Q. Here now we have a heart-warming story about one girl’s experience with lice – so get comfy and TAKE NOTE! You do not want this to happen to you!

“Oooh-pleeze help!!!! I have an ex-boyfriend who sports a mass of locks that are his crowning glory and all that, but now he tells me he has LICE!!! What’s worse is that his new girlfriend has lice too because of him and can’t get rid of them because he WILL NOT get rid of his dreadlocks–he is a walking infestation, it is horrible, and if I am correct, there is no way to get a LARGE infestation of head lice out of a LARGE amount of dreadlocks. Now they are getting evicted from their apartment, and the nice guy who says they can move in with him is gonna get lice too!!! I do not think I need to explain any further for you to see that there is a big mess at hand. What I am asking from you is for you to send me back an e-mail that I can read to him–straight from some dreadlock experts strongly urging him that he really has no alternative, and that it is not the end of the world…he will not listen to me alone or to anyone else. I do not know how anyone puts up with him, but they do, and it is sad. For the good of humanity, please help!!!”

A. To this, my response was, obviously…

Wow, that really, totally sucks! I can’t believe how irresponsible that is of him… I’m not sure what to say, except that it is NOT right to subject other people around you to your filthy infestation – that’s not cool at all, and you would certainly not wish for someone else to do that to you! I don’t care how attached a person is to his/her dreads, it is not fair to keep them if it means that you’re going to continue spreading the problem around to other people. How totally selfish! If he’s been to a doctor and tried different medicated shampoos to no avail, then he’d better stop thinking of himself and start thinking about what he’s doing to the people around him. This one guy who got fleas from a dog cut his dreads off right away – he knew it was only hair and that it was better to do that than just live with them and spread them around. I don’t mean to speak harshly, but honestly he has to do the right thing in this situation, it’s just common courtesy! Hope that helps, and let me know how things turn out…

A. Here are also a few tips emailed us about lice removal, use at your own risk and don’t contact us about it -they are not dreadlocks.org-tested!:

“After discovering I had lice, I carefully and painstakingly took out my dreads. After NiX and RiD (lice treatment stuff) wouldn’t work, I took Vaseline and just caked it on my hair. I worked all my hair with thick globs of the stuff. Wrapped my oily, greasy hair with a towel and after about 48 hours (I think), I shampooed and shampooed until most of the junk was out and I had nary an itch! It works by suffocating the little buggers and nits until they die (bugs need air too!). Now I am lice free, so it’s a pretty foolproof method of lice removal. Just lots of grease! I did it *after* I took my dreads out, so I have no idea if it would work if a dreadie tried it. You have to completely saturate your hair with the Vaseline, so it might prove difficult to get in the little spongy gaps of air (where the lice might hide). But if someone with dreads had lice, and they could get the Vaseline into the dreads enough (without ruining the knots), it might work. But getting the Vaseline out might be a problem.

Anyway, let it be known that it is strictly by chance that I got lice while I had dreads. Having dreads has absolutely nothing to do with getting lice (although it might be more difficult to get rid of the lice if you’ve got dreads). Since my dreads were loose and young, I had the good-ass fortune to get away with not cutting my hair off.”

Ryan says:

“I have heard of another way of possibly ridding your hair of bugs if you get them. I have no idea if it works, or its side effects, but it goes like this… Supposedly if you soak your scalp and dreads in rubbing alcohol, them put a plastic bag over your hair to trap the fumes in, it will kill all the bugs if you leave the bag on for a while. I have no idea how this might affect your dreads, or scalp, but if it is a last resort, it might be worth trying.”

Adam says:

“I was just reading your page on lice, and wanted you to know that there are a few solutions besides chopping off your hair. For instance, you can soak your head in tea tree oil and then put all your hair up in something airtight like a shower cap or saran wrap for a week. **A week??** The tea tree oil kills live bugs (not their eggs) so you need to keep it applied until all eggs that were in your hair have hatched and died.”

Amanda says:

“I’ve read a bit about combating lice in your dreads. Shortly after I started my dreads I went to India. The whole time I was super paranoid about getting lice. Ironically I spent six months in India with no problem but after being home for just a few months… that’s right, I got lice. Everyone I talked to told me I would have to cut them off, but after the long process it took to just make my dreads look somewhat good, I wasn’t going down without a fight and I am happy to say that I still have my dreads…lice free. I started out with the super strong lice treatment (nix?) that claims to kill not only lice, but also the eggs. Then I went to my local organic food store and got an organic lice treatment shampoo and conditioner that could be used daily. Yeah it cost almost $15 for the both, but it was well worth it. After a week, I retreated my hair with the super strong treatment. I used the shampoo and conditioner until it was finished, but by that time, there were no more bugs in my hair. I am happy to say that I didn’t spread the bugs to anyone even though I have two roommates. Just be really careful, and as soon as you suspect that you have bugs in your head, do something. It is really easy to be in denial. It was almost a week before I really realized that yes, I had lice and something had to be done. I don’t know how my roommates, especially since one of them has long hair, avoided the bugs. I think the key is to combat them on a daily basis and that can’t be done with super strong drugstore lice treatment. So that is it. Hope it helps!”

