Do Black people get lice? Come let’s find the truth

Do black people get lice or Can black people get lice, this is the most common question that arises in the minds of many Americans and Europeans when they think of head lice. The scientific name of head lice is Pediculus humanus capitis.

Head lice are really very troublesome. Whenever a person is infested with head lice, he or she tends to scratch their head a lot. Also, the eggs of head lice, which are called nits get attached to the bottom of the hair strands.

The scratching of the head due to head lice and also the nits which get deposited in the hair strands can be really annoying for the people suffering from it. This situation irks both the kids and the adults alike.

You can’t really concentrate on anything when these little creatures keep crawling throughout your head. Also, they keep sucking your blood to keep themselves warm and to survive. They also produce sores on the surface of the scalp.

Head lice spread from one person to another person by direct contact of hair, or when a person is in close proximity to another person having head lice or when you use the combs or hair brushes of a person having head lice.

When a person suffers from head lice, others tend to avoid this person in order to avoid catching the head lice. Some ignorant people might even crack jokes or comment or insult a person having head lice. This makes a person having head lice traumatized and worried.

Do black people get lice?

do black people get lice


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This is the hundred dollar question that many people ask. The simple and sweet answer to this question is yes. Black people also can get lice. But the incidence of lice in black people or African Americans is much less in comparison to white people or Caucasians.

Studies show that the incidence of head lice in blacks is 0.3%, but the incidence of head lice in whites is 10.4 % which is almost more than 10 times when compared to the blacks.

The reasons for black people to have a lesser incidence of lice:

Many research studies have been conducted on this to know the exact reason for black people to have fewer head lice. But, the exact reason or cause for this phenomenon is not found yet.

But, there are some factors which are thought to play a vital role in influencing the incidence of head lice in the black people. Let us look at some of them.

Hair structure:

Black people and white people have different hair structures. The hair of the Caucasians or white people is round. The hair of the black people is oval.

As per studies, the claws of the head lice are well accustomed to getting attached to the round hair strands of the white people.

They find it really difficult to move across the oval hair of the blacks or African Americans. This is one reason for the blacks having fewer head lice than the whites.

Tight curls of the black people:

If you have ever seen any black person or African American, you might have noticed that the hair of these people has tight curls. The head lice find it really hard to move through these tight curls.

Oiling of hair:

Caucasians or the white people generally don’t have the habit of oiling the hair and leaving it on. Even if they oil their hair, they wash it off with shampoo the next day or within few hours. White people don’t go out with oiled hair generally.


But, black people like to oil their hair. In fact, they even move outside with oiled hair. This is part of their culture. This is just similar to many other Asian countries people who like to oil their hair.

When you oil your hair, the head lice find it very slippery and they cannot attach to the hair of the black people properly due to their oiled hair. This is yet another reason for black people to have fewer head lice.

Straightening of hair:

Whenever a black person suspects that he or she is having head lice, they immediately straighten their hair with hot irons or hair straighteners.

The heat applied to the hair with these hair straighteners or hot irons kill the head lice. This is another cause for African Americans to have fewer head lice.

Shaving the head:

If a black mom finds out that her kids are having head lice, then immediately she shaves their head.It is very difficult to manage head lice in the black people. So,she does this to get rid of all the head lice.

As the head is shaved and all the hair is lost, the head lice don’t have any more support to grow and hide. So, due to the measures taken by blacks, blacks do get head lice very less often.

What to do if black people get head lice?

The way of getting rid of head lice is the same for black people and also the white people. You need to follow all the measures of getting rid of lice. Let us look at some of them.

Apply coconut oil to your hair:

Just apply coconut oil to your hair and then comb your hair using specialized combs designed to get rid of head lice and nits. You can find them in any Asian stores or Indian stores.

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Coconut oil makes your hair greasy and slippery and helps you to comb the head lice into the head lice comb very easily.

Use head lice shampoos:

There are many different shampoos available in the market to kill the head lice. Shampoo your hair with head lice shampoo’s regularly to get rid of all the head lice.

Wash your hair at least 3 times a week for good results. When a person in the family develops head lice, all the other people in the family also need to use these head lice shampoos to avoid infestation with the head lice.

Use of waxes in hair:

There are certain types of waxes in the market that are available to apply to the hair and scalp. These waxes cause suffocation to the head lice and help in killing them.

Tea tree oil:

Many people claim that tea tree oil is a very effective home remedy for getting rid of head lice. There is no proof for this remedy.

But there are no side effects too. So, you can just try out this remedy to control the head lice to some extent. Just add a teaspoon of tea tree oil to the coconut oil and massage your hair and scalp with it.

Cut your hair short or shave your head:

If you are a guy or boy, you can shave your head to get rid of head lice. If you are a girl you can cut your hair short, so that your hair becomes manageable and you can inspect the head lice and get rid of them.

Don’t share your combs with others:

Sharing the hair styling equipment like combs, hair brushes transmits the head lice from one person to another. So, make sure not to share your personal hair care stuff with others.

Now you got an answer to your question “Do black people get lice?” or “Can black people get lice?“. Although, black people get head lice very rarely, you need to take proper precautions to avoid getting them and also treat them promptly to get rid of head lice.

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