Does Hair Dye Kill Lice or Nits? Will Dyeing Your Hair Prevent Lice?

hair dye featured image

Discover the truth about using hair dye to get rid of lice. Can hair dye treat or prevent a head lice infestation?

If you have head lice, chances are you want to get rid of it and fast! 

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 aren’t SUPER because they can fly, they’re 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.

You may have heard that hair dye might kill lice. Is it true?

This article answers the following questions (these hyperlinks will take you straight to the answer you’re looking for):

Does Hair Dye Kill Lice?

Does Hair Dye Kill Lice Eggs?

Hair Dye and Lice Review

Can Dyeing Your Hair Prevent Lice?

Super Lice

lice face

First, you should know that if you are struggling with head lice, it is not your fault! The current strain of head lice are immune to pesticides found in over-the-counter treatments and prescriptions. The result is most treatments won’t kill lice, no matter how long you leave them on or how many times you use them.

Lice today are called “super lice” because they have genetic mutations that make them immune to most treatments. They are VERY difficult to kill.

Multiple studies have proven that lice are immune to treatments that worked in the past, but the companies that make most lice products don’t want you to know that. Many parents will buy a brand named product five or six times before finally giving up and trying something else. 

Are you better off using hair dye?

Before talking about whether or not Hair Dye kills lice, you should ask yourself a critical question...

Do you want to kill lice or GET RID OF LICE???

Because there’s a big difference! Killing lice today, does NOT get rid of lice. If you focus all of your energy on killing lice bugs, you will NEVER get rid of lice! 

Here’s why...

When you have lice you have 2 problems, lice bugs, and lice eggs. Often people focus all of their attention on lice bugs, but neglect the much bigger problem- LICE EGGS! Those eggs are full of little lice bugs, just waiting to hatch and start this whole lice cycle all over again! That’s why you keep getting lice back!

There’s no lice treatment or home remedy out there that kills lice eggs, except the technique I use.

It’s the only thing guaranteed to get rid of lice in ONE DAY, without any retreatments, because it kills all of the lice bugs and lice eggs. If you plan on using a home remedy and store-bought lice treatment you can get rid of lice, but you should plan on it taking about 3 weeks and multiple treatments.

Does Hair Dye Kill Lice?

close up dying hair (1)

There are multiple kinds of hair dye out there, but the only type that has the “potential” to be a lice killer is permanent hair dye (as opposed to temporary or semi-permanent)...

Depending on the brand of hair dye you get, the dye usually has one of two ingredients: ammonium persulfate or hydrogen peroxide. Both of these ingredients have the potential to kill lice, but in reality, they don’t.

Lice are now totally immune to hydrogen peroxide. I have personally tested it on lice in this article here, it doesn’t kill lice.

colorful hair

Ammonia, on the other hand, can kill many lice. If you’re set on using hair dye as a lice treatment, make sure you are using one with ammonia in it, not just hydrogen peroxide.

However, you should know that even though hair dye can kill some lice, hair dye won’t get rid of lice.

I have helped hundreds of families with lice. All these families have tried multiple over-the-counter treatments and home remedies without success, including dyeing and bleaching their hair multiple times. 

One memorable experience from is a little girl who had struggled with lice for a year. Her parents had attempted to get rid of it by dyeing her hair multiple times. 

By the time I got involved, this little brunette had white hair with loads of lice. Most of the lice were this white translucent color. Imagine trying to find these clear bugs in white hair! 

The new super lice today are strong and resistant to almost all treatments and home remedies, including hair dye. 

Because being a “lice expert” is my full-time job, I’ve tested just about every home remedy out there, including hair dye. Hair dye can kill many head lice, but it won’t get rid of lice permanently

If you attempt to get rid of head lice by dyeing your hair multiple times, you’ll end up stuck in a cycle like this:

hair dye cycle (5)

I do not recommend hair dye as a lice treatment for the following reasons:

    1. There are better treatments and home remedies than hair dye.
    2. Strong lice can mutate and survive.
    3. Multiple rounds of hair dye can actually harm your child. 
    4. Hair dye does not kill lice eggs.
    5. Hair dye will not save you money. 
    6. Hair dye can wind up making lice harder to get rid of.

#1 Better Treatments - How to Get Rid of Lice Fast! 

Many people struggle with lice for a very long time before finally getting rid of it, if you want to speed up the process then take some advice from others who have been in your situation. Here’s what Sarah did that finally helped her get rid of lice for good.

The How to Get Rid of Lice Like a Pro! Online Course promises 3 things:

  1. You’ll get rid of lice fast! (In ONE DAY)
  2. You’ll get rid of lice permanently (meaning it’s not going to come back a few weeks later)
  3. And, you’ll gain all of the knowledge and skills you need to prevent a lice infestation like this from happening ever again!

#2: The Strongest Lice Mutate and Breed

A super lice bug at high magnification.

Depending on the brand of hair dye you get, it typically has either ammonium persulfate or hydrogen peroxide.

Both of these ingredients have the potential to kill lice, but neither really succeeds at doing so.

Lice are now immune to hydrogen peroxide.  Ammonia, on the other hand, can kill many lice. If you’re set on using hair dye as a lice treatment, make sure you are using ammonia, not hydrogen peroxide.

Ammonia can kill many lice. Just like pesticide treatments, however, lice can grow immune to it. In this situation, the weakest lice die, but the strongest live and breed with each other to make even stronger lice in the future, making them harder and harder to get rid of.

This is already well documented when it comes to pesticides, so it’s likely to happen for other toxins.

