While not impossible, it is highly unlikely. When exposed to water, head lice clamp down securely on the hair strand so as to survive contact. It is for this reason that hair washing does not eradicate lice. Chlorine, seawater and shampoo are no match for this parasite. Head lice can, however, be passed by towels, hairbrushes and other personal items that have had contact with the hair of an individual who has lice.