Lice Treatment for Curly Hair


Treating head lice in straight and wavy hair is annoying enough. But what about curly hair? How do you treat those pesky creepy crawlies in curly hair? We've got you covered. In this article, you will learn about what causes head lice and how to treat them in curly hair. Let's get into it.


What Are Head Lice?


Credit: iStock


Head lice are little insects that feed on the blood of human scalps. Head lice infestations are most common in children and are caused by the direct transfer of lice from one person's hair to another's hair.


Cases of Head Lice Infestation

 Lady combing hair

Credit: Boldsky


Head lice can be acquired in the following ways:

  • Rubbing your head against a lice-infested person's head
  • Sharing a lice-infested person's personal belongings (e.g., comb)
  • Using a cloth object after a person with head lice
  • While it's possible that lice can be transmitted through inanimate items, it's exceedingly improbable. Brushes, combs, barrettes, headbands, headphones, and hats are just a few examples of inanimate items.
  • It's also possible for lice to dwell on upholstered furniture, beds, towels, or clothing for a short period of time and can be transmitted to the hair.


Symptoms of Head Lice

 Lady scratching head

Credit: NetDoctor


Head lice symptoms include:

  • Intense scalp itching.
  • Having the feeling that something is crawling on your head.
  • Sores and scabs on your scalp from itching.


 Head Lice Symptoms


Curly or Straight Hair: Which Is More Prone To Lice?

 Curly and straight haired ladies

Credit: LÓreal


Head lice can infect everyone, regardless of hair type. Head lice are attracted to the blood from your scalp, rather than your hair. However, curly hair has a few characteristics that make lice infestations less common.

Curly hair requires less frequent washing than straight hair. Because sebum travels faster down the hair shaft of straight hair, it appears and feels oilier than curly hair. Curly-haired people can go longer without washing their hair compared to straight-haired people. Curly hair is prone to dryness since oil does not distribute as well through it. People with curly hair are therefore more likely to use styling products to add moisture and reduce frizz.

Lice can survive longer on hair that has fewer products because it is easier for them to climb on and multiply. As a result, lice will have a harder time starting an infestation if you have oily or curly hair with styling products.

Curly hair is less prone than straight hair to become infested with lice. However, it does happen, particularly with youngsters. The main issue is that if lice are found in thick curly hair, they can be difficult to remove because such hair makes nit combing difficult. Because it's more difficult to get rid of lice and nits in thick curly hair, infestations can quickly become severe. As a result, knowing how to cope with them in the event that this occurs is critical.


Head Lice Treatment for Curly Hair


How do treat lice in naturally curly hair? Lice treatment can be considerably more difficult for someone with curly hair. Below are some tried and tested head lice treatments.



 Lice comb

Credit: nitwitslice


The eradication of nits with a nit comb is the most common method of treatment. Below you will learn how to get rid of lice with a nit comb.


  • Divide the hair into portions and ponytail each one.
  • Create 10 to 12 sections across the head. Each side of a middle parting should have 5 or 6 pieces.
  • Don't waste time detangling the hair before dividing it into sections. Make the parts as neat as possible and ponytail each one. Then, as you go through them, untangle them one by one.
  • A long-toothed metal nit comb is recommended for nit combing.
  • Take the first portion and untangle it using a detangler or clear conditioner. Nit-comb it well once it's been detangled. Clean the comb with white toilet paper or tissue in order to discard anything you extract.
  • See if there are any brown or black flecks on the toilet paper. If they are tear-dropped shaped, they are nits(lice eggs); if they have six legs and are small, they are lice. They might be pale while they are young, or dark as they age due to old oxidized blood.
  • Re-bunch and move on to the next part after spraying it with a detangler or conditioner. Then comb the nits. Continue doing this one by one until you've properly checked or combed out each region.
  • Because head lice are sensitive to movement, they flee as soon as you touch your hair. The hair is divided into portions to help confine and control the movement.
  • When it comes to getting rid of head lice, timing is important. You will not be able to clear it swiftly and efficiently if you do not respect this. It takes 7 to 11 days for the eggs to hatch, and 9 to 12 days for the lice to mature into adults.


