Can Black People Get Lice in Their Hair

Can Black People Get Lice in Their Hair?

It is a common saying that black people do not have lice in their hair. Well, not until you begin to itch continuously then you wonder about the basis of the saying. In this article, we will discuss the basis of this saying, while answering your question can black people get lice in their hair?.


Hair lice are tiny insects that live in human hair. Hair lice are not life-threatening, but they can impose some discomfort and can spread easily from one person to another, especially if you share your hair tools like comb and scissors.


Lice are parasites that live on the host’s blood and find warmth from the host body’s heat.
So long as you have blood and can provide warmth with your hair, you can have lice, regardless of your nationality. So yes, black people can have lice in their hair.

BASIS OF THE SAYING, ”Can Black People get lice in their Hair”

The myth which has grown so common, especially among black people is that they cannot have lice in their hair, and as we have established, this is not true. However, there is some basis to this belief. 

In some research, it has been stated that hair lice are not prevalent in black people, for 2 major reasons: 

  • Hair texture.
  • Hair products.


It has been observed that naturally, black people have tighter curly hair and this makes it difficult for hair lice to live in. The hair shaft in such curly hair is oval, whereas, in other hair types, it is circular.

The shape of the hair shaft gives black people an advantage over other hair types as hair lice find it easy to grab onto the circular hair shaft. However, the oval hair shaft does not make it impossible for the hair lice to grip on, it only makes it difficult.


Most of the hair products that black people use are often made with high oil content. This is so that it can help protect their delicate hair and manage their curls or kinky.
A study revealed that household products such as olive oil and mayonnaise can be used in treating hair lice.

In hair products used by black people, ingredients such as petroleum jelly are found. Petroleum jelly makes hair smoother and less brittle, because of its oily nature. This makes it difficult for hair lice to grip on the hair.

Another research showed that black people are more likely to use more hair products, as compared to other women.



Now you know even black people can have lice, it might be difficult, but it is possible. Your worry now might be “do I have hair lice?” 

Here are a few ways you could check for hair lice:

  • Check the scalp and crown of your head.
  • Check around and behind your ears.
  • Check the neckline behind your head.
  • Checking these areas yourself can be difficult.
  • You could always ask a friend to help you out.


You have checked yourself and you probably found that you do not have hair lice. Nevertheless, here are some signs you should look out for:

  • Itching or tickling feeling in your hair.
  • Feeling crawling movements in your hair.
  • You might have trouble sleeping because hair lice are most active when it’s dark.
  • Sores on your head from scratching, which sometimes leads to an infection.


It might be difficult to have hair lice in your hair as a black person, but it is even more difficult to treat it when you do.
Because of the nature of your hair, especially if it is kinky, treating hair live might be a bit different for black people.

Regardless, people with extensions or wigs will have to remove them before treatment. In this way, getting rid of hair lice will be a bit easier.

After you have gotten rid of your hair extensions, here are a few steps you could follow to get rid of hair lice:

  1. Wet your hair and apply some conditioner, this will help soften and detangle your hair.
  2. Use a fine-tooth comb to comb your hair into sections. The comb is used to detect lice and their eggs.
  3. Apply a lice treatment or any home remedy such as peppermint or coconut oil.
  4. Use the fine-tooth comb again, to remove hair lice.
  5. Wash off the products you have applied to your hair and rinse off any excess.
  6. You should check your hair 8-12 hours after treatment for any visible hair lice.
  7. Avoid washing your hair at least 2 days after treatment, but continue to comb through your hair once a day, to remove dead lice. 
  8. Also, make sure that no other person in the family has hair lice to prevent the continuous spread.


Getting hair lice as a black person is very rare, but also very possible. It is rare because of the unique texture of your hair, which makes it difficult for hair lice to grip on. You should however be aware and continue to check for any signs of hair lice infestation while keeping healthy hair hygiene.

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