You can contact her for more info at: zulululu002@yahoo.com

76 comments so far

Add Your Comment
  1. I used this, I used alsorts of crap on my locks and nothing worked, was just an on off cycle for about a year, it would kill the big ones but then the eggs would hatch and we’d be back were we started.. I used hedrin once ONCE and it worked.. 😀

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. i had locks for 10 years and ad to cut them becuse two friends were riddled and gave them to me. by the time i realised it was to late… i fought them for a year but lost the fight. im starting again and its happening again. luckily im in early stages so unlocked and starting again but refue to take my hat off now around the person who has them…Bad.. very selfish i think.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. I Had Lice Sadly , I Am 13 Years Old And I Don’t Wanna Cut My Dreads Off .. I Wanna Try The Rubbing Achocol Thing But I’m Scared . I Had Lice 1 Time This Is My Second , The Lice Shampoo Is Bullshit , it Doesn’t Work … well it does For Like 3 Days …. But What I Think Would Be Best Would Be , A Blow Dryer . Yes I Know Wtf Will A Blowdyer Do Will You Can Dry Them Mfers Up And They Will Be Crips But Dit On A White Sheet So You Can See Them Fall an Other Thing Is Very Very Hot Water Boil Them Then Put a rubbing Achocol In Them That Should Kill Them … My Best Friend Kaliros Always Has Lice … Her Mom Buys A Lice Bottle Every Day But I Tried Telling them that ish Don’t Work . but Just Try This . I Promise It Works .

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Thanks It Works

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. OLIVE OIL!!! my kids and i battled lice for a year and then we soaked our scalp and hair in olive oil and wrapped it up in syran wrap over nite. it washes out easily from your hair and beddings and leaves your hair super soft. redo after 10 days just like the NIX directions say to do. we all three have a lot of hair and did not want to cut or shave it off. i now have very long dreads and hope i never get it. but if i do… i truely believe olive oil will work. my head itches thinking about it. eew

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  5. Recently, my 2 year old came down with a bad lice infection. At first I thought it was dry scalp. It wasnt until my husband went to give him a haircut that he realized they were Lice. Ohhhh man if that wasnt bad enough He and I also had them. We both have beautiful dreads that have been growing for 5 years. I washed our hair in selsum Blue and used lots and lots of random hair oil. I havent seen anymore in my head though today, 4 days after the incident I checked my husbands hair and I found 3 healthy lice. As soon as I get home…Im trying it all. Alcohol, vinegar, shaving cream, dawn, tobasco and the oils. Wish me luck.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. I worked in child care for 5years and got lead lice many times at the time I used lice treatment for cattle reapplied once a week for atleast 3 weeks. Ive since discovered that hot air from a homemade bag and hairdryer set up works well, the moisture is sucked out of both lice and eggs but make sure to repeat once a week untill your sure there gone or longer

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Thumb up 2 Thumb down 44

  8. wish i would have read this post before i cut my dreads a year ago o well getting them in a few months – dreads4life

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. i had lice recently with dreadlocks, so did my boyfriend. we didn’t talk or go tour friends houses for three weeks. boiled our dreads everyday. used nix, even though we knew shouldn’t, cleaned our sheets and towels daily and sprayed lice shit everywhere we went. especially in the car.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Hey fellow dreadies! So i found out i had lice from the doc about 10 days ago. Thought it was dry scalp but went in because it wouldn’t quit. Would wake me up in the middle of night! Doctor thought i was gonna have to shave my head. I thought i was gonna have to shave my head. The only thing they could give me was Nix 5% permethrin cream to try and stop them. Scary stuff! After all the love put into them i couldn’t relish the thought! I sat down at the computer and researched everything i could about lice. 4-5 hours of research! And i found a plan that has kept me itch free :)
    Luckily it has been below -0C outside. I was able to gather up all my things and leave them on my deck to freeze. If things are not so cold where you are, you can wash all your sheets and anything you’ve worn. Then run them through the dryer. The heat will kill them. Anything that can’t go in the dryer or wash can be tied up in a plastic bag and left for 2 weeks so the lice and all their newborns can starve.
    Then to treat the lice on my head i borrowed a hair dryer. Just a normal hair dryer. Put on some good tunes and sat down to do battle. I recommend you sit on a white sheet or something cause they’ll try and escape your head. This way you’ll be able to see them. Also minimal clothing so they dont wriggle off and just climb back onto your head when you’re done. You just sit there and systematically blow hot air onto each dread, root to tip (concentrating on the scalp and root as this is where the lice and most of the eggs will be) for a good while. Not so close that you’re burning yourself, but there should be good airflow. The key is time. Lift each dread up individually. And go over and over. I spent an hour doing this; and it actually felt pretty good! What you’re doing here is desiccating the lice and eggs; dehydrating them all to death. (not burning them!) It’s shown to be very effective against the eggs. And if you shake your dreads around as you do this, lice will start dropping off. First alive, then all dry and dark; eventually just black crispies. Apparently though, because lice can move around your head, and there’s more than likely a few viable eggs left even after a thorough job with the hair dryer; It’s less than 100% effective against the lice. So in comes the next step.
    Neem oil. You should be able to pick this up anywhere you buy teatree oil or other essential oils. I warn you… it smells terrible! Maybe not to all; but I have never gotten used to it. Neither has anyone around me, lol. This stuff doesn’t directly kill them. But acts as a hormone replacer, affecting their ability to eat and reproduce. (also affecting the eggs) It isn’t shown have any negative effects on humans and is actually supposed to be good for your hair. It’s what organic gardeners use on mites. I used coconut oil as a carrier and added teatree oil for backup. Heated them slightly, and a friend helped pour the mix over my head as i massaged it around. Making sure to get all of the scalp, roots and dreads. I wrapped my head and slept with it in that night and then washed it out with dread soap the next morning. There was alot of oil left my dreads (and still is as I write this) so you might want to consider a different carrier oil if you use one. The neem residue will act as a good protection from reinfection though, so it may be a benefit to leave it in for a while.
    I repeated with the oil every 3 days, using less oil and concentrating more on the scalp. Washing it out every time. I also swapped my bedding and clothes each time I used the oil. Just to keep things as lice free as possible. This seems to have worked! I still need to wash some oil out of my dreads. But my scalp feels good and has remained bite free! I discovered after there is also neem shampoo out there, so keep an eye out. Hope this helps the community! Much love :)

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 44 Thumb down 1

  11. I’m in hell.. i’m on my second set of dreads, had to brush my first set out because of the buggers. And i have recently found out i am infested, not just with a few, but a lot.
    I spent a lot of time in the bush and each so i thought it was just sand/glitter and dirt.

