Head lice in adults
We are often asked if adults can get head lice. The simple answer is that if the adult has hair on their head then “Yes”.There is no reason why a head lice wouldn’t go on someone’s hair whatever their age.Head lice have no preference for age, gender, hair type or race. They are only interested in hair as a way of getting to the scalp where they can feed on blood.
We are seeing more and more adults that do not have children, but who caught head lice from commuters on crowded trains where there has been hair to hair contact. It is almost impossible to catch head lice from sitting on a seat where another person has sat who has head lice.
There is also a misconception that men don’t get head lice. This is just not true. Head lice will happily feed on the blood of men and lay eggs in the hair. As the majority of men often have short hair, the transfer of head lice is far more difficult.
Another misconception is that hair products, such as hairspray, will prevent head lice. Once again, this false information. In addition, hair dye does not kill lice eggs and also leaves live lice in the hair as a louse can hunker down for up to sixteen hours, then emerge again to lay more eggs.
What can adults do to prevent head lice? If you have long hair, keep it tied or under a hat when you suspect that you may come into close hair to hair contact with carriers.Prevention sprays can be applied but we see so many people who have used these sprays and there is little medical evidence that they work.