Lice in Blonde Hair: Lice Eggs, Pictures and Unique Challenges

Dealing with head lice can be difficult for anyone, but it can be especially tricky for those with blonde hair. Whether you are checking for lice on your blonde child or trying to get rid of lice, we’ve got you covered on this Blonde-specific lice tutorial.

Head Lice

Head lice are a widespread problem in the United States, where around 12 million kids get head lice every year! 

Head lice stick solely to the hair of the head and near the head. Head lice are NOT associated with poor hygiene and do not spread diseases, but they often make the person they are infesting uncomfortable.

Head Lice in Blonde Hair

A translucent/blond lice bug camouflaging in blond hair

Many people mistakenly believe that if their child has lice, they will see tons of bugs crawling around in their kid’s hair. In most cases, though, this isn’t true. 

Lice are tiny experts at blending in with hair. When lice are first born, they are almost invisible, and in adulthood, they are only about the size of a sesame seed. To make things complicated, lice bugs usually match the color of hair they are infesting. Can you see the lice bug in this picture of blond hair?

Lice Appearance in Blonde Hair

black hair vs blonde hair

Many people mistakenly believe that if their child has lice, they will see tons of bugs crawling around in their kid’s hair. In most cases, though, this isn’t true. 

Lice are tiny experts at blending in with hair. When lice are first born, they are almost invisible, and in adulthood, they are only about the size of a sesame seed. To make things complicated, lice bugs usually match the color of hair they are infesting. Can you see the lice bug in this picture of blond hair?

The defining characteristics of head lice on Blonde individuals are:

  • 6 legs attached to the upper ⅓ of the body, not connected on the large abdomen
  • No wings
  • Adult lice are tan to light brown on most blondes
  • Nymph (tiny, “baby stage” lice) are translucent/transparent with a dark stomach.
  • Black stomach/intestines often visible through the translucent body (larger after feeding)
  • Antennae
  • Tapered/claw-like legs
Up close image of a super lice bug. Lice have six legs attached to their abdomen. The lice appears golden brown/translucent in color. Its dark stomach can be seen through its shell. The lice is attached to a blonde hairstrand.

Super Lice

A new strain of head lice, super lice is making big news these days. Super lice and regular head lice are virtually the same bugs, except super lice has mutations that make them very difficult to kill and remove. These super lice are becoming the “new” strain of head lice.

Is it Super Lice?

The most recent studies show that almost all lice these days are super lice. Head lice and super lice look and act identically; the only difference is that super lice are immune to the old over-the-counter treatments. So be sure that if your kiddo has lice, you use a lice treatment that works on both lice and super lice.

Here are my top picks for lice treatments that are effective on both regular lice and super lice.

Lice Eggs in Blond Hair

side-by-side images of blond girl's hair. Three circles identify the hot spots that lice usually lay lice eggs (nits)

A quick note: If you are new to lice, nits and lice eggs are the same things. The two phrases will be used interchangeably throughout this article.

Because lice are so good at hiding and moving quickly, it is pretty rare to see lice bugs early on in an infestation. So, if you’re trying to check for lice, you should instead focus your attention on finding lice eggs (also called “nits”) in the hair. Unlike adult lice bugs, nits do not move around or hide, and these eggs are glued onto the hair strand so they will not fall off.

While lice lay nits throughout the entire head, there are a few places lice most love to lay eggs. These places, termed “hot spots,” are the ideal places to check for nits. These hot spots are behind the ears, the nape of the neck, and the crown of the head.

lice-egg-hiding-in-hair

Because nits in your child’s hair are the first sign of a lice infestation, finding them at this stage can help you eliminate lice when there are only a few adult lice bugs.

Lice eggs are stuck on the hair strand. It is impossible to brush, flick, or blow them out of the hair. The only way to remove a nit (without using a high-quality lice comb) is to squeeze it between two fingers or fingernails and then slide it down the entire hair strand, finally pulling it off the end.

What Color Are Nits in Blonde Hair?

Lice egg in blonde

Although people often describe lice eggs as white, they will not look white in blonde hair. Nits are usually golden to dark brown or translucent in color, not white. Nits typically appear darker (dark brown to black) against a backdrop of blond hair. Lice eggs are commonly mistaken for dirt in blonde hair because they have a “coffee-grounds” appearance in blondes.

lice-egg-nit-on-side-of-hair

Lice eggs are about the size of a poppyseed and teardrop-shaped, not circular. They will be on the side of a single hair strand. Adult lice lay 6-10 eggs a day, so you will find multiple nits in the hair if your child has lice.

If you see something that seems suspicious, hold firmly to the section of hair you are examining and follow these steps to confidently determine if it is a nit.

  • Blow, Flick, or Jostle. If it “blows” away, then it is dandruff or some other debris. If it moves in any way at all, it is not a nit.
  • When in Doubt, Try to Pull it Out. If the “nit in question” does not blow or flick away, then attempt to remove it from the hair strand. To do this, use your thumb and index finger to pull it down the hair strand. If it is a nit, it will be stuck on the hair strand and will require you to “tug” it down in this manner. 

