Can You Wash Away Head Lice With Regular Shampoo?

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Is washing your hair enough?

Can You Wash Away Head Lice With Regular Shampoo?

Head lice are a frustrating annoyance that can affect children and adults alike. For people that work or study in crowded environments, they’re also a potential health hazard that can easily be transmitted to friends, colleagues and coworkers.A variety of treatments are available for head lice, ranging from creams and lotions to special shampoos. In this guide, we’ll look at whether you can wash away lice by using over-the-counter and prescription shampoos.

Does Shampoo Work for Head Lice?

Think all it takes to defeat head lice is clean hair? Think again. While it’s always a good idea to keep your hair clean by shampooing frequently, shampooing – on the whole – doesn’t do a lot to treat head lice, at least when regular shampoo is used.

Shampoo cleans your hair and keeps it looking and feeling healthy, but it doesn’t directly target the eggs that head lice lay to reproduce. However, a combination of shampoo and other treatment options can help wash away head lice.

Ulesfia, a prescription lotion approved by the FDA in 2009, is a popular treatment option for head lice. While Ulesfia isn’t a shampoo – it’s a benzyl alcohol solution that’s applied to the scalp – it can be used alongside shampoo to treat head lice.

This lotion, which is applied after cleaning your hair, works by opening the entry points used by the lice open. This results in the lice suffocating. When used along with a wet comb, this removes head lice and the eggs they lay on your scalp.

Using a Wet Comb With Shampoo

While shampoo alone isn’t enough to wash head lice away, it can be used along with a wet comb – a special type of comb also known as a “nit comb” – to remove lice and their eggs from your scalp.

Before you use the comb to find and remove lice, wash your hair using shampoo – a normal brand is fine – and conditioner. Applying conditioner keeps your hair moist, making it easier to fun the comb through your hair and locate head lice.

By using a wet comb on your hair (or your child’s hair) in combination with a daily shampoo and conditioner session, you’ll be able to eliminate head lice and the eggs they lay over the course of one or two weeks.

Take Care Not to Spread Head Lice

Head lice spread remarkably easy. They also have a high re-infestation rate, making it important that you pay attention to your scalp not just while you’re suffering from head lice, but after they’re gone as well.

Avoid direct contact with other people while you’re dealing with head lice and make sure you don’t have any scalp-to-scalp contact with your partner. Clean your hair on a daily basis and use your wet comb to pick out lice and eggs frequently.

With the right combination of treatment and hair care, you’ll be able to wipe out lice and enjoy life without an itchy scalp. While shampoo does play a role in washing out head lice, you’ll experience the best results by combining it with another treatment.

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