    I dont want to brush this set out, i am in love with them.
    So tonight i am going to try soaking my dreads in vinegar tonight and buy some teatree oil tomorrow. What else should i buy to get rid of them?

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. Tea trea oil is the best. I had my locks about 3 1/2 years when they started itching really bad. Yep, lice. I definitely did not want to cut off my locks, so I went online and ordered some natural lice treatment. The treatment didn’t come fast enough, so I tried using tea tree oil. I would pour small amounts on my scalp several times a day for about 4 days total. After the first few times I applied the tea tree oil the lice started falling out of my hair. I continued until it was all gone. Tea tree oil works great. I use it in my locks occasionally as it is antiseptic and will keep anything that doesn’t belong in your locks away. The treatment did arrive, but I never needed to use it. Good luck!

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  13. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  14. i had lice in my dreads,i used this medicine called perlice,just apply it on the scalp for 10 mins before wasjhing,all the livce die n also the eggs dont develop to lice,so in one wash you are ffree….its my experience,1 year n no lice till now:)

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. Two weeks ago I found out my two boys 5 and 9 got lice. I was sadden when the doctor told me that I would have to cut their hair to get rid of them. After getting over the mere embarrasement and devastation, I decided to do what we as mother’s do so well. I researched them critters and went to work.
    1st I washed their hair real good and covered it with alcohol and vinegar
    Then I covered their heads with plastic wrap for a couple of hours.
    2nd I put their hair in several ponytails because here came the main part.
    I dipped their hair in boiling water for about a min per section.
    The boiling water really did the trick!!!!!!
    I did cover their hair with vaseline to be safe. I repeated this cycle twice a week and their has been no sign of the critters since…..Crossing my fingers\Keep you posted:-)

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  16. From kids with knits dummy!

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  17. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Thumb up 3 Thumb down 15

  18. The chemical/pesticide treatments do not work, since lice have developed an immunity to them over the years. The pesticide treatments can also contribute to chemical sensitivity, since you are putting it right on your scalp. I have also heard that people can get seizures later in life from over-exposure to pesticide treatments. I have really curly hair, no dreads, but i still understand the frustration of removing lice. the chemical nonsense most definately doesn’t work, coming from experience.

    Sooo.. you can look for natural remedies they have online. There are some websites that sell all natural lice removal. Sort of expensive, but i found one that even has a lice killing laundry detergent and preventative spray with oils the lice despise. I think its worth it, so that you dont get reinfested.

    Any way, good luck and god bless the locks

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  19. ^ And then repeat that same process again in about 10 days or so.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

    Several months ago I realized I had lice in my year-old dreads. I tried using Nix, the lice-removing chemical stuff you can get from a pharmacy. It didn’t work. I was devastated, and thought I would have to get rid of my locks. Tears were shed. But then I decided I’d give a few other methods of removal a try before I gave up for good. I combined a few different methods I saw on the internet, and here’s what I did:
    You’ll need:
    – Rubbing alcohol
    – White vinegar
    – Coconut oil
    – Garbage bag
    – A friend to help you, as it will be a LOT easier that way… trust me.

    1. Get a bucket or big bowl, pour in white vinegar and rubbing alcohol, and make sure it’s a 50/50 mix.
    2. Lie down on something that will allow you to dunk your dreads in the bucket. Your friend will come in handy here. Make sure you soak your dreads completely with this. The fumes may be hard to handle, but trust me, it’s worth it.
    3. When that’s done, get the garbage bag and put it over your head so all your dreadlocks are in, and tie it at the opening around your forehead so no fumes will be able to escape. Leave it like this for 30 minutes.
    4. Take the garbage bag off and rinse your hair with some dread shampoo or whatever you normally use. Towel dry so it’s not soaking, but it doesn’t have to actually be dry.
    5. Rub coconut oil into your hair. Make sure you put a ton in. You want to drench those bastards. After doing so, leave it like this for an hour.
    6. Wash again with shampoo.
    Your hair will most likely be greasy from coconut oil for awhile. This is a good thing, it just means that there is less of a chance that there may still be one little louse alive which could ruin everything. After doing all this properly I highly doubt there will be any alive, I have been lice free for about 2 months and happy as a clam!
    Good luck!

