Finding out there is a case of head lice in your school, family or circle of friends can sometimes lead to panic, fear, embarrassment and dread.
The first thing to remember is that head lice is a common child hood infection and after the common cold your child is more likely to pick up than chicken pox or any other childhood ailment.
Head lice are universal they pay no heed to class, ethnicity, gender or age. Hygiene is not a reason for head lice. The only reason they go on hair is to get to the scalp to feed on your blood. Hairspray
other products will not prevent a louse from going on your hair.
The key to getting rid of a head lice infestation is shutting down the life cycle and open communication.
Understanding the life cycle of the head louse, egg and nit
There are three stages to head lice.
The egg - An adult louse only mates once and can lay up to 100 eggs in its 20 to25 days adult life.
The head louse - When born the baby is called a nymph, it take 10 days to become an adult when it can mate. Only the adult female lice migrate to other hosts. The adult males and all the young head lice will stay where they are feeding on the blood of their host.
A nit - is the shell left behind once the nymph has hatched - this means though the white shells do not look nice if there are a lot - THEY ARE HARMLESS.
The key to breaking the life cycle is when treating with an approved MHRC product such as Nitnot Anti Head Lice Serum, apply in seven day intervals for no less than two weeks. The treatment will kill all the adult lice and in most castes the eggs, but just in case any eggs are missed an additional treatment is necessary 7 to 9 days later, so any pre-adult lice can be killed before they can mate and lay eggs. IT IS IMPORTANT TO TREAT EVEN IF YOU CAN NOT SEE ANY BABY LICE AS THEY ARE SO TINY THEY ARE VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE IN HAIR. Thus shutting down and breaking the life cycle. We always recommend to check a further 7 to 9 days after the second application (especially in heavier infestations). Applying any treatment once just means in a few weeks you will almost certainly be dealing with head lice again.
The main rule to killing and shutting down head lice is to break the life cycle. If you are treating hair be sure to read the labels as many over the counter treatments do not contain 100% DIMETHICONE and the solvents and fragrances can cause young scalps to become itchy, sore and lead to dry and flaking skin.
So, you now know there is a chance of head lice and you have been advised to check your family for head lice.......what do you do?
Itching and scratching can be an obvious sign of head lice, however only one in three people are allergic to head lice bites, so this is not to be relied upon. The allergy is from the saliva the insects inject when the consume your blood. Though many people believe they can feel them crawling in the hair the reality is it is the bites that are making their scalp tingle and itch.
You will need a good strong light some clips or bands for long hair and nit comb.
Checking for lice can only be done on wet hair, section the wet hair into manageable sections and do long sweeping strokes from the scalp down and off the hair. Check after every stroke for small insects tan/brown in colour and with six legs and about the size of a sesame seed. Repeat this process until all the hair has been combed.
Looking for nits and eggs can be easier as they do not move and usually in first stages of an infestations eggs can sometime be difficult to see on especially in darker hair as they are camouflaged, they may be easier to see in blond hair and will look brown. Eggs are about 0.8mm long and 0.3mm wide so can fit through an eye of a needle.