While the above section is just a brief overview, my article How to Check for Lice provides a complete step by step guide on how to determine if you are dealing with lice.

Lice Eggs

Your best option for killing lice eggs is to remove them from the hair and throw them away in the trash. Once lice eggs are pulled from the hair and tossed, they will not be able to hatch. Lice eggs (including super lice eggs) need to be on the head to grow and hatch because they need an exact climate, a climate only available on your head.

If you focus only on killing lice and not removing eggs, you will not get rid of lice because new lice will continue to hatch from the eggs that you didn’t remove. 

Here’s what this cycle looks like…

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…

The fastest, easiest, and most effective way to get rid of lice eggs permanently is with a professional-level head lice comb. The very best lice comb out there is the Nit-Free Terminator Comb. The teeth of this comb are spaced tightly together, but the real secret is that these teeth have small spirals, creating a “barbed wire” effect on lice and nits, catching them and dragging them down the entire hair strand and out of your hair. I use the Nit-Free Terminator Comb in my lice center every day.

How to Get Rid of Head Lice

If you are African American or have afro-textured hair, be sure to check out the article Black People Get Lice Too: Pictures and Treatment Tutorial to find the very best lice treatment and lice treatment plan that is perfectly tailored to denser hair.

  1. Use a treatment that works on BOTH lice and super lice such as LadibugsLice ClinicsHead Hunters, or Fairy Tales
  2. Remove all lice eggs with the Nit Free Terminator Comb.
  3. Check all family members for head lice with a lice comb or treat all family members with an enzyme shampoo like LiceLogic Clear & Free Shampoo
  4. Keep checking with a lice comb and retreat 10 days later, not a week later. Lice eggs on the head hatch after 7-10 days, if you retreat or recheck after a week, you may miss something that hasn’t hatched.
  5. Clean your house using the following principles as a guide or check out the article Lice Cleaning Checklist to Get Rid of Lice in Your Home.

Think 48 Hours

Focus on cleaning items that have been in contact with the lice-infested individual within the last 48 hours. Lice cannot live longer than 48 hours on household items.

Do Not Use Lice Sprays

Lice sprays do not work on super lice. Multiple scientific studies have shown that almost all lice in the US are resistant to the pesticide found in lice sprays. The only lice sprays that work for killing super lice are enzyme lice sprays like LiceLogic Clear & Free All Purpose Spray.

Vacuum

You can vacuum surfaces such as couches and mattresses.

Clean Your Brushes

Soak hairbrushes, combs, and hair accessories (such as hairbands, clips, and headbands) used by the person with lice in hot water (135° F or higher) for at least 10 minutes. (I do not recommend boiling brushes and combs, however, because they will melt.)

Items in the Dryer

Put items in the dryer for 40 minutes on high heat.

Bag Items for 2 Days

Lice can’t live without blood for very long; anything that could have lice on it will be safe to use again after 48 hours. If an item is something that you cannot run through the dryer, like a favorite stuffed toy or delicate clothing, you can seal it away in a bag for a couple of days. 

Don’t Forget Carseats

Vacuum car seats of infested individuals.

What About Prescriptions for Lice?

Most prescription lice treatments use pesticides similar to the ones you’d find in over the counter treatments. They’re just in larger doses, or you’re supposed to keep them on for longer periods. 

Since most lice these days are resistant to pesticides, it doesn’t matter how high the dose or how long you leave them on they won’t work to get rid of lice! I would never use a prescription lice treatment on my own children or recommend one to you. 

Head Lice Prevention

About 90% of the time, head lice are passed directly from one person to another by head to head contact. Hugging, snuggling, and sleeping in the same bed are prime times for head lice to move from one head to another. Head lice can also pass from inanimate objects, especially objects that come into contact with hair, such as brushes, hair accessories, and hats.

Ways to prevent head lice include:

  1. Avoiding head-to-head contact like long hugs, sleeping in the same bed, and putting your head on other’s shoulders.
  2. Not sharing things that come in contact with hair, like brushes, hair accessories, hats, jackets, clothing, etc.
  3. Making your hair undesirable to head lice by using a lice prevention spray or lice prevention shampoo every day. The best ones are LiceLogicHead HuntersRosemary Repel, and Ladibugs.

Summing It Up…

Expect head lice in a blond to be lighter in color than those of brunettes. Adult head lice in blondes are usually tan to light brown. Head lice can be difficult to see because they blend in so well in the hair. The best way to check for lice in blonde hair is by looking for lice eggs in the hot spots of the head. Lice eggs in blonde hair are often mistaken for dirt because they appear darker in blonde hair. If your little blondie does end up having lice, assume that it is super lice and use a lice treatment that’ll treat both lice and super lice.

Best of luck on your lice journey! (1)

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