Whereas most traditional classifications identify Ischnocera as a major suborder of lice in the order Phthiraptera, a recent molecular study based on one gene did not recover monophyly of Ischnocera. In this study we test the monophyly of Ischnocera using sequences of portions of three different genes: two nuclear (EF1 alpha and 18S) and one mitochondrial (COI). Analysis of EF1 alpha and COI sequences did not recover monophyly of Ischnocera, but these genes provided little support for ischnoceran paraphyly because homoplasy is high among the divergent taxa included in this study. Analysis of 18S sequences recovered ischnoceran monophyly with strong support. Sequences from these three gene regions showed significant conflict with the partition homogeneity test, but this heterogeneity probably arises from the dramatic differences in substitution rates. In support of this conclusion, Kishino-Hasegawa tests of the EF1 alpha and COI genes did not reject several trees containing ischnoceran monophyly. Combined analysis of all three gene regions supported monophyly of Ischnocera, although not as strongly as analysis of 18S by itself. In sum, although rapidly evolving genes can retain some phylogenetic signal for deep phylogenetic relationships, strong support for such relationships is likely to come from more slowly evolving genes.