#3: Hair Dye Can Harm Your Child

hair breaking

Children’s hair is different than adult hair. It is usually very fine and fragile. Dyeing a child’s hair (especially frequently) is likely to damage it. The hair can break off or even fall out. Honestly, though, that’s the “milder” potential side effect of using hair dye (containing ammonia and peroxides) on your child multiple times to try to get rid of lice. 

Dangers of Hair Dye and Bleach on Young Children

ambulance

Because children’s scalps are extremely absorbent, using permanent hair dye or bleach repeatedly on young children is more likely to result in some of the more severe reactions associated with ammonia and peroxides. These include:

  • Severe eye irritation and injury
  • Asthma and breathing difficulties
  • Allergic skin reactions
  • Respiratory irritation
  • Poisoning
  • Seizures
  • Death

Since hair dye doesn’t even truly get rid of head lice, I definitely do not recommend you “give it a try.” 

#4: Hair Dye Does Not Kill Nits

NIt in brown hair

If you’re new to head lice: Lice eggs and nits are the same thing. I use the words interchangeably.

Nits have a strong impenetrable shell on them. This shell protects them from all chemicals and toxins. So hair dye has absolutely zero effect on lice eggs. Hair dye does not kill them or prevent them from hatching.

Even if the hair dye you used did kill any adult lice on the head, the nits would soon hatch and you would go around and around in the cycle of never-ending head lice.

Below is a 3 week plan to get rid of lice with a home remedy. Note: It may take longer than 3 weeks.

3 Week Plan To Get Rid of Lice

Obviously this is not the regime I use, because I get rid of lice in one day, but it is possible to get rid of lice without my technique, but  prepare for it taking you a VERY LONG TIME. But, many people struggle with lice for weeks, months, or years, trying one lice treatment and home remedy after another and I don’t want that to be your story, so let me get you on the right track...

If you're going to get rid of lice using a home remedy, then plan on being extremely disciplined and focused on retreating, combing, and nit-picking for at least 3 weeks. 

Even the best home remedies and lice treatments do not kill all lice. They only kill the weakest lice, leaving the strongest lice live on, breed with one another, and create even stronger lice! (Gross I know). Also, 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 (Hair Dye is NOT one of them!). 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.

This is what my treatment plan looks like:

Today: Kill all lice and lice eggs

No retreatments.

Never get lice again for the rest of your life.

Learn how my treatment plan works in this article.

Don’t Use Vinegar

If you’re looking to get lice eggs out of your hair, don’t use vinegar to try to “loosen” them. It doesn’t work, and it can actually make head lice worse! I tested soaking lice eggs in vinegar for twelve hours, and the nits were no easier to remove than before. (If you want to see my vinegar experiment, click here.)

Additionally, studies show that lice eggs immersed in vinegar are actually more likely to hatch than your average lice eggs, which means more lice, not less. 

#5: Hair Dye Will NOT Save You Money!

money

Don’t go the hair dye route thinking you’re going to save some money because you won’t! If your theory is to use hair dye a bunch of times in an attempt to kill lice, you’re going to be at this game for a very, very long time.

A box of hair dye usually costs around $10-$20, but you have to repeat this process frequently (potentially endlessly). Some websites encourage people to dye their hair three times in a row, so there is at least $30.

The best lice treatments out there are dimethicone-based treatments. These treatments will cost you around the same amount as all of that hair dye (maybe even less in the long run), and they are guaranteed to actually kill lice.

#6: Hair Dye Can Make Getting Rid of Lice Harder

colored hair

Hair dye will not get rid of head lice. In fact, hair dye will make it significantly harder to get rid of lice because it will dye all of the nits and lice the same color as your hair, making them significantly harder to spot and remove.

I have seen a wide variety of “colored” lice eggs from people’s hair. I’ve seen blue, black, pink, and red nits. Whatever color you dye your hair, that’s what color your lice eggs will be, which of course makes it pretty tough to see them.

So… Does Dyeing Your Hair Prevent Head Lice?

close up dying hair

The truth is that lice like all types of hair: dirty or clean, dyed or undyed. What they really care about is having a place to lay their eggs and frequently feed on blood (that’s right, just like mosquitos or leeches, they feed on your blood!). Lice are not prejudiced. They are just as happy in damaged, dyed hair as they are in clean, never-been-dyed hair.

Lice are attracted to the smell of your blood. If they smell desirable blood, it doesn’t matter what state you’re hair is in; they’ll hustle over to your head to start feasting. 

How Do You Prevent Lice?

Instead of dyeing your hair for lice prevention, I’d recommend using a lice prevention shampoo or spray infused with one or more of the essential oils lice hate.

Many people use tea tree shampoo for this purpose, but in my experience, it requires a bit more than that. Some of the most effective brands of lice repellent shampoos and sprays can be found in this article.

Summing It Up

The ingredients in hair dye some folks claim kill lice, ammonium persulfate and hydrogen peroxide, just won’t get rid of head lice. If you use hair dye as a lice treatment, you’re likely to go around and around in the cycle of neverending lice. 

Hair dye doesn’t kill lice eggs either, so even if you kill most of the adult bugs, you will be right back where you started within a few days.

Using repeated rounds of hair dye to get rid of head lice will not only be unsuccessful, but it also poses several risks to your child, including damaged hair and more serious dangers like seizures or poisoning.

If you plan to use a home remedy for lice then I DO NOT recommend you use Hair Dye. Instead I’d recommend you use a more effective home remedy like the ones I cover in this article. But, understand that there is no home remedy or treatment out there that kills all lice bugs or lice eggs, so it’s going to take you several weeks to get rid of lice using a method like that.  If you want to get rid of lice quickly, you should check out the How to Get Rid of Lice Like a Pro! Online Course and get rid of it in ONE DAY. 

Here are a few other articles you may be interested in…