Head lice in dreadlocks are like fire and gasoline. If they’re put together they become one of the worst combinations imaginable. Why? Because you cannot take that special lice comb people with traditional hair use and run it through your dreads until you get rid of your pesky little friends. Or should I say enemies?
But don’t panic! There are solutions to this problem too, and this is exactly what we’re here to list today. How to treat head lice with dreadlocks and get rid of them for good!
Head Lice with Dreadlocks FAQ
Before we get to the actual advice, let’s delve into some frequently asked questions that I get from people who have had the unfortunate luck of running into lice. I feel like it’s very important to get some things answered and explained.
1. Can People with Dreads Get Lice?
Yes!! There is a weirdly high number of people who believe locs somehow magically protect you from lice. They do not! You can get lice just like when you have traditional hair, braided hair, curly hair, and so on.
2. Will Hair Dye Kill the Lice in My Dreads?
That’s a tricky question. Technically, yes. But I don’t advise you to go down that road. In theory, the chemicals found in factory-made dyes (not natural ones) will kill lice by attacking their neurological system. Lice are bugs, after all, and attacking them with chemicals will kill them.
But then you will be left with the eggs and the nits which do not have a neurological system so they will not die.
3. Do I Have to Cut My Dreadlocks If I Have Lice?
No, you do not! Lice are trickier to get rid of if you have dreads, that’s true. But there are ways to do it, as you will see from this article. None of them involves you cutting your dreads.
4. Can I Kill Lice in My Dreads with Alcohol?
Here’s another preconception that’s been running around and misinforming people. If you apply alcohol to your dreads, it will numb the lice, making them a lot easier to wash off. However, it’s not the live lice you should be worried about. It’s the nits. You won’t get rid of those with alcohol, which makes this process utter nonsense.
5. Do Dirty Dreadlocks Attract Lice?
No! Lice couldn’t care less whether your hair is dirty, clean or fit to eat dinner off of. In fact, lice wonder off from head to head looking for blood. That’s what attracts them. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to personal hygiene and wash your dreads.
How to Treat Head Lice with Dreadlocks
So, the process for regular hair would be to kill or suffocate the lice with a special shampoo and then comb them out with that special fine-toothed comb we all know from when we were children. But what to do when you have lice?
1. Use Lice Shampoo
Just because you can’t use the lice comb doesn’t mean you can’t use the shampoo either. Wash your hair with it and the special shampoo will kill the live lice. You will be left with the nits and unhatched eggs, which means you have to repeat the process every three days.
This ensures you kill the new hatched lice before they get the chance to mature and lay their own eggs. Keep doing it until you are safely out of the danger zone.
2. Olive and Tea Tree Oil for Head Lice in Dreadlocks
Here’s a homemade recipe that is very easy and you can try anytime you like. Soak your scalp and dreads in a mixture of olive and tea tree oil. The ratio should be a few spoons of olive oil to a few drops of tea tree oil because the tea tree is powerful and could harm you. Leave it in overnight.
Shampoo your dreads the next morning. Afterward, soak them in a solution of vinegar and water and blow dry them. People who have tried this method report that you need to keep doing it for two weeks to make sure you get rid of all the lice. Also, it will leave your dreads feeling a little oily.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil
This idea stems from the premise that the nits and the eggs are literally glued to your hair strands so they don’t fall off. This is why you need the special comb. However, you can also use apple cider vinegar because it will help dissolve and unglue them from your hair, making the nits a lot easier to remove.
The coconut oil will smother the live, adult head lice in dreadlocks and help them fall out of your hair when you shampoo it.
4. Straightening Irons
Other people have also used straightening irons to kill lice as well as their eggs and nits on the spot. Although this method has not been tried and tested by enough people to ensure it works, technically the intense heat should finish the insects.
If you try this method, don’t pull on the straightening iron as a person with traditional hair does. Simply apply it to your dreads and let the heat kill the lice for a few seconds at a time.
One thing you always need to remember is that cleaning your scalp and your dreads is not enough. Lice love your clothes, bedding, and pillows as well. Therefore, make sure to spray some chemical solution on them and then wash them at a very high temperature in your washing machine.
Do not hand wash your clothes and bedding if you have lice. It’s not the ingredients per se that will get rid of them off pillowcases and such but rather the high temperature of the water.
What About You?
Have you ever had head lice in dreadlocks? And if so, what did you do about them? Or maybe you have lice right now and have some questions for me? Are you ready to start dreadlocks? Do you need some dreadlocks maintenance? Call 02 8001 6456 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.