Fleas In Human Hair: Treatments And Home Remedies

Yes, these pesky parasites can attack humans too. Here's how you can get rid of them!

Reviewed by Tiffany Young, Certified Trichology Practitioner Tiffany Young Tiffany YoungCertified Trichology Practitioner facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MSc Annie Jangam MSc linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Monomita Chakraborty MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
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If you have a pet, you know they are at risk of getting fleas. However, finding fleas in human hair is even more worrying. Fleas feed on the blood of their hosts. Typically fleas infest pets, but they may bite humans. Though they cannot survive on human hair for long, fleas can cause allergies and transmit diseases. The following article discusses how to get rid of fleas in your hair. You will also find prevention tips for flea infestation in your hair. Take a look.

protip_icon Fun Fact
Fleas unlike lice are known to be able to jump 30,000 times without stopping.

Can Fleas Live In Human Hair?

Fleas in human hair
Image: Shutterstock

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.

There also are different types of fleas you might come into contact with, especially if you have pets. Being aware of them can help you take effective control and prevention measures. The four common types of fleas are (1):

  • Cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis): Commonly found on cats, but can also infect dogs and other animals
  • Dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis): Primarily affects dogs, but can also feed on other animals
  • Human flea (Pulex irritans): Prefers to feed on human blood, but can also be found on domestic animals
  • Rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis): Infests rats and is known for transmitting serious diseases like the bubonic plague

protip_icon Did You Know?
The beaver flea is the world’s largest flea and is about 11 mm.

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?

Fleas cause scalp itching
Image: Shutterstock

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 or a dermatology expert.

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. Scroll down to find out how to get rid of fleas!

How To Treat Fleas In Human Hair?

  • Shampoo:
Regular shampooing can reduce flea infestation
Image: Shutterstock

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. Research suggests that tea tree oil is effective in managing fleas (2).
  • Baking Soda: This is a natural, non-toxic remedy to treat fleas in human hair.

You will need

Process

  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:
Rinsing hair with apple cider vinegar reduces flea infestation
Image: Shutterstock

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

Giving your pet a bath with a specially formulated shampoo prevents fleas
Image: Shutterstock
  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.

Infographic: Flea Infestation

Fleas are a common nuisance that can cause pain, allergies, and even disease transmission in extreme situations. Although the ones that infest pets do not have humans as hosts, this does not imply they are wholly harmless. They may feed on your blood and live on human hair in certain circumstances.

Learn more about fleas, their lifecycle, what they may do to your pets, and typical treatment methods in the infographic below.

fleas in human hair (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Fleas in human hair lead to serious issues like scalp itching, redness, and inflammation. Since fleas feed on blood, they can infest human hair and scalps. They can bite the scalp and cause adverse reactions and diseases. Thankfully, there are some effective ways and shampoos to get rid of fleas. You can also try home remedies made with natural ingredients like apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and tea tree oil. The best way to prevent a flea infestation in your hair is to keep your pets and surroundings clean as well as be mindful of overall hygiene and hair care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will fleas lay eggs in human hair?

No, fleas don’t lay eggs in human hair. Fleas cannot breed living off human blood. They lay eggs in cats, dogs, and other pet animals.

How long do fleas live on humans?

Fleas cannot live long in human hair, and our strands are not thick enough for them.

Will fleas go away on their own?

No. Once fleas find their host animal, they can stay on them, lay eggs, and cause an infestation.

Where do fleas hide in the bedroom?

Fleas need blood to survive. They will be found on animals or humans. But check your pillowcases, sheets, and mattress – as they can survive on inanimate objects for about 24-48 hours without blood.

Key Takeaways

  • Fleas cannot survive in human hair, but they can temporarily infect humans and cause allergies.
  • A flea bite can cause an intense itching on the scalp, as well as red bumps or pus-filled blisters (usually on the neck or scalp).
  • Medicated shampoos and home remedies such as baking soda, apple cider vinegar, or tea tree oil can rid your hair of fleas.
fleas in human hair

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Struggling with fleas in your hair? Find the ultimate solution in this eye-opening video. Don’t wait—watch now and regain control over your hair and peace of mind!

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. About Fleas
    https://www.cdc.gov/fleas/about/?CDC_AAref_Val=https://www.cdc.gov/fleas/fleas_of_the_us.html
  2. Treatment of tungiasis using a tea tree oil-based gel formulation: protocol for a randomized controlled proof-of-principle trial
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8323357/
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Tiffany Young

Tiffany YoungCertified Trichology Practitioner

Tiffany Young is the CEO and founder of ThinHairThick and a certified trichology practitioner with 6 years of experience. She is also a recognized expert in the hair and beauty industry with celebrity clientele. Her own personal struggles with hair loss created an opportunity for her to deep-dive into learning all things related to medical conditions and external factors that contribute to hair loss
Read full bio of Tiffany Young