7 Reasons You Keep Getting Lice and How to Stop Lice From Coming Back

A girl with brown hair has both of her hands in her hair touching her scalp pulling her hair out.

Discover the reasons you keep getting lice and more importantly, how to stop it from coming back.

You discover head lice on you or your kid, then use a lice treatment or home remedy to try to kill it, do hours of housecleaning, and loads of laundry--only to discover lice is back again a few weeks or even days later!

Does this sound familiar to you? 

Most websites or products will say things like, “When lice come back, it is usually because you did not follow the directions carefully enough.” 

You know, though, that it’s just not true. You have done everything, yet lice keep coming back!

There are seven major reasons people get stuck in this never-ending lice cycle, and it is not because they aren’t following the instructions. 

More important than why you are stuck in the cycle, however, here you can learn 7 WAYS TO STOP LICE FROM COMING BACK. EVER.

Parents around the world are all asking me the same question….

Why Is It So Hard to Get Rid of Lice? 

Lice have become immune to everything that used to work in the past. Perhaps you remember your mom using a typical lice treatment and that doing the trick. The new strain of head lice is no longer killed by those treatments, that’s why lice today are termed by people, “super lice.” They are called SUPER LICE, because they can’t be eliminated with treatments that used to work. 

That’s why lice experts like myself DO NOT use lice treatments. I’ve cured thousands of people of lice without lice treatments and instead of retreating a million times, they get rid of lice permanently in ONE DAY! You can learn more about the technique I use here.

Most people with lice are stuck in what I term the “never-ending lice cycle” that looks like this…

You discover lice, you spend hours treating, nit-picking, house cleaning etc.

You think it’s gone for a few weeks…

But, then it’s back again!

Sound familiar? This cycle will repeat over and over again until you change what you’re doing.

Reason #1 Super Lice

Super Lice bug with head and abdomen showing crawls along a strand of blond hair. Six legs are connected to the abdomen. The image is magnified to show the bug up close. The lice is golden translucent in color and the dark brown stomach can be seen.

Super lice are on the rise. If you have gone through multiple rounds of lice treatment and lice keep returning regardless, you have the unfortunate pleasure of hosting super lice.

Super lice look and act just like ordinary head lice. They are the same size, shape, and color, making it so you can’t tell them apart just by looking at them. The difference between super lice and regular lice is that super lice have a mutation that makes them resistant to almost all over-the-counter and prescription lice treatments.

If you have gone through multiple rounds of lice treatment, but lice keep returning, you have super lice.

These super lice become stronger and more resistant every time you use one of these ineffective lice treatments on your child’s head. 

Here’s how:

Super lice is a mutant strain of head lice spreading throughout the world, particularly in the US and Canada. Discover what they are and how to kill them…

When you use an over-the-counter or prescription treatment, you kill the weakest head lice, but the strongest lice live on. These strong lice then breed together and produce more lice that are even stronger than the previous generation. Every time you use one of these pesticide treatments, super lice become more “super” because you kill the weak ones and leave the strongest lice left to multiply.

Traditional Lice Treatments Don’t Kill Super Lice

A blond child is crying

For years, the go-to lice treatments were over-the-counter pesticides. 

Unfortunately, many people run to the drug store and grab these same pesticides without knowing that all of the treatments we used twenty years ago are no longer effective against the new strain of lice (super lice). 

Name brand and generic treatments use pesticides as the main “lice killing” ingredients and do not kill super lice or their eggs. Prescription lice treatments use these same pesticides, just in larger doses or more frequently. Neither of them work!

Recent studies show that up to 98% of lice and super lice are now resistant to these types of treatments, so it doesn’t matter the dosage or how long you leave them on. The treatment only kills the weakest lice, and the strongest super lice continue to breed and multiply.

Unfortunately, these products are heavily advertised and recommended by folks without a lot of hands-on lice knowledge. These products were indeed effective forty years ago, but since lice have evolved, these products are no longer useful for killing lice. 

Since pesticides are no longer adequate to eliminate lice, it can be challenging for most people to navigate the lice shampoo world. There are hundreds of different lice products, and each one of them claims on the box to effectively kill lice. 

The honest truth is that many statements on the boxes are flat-out lies.

