Can Black People Get lice? Everything You Need to Know!

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Can Black People Get lice

Can Black people get lice? Yes, black people can get lice. Head lice have a challenge holding onto coiled hair. As an outcome, Black people with coiled hair and any other race with this hair type are less vulnerable to head lice. Blacks can still get head lice infestations (1). 

Nonetheless, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) articulate that Africans and Black Americans get head lice pretty less often than Caucasians. 

The fact is that most head lice have claws that more effortlessly grip onto uncoiled hair like that of the whites. Veracx et al. (2012) demonstrate that some head lice can now exist in coiled hair. This is because head lice were found in Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Senegal (2).

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The first thought that pops into a parent’s cognition when a child complains that their scalp is irritated is head lice. This turns into an anxiety-causing situation since lice are extremely challenging and annoying to get rid of. 

Lice are small insects with no wings and feed on blood. These insects are extremely infectious. Even though grown-ups may also get lice infestation, children are at a higher risk because they can get them at kindergartens and schools. 

However, lice aren’t perilous, but they can result in itchiness and inflammation of the scalp. This essay is essential for people of all ethnicities and ages because it unveils the facts behind head lice.

A recent study on human lice biology has emphasized the enduring deliberation concerning body and head lice speciation but using newfangled apparatuses of enzyme and DNA analysis. 

These studies have demonstrated that body and head lice from a similar geographical area could be more proximately allied than insects residing in a similar ecological niche in other areas. 

Nonetheless, the central part of the research over the previous decade included medical aspects like spread, appearance, identification, and treatment of stubborn strains within lice populations. 

Despite progress, a better understanding of louse biology is relevant because the existing therapies fail, and these insects remain probable vectors of illnesses to millions.

Head lice influx is a usual challenge and leads to high anxiety levels among childcare workers and parents. In this article, I try to make clarification on issues concerning diagnosis and handling of head lice and additional recommendations for handling head lice. 

Head lice are irritating, though they don’t spread infectious diseases. Control and management of lice entail detection with a moist comb procedure. Treatment is often with an archetypal pediculicide. 

There are several alternatives to removing lice, but these procedures haven’t been declared effective. Can Clack People Get head lice? Is it a true story or a myth? Let’s dig deeper and know the truth.

What Are Head Lice?

Head lice are small bugs that feed on gore from people’s scalps. Head lice infestation is more pronounced in children and often emerges from the direct transmission of the bugs from the hair of an infested child to the other child’s hair. 

Clinicians state that head lice infestation isn’t a sign of poor sanitation or personal hygiene. Head lice don’t convey viral or bacterial illnesses.

Signs of head lice

1. Itching 

The most habitual sign of lice infestation is scalp itching and irritation in the ears and neck. This is usually an outcome of allergic skin reactions to lice bites. When an individual experiences lice infestation for the first instance, itching might not happen until six weeks after the influx.

2. Lice on the scalp and lice eggs on hair shafts  

The bugs can be visible though very difficult to see since they are minute, move fast, and avoid direct light. They stick on hair shafts when incubating, making them hard to spot. Empty lice are easier to spot since they have a light color and move further from the scalp.

3. Sores in the shoulders, scalp, and neck  

Due to irritation and itching, the infected person scratches the neck, shoulder, and scalp. This results in small, red sores that sometimes get a bacterial infection and become messy.

How Do They Spread?

Head lice can crawl, but they don’t fly or jump. The spread of a head louse from one affected person to another is habitually through head-to-head contact, habitually among school youngsters or within a family where people have a close link when they play or study (3). 

Indirect spread is infrequent, but they can be transmitted from one person to another by hair accessories, scarves & hats, Headphones, pillows, towels, combs, brushes, and upholstery. Indirect transmission often occurs when people store clothes together (3). According to Frydenberg, & Starr, (2003), pets like cats and dogs have no records of spreading these bugs.

How to check for lice: Step By Step Guide

Step1: Scour the hair conditioner onto brushed dry hair to make it hard for the lice to run around or grip the hair firmly.

