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Can Just Anyone get Head Lice?

cartoon image of five multicultural babies or toddlers in pastel onesies

Updated on July 17, 2020

By Chelsea Lonergan

Who is at risk for getting head lice? Could you have picked up a case? Read on to see who is at risk (hint: no one is immune to lice!)

Your head is itching. You may or may not have found a couple of suspicious specks floating in your hair, close image of dandruff in dark brown hair LiceDoctors imagebut you lost them when you tried to fish them out. You’re tossing and turning at night because you keep trying to push the thought of parasites out of your mind. Perhaps you are finding yourself knee-deep in the first stages of grief: denial. So now you wonder, “can just anyone get head lice? Could I really be one of them?” The short answer is (unfortunately) yes. Curious minds are invited to read on for more information.

The longer answer involves some specifications. Head lice affect only humans. They like all humans, and any human is therefore a potential unwilling host for these pests. With that said, it is important to mention, however, that if you are a human without hair, then you are unlikely to have head lice. After all, where can they feasibly live? They must attach to hair in order to enjoy the blood from your scalp.

Although it is true to say that anyone can get head lice, not everyone will get head lice. They can be just as picky as humans, and will be more likely to find their way onto heads they are more comfortable and happy living on. So what makes someone more or less likely to be the victim of a lice infestation? There are a couple of characteristics that can increase or decrease one’s chances.

1. Length of hairbuzz cut hair with Micky Mouse image shaved into stubble.

Lice want a lot of room to move and hide. The fact is, if your hair is very short (as is especially common for boys or men), lice are less likely to want to move onto or stay on your head. Why? Because it’s much harder for them to hide and even harder for them to access the hair in the first place. So if you are someone with long hair who is feeling adventurous, and is especially worried about lice, you may consider trying out a new, short haircut or styling your hair in a bun or braid.

2. Hair ‘cleanliness’

You may be expecting lice to absolute adore dirty, unwashed, unkempt hair. The truth is: it’s precisely the other way around! Lice actually adore clean, well-groomed, and un-styled (re: no hair product) heads of hair. This “dirty hair” mentality has certainly been an unfortunate stereotype rooted in nothing factual. Why do lice prefer to infest clean hair? boy in bathtub full of bubbles.It’s quite simple—they can actually grab ahold of it and then move around. Lice are actually less likely to infest heads of hair that are naturally oilier, washed less often, or are full of hair product.

Other than these two main factors, lice can and just may infest any human’s hair. And although these factors may affect the likelihood of getting lice, these are unfortunately not hard and fast rules. Lice truly are a lawless bunch, and unfortunately no one is safe from their wrath. Except for maybe those who are completely bald.

If you find that you have lice, know that LiceDoctors lice technicians are trusted by parents, pediatricians, school nurses, and are loved by kids! The service is done right in the comfort of your home….yes, LiceDoctors make house calls. You can trust LiceDoctors to put an end to your head lice, just as technicians have done for nearly 500,000 happy clients. Call in Franklin and Brentwood and nearby areas at 615-953-0047 for help any day, 7 days a week.