If I get lice do I have to cut my dreadlocks? - Dreadlocks FAQ's

No, you shouldn't need to cut your dreads, I've heard from several people that have been able to kill lice (also called nits) and their eggs and avoid cutting their dreadlocks. Let's hope this never happens to your dreads, but just in case it does, it's good to know how to get rid of them.

dreadlocks bugsWhile having dreads doesn't make you more prone to getting bugs in your hair, getting bugs does present more of a problem when you do have dreads. Most people assume that they have to shave their dreads off, which in my opinion is a fate worse than... well...a whole helluvalot!

So if by posting these tips we are able to save just one head of knotty locks, then it is well worth it.



A quick but important disclaimer to cover our arse...These are methods that have worked for others who have gotten lice and I am relaying this information for your benefit. However use these methods at your own risk, Dread Head HQ is in no way responsible if you have an allergic reaction to vinegar or get cayenne pepper in your eyes or if anything else completely unforeseeable but genuinely terrible happens. With that out of the way...


Here's what you should do if you get lice or nits in your dreadlocks :


Soak your dreads in rubbing alcohol and tie a large plastic bag over your dreads, any bag will do as long as it keeps the fumes on your head. Let your dreads soak for 30 minutes. After they soak rinse your dreads really really well. Repeat all this again in 3 days and you shouldn't see any more buggies.

Method 2:

by Joshua D. Freedman

(I received this email not to long ago I'll paste it just like he sent it)

Hi, Hate to bother you, but I had Cow Lice once... (lovely, I know) and this worked INSTANTLY.

  1. Get big bucket
  2. Fill with vinegar
  3. Dump in bottle of Cayenne pepper.
  4. Dunk your head in the bucket but MAKE SURE you don't get any on your FACE OR EYES. Get it on the back and everything.
  5. Put a towel on your head and leave everything in for several hours. It does not hurt but is a little stinky; perhaps wait outside.
  6. Wash out. It will kill EVERYTHING.

P.S. - Cow Lice are twice the size of regular lice, you get them from sleeping in cow fields. Thank you for a great site: Joshua D. Freedman ----Additional Tips by Dustin---- -Holy (expletive deleted) even if your eyes are closed and that shit touches your eyes it burn like a mother. Pour that from the front with your head tilted back or be upside down. -Do not do it over a sink. You need lots of moving air and you need to be far away from the fumes. My lung burned like a bitch. -Get a towel rap it around your neck. Even with that bag tight it still leaks. -When you take off the bag...look out. Attack of the FUMES.

Method 3

by "Tricked"

Mix vinegar and peroxide, equal parts. With 1 half part of rubbing alcohol. Soak your head completely. Put a plastic grocery bag over your head and let soak for no less than around 5-8hrs. The longer the better. This mixture works every time, unless you've had bugs for quite a while and are infested, in that case there's no hope. There's no worry of rehatching eggs either. The vinegar kills them all, so no need to resoak. You do need to make sure to wash all your clothes and hats though. If you have a house or car you should buy the rid bed spray also. Hope everything works out.


Method 4

by Critter

It worked wonders. All of those essential oils are supposed to kill the lice and coconut oil prevents lice. Plus it gets rid of the vinegar smell.

  1. Drenched my hair in vinegar, put a shower cap on and left it for 30 minutes then rinsed. Vinegar kills the lice.
  2. Put shaving cream (Barbosol-the foamy kind) on my head for 30 minutes then rinsed. Shaving Cream kills the eggs.
  3. Then I made my own homemade lice killer and preventer:
  • 15 drops Eucalyptus
  • 5 drops marjoram
  • 5 drops rosemary
  • 5 drops lavender
  • 5 drops peppermint
  • 3/4c. pure unscented coconut oil (before melting)
  • 1/4c. dreadhead dread soap
I lathered, left on for 30 minutes, and washed out with more dread soap.