How to sort out a potential lice issue without wrecking your hair colour

how to sort out a potential lice issue without wrecking your hair colour

By Andrea Michelle

You’ve just read the sign on the door at your kid’s childcare centre, or sifted through the raft of notes crammed in their backpack by the school teacher: there’s an outbreak of lice in their class.

Before you even have the chance to check your offspring for those nasty nits, you find yourself scratching your scalp – the very thought of those teeny little creatures making you feel like they’re crawling all over you. Bet you scratched your head just reading this too, huh?

And while there’s a fair bit of info floating around about how to get rid of lice when your kids have them, the first time I went through all of this as a mother I felt perplexed about what to do with my own hair as a pre-emptive strike. Because when you lay down a wad of bills at the hairdresser every six weeks for a colour, the last thing you want is a $14.95 bottle of nit-wash to strip it of its gloss, hue, and in my case, coverage of a few very stubborn greys.

So I hit up my buddy – and master colourist – Stevie English from Stevie English Hair with my concerns, who shared these easy tips that’ll keep your locks lice-free, no matter how many squeezy hugs you give your nit-infested kids.

  • For starters, douse your hair with conditioner, comb it through carefully with a lice comb, rinse, and comb through again. Even the most inexpensive conditioner from the supermarket will do well at this job.
  • Keep your hair well hydrated with treatments like Seven Day Miracle from Original and Mineral (O&M) $31.95, especially if you’ve had to resort to harsh lice treatments yourself.
  • As a preventive measure, mix about 500ml water with approx. 25 drops of Tea Tree Oil in a spray bottle, and mist your hair daily.
  • Apple cider vinegar is great as an inexpensive and natural scalp treatment. Use it as a pre-shampoo rinse once a week to keep your scalp clear, healthy and itch-free.


And the great news is? These tips won’t only keep your hair free of those creepy crawly buggers and your expensive hair colour intact, they’ll work just as well on your little people too.


How do you look after your hair when the kids get lice? 


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  • Kathryn

    I’ve worked with kids for about the last 20 years, yep always keep a bottle of lice treatment in the bathroom. Last time I got them I had just had my hair cut, about 8 inches of length gone. Went to work with it straightened perfectly and bam – got lice. Couldn’t believe it, the first time I wore my hair out at work for years. Scratching right now thinking about the rotten little creatures!

    • FoxInFlats

      Isnt it funny how just thinking about them makes you scratch! Ugh

  • Smaggle

    I’ve spent life in fear of nits because I’d have to shave my head. There would be no getting them out otherwise. Never had them, but then if I have kids, I’m sure it’s going to hit me.

    • FoxInFlats

      Be positive Smags. I’ve never had them, and the kids have had a few times. These tips work a treat. x

  • Louise

    My kids get lice all the time and then I get it too! Just like you, I spend a fortune on hair colour and get really frustrated that we can never get rid of them! I’ve tried every commercial treatment available to man and woman but I will definitely give these suggestions a try.
    I just had my hair cut to a pixie crop – I couldn’t stand it anymore!

    • FoxInFlats

      Good idea Louise!

  • Erica

    My daughter is a lice magnet. We dealt with it from the age of 2 – it’s lessened considerably now she’s in high school but guarantee if she comes within a 5 mile radius of the little bastards, they’ll end up in her hair.

    The only thing we have EVER had work is PPS’s Fried Lice gel. I believe there are similar copycat products out there – but this stuff is AMAZING. It literally dissolves them. I don’t even bother with the natural products now – I head straight to the hairdresser’s (most PPS stockists will have it) and knock them out. Definitely worth a try if you’ve never used it before and you’re at your wit’s end. :)

    • FoxInFlats

      Thanks for the tip Erica. Especially good if you’re at your ‘nits’ end – LOL. 😉

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