Lice Salon Insights: Dandruff or Head Lice?

Often our mobile lice salon service gets texts and photos from past and prospective clients asking us to identify nits or lice. Most of the time, it’s just dandruff or other debris found on the scalp. Confusing the two is understandable, but preventable with a little education.

When our hair becomes itchy and dirty, we often mistake it for dandruff or dry scalp that’s has been causing the itch. But. if we’ve recently had lice or heard that it’s going around it’s easy to thinkg this itch is lice infestation or re-infestation. While dandruff can appear similar to nits and cause an itchy scalp, you can distinguish between dandruff and head lice. Read further to find out about a few key differences between the two. 

 

Meaning: Head Lice vs. Dandruff

 

Head lice are parasites that live and multiply on the scalp and suck human blood. An infestation of lice on your head can cause intense itching. If left untreated, the lice in your scalp will give birth to eggs resulting in a growth of such infestation. 

 

Whereas, sandruff refers to a common inflammatory skin condition that affects our scalp. It is also known as seborrheic dermatitis that causes the top layer of the skin to shed too quickly. Due to this shedding, we get a dry, itchy, and flaky scalp. 

 

Both these conditions are usually treatable at home, and a differentiation between the two can help a person choose the right treatment option. While Head lice can spread from person to person who comes in close contact, dandruff isn’t going to spread. 

 

 

Symptoms: Head Lice vs. Dandruff

 

Lice are more common among young children and people who are in close contact with children such as parents, teachers, daycare workers, and babysitters. 

 

Some common signs and symptoms of head lice include:

 

● Extreme itching on the scalp

● Scratching your head constantly

● Red spots on the scalp from excessive scratching

● Swollen lymph nodes

● Black tiny spots on the scalp or in the hair

● Teardrop-shaped lice eggs on the hair

 

Dandruff, on the other hand, may also develop on different parts of the body. Due to this, a person may notice scaly skin on the chest, neck, face, or ears. These areas may become dry, itchy, red, and painful. 

 

Symptoms of Dandruff include:

 

● Itchy scalp

● Flaky skin either very oily or very dry

● White or yellow colored flakes on clothes

● Red-colored patches on the scalp

● These symptoms might worsen during winter or dry weather

 

Causes: Head Lice vs. Dandruff

 

Head Lice are contagious, and you can get head lice when these parasites crawl onto your head. Different ways in which you may get head lice to include:

 

● Head to head contact with a person who already has a lice infestation

● Sharing your personal belongings such as a comb with someone who has had head lice

● Using any fabric items such as clothing, pillows, towels of an infected person. 

 

Dandruff can also have many causes, but unlike lice, they are not contagious; that is they do not pass from one person to another on contact. 

 

You may get dandruff due to:

 

● Irritated, oily skin

● A yeast-like fungus (the Malassezia fungus)

● Dry Skin

● Not shampooing your head often enough

● Sensitivity to hair care products

● Stress and fatigue

● Extreme weather conditions

 

 

Treatment Options: Head Lice vs. Dandruff

There can be different options for treatment that can be adapted to treat both these conditions. While dandruff can be treated with the help of OTC shampoos, it becomes hard to kill lice if an infestation is severe and you might need to consult a professional head lice removal salon. 

 

Treatments of Head Lice involve:

 

● Combing the nits out of the hair

● Chemical shampoos

● Dehydration by way of an FDA approved machine known as AirAlle

● Over the counter products

 

 

Whereas, dandruff is treated with the help of:

 

● Pyrithione zinc shampoos (such as Head and Shoulders)

● Tar-based shampoos

● Shampoos having salicylic acid

● Selenium Sulfide shampoos

Lice Salon Insights: The Takeaway

Whether you have lice or dandruff, we would suggest you get it treated immediately. Lice if left untreated can multiply in number and make the situation worse. Dandruff can also make your scalp dirty and can come back if left untreated. 

If home treatments do not work, call a lice salon before the situation becomes too challenging to handle and even more expensive.