Hair Dryer


Lady drying hair

Credit: Naturally Curly


Blow drying has two benefits for lice and curly hair. To begin, some lice will be killed by the mild heat. Second, blow-drying with a round or paddle brush causes the hair to dry straighter, making combing easier.



 Lice Killing Shampoo

Credit: Verywell Family


Because curly hair is more porous than straight hair, chemicals that kill lice may dry out or harm it, so use with caution. You'll have to pick out the nits even if you use chemicals. Only use chemicals if you have a severe lice infestation.


Home Treatments

 Tub of Vaseline

Credit: FeeDo


It's probably better to use a home remedy than to use harsh chemicals on your hair. These home cures are designed to suffocate lice, killing them and making them easier to remove.

They also make it easier to remove nits by combing through the hair. You can use mayonnaise, vaseline, butter, and olive oil for the smothering procedure.

Apply the product to your hair and leave it on for the night. Then, before shampooing, comb out the dead lice and nits in the morning.


Essential Oils 


Essential Oils

Credit: iStock


Some essential oils are excellent at eradicating head lice when used in conjunction with the combing procedure. Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil first and perform a patch test before using. Apply the product to your hair and leave it on for the night. Then, before shampooing, comb out the dead lice and nits in the morning.

The following oils have been demonstrated to be beneficial against lice:

  • Tea tree oil
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Nutmeg oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Clove oil


To use, combine 2 ounces of olive oil with 15 to 20 drops of essential oil of your choice. Apply this mixture to your scalp and let it on for the night. Comb out the hair in the morning to remove lice and nits. The hair should then be shampooed and rinsed.

The essential oil method may work for your own hair but avoid using it if you have curly-haired kiddos since it can damage their fragile hair.


Environmental Control


It's not enough to get rid of lice solely from your hair. You must also sanitize the surrounding regions to avoid reinfection by lice.


Washable Items

 Washing machine being loaded

Credit: In The Wash


  • All washable items (including hats, scarves, and coats) as well as bed linens, towels, and washcloths that have come into contact with the infected person in the previous three days should be washed. Wash in hot, soapy water in the machine, then air dry.
  • Combs, brushes, hair barrettes, hair bands, and sports helmets should be soaked for 10 minutes in hot water (over 130°F), 1 hour in a cleaning solution, and 1 hour in rubbing alcohol before being washed in hot, soapy water.


Non-Washable Items

 Carpet being vacuumed

Credit: Kent


  • All carpets and furniture, including beds, should be vacuumed. This will get rid of any hairs that still have nits clinging to them.
  • Spraying insecticides on your carpet and furniture, as well as hiring a pest control firm to treat your home, are both bad ideas. It's unnecessary because it could expose your family to dangerous chemicals.
  • Dry cleaning is an option for items that can't be washed, such as pillows, stuffed animals, clothing, and other items that can't be washed. Alternatively, you can store them for three days in a firmly sealed plastic bag. In two days, any nits or lice on these items will die.
  • Every 2 to 3 days, comb the hair and scalp of all family members including your child's hair until no live lice are found for 10 days. If nits or lice are discovered, treat the hair and clothing of that family member in the same manner.
    Unless someone has lice, there is no need to treat them.




Treating lice can be a nightmare especially if you have curly or thick hair. Combing is the best head lice treatment for both you and your children's hair. If you want to avoid getting lice, try braiding your hair or using headscarves, especially if there is a lice outbreak. Lice epidemics spread quickly, but they can be avoided if proper precautions are taken.

We hope you found this article helpful. Make sure to tell your curly-haired pals about it.


Back to blog

Stay up-to-date with Burlybands. Receive exclusive offers. Join the family.