Why Lice Shampoos Don't Always Work!

Woman scrubs head with lice shampoo in the shower.
Air pockets caused by the foaming action of shampoo and lice resistance are the biggest reasons why lice shampoos are becoming less and less effective.

Shampoo lice treatments have been so commonplace for so long that when a child gets lice, the first thing that comes to a parents mind is to go to the store and buy “lice shampoo”. When a person hears “lice shampoo” they think of a strong shampoo that will quickly kill the infestation and make them feel much cleaner afterwards. Shampoos may among the most popular treatment methods but this doesn’t mean they are the most effective.

Shampoo contains ingredients that create a soapy lather when scrubbed into the hair. This foaming action creates many bubbles and air pockets, and these air pockets can provide a safe haven for bugs. Not only can some bugs be missed by the treatment, those that do get coated may be resistant and survive the treatment. Overuse or misuse of these products can lead to hair loss and skin irritation due to the harsh chemicals and pesticides. These chemicals can dry out the hair making it difficult to comb.
Despite what the packaging of these lice shampoos may say, combing is an essential part of the treatment process. Combing the hair with a fine lice comb is necessary because no treatment will kill all of the nits and they will remain glued to the hair strand. The chemicals in these shampoos can also damage the hair and create split ends which makes combing even more difficult. If left on the hair for too long the shampoo can dry out the nits and make them harder to remove from the hair 

Woman uses WipeOut Lice Treatment on her Hair to Kill Lice
A conditioner based lice treatment like WipeOut immerses and suffocates head lice without the use of damaging chemicals.


A conditioner based treatment like WipeOut has many benefits in comparison to lice shampoos. Just as conditioner clings on to your hair and absorbs into the hair shaft, WipeOut clings to the lice and penetrates their exoskeleton. Lice become immersed in the WipeOut and suffocate. Since conditioner does not lather it can be easily packed onto the scalp, leaving lice with no place to hide. Like a regular conditioner, WipeOut also provides the added benefit of making the hair soft and silky. This prepares the hair to be combed with a fine lice comb afterwards. This conditioning action also helps to loosen nits and make them easier to remove.

The biggest difference between a conditioner based lice treatment and shampoo based treatment is the use of chemicals and their effect on hair. WipeOut does not contain these harmful chemicals and can be used as many times as needed or for peace of mind. WipeOut instead contains many essential oils that can act as a deep conditioner for the hair and soothe scalp irritation.  The killing process with a conditioner base is a physical reaction (suffocating the louse) rather than a chemical one. The same chemicals and pesticides have been used in lice shampoos for decades which by now lice have grown resistant to. A new killing method is needed to eliminate the strains of lice that are stronger than ever, and a conditioner based method (along with a good comb!) is the way to go.