Expert Debunks Myths & Facts About Head Lice

Some believe that only dirty hair can cause head lice, while others think head lice jump from one person to the other.

Written by: Sushmita Sharma Updated at: 2023-01-09 12:40

All of us love and wish to have healthy, shiny and voluminous hair. Trying new products to bring shine to our hair is something we all are chasing after. But head lice could ruin all that for us. Some believe that only dirty hair can cause head lice, while others think head lice jump from one person to another. We talked to our expert Dr. Nikita Arya, dermatologist and cosmetologist, who debunked some of the myths and stated the related facts.

What Are Head Lice?

Head lice are crawling insects that live in your hair on the head and feed on the blood sucking from your scalp. Nits, the eggs that head lice lay, are firmly attached to the hair. It can occur to anyone but is mostly seen in children.

Myths & Facts That You Should Know

Myth 1: Head lice can jump or fly

You must have heard that head lice can jump from the head of one person to the other. However, this is not true. Lice don't have wings and cannot fly. Though, we must avoid head-to-head contact with a person who has lice because lice spread by crawling.

Also Read: Neem Oil Treats Head Lice? Know The Other Benefits Of Applying This Oil On Your Hair

Myth 2: You get lice due to poor hair hygiene

Most of you may think and believe that head lice result from poor hygiene. However, poor hygiene is not the cause of lice. They can even be found in people with clean hair as well. All they need is a warm human host.

Myth 3: Itchy Head Mostly Indicates Head Lice

While an itchy head can be a symptom of head lice, there can be other causes for an itchy scalp. An itchy scalp is also experienced by people who have dandruff or dry skin. In some cases, children who have head lice don't have itching.

Myth 4: Head lice can transfer from humans to pets and vice-versa

If you think that head lice can travel from human to pet and the other way around, you are wrong. Head lice cannot spread from your pets as each type is species-specific.

Myth 5: Head lice carry and spread disease

Head lice do not spread diseases like other parasites that suck blood. They are irritating and itchy but are not a cause of danger.

Also Read: 5 Reasons Why Using Styling Products Might Cause Hair Fall

Things You Should Know

Head lice can spread from direct head-to-head contact with the infected person. It can be treated with the help of medications available on the market, like permethrin and ivermectin, to kill lice and nits. You should note that these medications might not kill recently laid eggs. Therefore, a second treatment is necessary to eliminate all lice. Your doctor can prescribe you medications like spinosad and malathion to remove lice from your head.


Head lice can be annoying and can disturb your daily activities. However, you can get it treated easily with the help of medications. Next time someone tells you that head lice are caused by poor hygiene, you'll know what to say.


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