Step 2: Systematically comb hair sections with a fine-tooth head bug comb.

Step 3: Rub the conditioner from the dry hair comb onto a tissue paper or towel.

Step 4: Look onto the towel or tissue paper and comb for eggs and lice.                         

Step 5: Rewind the combing procedure for each head section not less than four times.                     

Step 6: If eggs or lice are found, the individual should be treated to avoid heavy infestation.

How to treat head lice in hair

1. Topical Pediculicides  

More than twenty bug control products can be classified into four groups according to their functional compound. Synthetic pyrethroids, herbal products, pyrethrins, and organophosphates are the four classes. Pediculicides kill eggs and lice and can be applied to wet or dry hair and then rinsed with warm water after the prescribed time.

2. Wet combing  

Pediculicides aren’t suitable for children below two years. Hence, mechanical lice elimination with a fine-toothed comb is the option. The procedure is carried out on moist hair with a hair conditioner in the procedure described above. This is done until several days after the last louse was spotted.

3. Oral therapy  

The latest trial of Bactrim (oral trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole), added to permethrin rinse, improved the cure rate by 89%. Ivermectin was also proven effective.

The best treatment for head lice for Blacks 

  1. Using a hot oil approach two times a month
  2. Cleaning the hair at least once a week or daily if possible
  3. Smearing a heat-protecting compound to moist hair before styling it
  4. Iron-combing and combing the hair with a ceramic

The best treatment for head lice for Non-blacks (1)

1. Mechanical removal  

This is the comb and conditioner strategy. The conditioner is applied to dry hair. Hair is then covered with a conditioner and detangled with a comb to separate sections. A long-toothed metal comb is used to comb through the hair sections and remove the lice and their eggs until no more lice appear on the tissue.

2. Chemical method  

The hair is combed to detangle it using a metallic head louse comb. Chemical compounds containing natural and synthetic insecticides are then applied to kill the lice. A prescription from a pharmacist is good before applying the killer chemicals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do people in Africa get lice?

Yes, they get lice. Research in Africa collected lice samples from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Senegal, and Burundi.

Who is more likely to get lice?

Children of elementary and preschool age and caretakers are more likely to get head lice.

How do you check for lice in black hair?

To check for lice in black hair, check the hair often, follow regulations on applying treatments, repetition of control measures, frequent combing, applying synthetic chemical insecticides, and applying essential oils.

Are head lice black?

Head lice are either dark gray, brown, or white. They are likely found behind the ears and back of the neck.

Are lice eggs Black or white?

Head lice eggs are small and oval-shaped. They are yellowish-white in color attached to the hair shafts’ sides.

What are black bugs in hair?

If you spot black insects in your child’s hair, you might be dealing with head lice. Lice probably blend color with the skin of the person they are infesting.

Concluding thoughts…

This paper proves that head lice infestation on blacks isn’t a myth. Blacks are also vulnerable to head lice. For people struggling to defeat head lice, you can apply the steps I just outlined and see the results. For more alternatives, consult a pharmacist to help you get the proper treatment.


1. Burgess, I. F. (2004, February). Human Lice and Their Control. Retrieved February 16, 2022, from ResearchGate website:

2. Frydenberg, A., & Starr, M. (2003, September). Head lice. Retrieved February 16, 2022, from ResearchGate website:

3. Veracx, A., Boutellis, A., Merhej, V., Diatta, G., & Raoult, D. (2012). Evidence for an African Cluster of Human Head and Body Lice with Variable Colors and Interbreeding of Lice between Continents. PLoS ONE, 7(5), e37804.

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Hey there, Lovelace Gyamfi also known as Love of LDIM here - biomedical scientist by day, master blogger by night. When I'm not micropipetting my way through the lab, you can find me crafting witty blog posts and analyzing Forex trends like there's no tomorrow. Some might say I have a slight split personality, but I prefer to think of it as having the best of both worlds - brains and creativity!

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