Head Lice vs. Dandruff – How to Tell the Difference if its Lice or Dandruff

An itchy scalp can be indicative of a lot of things. It may be due to a skin condition such as dandruff or it may be due to unwelcome guests that have decided to take up residence in your scalp. By this we mean head lice. The difference between the two is not always easy to detect. However, it is vitally important to know the difference between the two sources of itching since knowing this difference can help the host know how to treat these conditions.


Dandruff, or seborrhea dermatitis as it is known by dermatologist, occurs in nearly half of the population. Dead skins cells cause the appearance of white flakes on the scalp and on clothing. The itching itself is caused by the skin’s allergic reaction to oleic acid. This acid is the by-product of the malassezia microbe which naturally resides on our scalps. Unlike head lice, dandruff is not known to be capable of spreading itself to others.

Head Lice

Head lice, on the other hand, are living organisms. They are small parasitic creatures that feast on human blood. The saliva they secrete is what actually irritates the skin and causes itching and even sores. These in turn can lead to infection if scratched excessively. As we have already said, dandruff cannot be transmitted to one person to another; lice can be. Head lice spread quickly and it is estimated that between 6-12 million US children between the ages of 3-11 get lice each year.

How to Tell them Apart

A quick way to tell the two apart is that head lice are not as easy to dislodge as dandruff is. Head lice adhere to the hair follicles and require more effort to remove. A lice comb is good for this purpose. Another difference between the two is appearance. Lice eggs are teardrop shaped whereas dandruff is shaped like flakes. Another way to distinguish the two is that with extreme magnification you can actually see the head lice for the living creatures they are. Dandruff, in contrast, is not alive.

Those are the main differences between these two conditions that are commonly confused with each other. If you believe that you or your child has head lice you should consult us. We provide natural head lice removal solutions that are every bit as effective as the harsh chemicals that are sold commercially.

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Head lice are tiny six-legged insects that are blood-sucking parasites. They live on the scalp of humans. Head lice are the little and wingless insects with a size of sesame seeds that make their home on the human head and spread diseases by sucking the blood from the scalp. Infections and diseases caused by head lice are generally faced by on-going school students and their family members as the head of students come in contact with the head of other students. Contact My Hair Helpers to guaranteed head lice removal services. We are professional head lice removal experts known for our best service and customer support.


The evidence for head lice goes back many centuries. Lice was named as the third plague in the Old Testament of the Bible. The shell casings for lice have been found on Egyptian mummies. Live Lice on the head and their eggs can be killed by opting for different lice treatments that are available in different forms such as lotions, shampoos, and creams and these can be used at home without any hassle. It is necessary for the women who are pregnant or breastfeed their babies to take suggestions from a renowned doctor about the risk-free products.


In the majority of cases, head lice is passed with head to head contact. A smaller number of cases are passed through brushes and combs and sharing hats. Lice don’t like to leave their food supply unless a warm head is waiting for them.


Head lice actually prefer clean hair! It’s more difficult for them to lay eggs on greasy or dirty hair.