Will a Hair Straightener (Flat Iron) Kill Nits and Lice?

Nits are the eggs of lice. They lay their eggs on hair shafts, and parents may be wondering if they can kill them off with a hair straightener. This is not an ideal way to eradicate nits because it will only work on dry nits that have been combed out of the scalp’s roots. Wet or live nit hairs cannot be killed this way.<br>

Parents should use specially formulated nit removal products instead for best results. These products contain strong insecticides that will kill both wet and dry nits in just one application, so there is no need to worry about doing any more than treating your child’s head once.

Can a Hair straightener be used to kill lice and nits on hair?

Can Straightening Iron (Flat Iron) Really Kill Lice

No, using a hair straightener will kill adult lice but not nits. The treatment must be repeated after 7-10 days. You can use the same treatment again or change it to permethrin lotion (available only by prescription).

The following are lice treatment options that can be used in the home setting.

Do NOT use a hair straightener to kill nits! This is not an approved form of nit removal; it is only effective on adult lice and will not remove the nits (eggs) from your child’s hair. A Hot Shot or Bedlam Plus containing pyrethrins or a lice treatment containing permethrin must be used to kill the nits.

Related: Does Hair Straightener Damage Hair?

How can I use my hair straightener to get Rid of nits in my child’s hair?

No, using a hair straightener is not an approved method for nit removal. It will only kill adult lice. It does nothing to remove the nits from the hair and will be ineffective in getting rid of head lice.

When you use your hair straightener, it will burn or melt to death any adult louse that is on your child’s hair. But it does nothing to the nits. They remain in the hair shaft and must still be removed with a nit removal product like Rid Lice, which contains an approved ovicide (a chemical that kills the eggs) or Nix, which has both an approved nit killer and approved ovicide combined together.

The hair straightener will not work to effectively kill the nits. If you try this method, it might appear to work at first because you’ll be able to see the dead louse on the surface of your child’s hair; but after a day or two, more lice eggs will continue to hatch and grow into adult lice, so you’ll have an even larger infestation than before.

What are nits?

Flat Ironing to Kill Lice and Nits

Nits are eggs laid by lice, and they cannot hatch unless they are moistened by the natural oils found in your child’s head. They will take between 10 to 14 days to become mature enough to hatch, but this can take longer if there has been no human contact recently.

Nit shells look very similar to dandruff flakes, but they are a tad bit smaller, and you will be able to see a nit’s tiny legs if they look very closely. If your child has head lice nits at home, then you should avoid using any hair removal products that might cause the nit shells to fall out prematurely.

A hair straightener can be useful for removing wet nits, but if the nit shell is dry, then you should avoid using a hair straightener for this purpose. Most people think that nits die after they have been treated with a conditioner or shampoo. This is not always true because nits can live up to 10 days without being in contact with your child’s scalp and natural oils. When you use a hair straightener, you are not able to kill the nit. The only way of killing them is by applying heat with something like an electric shaver or even lighted matches.

How do you know if your child has lice?

If you notice one of these signs, contact your child’s pediatrician:

  • -Your child has actual bugs crawling in his or her hair.
  • -You find nits on your child’s scalp, body or clothing.
  • -Your child is scratching his or her head.

Mum uses hair straighteners to kill her children's head lice and nits

When should you call the doctor?

If you notice any of these signs, call your child’s pediatrician:

  • -Your child has a lot of nits and live bugs in his or her hair.
  • -Your child is scratching his or her head to the point where the scalp becomes red and itchy.
  • -You find adult lice crawling on your child’s scalp, body, or clothing.

Lice Prevention Tips

  1. -Check everyone in your household. If someone has lice, treat them immediately.
  2. -Don’t share combs or hats with anyone else. Keep hairbrushes away from others.
  3. -Don’t sleep in anyone else’s bed while you’re infested with lice.
  4. -Put all clothing that touches the floor into a washer and hot water cycle. This includes your shoes.
  5. -Cleanse stuffed animals in boiling water or dry clean them.
  6. -Vacuum all carpets, rugs, couches, and any other places you suspect lice could be hiding.
  7. -Wash everything that can’t fit into the washer (my list includes bedding, upholstered furniture, non-washable toys, and carpeting) in hot water. Use the dryer on them if possible.  Dry cleaning is also an option for these items.
  8. -Fumigate your house with a lice bomb or fogger. Make sure you do it when no one is at home.
  9. -Spray all non-washable items, including furniture and toys, with Lysol disinfectant spray.

Kid's Lice – Can My Hair Straightener Kill It

Why is it important to kill the eggs and larvae of head lice?

Nits (the eggs) are attached to hair shafts firmly and tight. They are difficult to remove manually, the only method that has proven effective is using a special lice comb. Nits need 7-10 days to hatch so you have to repeat all these steps before hatching occurs. Egg hatching time may vary based on temperature, humidity, and shampoo treatment.

Reapply any of the above treatments every 7 to 10 days until all eggs (nits) are hatched and removed with a lice comb. This process may take several weeks.

You may check also: How to protect your hair from heat

Conclusion:

A hair straightener can help to kill the head lice. However, in order to be effective, it must be pressed close to the scalp for at least 2-3 seconds in each area covered by the plates. The temperature of the plates should be around 130 degrees Celsius to avoid frying or overheating of the scalp and body. It is not advisable to leave the plates in one place for too long. The nit comb should be used regularly after treatment to remove all hatched eggs (nits).

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