Can beards get lice?

Remember getting called out of class to have someone comb through your hair with a popsicle stick? What was all that about? Why were they sending home ominous slips of paper warning parents about "infestations" and grooming children like chimpanzees? Why, lice, of course!

Put down your popsicle and peanut butter spoon, because this isn't the kind of thing you want to read while eating. According to Healthline, lice are parasites that attach themselves to human hair and feed on human blood. There are body lice, public lice (crabs), and most commonly, head lice, which the CDC reports will infest over 12 million people in the US each year. These multi-legged creeps are each a bit different, but all can be uncomfortable and are generally transmitted through direct contact, or via unwashed clothing.

Hey, who combed out the lice?

So, you can get them on most parts of your body, but what about the beard? According to Lice Doctors, it's possible you'll find lice in the beard, but it's probably not their final destination. Lice seek out the warmest crannies on your body, like behind your ears, or in the case of those pesky pubic lice, in your groin. Generally, beards are too exposed, and the skin beneath them will be tougher to penetrate than the scalp. After all, lice can't survive without your blood, so having a reliable place to suck it out of you is really all they care about.

Lice infestations are most common by way of children, especially those in school, where contact and transmission is common. The best things you can do are to be sure to wash all clothes and bedding to do away with eggs, keep your beard and any other hair trimmed close, vacuum thoroughly, and look into special treatment shampoos and other products. Oh yeah, and don't rub your head against other people's... it's a weird thing to do. 

So, while it's pretty unlikely you'll find lice in your beard, there's a chance — just a really small one. The Lice Doctors claimed to have seen it only three times in 20 years of treatment. Unless you're a ZZ Top member, you're probably in the clear.