Why would I write a blog post on Headlice I hear you say… Well I figured if I was covering all aspects of hair I should also mention the more serious stuff like headlice and alopecia (in another post).
Estimated between 12 – 25million cases per year in the US alone, most of us have/will come into contact at some point with headlice, whether we’ve had them as kids or our kids have had them etc. We, as stylists hope that we don’t come across them often, but part of our consultations are to look out for not only growth patterns and hair textures but also head/hair problems like headlice.
About Head Lice: (in brief)
Head Lice are human parasites that require human blood for survival and if they are away from their human host for longer than 24hours, they cannot survive. Lice is the size of a sesame seed and live up to approximately 30days and the females can lay up to 100 nits,(eggs).
They are spread mainly by direct hair to hair contact with an infested person and sometimes by sharing brushes, hats towels etc, which is why this is most common in children between 3 – 10years and mostly girls. Mothers can pick it up just from having longer hair. Head Lice do not jump or fly and actually prefer cleaner hair as it is easier for the nits to attach themselves rather than on greasy dirty hair. Nits take 7 – 10days to hatch and if the nits are off the head they will not hatch at all as they need human warmth to incubate.
Once infected treatment is necessary, lice treatment products are potentially hazardous to the health and should not be used as a ‘just in case’ a child or family member has lice. Salons are sprouting up offering non-toxic prevention and removal (one being Hair Spies, Burlingame, CA,US) but the best alternative treatment according to Headlice.org is still manual removal of lice and nits, using the nit comb (licemeister comb) Everything should be vacuumed and washed, whether at home or in a salon, but remember the lice does not live without a human host for more than 24hours.
Nits  and Lice