Lice: Do Head & Shoulders, Denorex, Selsun Blue or T-Gel Kill Lice?

Question:

I've tried TONS of lice treatments, but the lice keep coming back! I've heard that dandruff shampoo can treat lice, is it true?

dandruff shampoo

Answer from a lice expert:

If you have tried other treatments that have failed, you are not alone, and it’s not your fault. The latest stats say that most parents that use over-the-counter kits still have lice even after multiple treatments! 

 

After no success with lice kits, some turn to home remedies. Dandruff shampoos like Denorex or Selsun Blue are one that I see some people turn to in desperation, but before going down the dandruff shampoo route there are a few things you should know. 

 

I've tested all of the most common dandruff shampoos on live lice in my lice center, read the results below.

Let me introduce myself...

lice expert

Hi there! I'm Theresa, I'm a lice expert, lice coach, and Registered Nurse. I help people with lice every day! You can get rid of lice in ONE DAY at home by using the same proven professional technique that I use in my lice center.

Just follow the step-by-step videos and be done with lice by the end of the day.

Dandruff Shampoo for Head Lice

head and shoulders

Why Is It So Hard to Get Rid of Lice?

Now that you know what you're looking for I want to talk briefly about your biggest worry (that your child actually has lice) and the question I get asked by parents around the world that have been battling lice….

problem #1

Parents around the world are all asking me the same question…. "Why is it so much harder to get rid of lice now?"

Lice have become immune to everything that used to work in the past. Perhaps you remember your mom using a typical lice treatment or mayonnaise 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,” because they are immune to those treatments. 

I’ve cured thousands of people of lice in my lice center and let me tell you, I don't do it with over-the-counter lice treatments. 

problem #2

Most people struggle with lice because they focus all of their attention on killing lice bugs and not enough attention on GETTING RID OF LICE!

If you want to get rid of lice you have to address all 3 of the problems of lice:

  1. Lice Bugs
  2. Lice Eggs
  3. Getting Lice Back

The best way to get rid of lice is to tackle all 3 of these problems at the same time, which is what I teach in my step-by-step video system.

So, if you discover your child HAS lice, don't panic. Just head over to the video system. Follow along with the videos and you'll be done with lice by the end of the day.

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Is Dandruff Shampoo A Good Lice Treatment?

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NO MYTHS HERE- ONLY THE FACTS.

There are loads of random people claiming different home remedies "cure" lice circulating the internet. 

The purpose of My Lice Advice is to give you the undiluted facts about home remedies and other lice treatmentsso that you can make good decisions and get rid of lice as fast as possible. 

This article focuses on the facts about the most popular dandruff shampoos and head lice.

Dandruff Shampoos vs. Lice: The Experiments

QUICK FACT

Lice were collected in jars either Head and Shoulders, Selsun Blue, Denorex, or T-gel was applied for 30 minutes to test if they killed lice.

lice near the jar

Because being a “lice expert” is my full-time job I’ve tested just about every home remedy out there. After reading a few claiming “miracle cures” involving dandruff shampoos, I decided to test each of these shampoos on head lice.

Because I help people with lice every day, testing home remedies is easy for me to do.

jar of lice

I collected several live lice from a client of mine.
Then I applied products to the lice, waited 30 minutes, and then checked for signs of life.

T-gel

I tested the following products:

Head and Shoulders Shampoo

Coal Tar Shampoo (Denorex and T-gel)

Selsun Blue 

Does Head and Shoulders Kill Lice? The Experiment

head and shoulders

QUICK FACT

Head and Shoulders does NOT kill lice.

The first product tested was Head and Shoulders shampoo. A few have touted the ingredient zinc pyrithione in Head and Shoulders as being a lice killer, is it true?

I collected several hairs with multiple lice and placed them in a jar.

Head and Shoulders was poured into the jar and completely saturated the hair and all lice.

Lice were covered with Head and Shoulders shampoo for 30 minutes and then rinsed.

The results…

Within 15 minutes of being rinsed, all lice were alive. I checked again at 8 hours, and all of the lice were still alive.

No. Head and Shoulders does not kill head lice.

Which kills lice?

head and shoulders shampoo vs lice expert

Head and Shoulders= No!

Step-by-Step Video System = Yes!

Head and Shoulders does NOT kill lice. Whereas, doing a professional lice treatment using the Step-by-Step Video System kills 100% of lice bugs in one session without toxic chemicals, pesticides, or lice kits.

Does Denorex Kill Lice? Does T-gel Kill Lice? The Experiment

T-gel

QUICK FACT

T-gel and Denorex do NOT kill lice.

Next tested was coal tar against head lice. Coal tar is an ingredient found in both Denorex Extra Strength and T-gel. Some have claimed it is a lice killer, is it true?

I collected several hairs with multiple lice and placed them in a jar.

Coal tar shampoo was poured into the jar and completely saturated the hair and all lice.

Lice were covered with coal tar shampoo for 30 minutes and then rinsed.

The results…

Within 5 minutes of being rinsed, all lice were alive. The lice were rechecked 8 hours later and were still alive.

No, coal tar shampoos like Denorex Extra Strength and T-gel do not kill head lice.

Which kills lice?

T-gel vs lice expert

T-Gel and Denorex= No!

Step-by-Step Video System = Yes!

Coal tar in T-gel or Denorex does NOT kill lice bugs. Whereas, doing a professional lice treatment using the Step-by-Step Video System kills 100% of lice bugs in one session without toxic chemicals, pesticides, or lice kits.

