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Wigs and Head Lice: Is This Even Possible?

blonde and red auburn haired wigs on mannequin busts

By Lice Technician, Nikki Palmer

Is it even possible for a louse to crawl through the wig to affix itself to real hair? LiceDoctors technician Nikki explores this situation.

Wigs are valued by men and women all over the world. Those who possess them may have even considered the journey each wig must have taken before landing at its local beauty or wig supply store for purchase. Although head lice are invested in traveling through any hair type, they typically do not plan on staying if the hair isn’t attached to the scalp of a human being.

Lice have two objectives, and those are to feed and to be fruitful and multiply. If the hair is not connected to a food source, they are not interested in camping out. Head lice consume the blood of humans by traveling from the hair shaft up to the scalp. So, in the case of contracting lice from wigs, this scenario is very unlikely. The lice can not penetrate a wig to get to their food: blood in the scalp.

The caveat is: lice may try to use wigs as a hitch-hiking source in orderblonde woman wearing sparkly silver wig in front of a holiday tree to reach their destination. If a wig that is temporarily carrying a louse is shared by multiple people, this can cause a problem, as lice are highly contagious. Another possible way that a wig may be problematic is if it is not securely fastened to the hair and somehow a couple of lice manage to crawl around the perimeter and get underneath the wig. Multiplying at steady rates, it is fairly easy for an entire household to become infected with head lice in just a few days.

How to Avoid Wig Infestation

  • Avoid sharing wigs with those who may have been exposed to lice. Because you’re never truly certain of this, try avoiding at all costs.
  • When detangling the wig, do not use combs or brushes that belong to others, but rather purchase your own.
  • For wigs over long hair, pull the hair up into a bun before placing a wrap or cap over it.

Regardless of how lice are contracted, LiceDoctors specializes in the safe and natural removal of them. For a brief consultation, or immediate assistance by an on-call technicians, please give us a call at 510-269-8043 or check out our Education Center.