first few years of high school, a time when if you had lice, they suspended you from classes until you got rid of them completely.

But, the lice would come back in my life.


To torment me into despair.

It all started when my daughter started kindergarten.

It was a marvelous stage, filled with discoveries as much for her as for me.

Colors. Songs. Friends. Games. Rounds.

And lice.

 I almost died the day I discovered a lice holding on to one of her delicate hairs. 

I thought I had died.

I started to look over her head and I saw nits.

Oh my God!


Just remembering that moment I feel a million lice running or jumping between my hairs.

I started to pass a fine-toothed come over head which I called the pharmacy for to deliver to my home.

For three days, I passed the comb through her hair to get rid of lice as well as nits and it seemed like I had done it.

But then, my head started to itch.


Since I had some grays coming in at the roots, I decided to dye my hair.

It seemed like the lice had asphyxiated from the chemicals of the dye.

My house, my head, and my daughter seemed like they had gone back to normal.

But then, my scalp started to itch again.


I called one of my best friends who is a dermatologist, and that’s when she gave me the fatal message:  hair dye kills adult lice but not nits.  

Can you believe it?


They are perfect biting and blood sucking machines.

The reason is biological.


The dyes kill the lice because the chemical products that they are made with are able to attack the neurological system of the lice, that’s why they die.


But the nits that are less than three days old don’t have a developed neurological system which is why the dye doesn’t kill the nits.

And that’s where I started to see the vicious cycle of lice growth.

The nit doesn’t dye, grows, becomes lice, and keeps laying eggs.

So, here comes the most important thing that my dermatologist friend said.


What can you do after applying dye if you have lice?

dye does not remove nits

My friend told me that after rinsing the dye from the hair and the conditioner, pass a fine-toothed comb which is really the only effective way to get rid of nits and lice.

It’s also important to boil the fine-toothed comb as well as other combs and brushes for five minutes after using them.


 Also, it is indispensable, and I’m not exaggerating, to change the sheets and towels every day. 

Because, although you don’t believe it, lice can live for 24 hours outside of your head without sucking blood.

It sounds like I’m talking about a vampire.

And that’s what they are.

Small vampires from the 21st century.


Now, there are also some treatments that you can do if, for example, you don’t dye your hair or the dye doesn’t end up killing them.

Because it seems like our dear, small friends don’t react on all heads in the same way.


Treatments to combat lice in adults

Eliminating the lice and nits from your head isn’t easy.

I’m telling you from experience.

You should arm yourself with lots and lots of patience.


And even though we don’t like the idea, the most effective thing for eliminating lice is using the products that they sell in pharmacies.

Products that contain basically any of these three chemical elements:
malathion, ivermectin lotion, and benzyl alcohol lotion.

Now, I will tell you how to use each one of these products for lice according to the chemical element that it contains.



Most products that contain malathion always have it in small proportions.

Because after being absorbed into the human body, in this case through the pores in the scalp, it transforms into malaoxon which can be much more toxic.


It is recommended to use it one time and then repeat after ten days, meaning, you shouldn´t use it daily.

Apply the product to your scalp, massage it smoothly and let it sit for ten minutes.

Rinse and run and look for a lice comb, because when you use it, you are sure to get each and every one of those nits.


Ivermectin Lotion

You should always apply it to dry hair and let it sit for ten minutes.

Rinse with lots of water and dry it with a towel to later continue using the fine-toothed comb.

This product shouldn’t be applied again without consulting a doctor first.


Benzyl Alcohol Lotion

This product only works to kill lice and not the eggs, so you should apply it again to finish killing the lice that have hatched from those eggs.


Like with other products, you should apply it to dry hair and let it sit for about ten minutes. Rinse and use the comb.

Repeat the treatment after one week.



 None of these products should be used if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or on children that are less than six years old.  


Since I don’t like any of these products, truthfully I’m a bit afraid of using them since I’ve heard they also tend to dry out your hair, I called my dermatologist friend back.

And I asked that she recommend a natural treatment.

It didn’t matter if it took longer to get rid of the damned things.

So, she recommended the following natural treatment.


Natural treatment to fight off lice: tea tree oil and lavender

In two tablespoons of shampoo, place 20 drops of tea tree oil and five drops of lavender essence.

Place the mixture on your head and massage for ten minutes.

Let it sit for a half hour and rinse.

Use a fine-toothed comb.

After twenty days, you won’t have any more lice or nits.



As a mother, I feel the responsibility to ask all mothers like me that even at the first sign that your child has lice, you should start the treatment to kill them once and for all.

 You shouldn’t be embarrassed about having lice.  


Lice don’t appear because of lack of hygiene and because we are uncaring mothers.

They appear because we don’t attack them as a group.

They appear because they have also come back more resistant to the normal delousers.

Because when it comes to lice, the most effective remedy is the same one that the three musketeers used: All for one and one for all!


And you? How do you fight off lice?

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