dreadlock CULTURE,  dreadlock lifestyle,  dreadlock people

Let’s talk about lice in dreads…..

Hello fellow loc-lovers!  As many of you would know I recently (March 20th 2014) put up a post on my facebook page asking everyone to share their knowledge on getting rid of lice from dreads.

The information gathered is so valuable that I didn’t want it to just get lost in cyber world, so I decided to turn all your fabulous words of lice wisdom into a blog so it is here and available for everyone to read and access anytime.

To everyone who contributed I thank you.  I have used first names only with your comment and that is to give you credit for your knowledge while maintaining your privacy.

I would like to add that in my 26 years of having dreads 5 times I have never once had head lice.  Dreadheads are not more or less susceptible to having lice.  Hair is hair whether it’s dreaded or not.  The difference is that with dreads it is harder to remove hence the list of creative solutions for lice removal.  Also, I'd like to say that even writing about lice makes me itch and freak out simultaneously :/

Lastly, I have not tried therefore cannot personally recommend ANY of these remedies.  I know many people, myself included, are all for natural remedies only – but I have to say that at the end of the day if nothing was working I would chemical bomb my head to rid myself of these critters if necessary.  So I have included everything as was written in the facebook post.  You guys make up your own minds as to what you would like to try and what you will leave as a last resort.

I hope you’re here out of curiosity, but if it’s for advice regarding an itchy scalp I wish you much luck.



  • Rachael  I doused my head in olive oil and tea tree every 3nights, washing it out the next morning with shampoo then on the second day I soaked in white vinegar mixed with water and used a blow dryer (its meant to dry them out) the trick is repetition do it for at least 2weeks. Dreads stay pretty oily for a while but I think that helps with not getting re-infested.
  •  Vashti  NYDA. Braurer head lice treatment. Highly effective. I haven't had em in dreads but that was the most effective treatment I've used...
  • Harvey  Those of us with kids will know the itch and how bad the bastards are and even more so in dreads
    Head lice and egg killer from chemist just put all dreads in plastic bag tied around head and heat with hair drier for 10mins then wash with organic shampoo genrisly repeat 3x 10days apart. Then wash in hot water everthing your dreads would come in contact with pillows sheets bean bags everything and anything els that you can not wash mortean blagflag e.g car seat head rests. Then get Sam or one of her students to do mantanice. Hope my expriance is helpfull all the best on killing the basted
  • Nick 'n'Caz Last year thanks to helping out in my preppies class often I ended up with the worst case of lice. (Hadn't had them since I was in primary school) it was horrible. But I just used over the counter lice treatment called moove as natural as you can get and just neuked them every 4 days for about two weeks and left it on for much longer that the box says lol. And touch wood myself haven't had them since. And being the little suckers are rife at the moment treat myself about once a month at the moment. Hope this helps.
  • Vashti  Yeah I'm in sa and its infestation time... I saw one once drop out of the lady's head in front of us in line and land in.my daughter's hair! Whaaaat!!?? I killed that lil guy and shuddered at the thought of not noticing that!! Touch wood!!
  •  Peace  Apple cider vinegar, (dissolves the glue which attaches eggs to hair), and coconut oil, (which smothers the lice).
    Repeat in 7 days. Also essential to hot wash all bedding, hats, clothes at the time of both washes.
    The oil can be a bitch to wash out, and the apple cider vinegar smells, but it works.
    (A hair dryer on high temperature can work, if you just want to fry the little buggars).
  • Jessica  Tea tree oil repels them it's a great preventative just keep some in a spray bottle.  Lice love clean hair so try not to wash it to frequently everyday washing is not needed
  • Carolyn  Neem Oil
  • Melissa  Works every time for me
  • Virginia  Yes we have an out break at school so with the kids we use straightening irons to kill the buggers then and there! Works a treat! But for my dreads fingers crossed haven't had the buggers but just in case I always rinse with ACV and spray with tea tree oil. God just talking about them makes me itch !
  • Amy  We have had extreme cases...including ones from Africa that were like nothing I've ever seen before (we used baygon, cockroach spray, for those...definitely not recommended) but since then we use a blend of neem, geranium, lavender, tea tree, lemon, rosemary and the secret weapon sassafras oil. Sassafras works every time. It smells awful and is hard to get because it's apparently the main ingredient in pure ecstasy but it works sooooo well. Even just two drops mixed with a base oil. Massaged in, left overnight and repeated a week later
  • Marta listerine (yellow) the original does wonders
  • Pascale As a preventative make up a spray bottle of water with tea tree, eucalyptus and lavender oil added and spray on in the morning when styling hair, and if I ever got them I just got a hair dye from the stupormarket and dyed it. Kills everything. Pick the same colour if u don't want a change....
  •  Nicole  I have kids who get nits often. I tired all the above mentioned herbals , no luck so I now use a few drops of front line (yes the dog flea treatment). Works a treat, quick, and yes I know I will die of brain cancer but hey, we all die of something, and I'd rather not have nitty dreads....
  • Bennise  DON'T try Vaseline!
  • Kate  I had them took me 3 weeks to get rid of them totally. Tea tree oil mixed with water kills live,lice. Then white vinegar and water mix unglues eggs. Then wash vigorously, cover hair in a thick shampoo leave for 3 hours rinse out. I also sprayed my pillow and sheets with tea,tree oil. Also putting ur pillow in a dryer for 20 minutes on hottest heat kills eggs.
  •  Sammeht I read surgical spirit soak and 3 days in a clingfilm wrap
  • Lavina  Sorry to say only chemical nit products work on dreads even then, you have to repeat every 3 days for weeks
  • Kate  Lavinia sorry untrue. I tried Nyda but because u can't comb out eggs the once missed hatched a laid more. I found repeating the process with natural a third of the price remedies made sure all eggs gone in the end. If I had to buy the pharmacy chemical kit each time I'd be up for a hundred bucks easy. No shelf product kills the eggs remember! Even if they say they do. Nothing kills eggs, look it up.
  •  Libby It's not natural but it works quickly. Put rubbing alcohol on the scalp put a bag on your head and leave for half and hour 45 then wash out. Repeat in 3 days and again in 3 days should be right after that. Suffocate the little mites
  •  Samantha  as a preventative i use a spray i make of vinegar, tea tree oil, sea salt and water.  I don't have a problem.
  • Sandra  Pascale ^ we do the same mix , every morning before school, I do my children's hair with it . Helps with Knots & smells nice too. Best yet preventative we've found. Though heavy infestations we use Chemicals from chemist (HL7) and do all bedding etc and spray oils on car seats and lounges etc, My eldest child is 27 and my youngest is 5 .Any grandchild that comes to visit gets the same . They call me the Nit Nazi Nanma or Nit Nazi Nandy  we have 7 grandchildren  ....Bloody nits drive be Batty
  • Pete anybody want to through out some measurements for the preventative spray, please
  • Raw Dreadlocks White vinegar & tea tree oil poured all over locks & scalp till it soaks in (it's pretty strong) then plastic bag/shower cap over head for an hour. then wash twice with tea tree shampoo and blast your head with a hair dryer , as hot as u can stand!
    This worked for me
  • Jo How much vinegar and tea tree oil would you suggest?
  • Sandra  I use a 500ml water spray bottle and 2/3 capfuls of each in water and shake before every use