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Top 6 Hairstyles to Prevent and Avoid Lice

Top 6 Hairstyles to Prevent and Avoid Lice
Created on 
December 4, 2020
Updated on 
August 17, 2021

Families that have been affected by a case of head lice have many concerns – not to be overlooked is the need to ensure steps are taken to prevent future head lice infestations. Since head lice are transmitted by direct head to head contact, there are practical hairstyles to prevent head lice that can be used. When selecting a hairstyle for lice prevention, keep in mind that the best styles are those that keep the hair consolidated and close to the head – minimizing the contact area and the opportunity for a rogue louse from someone else’s head to make it onto your head. Before you get head lice, or if you never want to experience head lice again, review our top six hairstyles that prevent lice.

These styles are not the only styles that help prevent lice; get creative! Remember, the best hairstyle to avoid lice is any that keeps the hair from brushing up against other people.

Does Wearing Your Hair Up Prevent Lice?

Lice tend to affect girls more than boys. Why? After all, any human with head hair is at risk. Very short hairstyles are trendier for boys, and less likely to brush against others while playing.  

But children who love their long hair don’t need to cut it to avoid lice. You just need to understand the best hairstyles to keep head lice away, and infinite variations are within reach.

Here are some basic long hairstyles to prevent head lice. Can lice live in braided hair? Of course. These hairstyles don’t treat a case of lice, but they do reduce the chances of catching lice.

Basic Pony Tail

Pony Tail to Prevent Lice

Do ponytails prevent lice? They’re better than loose hair by far! This is the easiest of all hairstyles. Gather all of the hair together on the back or top of the head. To make the ponytail look less sloppy, take the time to smooth out any lumps or bumps with your hairbrush, then secure it with a ponytail holder. To make this one of the best hairstyles for lice prevention, you can braid loose hair. When it comes to the styles that protect from lice ponytail is good, braid is better, but the bun is best.

Basic Bun

Basic Bun to Prevent Lice

Does keeping hair in a bun help prevent lice eggs? A basic bun is the best hairstyle to avoid lice. It is also the easiest for those of us who lack the coordination to create more extravagant hairstyles. Simply secure all of the hair on the top of the head, twist the hair into a “bun” shape, and secure it. This hairstyle keeps all of the hair contained in one area on the head while providing the least amount of contact area head lice need to transport from head to head. This is why it is one of the best hairstyles to prevent lice.

French Braid

French Braid to Prevent Lice

Do braids help prevent lice? Another one of the best hairstyles to keep head lice away is a French braid. Many girls like this style as it is simple, but can be dressy as well. To complete this look, take three pieces of hair from the top of the head. With the far-right piece of hair, cross it over the middle section of hair and combine it with the section of hair on the left. Now you have two sections of hair. To the left of the combined section of hair, get another section of hair to make three total sections again. Take that section and combine it with the far right section of hair, then get another section of hair on the right side. Continue this process until you have integrated all of the hair into this braid and have only three sections remaining.

Can head lice live in braided hair? Even with the significantly reduced exposure risk of wearing braids all the time, if the hair does come into contact with another head with lice, it’s still at-risk. The braids only prevent inadvertent contact, they cannot thwart lice once contact occurs. When parents ask us, can you get lice with braids? They are usually thinking that tight, durable braids like cornrows are lice-proof. Unfortunately, we often find head lice in braids of all sorts, and the only way to treat them successfully is to take the braids out.

Pig Tails

Pig Tails to Prevent Lice

Styling your hair in pigtails is another one of the common hairstyles to keep lice away. This is a nice style for those who maybe have shorter hair, younger individuals, or individuals looking for a unique, sassy style. Simply section the hair dividing the hair so as to create two equal sections of hair on either side of the head and secure them with a ponytail holder. For a more stylish look, you can braid the pigtails.

French Braided Pig Tails

French Braided Pig Tails to Prevent Lice

Combining the French braid and the pigtails will provide another one of the most effective hairstyles to avoid lice. Start by sectioning the hair on either side of the head as you did with the pigtails. Instead of securing the hair as you did with a ponytail fashion, create two smaller French braids out of each of the sections on either side of the head.

Plait Tails

Hairstyles Against Lice

A plait tail is a french braid that begins at the base of the head. Individual sections are thinner and wrap around the bulk of the hair all the way down. Also called a fishtail braid or fishtail plait, this is an advanced look your teenage daughter can wear when she starts feeling too mature for standard braids. Again, these may help to prevent lice but only if the hair is pulled up or back.


No matter what hairstyle you choose, be sure to add something to keep the hair artificially dirty, like our mint lice repellent spray for an added layer of protection. If your efforts fail, call LiceDoctors at 800-224-2537 or book an appointment online for in-home head lice treatment that works for your entire family!



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