Can Lice Survive a Flat Iron? (Surely Not, Right?)

Getting rid of lice can be a tedious task and can feel like your just going in circles. Especially if you dont fully get rid of the infestation the first time around. Therefore many people, (mostly parents) are tearing their hair out to find out methods to get rid of lice. 

So can lice survive a flat iron? they can’t survive heat, heat kills lice but a flat iron really isn’t the right method to choose for lice removal. 

Although the heat will kill a large number of lice and nits. It also misses a large amount as most of these insects will be close to or even attached to the scalp which the iron cannot get to. If you even leave one egg or lice then you are letting the lice infection spread again. 

Let’s take a look at the effects of high temperatures and lice, and what are the risks of using a flat iron on children’s hair. 

Head Lice vs. Heat

Direct heat use on lice that are hatched will die as long as the temperature is above 125f then it will be hot enough to kill them. The problem is with using straighteners will eliminate the majority of lice but many lice and especially all nits will remain. 

Once these nits hatch the infestation will start again. There will always be surviving lice and nits continuing their life cycle and preventing you from completely clearing the head lice infestation.

lice eggs cycle


Is It Safe to Use a Flat Iron On Children 

Using a flat iron on your child’s hair comes with many risks that you may need to consider – 

  • Burning the scalp 
  • Damaging hair follicles with excessive heat 
  • Causing split ends or breakages 
  • Immature hair

A child’s skin burns a lot more easily than an adult’s. This is because their skin is thinner and still growing. So, the risk for an accidental burn is very high. Although a responsible adult could avoid causing any burns or damages, it is still dangerous to use a flat iron on a child’s delicate hair.

When using a flat iron, the heat can easily get too high and cause burns. There have been cases of children getting first and second-degree burns from using a flat iron. It is just not worth the risk to use one on a child’s hair.

There are other options out there that are much safer to use on kids, like curling irons with lower heat settings or even hot rollers. Just take the extra precautions and avoid using a flat iron on your child’s hair.

mother checking childs hair for lice

Flat Ironing as Lice Prevention

In theory, using a flat iron regularly can prevent a lice infestation. But as this would only remove hatched eggs, it would be recommended to use a live prevention shampoo or spray, this would be a much more effective prevention method.

Lice have a keen sense of smell. They are so contagious because they smell human blood and instinctively move from one head to another. 

If you can remove the nice smell with other scents then you can hopefully prevent them altogether, which is why lice repellent spray are recommended. My go-to product for my youngest is called
Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Daily Kid Conditioning Spray hasn’t let me down yet.

Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Daily Kid Conditioning Spray

Frequently Asked Questions – 

At What Temperature Will Lice Die? 

Lice will usually die from direct heat of temperatures above 125f which is the average heat of a flat iron or even a hairdryer.

Will a Hair Dryer Kill Lice ?

There are many urban legends out there about how to kill lice, but one of the most commonly-believed methods is using a hair dryer. The logic behind this method is that the heat will kill the lice, but unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

While it’s true that extreme heat can kill lice, it would also have to be hot enough to burn your scalp, which is obviously not safe. And even if you could manage to get your hair dryer that hot, it probably wouldn’t be effective anyway, since lice are very good at avoiding heat.

So while a hair dryer might be able to kill lice in theory, in practice, it’s just not going to work.

Read Here: Does Lice Only Like Clean Hair?


Hopefully, you have enough information to decide whether you feel a flat iron would be a sensible method of lice removal for your child. 

A flat iron can easily kill off lice and nits, as the high temperatures kill the insects instantly. Remember it will not kill off any lice the iron cannot reach.

So you may want to consider a different method to choose the most effective hair lice removal choice. 

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