Myths and Truths about Head Lice

  • Myths, Misconceptions, and Truths

    1. Using poisons or flammable liquids like gasoline, kerosene, paint thinner or insect repellant may harm your child more than it would the lice.  Chemicals should never be used unless they are approved by the FDA for the specific treatment of head lice.
    2. Do not use hair dryers to kill lice or their eggs!  The temperature would have to be turned up so high it could easily cause seriousburns on the scalp.  Burns occur when the hot dryer is either held too close to the scalp or pointed on each section too long!
    3. Hair gels, hairspray, oils or other non-medicated hair products including dandruff shampoo will not kill lice or prevent eggs from hatching or sticking to the hair.
    4. Old fashion remedies aren't completely effective.  Vinegar rinses or mayonnaise might kill lice but do not kill nits or detach them from hair.  The nits will still hatch and your child will be infested again.
    5. Cutting you child's hair or shaving their head to get rid of lice won't keep them away.  Lice stick to short and just "grown in" hair , too!
    6. Your pets and other animals don't carry head lice and can't contract head lice from people.
    7. Medications that are FDA approved for head lice treatment, whether prescription or over-the-counter are safe and effective for children over the age of two. For children younger than two, check with your physician.



    DSHS. Lice Fact Sheets.  Retrieved from: