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The Hidden Costs of DIY Lice Treatment

The Hidden Costs of DIY Lice Treatment
Created on 
April 13, 2022
Updated on 
December 4, 2022

Cost is often one of the biggest determining factors for people considering what kind of lice elimination option is best for them. Treatments are an unexpected expense and head lice treatment costs can quickly add up. Maybe you've already treated the lice once, just to have it come back again. Or, maybe you're worried about getting the lice under control by yourself without missing work. Whatever the case, parents eventually begin to wonder if it would be worth spending money to just hire someone. Parents should ask - how much is a professional lice treatment? What they don't realize is that professional lice removal might be the more cost-effective solution compared to at-home lice treatments. After all, how many days of missing work or how much money have you spent on homemade remedies trying to avoid spending money on professional treatment? When trying to find the price of lice treatment, consider the cost of head lice treatment may be the lowest if you find an effective professional service.

Parents seldom factor in all the many hidden costs of DIY lice treatment. There are times when professional lice treatment saves not just time and stress, but also money.

What Does at Home Lice Treatment Process Include?

When treating yourself for lice, you'll likely spend a good amount of time gathering supplies. The minimum supplies required include:

  • Regular comb;
  • Good nit comb (difficult to find at regular stores);
  • Hair clips;
  • Home OTC lice treatments.

Here, a problem arises: many products out there do not actually work. Repeating failed home remedies really contributes to the hidden costs of at-home lice treatment.

The Potential Cost of DIY Lice Treatment

Let's start with the things you're likely already spending money on:

  • Seeing a doctor to diagnose head lice;
  • Gadgets marketed for lice detection or removal;
  • Natural products like enzymes, oils, and homeopathic solutions;
  • Over-the-counter lice medication, or when that fails, prescription lice medication;
  • New replacement hair brushes and grooming tools.

It's easy to see how a lice outbreak could cost you money. What's not so easy is seeing all the other little ways lice might affect your bottom line.

The Hidden Costs of DIY Lice Treatment

How much does it cost to have professional remove lice in contrast to how much does a lice treatment cost if you do it yourself? The answer is not straightforward. Consider the many dollars wasted on ineffective or unnecessary attempts at getting rid of an infestation.


Result of Home Lice Treatment vs Professional

Over-the-counter medicines have been the go-to for many years since you can purchase these remedies without a prescription to treat your child immediately. However, when considering the cost of head lice treatment many families fail to consider other expenses that quickly add up.

In addition to over-the-counter lice shampoos, homemade remedies, or other professional lice removal products, families should consider the price of everything they may need to complete the lice removal process properly. At home lice treatment costs accrue quickly to over $100 per-person. And yes, when you have one lice-infested child, you will probably end up finding lice in multiple family members.


When trying to treat lice themselves, many families have no idea how much time and effort to expect. Most people do not know that cleaning your home after lice is not necessary. Did you think you needed to spend countless hours and dollars cleaning, vacuuming, sanitizing, and bagging items? Lice do not live in the home; they live on the head. Off the head, bugs in the home will die within 24 hours.


Many families replace belongings they think may be infested. Replacing hair accessories, bedding, pillows, blankets, and toys is an unexpected financial burden when getting rid of lice at home without professional advice.


If any lice eggs remain in the hair, many parents may be asked to keep their children home until the infestation is completely gone. Lice is one of the main reasons kids miss school. Added childcare expenses quickly add up, as finding a sitter under these circumstances is harder and more expensive.


To get rid of lice, many caregivers will need to take time off of work to treat an infestation in their families. Parents may have to leave work to pick up school aged children if the school nurse notices more lice eggs. When considering how much is lice removal if you do it yourself, do not forget to factor in the price of missing work. Depending on your salary, this lost pay could be around $100 or even more every time you do follow-up treatment.

As a parent, you're already trying to balance teacher planning days, sick days, vacation days, and other inconsistent school schedules with your own work schedule. Missing work to deal with lice might not be an option for many parents. Not to mention the stress of trying to catch up once you are back in the office, and the burden that will fall on coworkers who cover for you.


When comparing lice treatment services and at-home lice treatments, inexperienced parents assume either way it'll be a single one-hour process. The pros know lice are difficult to get rid of. With the rising incidence of super lice, chemicals usually fail to completely eradicate lice, and the lice keeps coming back! Most chemicals are also ineffective at killing lice eggs. If just a couple nits are missed, you may need to start all over.

As an alternative, professional lice removal is really the only guaranteed way that the lice will not recur. Your expectation with lice clinics and professional services should always be the eradication of the problem for good.

Potential Dangers of At-Home Lice Treatment

Home Lice Treatment vs Professional Process

But what about health risks? Does having lice put you at risk of other diseases? Strangely, it's usually repeated chemical exposure and physical irritation of treatment that lead to other serious problems. Even when pesticides are touted as completely safe, FDA approved, or gentle, there are still consequences to using them too much. Children with recurrent lice often complain of irritation, scalp itching, and dryness after multiple attempts at eradication.

Why Choose Professional Lice Treatment

Incomplete nit removal (likely even with the best DIY get rid of lice plans) results in a tedious process that lasts an average of 3-6 months! Repetitive home remedy attempts to swap time and money for tears and frustration. And they usually ARE repeated; people afflicted with lice will try treating it themselves 5-7 times on average before succeeding or giving up.

Comparing DIY treatment vs professional services is not straightforward. Consider that professional treatment:

  • can be more natural, involving fewer applications of pesticides (or in LiceDoctors' case, NO pesticides).
  • are generally safer, since the professionals will have the know-how to avoid scalp abrasions and improper chemical exposure.
  • are better for your hair, since professionals will use the gentlest technique that's still effective.
  • save you time, especially in-home services; while one sibling gets treated, others can do homework and you can make dinner. Plus they rarely need to be repeated.
  • are easier, since you don't need to learn a completely new skill from scratch and worry about the consequences of getting it wrong.
  • are sometimes reimbursable by insurance or are HSA/FSA eligible.

Lice service with professional, reputable services should always result in the total eradication of head lice as long as you follow after-care instructions provided by your technician. LiceDoctors touts an unmatched 99.6% success rate among nearly 600,000 clients.

If you bring in the professionals from the start, not only will your effort be less, but the total cost is often less. How much does lice removal cost in a salon versus an in-home appointment? Most professional treatments involve a one-time charge and minimal follow-up work. Yet the costs can vary wildly:

  1. Per-head heated removal process: $700-$800 for an average family of 4 at lice clinics; or
  2. Hourly lice removal: 2.5-3 hours for a family of 4 averaging $450 (based on our lice treatment pricing at LiceDoctors).


The process that is used for effective lice treatments must be thorough; there are no shortcuts. A good eye, good lighting, and good technique are crucial as everything needs to be removed from the hair for effective lice treatment.

Considering all this, the professional lice treatment cost-effective solution pales in comparison to other treatment options that may appear, at first, to be less expensive. Skip those DIY efforts and go right for the good stuff: professional treatment. You may very well save a lot of money, and just as important, it will save your sanity and will get the job done right. Call to book an appointment with LiceDoctors at 800-224-2537. Your lice technician knows what she is doing and will clean out the lice and nits today!



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