Will Salons Cut Your Hair If You Have Lice (No They Won’t)

Do you also get an itchy feeling when you think of lice? Good to know that I’m not the only one!

I’m not only here to talk about lice and make you itch… Today’s question came from a reader of the blog and asked me a very particular question. She asked if salons will cut your hair if you have lice.

Now, I didn’t know the answer, but I promised her to stop by my hairdresser and ask her if salons cut hair if someone has lice, or what the general policy is. After that, I told the girl that asked me the question of what the answer was…

Now, I think this information is not only good to have for her, but good to have for everyone so that’s why today’s blog goes about whether or not salons cut your hair when lice are involved.

Will salons cut your hair if you have lice?

When a hairdresser finds out that someone they’re about to work on has lice, she simply informs them about the fact that he/she has lice and that she can’t cut her hair right now. Due to legal and safety reasons, hairdressers cannot proceed. They have to stop and cannot cut your hair when you have lice.

She then goes on to tell them how they should proceed now they know that they have lice. The hairdresser tells the client how to treat lice and what to do at home to prevent it from happening again. It would be annoying for the client when this happens again, so normally hairdressers will educate you.

When it is a child who has lice, the hairdresser normally brings the parent to the chair to let them see that their child has lice. They naturally will tell them that it is nothing to be ashamed of because it is more common than most people think. They then proceed (just like I told you above) with educating you and they will tell you which or where you can buy a lice removal treatment.

So, will salons cut your hair when you have lice?
No. Due to legal and safety reasons, your hair cannot be cut when you have lice.

Can a hairstylist see lice?

Yes, a hairstylist can normally see lice when he or she combs through your hair. Below it is explained in greater detail, but before they start cutting your hair, they examine your hair with a comb. They comb it to see how your hair falls naturally and to see if they spot anything that needs adressing.

How do hairstylists find out that you (or your child) have lice?

Normally a hairstylist will comb through your hair to find out. They always comb through your hair to see how your hair naturally falls, but it is also a great way to go in and spot anything that they need to be concerned about. 

They will comb through your hair and section it out so that they can check the main areas (hot spots) such as behind your ears, the fore-and back of your head. 

As I said above, they also comb through your hair to see how it falls naturally and to talk to you about what kind of haircut you’re looking for. So, don’t panic when you see that your hairstylist combs through your child’s hair (or that of your own). It is not always an indicator that you have lice. 

Can you get rid of lice by cutting your hair?

I’m sorry for telling you this, but cutting your hair (or going for a really short haircut) will not help you in getting rid of the lice. Even a buzz cut cannot help you. This is because lice live on the basis of the hair and on the scalp. This is also where the nits are laid, so a short haircut or something like that will not help you because this will not get close enough to make the lice and nits go away.

Shaving your (or your child’s head) is something that hairdressers will look out for. If the hair you say that you want to shave your head because of itchiness or something like that, they will treat it as a red flag and examine your hair deeper than normal to find out what is happening. 

How to proceed if you have lice

The good news is that when your hairdresser finds lice, you don’t have to go to extremes to get rid of ’em. There are enough treatments that you can buy so that you can get rid of the lice. Below I’ll put some treatments with some information so that you can pick one that best suits your needs.

Malathion
This is also known as Ovide. You simply apply the medication to your hair and proceed to rub it into your hair and onto your scalp. Really get it in there. Especially on the area behind the ears and in your neck. Then let your hair air dry (don’t use heat and don’t cover up your hair). When that all is done you have to wait for 12 hours whereafter you can go and rinse out your hair. You can even shampoo it with your regular shampoo if you want to.

Finally, comb the wet hair with a fine metal dust comb. This is done to remove the dead lice and nits. Comb your hair daily for 14 days after the start of the treatment. If the lice remain present (although it said it in lesser numbers) repeat this treatment after a week.

Ivermectin lotion
Apply this lotion to dry hair and onto your scalp. After that, you should wait for about 10 minutes before you go and rinse it out. You only need one treatment which makes it a really effective medicine to kill the lice. 

Caution: Do not use on children below the age of 6 months.
After you’ve rinsed out the product, nit combing is not required. Just put it on your dry hair and scalp for 10 minutes, rinse out with water and you’re good to go.

Benzyl alcohol lotion (ulesfia)
Apply this lotion to your scalp and dry hair. When you’ve completely saturated your hair and scalp, you should let it sit for 10 minutes. When that is done you can go and rinse your hair with water.

When you’ve done the above, you can go in with a fine-tooth comb to remove the treated lice and nits from the hair and scalp. If this doesn’t get rid of all the lice and nits you can repeat this treatment in a couple of days. 

Caution: Do not use on children below the age of 6 months.

Overall advice if you have lice

You should know that not only your hair but all personal items that youçe used are exposed to the lice. That’s why it is advised that you wash all personal items in hot water or are dry-cleaned so that you know for sure that there are no longer any lice and nits in your environment. If you go to a dry cleaner, please let them know why you got in. This way they can proceed with caution so they can make sure that the clothing from other people is not going to be infected.

Final thoughts

So, will salons cut your hair if you have lice? By now you know the answer is no. No, salons will not cut your hair if you have lice. The hairstylist will normally check if you have lice, and if you do, they will tell you this. They can’t give you a haircut due to legal and safety reasons. They will tell you what you need to do to get rid of them and they are happy to give you advice!

Don’t be scared to talk about this subject with your hairdresser! It is better to be safe than sorry and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Just get rid of the lice and nits and then go for a fresh haircut!

Reading material

If you found this article helpful/interesting, there are other articles that you might be interested in too. Just click on the link below that you find most interesting and start reading!

How does shampoo kill lice?
Why does your hair grow thicker on one side?