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 32 Thumb down 2

    • I have just tried this on my partners hair,the deal was when we met,if you shave your hair cya later,so we are trying this right now,wish us luck

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  22. Oh and my boyfriend finally let me check his hair. I didn’t even have to pull it away to look at his scalp, he has so many eggs in it. His hair isn’t dreaded but it’s long, down past his shoulders. Thankfully, he’s not freaking out about it as bad as I thought he would. I think this is gonna be so hard for us to get rid of cause neither of us wants to cut our hair off. He’s using RID on his hair too, we’re gonna repeat in ten days and wash and spray everything in the house that we can.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  23. I’m gonna use Rid on my hair. I’m paranoid that the other treatments aren’t killing everything. I combed out two of my dreads and there were a lot of eggs in them. It took me an hour and a half just to comb out one dread! (They’re sooo long) I haven’t seen any bugs. Even if I kill everything, I don’t think I’d ever get all of the eggs out if I don’t take apart all of my dreads. I’m pretty frustrated. I’m trying to avoid cutting off all of my hair

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. Delacet is completely natural, non harmful 100% effective and you can order it online, it’s a similar price to conventional treatments. I have used it and I had no problems…they were GONE, it is especially recommended for dreadlocks as there is no need for combing yay!!! This is deffo the way to go when treating headlice! :-) Don’t freak out it’s fine..get this stuff and all will be well in the world again :-)

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  25. Oh and by the way, once I get there cleared up, one way or another, I’m gonna be really OCD about checking for and preventing getting lice again. Sucks that I’ve always stressed about it anyway. Now I’m actually going to do something about it on a regular basis.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. For a few days after the vinegar/oil my head felt fine. I’ve still had knits so I know I have to repeat it again soon (I was planning on doing it Friday since I’m off). My boyfriend (who doesn’t have dreads) has been telling me today that his head has been itchy, which in turn has made me feel like mine is itchy. I’d say we’re both parasitophobes so it could be partially mental.
    I was thinking about saying screw it and just going out and getting some Rid-X but I was reading online that even that doesn’t really kill all the eggs. I do have really sensitive skin and eczema so it’s not something I want to do if it’s not gonna be worth the risk.
    I saw a few videos online from people who had dreads and got lice and they treated it and are fine now. Some people have said that if you don’t catch it right away that it’s pretty much pointless and you should cut off all your dreads. This makes me worry since as I wrote earlier, I think that could possibly have had lice for a few months without realizing it (denial maybe?) :(
    Also, I’m really sick of seeing people write online that because you have dreads that you’re very unlikely or unable to get lice. Obviously, that’s a bunch of BS or we wouldn’t have all of these people writing in a forum like this. I’m sure that having dreads doesn’t make you more likely to get lice but I also don’t think that it makes you significantly less likely to get them.
    From what I’ve read on here it seems like it would be possible to have a fairly advanced case of lice and still treat it without cutting your hair. I read a few about people washing their hair and seeing a lot of bugs falling out. Really, I’d say that maybe I had ten or less that I was aware of killing when I treated my hair.
    I still have a lot of anxiety about this. I’m hoping that I will be able to clear it up eventually. It’s not helping that I’m really broke right now due to being out of work for a while and having a hard time affording anything let alone treating my hair. :/
    Hopefully I won’t have to cut off my hair. Who knows though, I have a lot of issues going on in my life now and may possibly be faced with needing to get rid of the dreads anyway if I would happen to have to look for a new job (I still have a job currently).
    Well, I’ll update again later

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  27. I got lice from my kids while at school , I have a very sensitive scalp , the only thing that I could do to was ( after treating the kids ) I washed my hair with Jamaican mango and lime tingle shampoo ! Then smothered my hair with blue magic grease (loads and loads ) after a hour whatever bugs that were in my locks had run out my hair (eww) where I could wipe them away ! ( gross yes but even if i cut my locks off i still am unable to get a nit comb through my really nappy hair ) Did this twice a week for 2 weeks and now we are lice free ! Now I make sure I have a healthy amount of grease in my hair to help not getting infested again ! And I check my girls hair every day ! it cannot be stopped unless you can check every kids hair in school ( not going to happen ) But you can control getting them ! Do hope this helps ;0)

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  28. Well, when I washed out the vinegar I saw some bugs come out. After the oil, I washed about 3 times with dish detergent (a “natural” brand) and then shampoo. I don’t even really know how to explain how my hair feels, sort of dry but oily at the same time. Gross pretty much. I inspected my hair as well as I could. Only found one louse, which wasn’t moving so I’m assuming it was dead. As for the nits, I don’t know. I can’t tell so well. I’m gonna try repeating this process again in about 4 or 5 days and I’m gonna OCD over my hair and have a friend look through it when I get the opportunity in the mean time.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. resort, not result^

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. I’ve had dreadlocks for about three years, and they’re pretty long, down to my waist at this point. I do have the sides shaved a little bit and in the front my bangs are not dreaded.
    A couple months ago (I honestly can’t remember at this point how long ago) I was fixing my bangs in the bathroom and saw a bug crawling in my hair. It freaked me out cause I’ve always had a serious fear of lice and just parasites in general. (When I was in high school and my science teacher showed a film on parasites I told him I couldn’t watch it because it freaked me out and he let me sit out of class.) We’ve had a little bit of a gnat problem over the summer so I figured it much have been something that got into the house. I told myself I was imagining things because of my phobia.
    Well, tonight, I finished washing my hair, got out of the shower and was fixing my bangs in the mirror and again, bug in my hair. Freaked out, washed it down the sink and started looking up information about lice online. Went back to fix my bangs again, another bug. Looked through my hair, found what looked like nits and asked my roommate to take a look who also found a bug on my hair.
    I’ve looked all over online tonight for hours about how to deal with this and get rid of them. I really don’t want to put chemicals in my hair that may ruin it or possibly make me sick over time. Not to mention, I have very sensitive skin.
    So, this is what I’m trying.
    Soaked my hair/head in apple cider vinegar, wrapped it up in a plastic bag and let it sit for two hours. After I washed it out in the shower I saw bugs starting to come out :/ The same when I took a hair dryer to my hair to try and dry it out a bit since I was planning on putting some oil in it.
    Currently, I have my head soaked in coconut oil and wrapped in a plastic bag. I feel pretty gross and slimy. I’m planning on leaving it on for about 3 hours. I would leave it on longer but I actually have to leave my house in about 5 hours and go on a 4 1/2 hour drive to a job interview :(
    I’m pretty grossed out. Not happy at all. I know I will probably not sleep tonight and that when I do try to sleep I’m gonna have really bad anxiety.
    I’m planning on repeating this process in about 4 days, and then 4 days after that again, etc until I don’t see bugs coming out of my hair anymore (and get checked by a professional of some sort.)
    I also read that cinnamon leaf oil can be helpful and I don’t have any but I have a bunch of ground cinnamon (I use it around the house on carpets and stuff). I think I’m gonna throw it on my hair after I finish washing it. Maybe it won’t help, but hopefully it will make my hair smell alright. lol
    I’ll come back and update on my results with these treatments. If this doesn’t work I’ll result to chemicals and lastly, cutting my hair off :(( Hopefully it doesn’t come to that.
    Thoroughly disgusted and freaked out… :/ I’m surprised I’m handling this alright at all. Luckily a few close friends have made me feel better tonight.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Hey dude did u ended up cutting your dreads ? i have dreads for three years and im exactly on the same situation as you i would aprecciate some feedback from you

