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How to Get Rid of Lice in Dreadlocks

How to Get Rid of Lice in Dreadlocks
Updated on 
September 28, 2020

Much like lice removal, forming dreadlocks requires time and patience. However, dreadlocks and lice do not mix. Upon discovering lice in dreadlocks on your head, you definitely want to find an effective lice treatment quickly before the infestation gets worse if it isn’t already out of hand.

As you contemplate your options for effective lice in dreadlocks treatment, understand that the most effective solution for how to remove lice from dreadlocks is often first to get rid of the dreadlocks. Before you take such a drastic step, you will want first to determine if you have head lice and what other treatment options may be effective at removing lice from dreadlocks.

How To Tell If You Have Lice In Dreadlocks?

Before you start looking for how to get rid of head lice in dreadlocks or how to get rid of lice eggs in dreadlocks, confirm your case first.

The search for head lice in dreadlocks is not as straight forward and direct or as easy as finding lice in hair that does not have dreadlocks. A standard head lice check involves a thorough inspection of the individual strands of hair, focusing mostly on the part of the hair strand that is within three-quarters of an inch of the scalp for lice eggs. Since dreadlocks are formed by matting the strands of hair, whether intentionally or inadvertently due to an absence of combing, the standard method for finding head lice does not apply when looking for head lice with dreadlocks.

To determine whether you have head lice in your dreadlocks, start by setting up in a very well lit area outside is usually best for this. Very carefully examine each lock on the head, focusing your attention closer to the root of the hair strand looking for lice eggs (nits). These eggs are laid on the strands of hair. If you are unsure of what you are looking at, gently flick or blow air on the hair. If it moves or flakes off of the hair easily, then it is not a louse egg. If it sticks to the hair very tightly, pull it off with your fingernails. This is likely a nit, but to confirm whether it is a louse egg or not, put it on a white paper towel or another white background. If it blends in with the white background, it is not an egg, and rather, it could be dandruff, a hair product, a hair cast, or a DEC plug. If it appears tan or brownish colored and is teardrop-shaped with a tiny hair-like antenna protruding from one end,  it is likely a nit, and a diagnosis of head lice is likely.

If you have head lice and dreadlocks, what would be the next course of action? How do you get lice out of dreadlocks?

How To Treat Head Lice In Dreadlocks?

After confirming that you do, have a head lice case in your dreadlocks, you need to know how to get lice out of dreadlocks.

We know that there is no chemical option that will give you a quick answer to how to treat head lice in dreadlocks. When clients call us looking for dreadlocks lice removal or answers to how to remove head lice from dreadlocks, the quickest way to do so is to remove the locks by cutting them off and then performing the treatment.

So please understand that head lice treatments in non-locked hair are time-consuming and tedious, so head lice dreadlocks treatment, to be effective, will be even more time consuming and tedious.

However, it can be done given the proper tools and an abundance of patience. Follow the below steps outlining how to get rid of lice in your dreadlocks.

How to Treat Head Lice in Dreadlocks

Step 1: To begin your dreadlocks lice treatment, start by getting a hair product that can help you remove the locks manually by combing. One of our technicians recommends Murray’s Spray Unlock, but you can also use oils.

It is crucial to keep the hair well oiled throughout this process. So be sure to saturate the locks – do not skimp. As an aside – any bugs that are caught in this oil will be slowed down, if not killed by way of suffocation in it, which is another reason to be sure everything is, and remains, saturated from the start.

How to Treat Head Lice Dreadlocks

Step 2: This is the hard part. Start at the bottom of each lock with a comb, gently picking your way through the tangles in the lock little by little. You will likely have the most success if you take this inch by inch, combing through the released hair as it is freed from the lock. Continue this process with each lock. Again – make sure the hair stays saturated with oil or an oil-based product.

Step 3: Now that you have unlocked all of your hair, how to remove head lice from dreadlocks becomes clear. The easiest way to do this is to call LiceDoctors and have a professional provide the service for you. However, if you are a DIY type of person, combing and handpicking is the most effective solution to getting rid of head lice.

For most people, this single step of getting rid of head lice is cumbersome, but by this point, you are likely a pro at combing hair, so this probably will be a breeze for you!

Oil the hair up again, supplementing anything that was combed out in the lock removal process. Really saturate it to the point that it is dripping. Section the hair in small sections and commence combing with a good, high-quality nit comb. You have come this far and invested so much time, be sure you have the right comb. In our experience, grocery and drug store nit combs are inferior and cause you to waste more precious time hand picking. We recommend the Nit Free Terminator Nit Comb for maximum effectiveness and quality.

Be sure to keep combing each section until you are no longer finding any more eggs or bugs, then move on to the next section of hair and continue this process throughout the entire head. Then wash and dry the hair, and finish up with a thorough strand by strand inspection to ensure all of the nits are gone.

How to Treat Head Lice Dreadlocks

Step 4: Follow up – after your initial treatment, make sure you have a plan that will ensure the case of lice is wholly eradicated. Total eradication is a process, so do not be tempted to re-lock your hair without ensuring the lice are gone for good.

Conclusion—Head Lice In Your Locks?

While this might be the worst possible scenario that individuals with dreadlocks face, it is not the end of the world. LiceDoctors can help you get rid of head lice even if you have had dreadlocks.

Whether you choose to cut off the dreadlocks and need help getting rid of the head lice once they are gone, or you have the time, energy, patience, and resources required to unlock your dreadlocks but run out of steam when it comes time to get rid of your head lice infestation, call LiceDoctors! Technicians are experts at removing head lice and can even provide practical suggestions on preventing ever getting lice again, whether you choose to keep your hair unlocked or not.

We provide a friendly in-home lice removal service

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