The Fast Solution to Super Lice 

As a lice expert and lice coach for several years, I’ve tested and studied just about every lice treatment out there, and the most “popular” treatments are among the very worst, so don’t be fooled!

After years of helping people get rid of lice, I developed a technique that is 100% guaranteed to get rid of lice in ONE DAY without any lice treatments or toxic chemicals. You can learn about that technique here.

The Long Solution

You’re not going to fix your super lice problem using traditional lice treatments. Your other option is to use a more “natural/pesticide-free” lice treatment, but none of these are 100% effective at killing super lice either. Or, you can use one of the home remedies I recommend in this article, but again, there is not a single home remedy that kills 100% of lice bugs. Even the very best home remedies usually only kill about 80% of lice. These are the weaker lice, leaving the stronger lice to survive and breed, creating stronger and stronger super lice.

If you plan to use a home remedy, then find out which home remedies work and which ones can make lice worse in my 37 Home Remedies article.

Reason #2 Lice Eggs

A woman with long dark hair has multiple lice eggs/nits in her hair. The nits are circled. The nits look like they are white in color and tear shaped. The words Lice eggs in dark hair is written across the picture.

Another unique thing about super lice is that lice treatments do not kill their lice eggs or prevent them from hatching. Thirty years ago, you could use a lice treatment and the lice eggs may not hatch, but today’s lice lay very resistant eggs that will absolutely hatch after a lice treatment.

If you focus only on killing lice and not the eggs, you will find yourself stuck in an endless lice cycle because new lice keep hatching from the eggs that weren’t removed from the head.

Here’s what this cycle looks like...

You’ll think you’ve gotten rid of lice, but the lice eggs in the hair hatch within a few days, and, shortly, those lice begin laying eggs. Within a few weeks, you have a full infestation all over again. You go around and around in this circle of “getting lice back” from yourself.

Super lice is a mutant strain of head lice spreading throughout the world, particularly in the US and Canada. Discover what they are and how to kill them…

After using a lice comb with little success, many people resort to “nit-picking” to try to get all of the lice eggs out of the hair. Nit-picking is manually removing individual lice eggs from the hair with your fingers. It is incredibly time-consuming, tedious, and overwhelming. Sadly, most parents that spend 6-12 hours “nit-picking” and believe they have removed every nit inevitably miss some, and just two nits means staying trapped in this lice cycle again and again.

The Fast Solution

One of the secrets to getting rid of lice permanently is to kill and remove all of the lice eggs on the head. There is no lice treatment or home remedy that kills lice eggs, but I’ve spent years helping people with lice, and I’ve developed a technique that kills 100% of lice and LICE EGGS! You can learn more about it here.

The Long Solution- Retreat every 5 days

The technique I use only takes about 2 hours to complete and then you’re completely free of lice, but if you want to go another route like a home remedy or a store-bought lice treatment then prepare for it taking you a VERY LONG TIME. Most people struggle with lice for weeks, months, or years, trying one lice treatment and home remedy after another.

I don't want this to be your story, so let me get you on the right track. If you're going to get rid of lice on your own without using my technique, then plan on being extremely disciplined and focused on lice for 3 weeks.

Because, although many lice eggs hatch in 1-2 weeks, different studies have shown that lice eggs can hatch anywhere between 4 days and 21 days, depending on the temperature and other factors. So, you'll need to keep retreating every 5 days to ensure that you kill lice bugs as they hatch, before they can start laying eggs of their own.

To give yourself the best chances of getting rid of lice you need to be obsessive for 3 weeks.

Here's what you'd do:

Today: Treat with a home remedy that kills some of the lice like the ones in this article. Comb with a lice comb or nit-pick, and try to remove as many lice eggs as possible. Do house cleaning that I recommend in the House Cleaning - Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of Lice in Your House.

Day 5: Retreat with a home remedy or treatment that kills most lice and comb with a lice comb or nit-pick and try to remove as many lice eggs as possible. Do house cleaning that I recommend in the House Cleaning - Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of Lice in Your House.

Day 10: Retreat with a home remedy or treatment that kills most lice and comb with a lice comb or nit-pick and try to remove as many lice eggs as possible. Do house cleaning that I recommend in the House Cleaning - Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of Lice in Your House.

Day 15: Retreat with a home remedy or treatment that kills most lice and comb with a lice comb or nit-pick and try to remove as many lice eggs as possible. Do house cleaning that I recommend in the House Cleaning - Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of Lice in Your House.