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. DELACET IS FANTASTIC!!!!! Please I urge anyone plagued by the pesky little blighters don’t stick your head in tobasco or anything extreme like that. Delacet works wonders you can buy it online it’s available on ebay, it’s an age old natural remedy and it WORKS. Love your dreads, don’t cut them off you don’t need to. Delacet is so easy to use you don’t need to comb it through, two hours with the stuff on your hair, rinse out and your done! Happy days! Sorry if I sound a bit excitable but, I was so worried when I got head lice and whilst looking for a solution, the things that I read were crazy, then I used this, and hooray the little buggers are gone. Good luck Peeps :-)

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  32. My daughter just came home with lice and i am freaked out. i cut my one year old’s hair immediately since we had a “camp out” this week and all stayed in my bed under the AC. I have the bedding in the wash now. I washed her hair with the shampoo the pharmacist gave us, but i refuse to comb or cut anything. i doused her hair with olive/carrot/tea tree oil and sat her under the dryer. hopefully the oil mixed with the heat will prove a deadly mixture to the bugs.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. Wanted to add that even though we can’t comb out the dreads, the sesame oil will drown the bugs and the neem oil (a natural insecticide) will kill the eggs. :)

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. We do foster care and, sadly, most of the kids come to us with lice, and every time they visit with their families they bring it back to our house. :( We have a tried and true “recipe” for lice that is natural, non toxic and safe. We use a mixture of mostly sesame oil and coconut oil (I’m sure any “oil” would work though- the point is to suffocate the bastards), with some neem oil and tea trea oil. Saturate the hair in that, then use a lice/nit comb (a fine-toothed baby comb works too) to take out any dead bugs and some of the eggs. The oils suffocate the bugs and also loosens the “glue” that the lice use to attach the nits to the hair strands. They comb right out. Some of the bugs have become resistant to the over-the-counter lice treatments like Ridd and Nix, and that stuff contains some nasty chemicals. It’s not safe to use repeatedly like the oils are. After we comb the hair out thoroughly we wrap the hair in a bandana and leave the oil on the hair for as long as the person can stand it- overnight is best. Then we comb out the hair again to get any lice/nits that we missed, then wash as normal. Repeat every few days just to be sure. Also- don’t worry too much about the laundry and carpet issue. The bugs can’t live very long without a host. Just wash what you can (it’s the hot dryer that actually kill the eggs, not the washer), and don’t freak out about the rest. Lice really aren’t that hard to get rid of, they’re just a major pain in the ass!!! I worked REALLY hard on my husband’s dreads and I really don’t want to have to shave them off EVER, so we do this if we even *suspect* lice in the house. Also, we use tea tree oil shampoo regularly as a deterrent, and coconut-scented shampoos because I’ve heard they hate the smell of it. Good luck out there!!!

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  35. Did you know that it is alot harder to catch lice off someone with dreds as the lice have to crawl down to the end of a strand of hair to move from host to host and dreds are to natty for this to be acomplished easily. I have never passed my nits onto a partner. Yet people with dreds are more prone to getting infestations as generaly a single louse is brushed or combed out of normal hair before it has a chance to lay eggs but with dreds they are free to set up camp. My son brings them home for me from daycare reglarily. I’ll try some new, safe, non toxic methods and leave feedback for all my poor dreddy brothers and sisters out there with itchy heads. Go easy with the toxic and chemical treatments especially on your kids and if you decide on the kerosene option, don’t spark up the green for an hour or two!

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  36. I’ve had my dreads for 8 years, locked them the day I found out I was pregnant with my daughter and have had my dreads her whole life. I now have 4 kids, three of whom came home from school infested this week.
    I have done the most toxic treatment I could find (like Nix) on all 4 kids and myself but I really fear having to shave my head. I have no confirmed bugs of my own though. I always wear a bandana on my head, could that have helped prevent them?
    My sons have very long hair and also fear a potential shaving, let’s hope we get rid of these soon!!!

