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Do Bed Bugs Get In Your Hair?

Do you ever get the feeling of something crawling through your hair? Is it bed bugs? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people worldwide suffer from this problem and many wonder, do bed bugs get in your hair?

I’ll let you know if you need to worry about bed bugs in your hair, and if there’s anything you can do to prevent this from happening… 

Do Bed Bugs Get In Your Hair?

Do Bed Bugs Get In Your Hair?

Bed bugs have the potential to get in your hair, but it’s not as common as you may think.

Bed bugs prefer soft surfaces like mattresses and bedding for nesting, so they don’t need to venture into your hair for food or shelter.

Yet, if a bed bug happens to climb onto a sleeping person or gets dislodged while they are moving around, the bug can end up in their hair.

This is more common with long hair because there is more surface area for the bed bug to latch on to. If a bed bug finds itself in someone’s hair, it will try to find a way out by crawling downwards.

If it doesn’t work, and it can reach the scalp, it will try to feed there. This can cause bites and irritation in that area.

bed bug drinking blood from a human

Can Bed Bugs Live In Your Hair Or On Your Scalp?

Can you get bed bugs in your hair? The simple answer is no. Bed bugs are drawn to your living spaces. Think mattresses, furniture, and carpeting—and not human hair.

Despite their name, bed bugs prefer environments conducive to their survival. And your hair isn’t ideal for several reasons:

  • Lack of grip: Unlike lice, bed bugs do not have the anatomy to hold on to hair or scalp.

  • Washing: Regular hair washing would remove any bed bugs trying to stay put.

If you encounter a bed bug on your scalp, it is likely accidental and temporary. As these insects prefer to feed and then retreat to their hiding places.

If you find bed bugs on your scalp, don’t worry. They can’t survive or lay eggs there.

They might bite exposed skin on the neck or face while you sleep, but they won’t stay on your skin once they’ve fed.

bed bug drinking blood from a human

Signs You Have Bed Bug Bites On Your Scalp

Distinguishing bed bug bites from other insect bites or skin conditions can be tricky. Here are some tell-tale signs you can look for on your scalp:

  • Itchiness: Like bites on other parts of your body, bed bug bites on the scalp often cause significant itchiness.

  • Pattern: Bed bug bites tend to appear in a straight line or zigzag pattern rather than being scattered randomly.

  • Redness and Swelling: You may notice small, raised welts that are red and swollen. These bites can become irritated when scratched.

  • Clustered Bites: Unlike solitary mosquito bites, bed bug bites often appear in clusters or groups.

If you see these signs in places where bed bugs hide, like near your mattress seams or bed frame, it might mean there are bed bugs.

How To Tell The Difference Between Bed Bugs And Head Lice In Your Hair

How To Tell The Difference Between Bed Bugs And Head Lice In Your Hair

Bed bugs usually hide in dark places like mattresses, box springs, carpets, or furniture.

Head lice prefer to live near the scalp and neck area since these areas provide plenty of warmth and food supply. 

To differentiate between the two parasites, it’s important to note how each looks. Bed bugs have flat oval bodies that are reddish-brown in color while head lice have a grayish or white coloring with six legs (the same number as spiders).

Plus, bed bugs can measure 6mm long when fully grown while head lice measure 2–3mm long when full-grown. 

To spot bed bug infestation signs, check for small black spots left behind by their droppings. These spots may look like pepper flakes because of their size and color.

Head lice will cause itchiness around the scalp, usually accompanied by red bumps on the skin where they bite.

Sometimes, both parasites can leave swarms on sheets or clothes. This happens more with bed bugs than with head lice, as head lice usually stay near the scalp. 

bed bugs crawling through body hair

Which Hairstyles Are Best To Prevent Bed Bugs In Your Hair?

When considering how to minimize the risk of bed bugs in your hair, opting for certain hairstyles might help deter these pests.

Choosing hairstyles that are less accessible may add an extra level of precaution against bed bugs. Bed bugs do not commonly inhabit hair because it is mobile and close to the scalp, which is less ideal for them.

  • Tight Buns or Ponytails: Keeping your hair in a tight bun or ponytail can reduce the exposed area for bed bugs to latch onto. Ensure it’s sleek and close to the head.

  • Braids: Whether it’s a single braid or multiple ones, this hairstyle keeps strands contained and may prevent bed bugs from making a home in your hair.

  • You can use a scarf or bandana to wrap your hair close to the scalp. This can keep bed bugs away.

Here are a few things to remember:

  • Keep It Neat: Bed bugs are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide but are not adept at navigating through hair. A neat hairstyle can make it less inviting for them to try.

  • Accessory Awareness: Be mindful of hair accessories. Bed bugs might hide in items such as hats or headbands, so keep them clean and inspect regularly.

To prevent bed bugs, be vigilant in environments where they are known to be present. Although hairstyles can play a role, these pests are more attracted to the environment than to a person’s hair. 

How To Remove Bed Bugs From Your Hair

How To Remove Bed Bugs From Your Hair

If you find yourself in the unlikely situation of having bed bugs in your hair, there’s no need to panic. Follow these steps to remove them:

  • Wash Your Hair: Use hot water and a regular shampoo to cleanse your scalp thoroughly. The heat will help to dislodge any insects.
  • After you wash your hair, use a fine-toothed comb: Comb through one small section at a time to remove dead bed bugs and their eggs.
  • Isopropyl Alcohol: Consider a mixture of alcohol and shampoo for a more potent effect. Experts suggest using a 91% isopropyl alcohol solution, but be cautious and seek professional advice.

If you’re struggling with bed bugs or feeling very uncomfortable, ask for assistance. Contact a healthcare provider or pest control company.

woman using a nit comb to remove bed bugs from your hair

Can Bed Bugs Live In Your Body Hair?

While bed bugs may sound like they could live anywhere on your body, their preference for a home isn’t in your hair.

You might be concerned that these pests will turn your body hair into their own private residence, but here’s what you need to know:

  • Bed bugs cannot navigate or cling to human hair because they lack claws or grippers. Their bodies are more adapted to smooth surfaces like bedding and furniture.

  • Feeding Habits: These insects have an interest in feeding on your blood. They usually come out at night and prefer easier access to skin, hiding away in the daytime.

  • Hair Encounters: If you ever find a bed bug on your scalp or body hair, it’s likely accidental. They might traverse hair to reach skin, but won’t stay there.

  • Bed bugs live close to people in dark, hidden spots. These spots include mattress seams and furniture crevices. They don’t live in hair.


Bed bugs have the potential to get in your hair, but this is not a common or ideal spot for them to nest.

If you see any bed bugs on your scalp, wash your hair with warm water and shampoo. Comb with a fine-toothed comb.

To prevent bed bugs from taking up house in your hair, opt for hairstyles that keep strands contained and accessories clean.

Avoid thinking they’re living in your body hair as bed bugs prefer environments with greater access to skin.

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