Head Lice In African American Hair

African Americans and Head Lice

We have received several calls from African American residents of Washington DC asking if African American hair is resistant to head lice. No hair is immune to head lice. There is a misconception that African American hair, because it is coarse, is resistant to head lice. Lice do not care whether hair is smooth or coarse, thin or thick. Lice affix themselves to a strand of hair as a way to get up to the scalp to access their food supply: human blood.  Always check for lice in hair.

African Americans Do Have Lower Incidence of Head Lice

The truth is, though, that African American families do have a lower incidence of head lice than other groups; the reason for this can be summed up in two words: oils and sheens. Many African Americans use these hair styling products as part of their daily regimens. When hair is covered with products, it becomes more difficult for lice to adhere to it. The products put a protective barrier around the hair no matter what the hair type is. While oils and sheens help to repel head lice, they certainly do not provide absolute barriers. LiceDoctors has treated many African Americans who either do not use these styling products or who do use them but the lice managed to find a way to grab hold of the hair.

What About Dreads?

For people with dreadlocks, if you find that you have head lice, you really need to cut off the dreads. Lice will burrow inside the dreadlocks where they will proceed to lay multiple eggs, which, if not removed, will then hatch and lay additional generations of lice. While we realize this is a dramatic move, our experience has shown that this is really the only definitive way to eradicate your case. Once you no longer have dreadlocks, LiceDoctors will come to your home in Washington DC or its Maryland or Virginia suburbs and do our lice and nit removal treatment on your hair. Learn more about our Washington D.C. lice removal service now or call (202) 570-7406 for more information.  For service in any other city, please call us at 800-224-2537 today. An experienced lice professional will be at your home whenever you need us, day or night. Learn more at our Lice Education Center.