Does Lice Cause Hair Fall?

Head lice themselves do not typically cause hair loss. Head lice are small parasitic insects that infest the scalp and feed on small amounts of blood from the scalp. While their presence can cause itching and irritation of the scalp, which may lead to scratching, it’s usually the scratching that can contribute to hair damage or hair breakage.

Here’s how head lice and hair loss can be related:

  • Itching and Scratching: The most common symptom of a head lice infestation is itching, which occurs due to an allergic reaction to lice bites. Excessive scratching of the itchy scalp can lead to hair damage and hair breakage. This may give the appearance of hair loss in affected areas.
  • Infection: In rare cases, if an individual scratches their scalp to the point of breaking the skin, it can lead to a secondary bacterial infection, which may cause more severe skin and hair issues.

It’s important to note that head lice themselves do not infest the hair follicles or cause hair to fall out from the root. The primary impact is on the surface of the scalp, where the lice feed on blood and where the itching and scratching occur.

If you suspect a head lice infestation or experience itching and hair loss due to scratching, it’s advisable to address the infestation promptly and seek treatment to eliminate the lice. Over-the-counter treatments and prescription medications are available for this purpose. Additionally, avoiding excessive scratching and maintaining good hair and scalp hygiene can help minimize potential hair damage during a lice infestation.