LICE AND DREADLOCKS
I’m the perfect person to ask about this because during the first few weeks of having dreads I was inconvenienced with having to deal with lice. I was really embarrassed (which I now realize I shouldn’t have been) and I thought “OH MY GOD I HAVE TO SHAVE MY HEAD” and before taking any action, fully researched online about how to get rid of lice when you have dreads. People will say “people with dreads are dirty and prone to get bugs in their hair” but on the contrary, when I was researching I learned lice are more attracted to clean, less oily hair because it’s easier for them to maneuver through. If you’re around people who have lice, and are getting close, exchanging clothing, using eachother’s hairbrushes, etc, you are likely to contract lice from them whether you have brushable hair, dreads, oily hair, clean hair, whatever.
How I got rid of them: I’ve seen a bunch of recipes with peroxide, essential oils, olive oil, etc. and I wasn’t sure what to use or who to believe. I came across this one that had many good reviews and decided to use it. Pretty much what you will need is 70% and above (I used 91%) isopropyl alcohol, essential oils, and apple cider vinegar (ACV). It’s pretty simple, all you do is pour the alcohol on your dreads, you don’t need to douse them or put any on your scalp because it’s the fumes that kill them, and put a shower cap on and wait 10 minutes to make sure all the lice are dead. This doesn’t kill the nits (because they have their own pouch of air that they can survive on for hours), and since you can’t comb them out, you have to wait for them to hatch (about 7-10 days) and do the treatment again and kill them before they reproduce. CAUTION: The fumes of the alcohol are very powerful and if doing this treatment inside, it will nearly suffocate you so make sure there’s a window to stick your head out of or just do it outside.The ACV, tea tree oil, and rosemary oil is more for preventing lice in the first place, but they also soothe the scalp after treatments because the treatments are harsh on your skin. So when you’ve rinsed out the alcohol rinse with the AVC and oils. Just to be safe do one more treatment because you’ll want to make sure you’ve killed every last critter instead of thinking you have and then have a comeback.
But the thing is, getting rid of lice isn’t just a matter of getting them out of your hair, their nits are everywhere. Your pillows, carpets, blankets, clothes, etc. You need to wash everything and put it in the dryer on the hottest setting and this will ensure they eggs will not hatch. You can buy bed bug spray and spray that on furniture and your carpets. Other things that could possibly harbor eggs like necklaces, hair-ties, etc. need to either be soaked in isopropyl alcohol or contained for 2 weeks because they nits will hatch in 7-10 days and they can only survive 24-48 hours without living on the scalp. After treating lice make sure you check for nits in your hair everyday for weeks (it’s always good to have an annual check to be safe) so that you can treat them quickly if they do come back.
p.s. the adhesive that keeps the nits glued to your hair will loosen and the eggs will fall out of your loose hair that they’re attached to, no worries. I think that’s everything.. hope I helped for those with dreads who have lice and are shitting dicks trying to get rid of them.