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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.

Can People With Dreads Get Lice?

Yes, any human with hair can. Read on to find out more about head lice in black dreads or white dreads; as both have the same risk, despite the common myths.

Do I Need to Cut My Dreadlocks If I Get Lice?

In theory, constantly saturating your hair with oil will kill the lice as the bugs hatch, if the oil can reach the lice inside the locks, but no one can guarantee that the oil will find a louse that has burrowed into a dreadlock. Also, there will still be nits (eggs) inside the locks that need to be removed; it’s nearly impossible to remove the nits and lice in dreads, so unlocking is a good start.

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 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.

Step 1: Combing

To begin your dreadlocks lice treatment, start by getting a hair product that can help you unlock, like Murray’s Spray Unlock, or olive oil.

Keep the hair well oiled throughout this process. Saturate the locks – do not skimp. Bonus – any live bugs will be slowed down by any oil, and eventually, suffocate to death. We caution you that it is advisable to cut off the locks rather than attempting to comb them out, as the combing of deadlocks is very challenging and may be impossible.

How to Treat Head Lice in Dreadlocks

Step 2: Process Each Lock

Start at the bottom of each lock with a comb, gently picking your way through the tangles in the lock. Take it millimeter by millimeter, combing each time to the ends of the released hair as it is freed until you reach the scalp. Repeat with each lock.

How to Treat Head Lice Dreadlocks

Step 3: Treat Your Hair

If you are successful in unlocking the dreadlocks, how to remove head lice from them is the same as any hairstyle: picking. There are no chemicals or home remedies that kill all nits, which is why dreadlocks are hard to treat in the first place.

At this point, you can always Call LiceDoctors to do the rest for you.

Oil again until dripping. Section hair and comb from root to tip with the Nit Free Terminator Nit Comb. Keep combing each small section until you no longer find eggs or bugs. Do the entire head. Wash and dry hair, and do a strand by strand inspection for nits.

How to Treat Head Lice Dreadlocks

Step 4: Don't Be Too Fast To Re-Lock Your Hair

We’ve just told you how to get lice out of dreads, but here’s how to get rid of lice in dreads for good: keep oiling and checking. LiceDoctors treatment comes with an aftercare plan that will ensure the case of lice doesn’t recur. Eradication is a process you cannot rush.

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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