How To Treat Fleas In Human Hair?

Written by Annie Jangam

If you are a pet owner, you are no stranger to fleas. These tiny parasites live on the fur of the animals and suck their blood for sustenance. However, fleas could infest and bite humans too. Although they do not live long in human hair, they do spread disease and cause allergies. Here, we discuss how you can fight the fleas in your hair. We also will look at how you can prevent them in the first place. Keep reading.

Can Fleas Live In Human Hair?

Fleas generally cannot live in human hair. While most species prefer to live on the furs of animals, they can use humans as temporary vectors. In such cases, fleas can infest and bite humans. You may get infected if there is a serious case of flea infestation in your environment. Fleas can transmit various diseases and cause allergies and must be treated promptly.

Are you wondering if you have been infected by fleas? Find out how you can know in the section below.

How Do You Know If You Have Been Infected By Fleas?

Intense scalp itching followed by the appearance of red welts, bumps, or pus-filled blisters (usually on the neck or scalp) can be symptoms of flea bites. Individuals allergic to flea saliva may experience irritation, redness, and scalp inflammation. If the irritation and redness last up to 3 days or more, consult your doctor.

It is difficult to distinguish between human and animal fleas without a microscope or the proper knowledge of their anatomy. Hence, you must treat them if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above.

How To Treat Fleas In Human Hair?

  • Shampoo: A shampoo washes the fleas from the hair roots. Gently massage the shampoo into your hair and wait for 2 to 3 minutes. You can also use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to remove the fleas from your hair. Some believe certain shampoo ingredients may irritate the fleas and help in their removal.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Adding tea tree essential oil to your shampoo can help curb flea infestation. The oil is traditionally used (in its diluted form) to eliminate fleas in pets and on carpets, couches, etc. Anecdotal evidence suggests that tea tree oil is effective in removing fleas from pets and human hair.
  • Baking Soda: This is a natural, non-toxic remedy to treat fleas in human hair.

You will need

  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 10 ml of water


  1. Mix the baking soda and water to make a thick paste.
  2. Apply this mixture to the scalp. You can use your fingertips to gently massage the scalp.
  3. Leave the mixture on for 10 to 15 minutes
  4. Rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: It is widely believed that rinsing your hair with ACV can help eliminate fleas. Dilute the ACV with water in a 1:1 ratio and spritz the mixture into your hair using a spray bottle. Leave this on for 15 minutes and wash your hair with warm water. This remedy may also help reduce scalp itchiness.

If your symptoms persist despite these treatments, seek medical intervention. Once you treat the fleas in your hair, you may follow these precautions to prevent their recurrence.

Precautions To Prevent Fleas

  1. It is possible you have pets that could have been infected. Give them a bath with a specially formulated shampoo and a flea comb to get rid of any fleas or ticks. Protect yourself by wearing gloves while bathing your pet. A serious infestation would warrant a veterinarian’s advice for proper treatment.
  2. Wash your pillows, linen, towels, clothes, and other household items. Also wash all your pet beds, toys, and mats.
  3. Disinfect your hats and headgear or accessories by keeping them in sunlight for a few hours. You can even spray tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar to remove any fleas.
  4. Vacuum your carpets, curtains, rugs, and couches. Call pest control if there is a serious infestation.
  5. Clean or close any open garbage spaces around your home as they could be a source of flea infestation too.


Fleas can cause intense itching, inflammation, and skin redness. In most cases, you can eliminate fleas with shampoos and home remedies such as baking soda, ACV, or tea tree oil. If your symptoms persist, consult your doctor and take the appropriate treatment. Keeping your pets and surroundings free from fleas is the best mode of prevention.

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Annie Jangam is a Molecular Biologist with 7 years of research experience in Rice Functional Genomics and Nutrient Signalling with International Publications in Abiotic stress, Nitrogen, and G-protein signaling. She specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. She has been an avid reader since childhood and is passionate about stories that help decipher life and its meaning. She believes in Human Rights for all and that one should "love others like we love ourselves."