Day 20: Retreat with a home remedy or treatment that kills most lice and comb with a lice comb or nit-pick and try to remove as many lice eggs as possible. Do house cleaning that I recommend in the House Cleaning - Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of Lice in Your House.

Or, you can get rid of lice in one day with the MyLiceAdvice video series. This is what the MyLiceAdvice plan looks like.

Today: Do my technique and get rid of lice!

No retreatments.

Never get lice again.

#3: It’s Passing Back and Forth in the Family

A father and mother are sleeping in a bed with their 2 children. All of the linens are white.ng in a bed

Lice are very contagious, and even more so among family members. If one child in the family has lice, the chances of a sibling getting lice are estimated to be as high as 80%

If you’ve checked all of your children and think that only one of your many children has lice, you are usually wrong.

It’s common that just one child has a serious case of head lice while the others are in the beginning stages. Head lice in the beginning stage are often missed because there are only one or two lice and a few lice eggs in the hair.

Usually parents focus all of their attention on just one of their children because they think the others are in the clear or they will be able to stop lice from spreading if they concentrate on killing all the lice on that one kid.  However, if one of the other children in the family has head lice (even only a couple nits), they’ll just give it right back to their sibling.

I know I’m gonna make your head itch (no pun intended), but in my experience, moms end up getting head lice from their children about 50% of the time as well. So, consider that maybe YOU could be the one giving lice back to your children. Save yourself a lot of hassle and make sure you get yourself checked out as well.

The Less Expensive Solution

If you use my technique then you don’t need to buy a bunch of lice treatments for everyone in the home, because you can use it on everyone and it doesn’t require any lice treatments. I also teach you how to check everyone in the house for lice with 100% accuracy in my Video Series, which you can find here.

The Expensive Solution

A lot of lice treatment products say to treat the whole family for lice even if you don’t think they have lice for this reason. But buying lice treatment kits for the whole family is going to cost you a ton of money and lice treatments don’t work!  If you choose to go the home remedy route though, it’s relatively inexpensive to treat the whole family for lice at once. But, remember the kill rate for even the best home remedies is only about 80%.

Also, remember, if you really want to get rid of lice for good, you also need to retreat, retreat, retreat, so be sure that you retreat the whole family as well. 

(Obviously this isn’t the solution I’d choose, that’s why I created my technique, so people could get rid of lice in one day instead of re-treating the whole family over and over, what a nightmare!).

Reason #4: Timing Is Everything

#7- timing

Too many people believe they can use a lice treatment and then just retreat a week later and it’ll take care of their lice problem. They are wrong!

The Fast Solution: Get Rid of Lice in One Day

If you want to get rid of lice quickly, then use my technique. It’s the only thing guaranteed to get rid of lice in one day and doesn’t require multiple treatments.

You’ll get rid of lice fast (in ONE DAY) and you’ll get rid of lice permanently (meaning it’s not going to come back a few weeks later).

The Long Way: Retreat Every 5 days for 3 weeks

Many lice treatment kits say to re-treat a week later, but that doesn't work. That's because studies show that lice eggs can hatch anywhere from 4 to 21 days, depending on temperature and climate. So, you'll need to keep retreating every 5 days to ensure that you kill lice bugs as they hatch before they start laying more lice eggs.

To give yourself the best chances of getting rid of lice, you need to be obsessive for 3 weeks.

Here's a reminder of the treatment regime that I talked about above: Do the following today and then again on Day 5, 10, 15, and 20.

Treat with a home remedy that kills some of the lice like the ones in this article. Comb with a lice comb or nit-pick, and try to remove as many lice eggs as possible. Do house cleaning that I recommend in the House Cleaning - Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of Lice in Your House.

Obviously this isn’t the regime I use, because with my technique you get rid of lice in one day.

Reason #5: You Keep Getting It From a Close Friend

#4- getting it from friends

90% of head lice is passed directly from head to head. Lice spread among close friends for the same reason they spread among siblings: a lot of head to head contact. The chances of hugging, snuggling, whispering in each others’ ears, and even bumping heads is much higher among your child and their close friends.

Think about your child and her best friend. Do they...

