15 Feb Can Head Lice Make Your Hair Fall Out?
Head lice are types of parasites that need human blood to survive. They typically stay close to the scalp, behind the ears and on the nape of the neck. Sometimes they can be found in the eyelashes and eyebrows. Female lice can lay six to eight eggs daily on the scalp, contributing to an infestation. The lice eggs, or nits, hatch in about nine days and continue the life cycle.
Lice certainly aren’t pleasant to deal with, but they’re usually not as bad as people think. If you catch the infestation early enough, you can usually deal with the lice overnight using a dimethicone-based lice removal oil. Dimethicone is safe, effective and FDA approved – it’s a far better alternative to the insecticides used in many over-the-counter head lice products.
However, what happens when you have a severe lice infestation? Is it possible for hair loss to occur? With head lice working behind the scenes to drink blood and lay eggs, one might assume that they would damage the hair. But surprisingly, this isn’t the case.
Can Having Head Lice Cause Hair Loss?
Head lice will not damage your hair. In fact, this would be counterproductive to their lifestyle. Lice need hair to provide them with warmth and protection. They cannot survive on a bald head. They also need hair to help shield them from discovery. The quicker you can see the lice, the faster you’ll treat them, interfering with their life cycle.
Bottom line: Head lice will not cause you to lose your hair. They also will not thin out or damage your hair. In fact, most people don’t even know they have lice until four to six weeks later when they begin to experience symptoms like itching or tickling.
Can Head Lice Treatment Damage My Hair?
Now that you know that head lice won’t damage your hair, what about head lice removal products? If these products are strong enough to kill parasites, can’t they be strong enough to damage the hair in the process?
Depending on the product you use, it is possible for damage to occur. Prescription head lice medications are strongest and most likely to cause side effects. However, even those sold over the counter can cause adverse reactions.
Damage is less likely to occur when you follow all of the directions, but even then, some people experience side effects like:
- Dry scalp
- Rashes on the head
- Tingling on the scalp
- Stinging or burning on the scalp
- Damage to the hair
Are There any Lice Treatments that Won’t Cause Damage?
At My Hair Helpers, we do not recommend any over the counter lice products because they contain chemicals and acute pesticides. Their job is to eradicate head lice and lice eggs and they usually end up drying out the scalp in the process. Some people end up with dry flaky skin and dandruff following a store-bought head lice treatment.
Fortunately, you do have other options. My Hair Helpers carries a line of head lice removal and prevention products that are safe for all ages. We have a head lice shampoo and conditioner that hydrate and nourish the hair. When combined with wet combing and a fine tooth lice comb, you can remove lice from your hair without doing damage.
Shop our products online or through our Amazon store, or schedule an appointment in our head lice salon if you live in southern California. My Hair Helpers is proud to deliver the safest, most effective head lice treatment services for all ages!