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  37. I’ve had my dreads for 13 years and have had lice on a few occasions in that time – i’ve done the oil thing and the the chemical shampoo thing and i’m sticking to good ol’ kerosene.sorry planet!!
    I hang my head over a bucket and pour a bottle over my scalp and soak the length of the dreads in the stuff – it’s completely toxic and gross but it works and it works fast and i’m over it!!
    the most important thing to remember with kerosene is that shampoo wont wash it out – you have to use soap , it neutralises the kero and the smell/fumes go immediately. I grate soap into hot water before i start so that its easy to get through the hair when you cant handle the kero burn any longer!!!
    good luck people

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  38. I have had dreadlocks for 7 years, then I got lice. I tried lots of things, but what finally worked was dawn dish soap. My dear husband sudded up the soap on my scalp in between the locks and up into the base of the dread. Then I wrapped it up in a towel for a couple of hours. Then wash and pick out any dead bugs. Wash with dread shampoo afterwards, because the dawn soap really dries out your scalp. The soap suffocates the bugs. You must do this at least once a week until there are no more! If you miss a week, the lice are old enough to breed and they will lay more eggs.

    I thought it was hopeless after 4 months of trying to get rid of them, but this really worked for me. I had to be patient and diligent, or rather my nit picker did.
    Good Luck!

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  39. So just a note the petrolium jelly thing seems to work however its been days since I put it in my dreads and I can’t tell you people how hard it is to get it out my hair head shoulders hands everythings greessssy

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  40. So I’m sitting here in a motel room with globs of vasoline on my head and a bottle of alcohol and gallon of vinegar in front of me waiting to be used. I’ve been reading all these meathods of people riding their lice and its awesome cause it gives me hope of keeping my dreads and until now I was really close to cutting them off…

    See I’m kind of in a rough spot because I’m out traveling now and I’m a street kid so lice came quickly. I’m honestly f*kn infested I’ve been pulling out gobs of tiny bugs and eggs daily and my scalp is raw. Its so brutal I know but its so hard to treat lice when ur running around the country. I finally managed to save up enough money for a room tonight and I’m leaving this in for about 11 or 12 hours over night and waking up in the early am to wash it out and soak my hair in an alcohols vinigar mix in the morning for at least an house… I don’t know when the next time ill be able to do this. Process againbut hopefully it’ll at least help cause this shit sucks!!

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  41. i told the chick at the pharmacy that my child just came home from a holiday with lice.
    she showed me a variety of products and i went with the most hard core one they had called KP24. Usually i would go organic stuff but this is war. after following the instructions and leaving it in for an extended period i rinsed and found only dead lice and itching is gone. so to make sure i repeated the next day.
    That wont kill the eggs and combing is not possible.
    Eggs hatch after about 6 days from being layed.
    Heres the thing ,newly hatched lice are not sexually active for about 10 days, therefor cannot lay eggs.
    So if i repeat the treatment every week for a few weeks they cannot possibly reproduce as long as my lice killer works.
    try a few different treatments if unsure ,but do it every week thoroughly and you will be bug free.

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  42. ‘Hedrin’ people. Used it twice, once to kill the lice, once a week later to kill the hatchlings. Its worked for me now on 2 occasions, 2 years apart. Hope this helps.


    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  43. Haha oh man I’m so glad that there are others out there with the same problems. Yeah I almost didn’t catch that I had lice until I was walking out of the bathroom the other day and saw in the mirror that there was a black speck on my scalp. I thought it was a speck of dirt and went to pick it out. Nope. Bug. I freaked out and did a 50/50 rubbing alcohol and apple cider vinegar rinse and then tied a plastic bag over my head for an hour. Then I made a little mix of olive oil, neem oil (this is the important ingredient because apparently it disrupts the hormones and therefore the development of lice), and rosemary oil to help with the suffocation and slathered that over my head for an hour. Then I made a shampoo out of Dr. Bronners tea tree oil soap, some rosemary oil, neem oil, a little vinegar, a little dishwashing detergent, and some water. I also spray some diluted tea tree oil along my hairline when I wake up in the morning and then after I do a set of treatments. By the way, I didn’t see any bugs fall out, but I also have a blue shower floor, so maybe I’m lucky I didn’t have to see all that. I went to two clinics yesterday to finally have someone check. None of my friends wanted to touch my hair for fear of contracting lice themselves :( The first lady only checked the top of my head for 10 seconds and told me I didn’t have lice but that I should cut my hair because I look like a homeless person. The other clinic, which was a free clinic, found some eggs but no lice. Wasn’t sure if the eggs were dead so they gave me some Nix, which I just used after shampooing with my concoction. For extra measure, I’m going to do the shaving cream thing tonight. My hair’s down to my butt so I really hope that these things work. REALLY honestly, best of luck to all of you. I know the pain. There have been some tears. Lovin you all.

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • Hey dude do u still have your dreads or ended up cutting them ? im on the same situation

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. so.. i decided to use a treatment from the chemist called durbac, and its pretty useles, i kept it on all nite then showered it of.. still i itch.. after reading and researching more on lice/nits decided to use the mayo method.. its burning my head so i hope its killin theese bastard bugs!! does anyone kno if the mayo will work? or if it will damage mt dreads in anyway?

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  45. NIGHTMARE! i have lice, i put loads of vinegar on my head and wrapped a plastic bag over it for 2 hours.. lots of bugs came out, some still alive tho.. i washed my head and its still itching like hell! im gonna use a method from the above but theres sooo many im unsure which to use! my head is entirely up my arse hole! well… not really.. if it was i probably wouldnt have lice!!!

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  46. My boyfriend just discovered he has nits in his dreads. Im going to suggest to him a few of the tips from above and I really hope they work. The words tea tree oil, alcohol and nix seem to come up alot. His dreads are pretty much a part of him now after two years and he really dosent want the $500 he spent to get them ( due to how long his hair was ) to go to waste. Thanks for all your handy tips!

