Do Hair Dryers Really Kill Lice? (Shocking Truth!)

I remember back in elementary school when head lice started spreading like wildfire; it seemed like every other day, someone else in my class would have to go home because they had been infected.

So, when I heard that a blow dryer could potentially kill head lice, I was intrigued. The short answer is that they can, but you need to be aware of some risks (namely, the heat levels).

Join me in this guide as I take you through do hair dryers kill lice.

Key Takeaways

  • Hair dryers can kill lice and nits, but they aren’t 100% effective.
  • Hair dryers should be combined with other lice treatments for best results.
  • Safety is crucial to prevent scalp burns when using hair dryers against lice.

Can A Blow Dryer Kill Lice?

The short answer is that yes, a hot blow-dry CAN kill lice. A study published in Pediatrics found that a hot air blast can kill 98% of head lice eggs and 80% of hatched lice. [1]

blonde woman using a blow dryer

On the surface, it seems like using a blow dryer to kill lice makes PERFECT sense. After all, the high heat from the blow dryer will dehydrate and kill the lice, right?

The fact that hair dryers kill lice is pretty IMPORTANT because it offers you a form of lice treatment that you likely have easy access to. Most of us end up blow-drying our hair once a week.

It seems like a pretty simple solution to a raging menace, but is it safe?

Are There Risks to Using a Hair Dryer to Kill Lice?

There are RISKS to using a blow dryer to try and kill lice. You should keep a few things in mind before using a hair dryer as your go-to method for getting rid of lice.

First, ensure that the blow dryer is in the HOTTEST setting. The blow dryer won’t kill the head lice if it isn’t hot enough.

Second, you must hold the blow dryer CLOSE to the scalp long enough to ensure the head lice are killed.

The big risk here is that it would need to be hot enough to potentially BURN your scalp, which could be dangerous and result in long-term damage.

So what’s the best way to kill lice with minimal risks?

6 Best Ways to Kill Lice

Everyone has DIFFERENT methods for killing lice, and there are quite a few that you can try if you’re worried you might not be able to get rid of them (or that heat isn’t right for you). [2]

I will take you through some of the most popular and effective head lice treatments.

#1 Lice Comb

If you’re looking for a foolproof way to kill lice, your BEST bet is to use a lice comb. A lice comb can remove up to 99% of lice and eggs from the hair.

lady using a lice comb

To use a head lice comb, wet the hair and apply conditioner. This will make it EASIER to slide the comb through the hair and remove the head lice.

Next, use the lice comb to comb through small sections of hair, making sure to REMOVE any lice or eggs you find.

Pro Tip: You can also use a fine-toothed comb to remove head lice from the hair. Start by combing through small sections of the hair and looking for lice. If you find any, remove them with the comb.

#2 Lice Shampoo

You can also use lice-killing shampoo to eliminate lice. These shampoos contain CHEMICALS that kill head lice infestation. Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle carefully.

#3 Mayonnaise or Coconut Oil

You can also try a home remedy to eliminate lice. One POPULAR home remedy is to use mayonnaise or coconut oil to kill lice.

To use either of these methods, apply it to the hair and COVER it with a shower cap. Leave it on for 30 minutes, then shampoo the hair before rinsing it with warm water.

#4 Anise Oil

Another home remedy is to use anise oil, which can KILL head lice eggs. To use anise oil, mix it with water and apply it to the hair. Leave it on for 40 minutes. Shampoo the hair to remove the oil.

#5 White Vinegar

You can also try using vinegar to get rid of lice. To use vinegar, mix it with water and apply it to the hair. Cover with a shower cap and LEAVE it on for 30 minutes. Rinse the hair with clear water.

#6 Lemon Juice

Finally, you can try using lemon juice to get rid of lice. To use lemon juice, MIX it with water and apply it to the hair. Cover and leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse the hair with clear water.

There are a lot of different head lice treatments on the market that claim to be effective. But do they WORK? Should you use professional lice treatment?

Here are some more tips:

Do Chemical Lice Treatments Work?

The short answer is that most chemical lice treatments DO work because they contain chemicals that can treat lice and their eggs.

Pro Tip: Some natural head lice treatments can be just as effective. So, if you’re looking for a natural solution, you can try one of the home remedies listed above.

No matter your chosen method, the most important thing is to be patient and PERSISTENT. It can take several treatments to eliminate lice, so don’t give up if you don’t see results immediately.


Can a hair dryer completely eliminate lice?

No, a hair dryer can kill some lice and nits, but it isn’t 100% effective and should be used alongside other treatments.

Is it safe to use a hair dryer for lice treatment?

Yes, if done carefully. Ensure the hair dryer is on a warm setting and not too close to the scalp to avoid burns.

Should I solely rely on a hair dryer for treating lice?

No, it’s best to combine using a hair dryer with other lice treatments, such as special shampoos or combs, for comprehensive results.


So do hair dryers kill lice? Yes, but there is a RISK of burning your scalp, which could cause severe skin damage.

It’s risks like this that make more TRADITIONAL methods a more appealing option, and one that you should probably take over using a blow dryer.

So, while a blow dryer can kill lice, it’s not always the best or safest option. If you decide to use a blow dryer to remove lice, take the necessary precautions.

lady trying to blow dry the lice on her hair


  • 1. Hot Air Blows Away Head Lice Infestations. Published November 7, 2006. Accessed October 24, 2022.
  • 2. Head Lice Management – Child and Adolescent Healthcare – Pediatrics for Family Health. Accessed October 24, 2022.
About Sylvia K

Sylvia is one of the most joyful people you’ll ever meet. She is a high advocate of self-love and encourages women to take care of themselves both mentally and physically. She loves girly talks especially salon talks (a little gossip doesn’t hurt) and spends most of her free time on skincare or hair care. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES. Find her on LINKEDIN. Learn more about her HERE.

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