Do Hair Straighteners Kill Head Lice?
Wouldn’t it be nice if something that you were going to do anyway (style your hair) could kill them?
Many people believe it can, so let’s find out the truth!
The Growing Problem Of Chemical Resistance
Due to our use of chemical lice treatment, they are actually beginning to evolve a resistance to them. Tried and true head lice treatments are becoming less and less effective with each successful treatment.
This creates an obvious problem. What are we to do if our treatments stop working?
Well, fortunately for us lice will not be evolving a resistance to scorching heat any time soon.
Are Hair Straighteners Hot Enough To Kill Lice?
Most hair straighteners can reach temperatures well in excess of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This is more than hot enough to cook a head louse to a crisp.
Sounds like a perfect treatment, right?
Well, not exactly…
Hair Straighteners Are Not Enough
The problem with using hair straighteners alone as a head lice treatment is the eggs.
While the straightener is certainly hot enough to kill louse eggs (also known as nits), they are typically placed near the root of the hair or directly on the scalp, where the hair straightener will not reach.
This means that while you may be able to kill a majority of the adult lice on your or your child’s head, the unscathed eggs will survive and the infestation will resurface.
Because is this issue, it is not recommended to rely solely on a hair straightener as a head lice treatment.
Blow Dryers Also?
Hair straighteners are not the only hair styling tools which generate heat!
Blow dryers have actually been shown in a controlled study (view here) to be a safe and effective treatment for head lice.
In fact, there is even a specially built blow dryer which is designed specifically for killing head lice! It’s called the LouseBuster and blows much more air than a standard hair dryer at a safe, controlled temperature.
Yes, hair straighteners do kill head lice, however due to the presence of louse eggs close to the scalp, the use of a hair straightener alone is unlikely to be an effective treatment.
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