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  47. One more thing I have found is that dog flea an tick shampoo has two main ingredients: Pyrethins, and piperonyl botoxide. These are also the same two main ingredients in Nix, Rid, and other over the counter lice treatments for humans. The dog shampoo has it in a lower concentration than Nix an Rid (less toxic). I am going to use it twice a week for two weeks to catch any stray hatchlings.

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  48. Ok, so I did the white vinegar, isopropyl alcohol, and cayenne pepper soak. I threw in 2 oz. of tea tree oil just for good measure too. I let it soak for an hour. It hurts like hell at first but I got used to it after about 10 minutes. Then wrung out my dreads. I didn’t rinse them, just left them pretty wet. I glopped on an entire can of shaving cream and re-bagged my hair and let it soak for 2 more hours letting the shaving cream and the fumes frome the previous treatment work together. The shaving cream felt really good after my head was on fire from the first soaking. I pulled the bag off in the bathroom wondering if this was all really worth while. I scratched my scalp and rubbed my dreads over the tub and OH MY FREAKING GOD. The amount of bugs that came out made my jump out of my skin. I jumped in the shower and used the dandruff shampoo with burning hot water. I have a slow drain in the shower and when I got out and looked back in I couldn’t believe it. So many bugs. Not one of them was moving AT ALL. I’m the type who will help a bug out of a puddle normally but this is war. I’m adding a mayonnaise phase for 3 hrs. Then rinsing with dish soap. I’ll then use the olive oil and tea tree mixture and let that brew all night. After all those dead buggies I feel pretty confident with a few follow up treatments I’ll have them surrendering.

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  49. Dreads to my butt. First bout with buggies in my adult life. I am using first an alcohol, vinegar, and cayenne pepper mix and let it soak for an hour with a bag on my head duct taped around the edges. Then another tip I found all over the net is to use shaving cream. I am to use this once my hair is dry from the first round of soaking. Then bag it up again and let it brew for awhile. Then a hot, hot, shower with strong dandruff shampoo. Finally a olive oil and tea tree oil mixture to slick it up (bagged up again) overnight. This battle I have waged is a mixture of the most common advice I have found on several dreadlock and homeopathic sites all over the web. I’ll update after the grind is done.

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  50. ah man….. I think I got em. Lordy be!!!!!

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  51. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Thumb up 2 Thumb down 21

    • uhm, ANYONE is at risk of catching lice, no amount of maintenance or hygiene can prevent it. lice arent fussy, but the cleaner the hair, the more they like it. its just something that happens.

      This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  52. there is only one thing that works and that is only 91 percent rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and cayenne pepper and tea tree oil all mixed together in a big bucket, you dunk yer head and leave it overnight, wrap yer head with a plastic bag, make sure when you dunk yer head you are in a well ventillated area. don’t get any in your eyes. wrap a platic bag around yor head and leave overnight Then do it again for two days in a row. then again in four days then again in another four daya, then in eight days. i swear this works. i’ve had drads for 11 years and have had the worst lice infestations. By the way yes african americans can get lice. i am african hispanic and have had lice plenty of times…. This is the only full proof way

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

    • Agreed. My daughter is 6 and has the most beautiful dreads. Unfortunately, her class at school had a major outbreak of lice and she ended up with them. I used only tea tree oil and rubbing alcohol and it worked perfectly as well. I used a gallon sized ziploc to keep the solution saturating the hair and to keep the fumes down. Soaked for 15 minutes then rinse and wash/condition normally. I also used some rosemary oil to rub into her scalp area at the base of the dreads to help add some moisture that was lost. This seemed to help repel them as well. We also found some tea tree oil shampoo/conditioner at a health food store and have used it ever since.
      Just a reminder though, using solutions on the hair is only half the battle. You still have to wash all linens, and vacuum well, etc. Wash winter hats…the whole deal.

      This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  53. I’ve had dreads for about a year now. And lice for almost as long.
    I found a soloution, heres what you will need:
    A pair of balls,
    Turpentine works too.

    It’s gonna burn your head.
    But if your sense of humor about the whole thing dies like mine did.
    You won’t give a shit.
    You can literally watch them run and jump off your hair.
    Soak your hair in either ingredient, for as long as your pain threshold can take.
    I doubt this would kill the eggs too.
    So repeat as often as necessary.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 11

  54. My sweet six year old daughter is sitting in the bathroom with chemicals on her head to get rid of lice in her beautiful dreads! She does not want to cut them off and I certainly don’t either. I am ging to do the olive oil and tea tree and plastic bag thing after I rinse out the chemicals to hopefully choke off the remainder and remoisturize her locks and scalp. I can’t find Delacet and I am so confused as to what approach to take that I guess I am sort of combining bits of various treatment approaches I have read. I will update as to the results. Thank you to this site and anyone who has shared their techniques- it is a helpful and good to know that we are not alone!!! Mich

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  55. I found this spray called paranix, and it worked really well for me. By really well, I mean that after 3 years of treatements with nasty chemical things, and homemade recepies containing olive oil, tea tree oil, and whatnotmore, this stuff finally rid me of the lice. It works by laying a film over the hair, so the lice choke. I now have happy bug-free dreadlocks that reach my knees ^^I live in Belgium, so maybe you can only find this in europe. it exists anyway, so that is a start. http://www.paranix.eu/

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  56. do african americans get this?

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  57. I live in USA. I found a product online called Lucinex. Has anyone ever used it? I want to hear from reall people, not just the testimonials that are listed on the site.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0


    i live in the UK and just went to my nearest chemist and they just ordered it in for me
    i dont think its available outside of europe as everywere i have read it says “best product for headlice to come out of Europe” but im sure if you live abroad it can eb shipped

    It really does work though and it is herbal, Google it and read the infomation about it

    goodluck XD

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  59. Where can i buy Delacet?

