Any parent of children that have reached nursery or school age will know the frustration of dealing with head lice.
Among all the treatments available, some people think about dying their hair, with the idea that hair dye will help kill these parasites. But does hair dye really kill lice, and are all hair dyes actually safe?
First, there’s not a single scientific experiment that has proven that hair dye could be helpful against head lice.
Moreover, there are many different hair dyes on the market, and many of them contain ingredients that can be harmful for us, because they are chemicals.
If these ingredients can harm us, then they might also harm lice, and that’s why some people have reported that dyes can be effective to get rid of lice.
But if they can harm you, you may not want to put them on your head in the first place. So let’s see how dyes actually work and what are their main chemical ingredients.
Here are 2 very common ingredients in hair dyes:
1) Hydrogen peroxide : it helps initiate the color-forming process and creates longer-lasting color. It also causes the hair to lose its content in a mineral called sulfur. This loss of sulfur causes the hair to harden.
2) Ammonia : it allows for lightening and it tends to separate the cuticle and allow the hair color to penetrate the hair.
A chemical reaction happens between ammonia and hydrogen peroxide, and this reaction creates the new color of the hair.
Various types of alcohols, which can also dry the hair, are also present in most hair dyes.
According to research, “hydrogen peroxide is not absorbed by the skin, but can cause systemic toxicity when inhaled or ingested”.
And as far as ammonia is concerned, it is well-known to be highly toxic.
Also, bear in mind that some permanent hair dye products contain derivatives of aspirin, so it’s crucial these are not used on children’s hair.
Aspirin can cause dangerous side effects in children, so stick to medically approved remedies if the person is not an adult.
For all these reasons, we do not recommend you use hair dyes to get rid of lice, whether in adults or in children.
Now, quality neutral henna products, which do not contain harmful chemicals, have been reported to not only kill and remove head lice, but also to be effective for dandruff treatment and to strengthen hair.
But again, it has not been scientifically proven. Make sure you do your research on the product and that you pick a harmful treatment.