Can Hair Dye Kill Head Lice?

Head lice is a big problem since millions of people are suffering from it globally. In the US alone, over 10 million people are treated for lice annually. So, it makes a lot of sense for people to scout for alternative ways to get rid of these pesky parasites.

And when it comes to alternative ways of eradicating head lice, one method that has attracted a lot of opinions is the use of hair dye.

While some people have confirmed that hair dye helped them kill head lice, others have contrary opinions.

So, can hair dye help you get rid of head lice?

Well, the answer is YES but to not for good—and here is why:

Although hair dyes cannot be considered as traditional anti-lice treatments, they do contain chemicals—and lice cannot resist most of them.

For instance, bleaching agents in most hair dyes are known to kill adult lice and nymphs. There are also dyes that contain chemicals that are toxic to tiny insects.

So, if you already have lice then using hair dyes might help you eliminate them. However, after that, there is no guarantee that these creepy parasites will go for good because colored hair doesn’t render you immune to lice.

If you manage to eliminate head lice using hair dye, it is as important to get rid of their nits as well or it may only be a short-term solution because new lice will appear.

To understand this better, you may need to look at the possibility of new lice appearing from a scientific standpoint:

Hair dyes kill lice because the chemicals in them attack the neurological systems of the lice. The same process applies to most of their eggs. However, eggs that are less than 3 days old don’t have neurological systems yet. Accordingly, they may stay unharmed.

What should you do?

If you plan to use hair dyes to get rid of head lice, you may need to look for a second method to accompany it.

This will help you to take care of their nits that might have survived after you’ve dyed your hair. For instance, you can use a nit comb to dislodge nits and lice that might have survived.

The sooner you take action (after dyeing your hair), the more likely you will clear the parasites and prevent the problem from re-occurring.


Although lice are not harmful and are not associated with any disease, they are always extremely irritating. If you plan to use alternative methods for eradicating them such as the use of hair dye, it is highly advisable to discuss your plan with your doctor or physician.

And like any other treatment out there, if the problem persists or appears to get worse, seek for other solutions such as head lice eradication services.

Finally, avoid using hair dye to eliminate lice in children because the ammonia and hydrogen peroxide in most hair dyes are highly toxic and may harm the scalp of your children.