Does Selsun Blue Kill Lice? The Experiment

QUICK FACT

T-gel and Denorex do NOT kill lice.

selsun blue

The next test was Selsun blue. The active ingredient in Selsun Blue is selenium sulfide. Some have claimed it can kill lice, is it true?

I collected several hairs with multiple lice and placed them in a jar.

Selsun Blue was poured into the jar and completely saturated the hair and all lice.

Lice were covered with Selsun Blue for 30 minutes and then rinsed.

The results…

Within 15 minutes of being rinsed, all lice were alive. Lice were rechecked 8 hours later and were still alive.

No, Selsun Blue does not kill head lice.

Which kills lice?

selsun blue vs lice expert

Selsun Blue = No!

Step-by-Step Video System = Yes!

Selsun Blue does NOT kill lice bugs. Whereas, doing a professional lice treatment using the Step-by-Step Video System kills 100% of lice bugs in one session without toxic chemicals, pesticides, or lice kits.

Do Head and Shoulders, Denorex, Selsun Blue, or T-gel Kill Nits?

A woman with brown hair. Multiple lice eggs cover the back of her head. The white eggs appear white. The words LICE EGGS in black lettering are in the bottom right corner of the image.

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

Nits have a durable, impenetrable shell on them. This shell protects them from any chemicals or toxins. So, dandruff shampoo has zero effect on lice eggs. It does not kill them or prevent them from hatching.

Dandruff shampoos have no chance of penetrating these eggs.

I walk you through how to kill 100% of lice eggs in my step-by-step videos.

Why Do Some People Think Dandruff Shampoos Kill Lice?

Dandruff

#1 - Many people have dandruff, but believe they have head lice.

It’s not uncommon for dandruff and lice eggs to be confused with one another. If you are finding lots of white “lice eggs” that magically go away when you start using a dandruff shampoo, I can bet that you had dandruff all along, not lice.

But, to be honest, if you’re not a lice expert like myself, it can be very tricky to differentiate between the two.

Check out the article Lice vs. Dandruff to learn the 7 key differences between nits and dandruff so that you can spot nits like a pro.

A lice quickly crawling through a woman's blond hair.

#2- Lice temporarily go immobile in dandruff shampoo.

When you submerge lice in a liquid-like a dandruff shampoo, they close up their “breathing holes” so that nothing can penetrate them.

Lice submerged for long periods go into a “hibernation-state” to conserve energy. One study terms this as “playing dead.” 

When people use Denorex, Head and Shoulders, or Selsun Blue on the head for prolonged periods, they may see lice “playing dead” and assume that they are, in fact, dead.

But lice “resurrect” back to life after being rinsed. 

The studies show that lice can remain in this hibernation state for a very long time after being rinsed. But in the cases of Coal Tar (Denorex & T-gel), Selsun Blue and Head and Shoulders, it lasted no more than 15 minutes.

Lice were quickly back at full strength and capable of breeding just as they did before the treatment.

Do Dandruff Shampoos Prevent Lice?

crazy hair

The truth is that lice like all types of hair, dirty or clean, dandruff, or no dandruff. What they 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, nasty hair as they are in clean hair.

Lice are attracted to the smell of your blood. If they smell desirable blood, they don’t crawl; they hustle to that head.

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

Dandruff Shampoo & The Never-Ending Cycle

Most people that use lice kits and home remedies get caught in the horrible "Never-Ending Cycle of Lice"

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First- You Have Lice

lice eggs, baby lice, and adult lice with arrows labeling them

When you first discover lice you have adult lice bugs, baby lice bugs, and lice eggs (also known as nits)

You Think You've Gotten Rid of It.
But...

lice eggs (nits) and baby lice bugs

After using an over-the-counter treatment or a home remedy, people think they've taken care of the problem because they aren't finding lice bugs for a while.

But what they don't realize is they've missed the lice eggs and the baby bug. Lice kits and home remedies don't kill eggs, and each of those little lice eggs has a bug inside just waiting to hatch and re-infest your child again.

Then- Those Eggs HATCH!

baby lice bugs

Just like lice eggs are tiny, when lice first hatch they are teeny-tiny. In fact, they are almost invisible to the naked eye! So, it typically takes a few weeks for them to grow big enough for you to see them.

And before you know it you are infested with more baby bugs then you may have started with!

And Lice Is Back Again!

full lice infestation representation with lice eggs, baby lice bugs, and adult lice bugs

How to Avoid the Never-Ending Cycle

If you want to avoid this never-ending cycle and get rid of lice fast then check out my Step-by-Step Video System. Follow along with the videos and you can be completely done with lice in ONE DAY, no retreatments necessary.

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Do you want to get rid of lice?

dandruff shampoos vs lice expert

Dandruff Shampoo = No

Step-by-Step Video System = Yes!

If you want to get rid of lice then follow along with the Step-by-Step Video System and get rid of lice today!

Summing It Up…

Head and Shoulders, Denorex, Selsun Blue, and T-gel, do not kill head lice. If you use one of these shampoos for lice treatment and it “cures” your head lice, it is much more likely that you had dandruff all along, not lice.

If you want to get rid of lice permanently then follow along with my step-by-step videos and be done with lice by the end of the day!

All the best,

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Theresa is a Registered Nurse and lice expert with years of experience curing children of lice. She owns a lice treatment center in the US which is where she perfected the Step-by-Step Video System proven to get rid of lice. She also works with government agencies and schools helping those with the worst head lice cases in America.

Her greatest passion is empowering parents by teaching parents online how to do a professional lice treatment on their child at home. She is the Lice Coach for the My Lice Advice Step-by-Step Video System.