Does Shampoo Kill Ticks on Humans?

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Ticks have become such an enormous concern over the past couple of decades, with Lyme disease and strange meat allergies all over the news. What do you do if you have long hair, and you worry you’ve been exposed to ticks?

There are tick shampoos for dogs… but does shampoo kill ticks on humans?

Some shampoos can help to remove ticks, but most don’t. Using a shampoo designed for lice on your hair for long periods can also help remove ticks.

It is recommended that you shower immediately with shampoo after you have been in an activity where you may have collected ticks.

  • Light-colored clothes make it easy to spot ticks
  • Use a shampoo designed to kill lice as they also kill ticks when exposed for long
  • Do regular tick checks

Let’s look at the issue of ticks on hair, and shampoo below.


Does Shampoo Kill Ticks on Humans? Is It Effective?

Shampoos can be used as natural repellents. However, they are not foolproof.

You might have to accompany it with a visual inspection as a precaution. If the tick has already attached itself to you and has started feeding, the only solution is physical removal. Soaps and shampoos will not be enough to help you.

Ticks are pretty small and tend to cling onto the skin or hair with multiple curved feet made for this job. They can be hard to notice because they hide in hair and skin folds.

Ticks are pretty small and tend to cling onto the skin or hair with multiple curved feet made for this job. They can be hard to notice because they hide in hair and skin folds.

Moreover, these insects stick their heads in your skin and suck your blood. Nasty little vampires. And of course, they can also carry various diseases and pathogens that can result in serious health problems.

The Problem With Ticks

Ticks are harmful not just to humans but also to livestock. They are parasitic and carry several diseases that adversely affect man and beast. For humans, two main ones are a cause for concern (as well as the Alpha-gal allergy mentioned above).

These are Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. 

Effects from these two deadly diseases include permanent impairment and death. The scary part about this is that it only takes one tick to pass on Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Lyme Disease.

  1. Lyme Disease – Black-legged ticks spread this disease. The symptoms you might have from Lyme Disease include fatigue, headache, rash, and fever. We recommend getting help as soon as possible as the infections might spread to the heart, nervous systems, and joints. Treatment involves the use of antibiotics.
  2. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – This one might be common if you are a resident of North and South America. It can be infected by the Brown Dog Tick, the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick, and the American Dog Tick. The symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, and sometimes a rash which is not always the case.

Animal Shampoo to Kill Ticks

Shampoos for animals, particularly cats and dogs, contain different amounts and types of pesticides in the product. Therefore, we recommend not using shampoo designated for one animal to another.

For instance, do not use a shampoo made for dogs on a cat. The shampoo could harm your cat due to the difference in concentration.

Shampoos for animals, particularly cats and dogs, contain different amounts and types of pesticides in the product.

Can You Use Animal Shampoo on Yourself?

Tick Shampoo for dogs

Some people turn to their pet’s shampoo to eliminate mites. However, it would be best if you did not regularly soak yourself in pet shampoo.

People at a high risk of getting ticks include campers, hikers, gardeners, and hunters. They can use dog shampoo to keep off pests every once in a while, but it shouldn’t be an everyday thing.  

Most people usually resort to this because of the unavailability of shampoos for ticks. Suppose you have to use dog shampoo to get rid of the tick. It’s best to go for those made for puppies. This is because puppy shampoos are milder in strength yet offer the same protection. 

Puppy shampoo contains just the same ingredients as shampoo for humans. Using other shampoos or sprays may be harmful or even harsh on your skin.

Ways to Prevent Yourself From Ticks

  1. Do not use fragrances that will attract ticks or any other bugs, for that matter. Here, we mean lotions, creams, and scented soaps. If you feel like patching on additional protection on your skin, we recommend brands scented using rose, garlic, geranium oil, and citronella. 
  2. When showering, go for a rough-surfaced washcloth that will dislodge ticks loosely attached to your head.  
  3. One of the most convenient ways of keeping the ticks off you is using clothing treatment. Insect repellents are not always enough when preventing tick exposure; that is why Permanone and Permethrin  were made. Permanone is an excellent choice for people who work in areas where pests, particularly ticks, are common. 

You can purchase the spray at your local store. Once you spray it on your clothes, you can rewash them for up to 2 weeks without the need to spray them again. Additionally, you can use it on all your outdoor wear, including backpacks, boots, and shoes. 

Sawyer Products SP657 Premium Permethrin Insect Repellent for Clothing, Gear & Tents, Trigger Spray, 24-Ounce
  • Permethrin spray bonds to fabric fibers...
  • Reduce likelihood of a tick bite by 73.6...
  • Add a layer of protection to your...
  • Ideal for backpacking, backyard BBQs,...
  • Sawyer Permethrin stays effective...

Hunters who need to avoid scents in the wild can also use them as they do not have a scent. It is considered effective and kills most ticks that come into contact with your clothes, shoes, or backpack.  

  1. Your environment also plays a significant role in reducing your chances of tick infestation. Cut grasses near your house short and neat. It will make them more exposed to the sun and drier conditions. Ticks tend to crawl up, particularly inside long blades of grasses, and then latch on to a passer-by. 
  2. Finally, be on the lookout for tick-borne diseases. When bitten, or if you suspect you have a tick-borne illness, seek help from a doctor. We recommend seeking help immediately if you experience flu-like symptoms, depression, or unexplained fatigue.

Natural Flea and Tick Control

Several natural products are available to prevent and control fleas and ticks. Most of these include essential oils from plants that naturally repel insects. However, it is important to note that although they are effective for pets and personal use, they will not work if there is a home infestation.

For a very long-time essential oil has been used to control pests and smooth skin. An additional bonus is that it is a good skin moisturizer and smells so good. These essential oils include Peppermint, Lemongrass, Cedarwood, Bay, Citrus, Linalool, Thyme, and Rosemary.


Most shampoos will not kill ticks, and it is not a good idea to use an animal tick shampoo as a human. Instead, be proactive and douse your clothing in Permethrin or Permanone before you go on your hike, and shower thoroughly when you get back. Always do a tick check, and stay vigilant.

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).