  • Hug each other when they see each other or before they leave?
  • Whisper in one another’s ears?
  • Tumble/wrestle together?
  • Look at video screens such as a tablet or phone together (heads touching)?
  • Watch movies together on a couch?

These are all prime times for head lice to spread.

The Solution: Tell Your Close Friends

#4- solution tell your close friends

Whether your child got lice from her best friend or your child gave lice to her best friend really doesn’t matter. In the end, you want the same thing: no more head lice! Tell other parents to check for head lice and get rid of it so they don’t spread it back to your child.

A call or text to your child’s best friend can look something like this:

“Hi, this is Bailey’s mom. I’m just letting you know that Bailey has head lice. You’ll probably want to check Sarah because they spend so much time together.”

You don’t need to feel embarrassed or ashamed about reaching out in this manner. Parents will feel grateful that you gave them a heads’ up, and you’d also want to know if someone your kid spends a lot of time with had head lice. 

One of the MyLiceAdvice promises is that you’ll gain all of the knowledge and skills you need to prevent a lice infestation like this from happening ever again. So, even if your child has a friend with lice, you’ll know how to prevent it from spreading back to your child.

Reason #6 It's Coming Back from School

#5- coming back from school

After you have taken care of your own children and contacted your child’s closest friends, many people worry that their child will pick up lice again from school. This is a possibility, but it is less likely. Because lice is spread head-to-head in most circumstances, the chances of getting lice again from going to school isn’t very high.

Solutions for Prevention

However, if many children at your child’s school have lice and you are concerned she is getting it there, here are some things you can do to decrease your chances of your child getting lice back from school:

Essential oils

Essential oils will not get rid of lice, but they can help prevent it. Lice have a keen sense of smell and are attracted to humans because of their scent. You can, however, use lice’s heightened sense of smell against them by putting fragrances in your child’s hair that repel lice. Essential oils like peppermint, tea tree, citronella, lavender, eucalyptus, and rosemary are among the nineteen scents proven effective against head lice. Preventative lice sprays have these essential oils and, when sprayed on your child’s hair daily, can keep lice away.

Wear Hair Up

The less opportunities lice have to come into contact with your child’s hair, the better. Keeping hair up in buns, braids, or ponytails gives lice less space to grab on. This also decreases the chances of your kid’s hair accidentally brushing up against someone else's. Implement a “hair up at school and down at home” policy.

No Back to Back in PE

It’s not uncommon for kids to be required to buddy up in PE class. Many PE teachers tell kids to stand “back to back” after they have found their partner. Imagine, two little girls with long hair standing back to back with their heads touching… Head lice heaven! Instead, a better way to buddy up is to link arms. Their heads won’t touch and they’ll still be easy to spot by their teacher.

Jacket in Backpack

If you’re concerned because your child’s jacket is on a hanger with everyone else's jackets, you can encourage your child to put her jacket in her backpack instead of hanging it on the hanger.

These are only a few lice prevention strategies. For more, read our article 21 Lice Prevention Strategies Every Parent Should Know.

Reason #7: You’re Getting It Back From Your House

#6- coming back from house image 1

Generally speaking, lice stick solely to the head; they don’t hang out on your furniture, waiting to crawl on you. Lice must feed frequently on your blood in order to survive. Usually, the only times lice leave a head are if they are switching to another head or they are dying.

If by chance a single bug does fall off your head and onto your furniture, they cannot live long. After too long without a blood meal, they dehydrate and die. Lice can not live more than two days off the head.

Although the chances of getting lice back from your home are pretty small, you will still want to take precautions. Here are a few guidelines for cleaning your house:

I have a video all about house cleaning in my video series, which you can find here. You can also find out everything you need to know about house cleaning after lice in my house cleaning article here.

Final Thoughts

When websites and products tell you that you aren't getting rid of lice because you're misusing the product or aren't cleaning your house thoroughly enough, please don't believe them. The truth is that lice today are extremely resistant, and lice treatments don't kill all of the lice or lice eggs. 

To get rid of lice for good, return that popular lice treatment from years past, and either check out my technique to get rid of lice in one day or plan on at least 3 weeks of home remedies and re-treatments.

Here’s a summary of the key points from the article.

7 Reasons You Keep Getting Lice

  1. Super lice
  2. Lice eggs
  3. Family
  4. Timing
  5. Close friends
  6. School
  7. House
Best of luck on your lice journey! (1)