Does Bleaching Hair Kill Lice?

Bleach Blond
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Bleaching your hair and getting that ashy or blonde color is a fashion trend that not all people are brave enough to take. Why? Well, because hair bleaching agents contain some strong chemicals like ammonium persulfate and hydrogen peroxide. If bleaching is done incorrectly, it can lead to hair damage. 

Do those strong chemicals have any upsides? Many wonder: “Does bleaching hair kill lice?” The short answer to that question is yes. Hair bleaching can kill some adult lice. But probably not all of them.

That means that your head lice infestation will continue and the cycle will go on.

While bleaching your hair can help, it’s probably not the best tactic to get rid of head lice. We will tell you more about that below. 


Why Does Bleaching Hair Kill Lice?

Hair bleach is a chemical that can remove the color from your hair. The primary ingredient in most hair bleaches is hydrogen peroxide. This chemical can be harsh even to pesky and resilient parasites like head lice.

To some extent, hydrogen peroxide can have some effects on head lice and it may even be able to kill adults and nits. 

The exact process of how it is able to kill head lice isn’t well documented. However, some believe that the chemical is harsh enough for some of the adults and nits. Nevertheless, you can’t really get rid of the head lice infestation if you do not kill all the adults and nits.

And most importantly, you shouldn’t forget about the lice eggs. 

The reason why many people can’t seem to get rid of head lice infestation is that they don’t take out the eggs. These will eventually hatch if they are not completely removed and killed.

The problem with the eggs is that they are protected and are difficult to kill even with hair bleaching chemicals. 

What Happens When You Bleach Your Hair With Head Lice

Bleaching your hair won’t completely get rid of the lice infestation. However, if you still want to bleach your hair and you currently have a lice infestation, we suggest getting it done after you deal with the lice problem first. 

A treatment like the Lice Clinics Of America cure is a good place to start:

The reason for this is because it wouldn’t really do you any good. Sure you could remove the color of your hair and maybe even color it with a different one.

However, you’d also be bleaching and coloring the head lice. When that happens, it can be more challenging to see them and remove them manually. 

Why Is Hair Bleaching An Ineffective Treatment To Head Lice?

Bleaching agents for the hair may cause harm to the head lice and may be strong enough to kill them. However, there can still be survivors.

Some may be strong enough to withstand the chemicals. And some may not be fully exposed to enough of the chemicals to kill them. 

The bleaching procedure would mostly involve the hair strands. Hair technicians will start applying the bleaching agent to the hair but they will leave a few inches from the scalp and come back to it after the rest of the hair is applied with bleach. 

Scalp Treatments

This is because the bleaching agent can be harmful to the scalp and the heat of the scalp can speed up the process. With this, it is common practice to just go back to the roots after the rest of the hair is treated.

Head lice, whether adults, nits, or eggs are usually found towards the scalp. Some are actually in the scalp because it is where they get their food, which is your blood. This is why it’s tough to treat lice outbreaks with heat like from a flat iron.

With the head lice located mostly on the roots, the chemicals from the bleaching agent may not be left there long enough to kill all the adult lice and nits. Additionally, the chemicals also won’t be harmful to the eggs. 

The eggs are usually laid by an adult right near the scalp. This is to make sure that they properly hatch due to the heat coming off of your head. They would usually hatch in about 7-10 days.

However, you can still kill some of the head lice eggs if they still don’t have their neurological system developed. These eggs are usually the freshly laid ones. In about 72 hours, they’d be able to develop their neurological system. 

So as you can see, there are still a lot of protected eggs that won’t be affected by bleaching or even dying the hair. If these eggs aren’t removed, they’ll continue to be incubated and eventually hatch.

Then the cycle will continue. 

Some think that simply bleaching or dying the hair over and over again would eventually kill off the remaining lice survivors. Sure it can, but have you ever thought about what repeated hair bleaching does to your scalp?

Your scalp will eventually be irritated due to the chemicals. It can become red, sore, and there can even be blisters. It can also itch more when it is irritated. Additionally, your hair will also become brittle and dry. Hydration is always a concern after bleaching.

In some cases, their hair falls out due to repeated bleaching. Yikes!

Even worse than that, your body will also be absorbing some of the chemicals. These would eventually need to be excreted by your body as toxins. You’ll be putting your liver and kidneys to more work. 


Hair bleaching products contain strong chemicals that can be harmful to the scalp and also the head lice. However, that doesn’t mean that they are an effective treatment for head lice. Although they can kill some of the head lice, there will still be survivors and the cycle will still continue. 

Even if you do repeated hair bleaching treatments, it won’t guarantee that you could kill off all head lice adults, nits, and eggs. Plus, you’ll be causing more harm to yourself with repeated bleaching. It would be best not to use hair bleaching products just to get rid of head lice.

Much better is to start with a proven treatment like Lice Clinics Cure Treatment, and then bleach afterward.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).