Facts of Lice

EVERYTHING YOU NEVER WANTED TO  KNOW ABOUT HEAD LICE

 6 to 12 million children are infested with head lice in the US YEARLY according to the FDA.
In most instances, parents catch head lice from their children.

HEAD LICE

Although there are many types of lice, rest assured that head lice only likes to live on the scalp of humans. This means that body hair, including eyebrows and beards are not going to contract lice. Furthermore, pets cannot get lice, even if they have hair instead of fur, PHEW!

LICE LIFE CYCLE

There are three stages in the lice life cycle: egg, nymph and adult (learn how big lice are in each stage). The life cycle lasts about 30 days. An adult female louse can lay 3-5 eggs per day once maturity is reached.

HOW DO THEY GET AROUND?

Instead of feet, a head louse has six claws that help it to crawl around from hair strand to hair strand. It moves from person to person this way, which is why head-to-head contact is the primary way head lice are spread

INFESTATION

An infestation starts when a female louse makes it onto a new head and begins to lay eggs. Once those eggs hatch, in about 7-10 days,  the lice will most likely stay on that head throughout the entire lice life cycle. Unless the head is treated effectively (see pediculosis treatment) and all lice and nits are removed or dehydrated, the lice infestation will continue on for as long as the lice can live.

FAQ’S

How Do I Know It's Lice?

Head lice is extremely difficult to spot which is why by the time a family makes their way into our facility they have had it for an average of 2-4 weeks. Although lice vary in color, if you see a gray or tan colored bug making its way through the hair, it is probably a louse. Sometimes, if they just fed, a louse can also appear red.

The most effective way to check for lice is by using a nit comb. A visual inspection is not sufficient and is part of the reason that lice goes unnoticed for an extended amount of time. It is usually about 2-3 weeks before there is enough lice in the hair that it is noticeable in which time it can spread very easily. Nits are extremely small. They look like small, tear drop shaped specks,  and will stuck to the hair. If you are able to see any, try pulling them off with your fingers. If you can’t easily pull them off, they are probably eggs and not dandruff. Keep in mind that only about half of the people affected by head lice are itchy, so just because no discomfort is present, it does not mean that you or your child are lice free.

How can I end up with these unwanted guests?

Because head lice does not jump or fly, it is primarily passed from direct head to head contact. While sharing hats, hair tools, and accessories is not a good idea, these are less likely modes of passing on an infestation. Rest assured that you will not catch head lice at the movies, on an airplane, on a bus, or from carnival rides, we promise!

How long until these little "buggers" die?

The lice life cycle is about 30 days. When a louse is unlucky enough to end up off of its host, they die within 24 hours. Nits are not viable off of the scalp.

How do I kill lice?

Our clients will tell you- getting rid of lice is no easy task! Of course, there is the option of professional removal with an Airalle or manual comb out which is quick and guaranteed. If you are up to tackling the task on your own then there is only one tried and true home treatment method that works: combing, combing, and more combing. You don’t need to waste money on harmful pesticides- they have been scientifically proven to be ineffective at this point anyhow (see WEBMD.com). To home treat successfully, you need to comb and give oil treatments (we recommend the “Keep Clear” non toxic treatment that is found on keepclearlicedefense.com) for 10-14 days, every single day, depending on the severity of the  infestation. It is an obscene amount of work but it is doable if you commit yourself to it.

Who Should Consider the Airalle Treatment?

The Airalle Treatment is very safe and effective, but there are some physical circumstances that can make a person unable to get treatment such as: having open head wounds, sores, or visible signs of skin or scalp abnormalities; having received radiation treatment of the head within the last 6 months; having cranial or facial implants; having hair that cannot be combed through due to dreads or hair extensions; inability to sense temperature or pain; who cannot communicate physical discomfort.

Luckily, if you have one of these contraindications, we also offer a traditional comb out service as well- we can always help!

But Does It Really Work?!

YUP! We have treated THOUSANDS of local children and adults at this point and have not had one failed treatment, which I am so proud of. Because it is an FDA-cleared treatment device, we can’t make efficacy claims that aren’t backed up by clinical data.

Do I Have to do ANYTHING After Treatment?!

When it comes to your hair: NOPE! That is the beauty of this service, absolutely NO at home follow up.

When it comes to the home: Because head lice need a host to survive, it is VERY unlikely that you will re-catch lice from your environment. Use these simple steps to help avoid an unlikely case of re–infestation by lice that have recently fallen off the hair within your home.

  1. Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items that the infested person wore or used during the 24hrs before treatment using the hot cycle and the high heat drying cycle. Clothing and items that are not washable can be put in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes or set aside for 48hrs.
  2. All hair accessories can go in a ziploc bag in the freezer for 24hrs.
  3. Vacuum the head rest of your furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or laid down. However, the risk of getting infested by a louse that has fallen onto furniture is very small. Head lice survive less than 24hrs if they fall off a person and cannot feed; nits cannot hatch and are not viable off the warmth of the scalp.
  4. Do not use pesticide sprays; they can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin and have been scientifically proven ineffective
STILL WANT TO KNOW MORE!?