Woman who bleached her hair to try to get rid of lice.

Does Hair Bleach Kill Lice?

When you find out you have head lice, it’s probably at home after a long day, and you’ve finally gotten the kids to bed. You’re finally able to take some time for yourself, put on your PJs, and brush out your hair—and that’s when you find them—head lice. At Fresh Heads, we know what comes next: a wave of disbelief, followed by panicked rummaging through the medicine cabinet for anything you think might work. As you turn around the box of hair bleach, you’re confronted with a long list of strong-sounding ingredients that you think should surely be able to handle a tiny insect, right? Well Mom, before you waste the next hour with an applicator bottle and plastic mitts, we’ll let you know why your plan is doomed to fail (sorry!), and why your time is much more wisely spent booking the next available appointment at Fresh Heads.

Does Hair Dye Kill Lice?

Since most people only discover that they have lice a few weeks after first getting infested with it, they often go about their usual routine, like dyeing their hair before being treated for lice. But what happens is the dye doesn’t kill the lice—it only colors them. If someone dyes their hair, say, pink, then the lice and nits will also turn pink!

Hair dye isn’t capable of suffocating the lice because they are able to shut their bodies for up to 18 hours, while hair dye is left on for 45 minutes tops. Hair dye is also ineffective when it comes to eliminating nits. Nits are encased in a hard shell for protection, and the chemicals in hair dye can’t penetrate it nor detach the natural glue-like substance sticking the shells to the hair.

Does Bleaching Your Hair Kill Lice?

Just like permanent hair dye, hair bleach contains some strong chemicals—including hydrogen peroxide, ammonium persulfate, and stearyl alcohol. However, despite the ability of these ingredients to pull the color out of the hair shaft, none of them have the ability to effectively kill lice or their eggs. Just like with hair dye, adult lice can outlast the hair bleaching process, and bleach will not penetrate casings of the nits.

Professional Lice Removal

At Fresh Heads, we know head lice. We know that hair dye or hair bleach just won’t work, and if you try it, you’ll still end up needing professional lice removal later. Save yourself the extra time and headache by booking an appointment with us. We have you in and out and lice-free in 90 minutes! Book your appointment online today.


Schools Without Lice.

Schools Without Lice

Our mission at Fresh Heads is to get rid of lice in schools across the country. That’s why we’ve partnered with the Lice Clinics of America to create the Schools Without Lice program. Through this program, we’re able to provide teachers and nurses with free head lice screenings, resources, and treatments. Together, we can have schools without lice!

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