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  60. hey i have dreads and discovered i had nits i just tried this product and it has killed the lice but im pritty sure i still have the nits (eggs) but i have been researching and i have found DELACET no combing involved perfect for dreads! just put on and leave for like 2 hours and then rinse off, i have just bought this online and as soon as it arrives i will use it
    i recommend anyone with dreads to search up Delacet and read about it, it sounds really good

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  61. So my husband has had his dreads for 9 years and they are to his butt,my 1 son has dreads for the last 6 years and they are a bit past the middle of his back and my other son has dreads just past his shoulders. My hair is not in dreads but it is almost waist length. we got lice.We have been trying for the last 2 months to rid it. Nothing has been working.Finally I thought I am going to just try mixing some of the things I read.I cut a big trash bag down thee side seams so it would open long,had one at a time lay with their dreads layed out flat on the plastic.I mixed in a big bittle 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 rubbing alcohol .Completely soaked the hair making sure to squeeze the mixture into it so it was fully fully soaked.Then wrapped the hair into a differant trash bag.We let it sit for 30 min.Becareful the bag fills with the mixture as it dripps out from the hair. when we took off the bag there were tons of dead lice all over inside of it, but I thought I am not stopping there.Mayonayse… one of the few things i didnt try but read many times differant places it it the number one thing.I guess it suffocates them and slicks the hair so they can not stick to it.Also it conditions it too. I added that to the hair really squeezing it in.We let it sit for an hour.When we rinced it out finally boom! there they all went!!! I could not believe how many there were. We did not know it was that bad.
    From what I have read if you get the live lice out,it takes 16 days for eggs to hatch.It takes 6-8 days for them to reproduce.Make sure you redo this 8 days from when you first do this then again 8 more days just to make sure.
    I swear if you do this and make sure you wash all fabric you will stay lice free.
    there are a total of 7 of us in our home and ridding hair farmers and 3 with long long dreads .It felt like it would never end, but this has done the trick!

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 30 Thumb down 2

  62. Go to Holland and Barrette they sell tee tree oil lotion, put it on go to bed and in the morning you’ll have little crisps of dead lice on your pillow. Wash the lotion out and you’ll be fine. The eggs can last for 16 days but wont start to reproduce until they are 7 to 8 days old so repeat this 1 week and you should be nit free!!!!! It has worked for me and I have dreadlocks so give it a go before cutting them off!

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • I have a question for you. Why do you wash out the lotion? Do you see any harm in just keeping it in for 8 days?

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  63. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  64. tea tree oil kills the lice and thier eggs. (nits) it suffocates them, and some other aspect of tea tree oil kills them. mix tea tree oil with some olive oil to thin it out, add some peppermint, eucalyptus, or rosemary if you want. soak your head through with it, cover it, and sleep on it. wash it out the next day.

    Most importantly!!
    If you do a lice treatment and dont kill the lice in your surrounding area, they’ll be back!!! Throw your jackets, hats, sheets, clothes, blankets, everything thats been around you in the wash! pillows and things can go in the dryer, the heat will kill them. sprinkle a baking soda and tea tree mixture on your beds, couches, and carpets. vacuum it up! put tea tree oil-ed cotton balls in your dresser! better to have tea tree smelling things than to have a lice head!!

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  65. Dreadlocks hold smells for a rather long time (out of my experience).
    And i dont exactly value the distinctive scent of vinegar waving around in my face..
    So alas, i had my licey dreads cut off yesterday.. And in another 2 weeks i’ll have my hair re-dreaded and dyed. After a year and a half it feels rather odd to be without dreadlocks.. But i suppose it was worth it to not be affecting my girlfriend and family with an infestation of head lice…
    So yeah, i’m just going to turn into an alcoholic to cope -.-

    This Post is Well-loved. Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  66. hi everyone. here is a tip on how to prevent lice infection. just wash your dreads preventivly once a month with an ordinary medical lice treatment shampoo and that is it. even when my roomate had lice i remained lice-free. the smell keeps them away, and you probably know that any smell stays in dreads for a while. i hope you understood me, and that my english isn’t too bad :)

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  67. some of my friends who have dreads and kids have successfully used tea tree oil 2 eliminate lice. apply tea oil mixed with vegetable oil 5ml of t t 2 100ml of veg oil. smother scalp and dreads. wrap with glad wrap or plastic bag. leave 4 some hours wash out. repeat in 4 days and keep repeating until u feel u got them. eucalypt, tea tree, rosemary oils r a deterrent so scent urself and good luck

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  68. I had lice recently- and tried pretty much everything from tea tree to olive, vegetable, and coconut oils.
    The thing that really worked- and won’t make dreads come out too much- was mixing white wine vinegar, tabasco sauce (or some vinegar/cayenne pepper sauce) and rubbing alcohol in a big bowl or bucket. Sit OUTSIDE or with good air circulation and lean head back into it for a half hour. Then take head out, put plastic bag (or shower cap if you can fit it) over hair and leave on for another hour or so until dry. Rinse out hair and shake out head… you should see alot (depending on extent of infestation) of dead lice fall out. Repeat this in 3-4 days, and then in another 3 days. I put tea tree oils in my hair in the meantime, but can’t say if that really worked.
    If you can somehow comb out hair, do that and use a METAL lice comb to comb out nits. NEVER use nix or rid or chemicals, as shampoo or aerosol sprays, supposedly these have been linked to cancer and brain damage…?
    Make sure to wash all your bedding on hot, and vacuum your room if you have one.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4