Lice Charmers got me in quickly and only charged for the time they spent with me. The service was super friendly and informative also.
Loren C.
Loren C.
20:59 05 Jul 20
We had a really great experience. As great an experience as you can have when it comes to lice...I called to schedule and she was able to be At our house...
Dani T.
Dani T.
11:21 26 May 20
thank you , great service !!!!
Patsy F.
Patsy F.
23:13 15 Mar 20
Highly recommend Lex and her team's services! The convenience of having her come to your home can't be beat. This company is professional, efficient, and...
Jill E. B.
Jill E. B.
10:40 10 Mar 20
We discovered lice on our son on a Thursday night at 8pm. We were able to book a meeting with Lexi at 8am the next morning. Within 10 minutes of our online...
Samm E.
Samm E.
20:54 06 Mar 20
When the after care program at my son's school sent an email home about lice being present on another student, I was nervous that my kids had it. I'd heard so many tales of woe around lice from my friends and didn't want to risk multiple rounds of... infestation. I wanted a professional opinion. I called Lice Charmers and spoke to Lex. She was able to see us all the same day at their SE private clinic. Prior to our appointment, she gave me advice on how to treat our home and the protocol for informing close friends and school, if necessary. When we arrived for our appointment, Lex was friendly, informative and professional. She was able to examine all three of us without causing any discomfort and in a short amount of time. It turns out that is was a false alarm but I am so glad that we went to an expert to alleviate my worries and be on the safe side. If we ever do experience a lice outbreak, I will 100% give Lex and Lice Charmers a call. I've already told my friends and coworkers about our awesome experience.read more
Cheryl G.
Cheryl G.
18:37 03 Mar 20
Lex and Connor were such a pleasure to work with. I received a call immediately after texting for services. Connor answered all of my questions with patience and courtesy. Lex was able to come to our home the next day for screenings and luckily she... did because we all had it. Lex was friendly, knowledgeable and very meticulous, making sure we were all lice free. I would highly recommend their services. She left leaving us with instructions on how to screen and remove ourselves but, she also offers a 30 day guarantee to return if you were to see anything return. I'm relieved we did this because I've heard other stories from mom's who try kit after kit and they can't get rid of it.read more
Kimberly A.
Kimberly A.
21:26 28 Feb 20
Alexis and Conner made the experience of eradicating lice in our home easy. They first eradicated the myths that made me frustrated and exhausted with the...
Brenda G.
Brenda G.
11:15 20 Feb 20
Lice Charmers was amazing and made a tough situation manageable. We spoke with Connor at night and Lex arrived first thing in the morning, exactly on time! We had 1 mild case but are now lice free!!! I would absolutely use Lice Charmers again... ☺️read more
MB
MB
19:57 15 Feb 20
Lex was absolutely wonderful to work with. She was kind, patient and professional. The rates were reasonable compared to lice removal clinics. And it was so...
Lora R.
Lora R.
10:09 15 Feb 20
I could not have asked for a better experience dealing with lice. Lex was able to fit me in same day and was such a rock star. She took care of my daughter...
Sally R.
Sally R.
18:06 29 Jan 20
The team at Lice Charmers was wonderful. They communicated regularly about available times and about Lex's arrival time. Once she arrived, she did an amazing job delousing our family of four. I have very thick hair and she did a thorough job... removing the mother load of nits and lice. A week later, I found a live bug on my son which he probably got from a friend. Lex returned the next day to treat us again fulfilling their guarantee. Professional. Friendly. High-quality. Convenient. I would recommend Lice Charmers 100%.read more
Deborah P.
Deborah P.
01:42 22 Jan 20
The team at Lice Charmers was wonderful. They communicated regularly about available times and about Lex's arrival time. Once she arrived, she did an...
Deborah P.
Deborah P.
17:40 21 Jan 20
Lex is incredibly discreet and professional and we felt very comfortable with her in our home. Having lice is a stressful event! She was a comfort and a calm to both my daughter and I. I’ve recommended Lice Charmers to every parent in my child’s... elementary class.read more
Joanna T.
Joanna T.
22:39 17 Jan 20
Lex was so sweet with the kids and made the experience just about as positive as it could be. I have already recommended Lice Charmers to my friends and family.
Emily T.
Emily T.
02:48 13 Jan 20

In-Home Lice Removal Salon

One appointment and you’re lice free!

No devices, chemicals, products, or aftercare required.

503-505-6695
Book Now
Call
Text

Make An Appointment

Effective, private, and affordable treatment in the comfort of home.

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT