What are Head Lice?
Head lice are small, wingless insects that live on the human head, feeding off blood from under the scalp. They have six legs specifically evolved to hold onto hair and are transparent in colour, making them incredibly difficult to see. Head lice do not carry or transmit disease, cannot fly or jump, and can only be contracted via direct head-to-head contact or indirectly through the sharing of personal items. Numerous research findings has shown that head lice are becoming increasingly resistant to solution & chemical based treatments.
Detecting Head Lice
An itching scalp and a constant scratching is the most commonly cited indication for a well-established infestation. Adults however, may often be desensitised to the biting and can carry head lice without realising it.
Preventing Head Lice
Do not let kids share hats, combs and hair accessories. Remember to keep long hair tied back or braided. If one family member has head lice, be sure to check all other family members for head lice too!
Head Lice Life Cycle
The life cycle of head lice begins with eggs being laid, hatching, maturation/adulthood, mating and egg laying after which the parent head lice die.
Head lice are parasitic by nature and rely solely on human blood for their existence. A female louse will typically live for 30-35 days, and is capable of laying up to 8 eggs a day after reaching maturity. These eggs (nits) will hatch in 7-10 days making it essential that any treatment be carried out for more than 7 consecutive days to effectively break the lice lifecycle.
Effective Head Lice Treatment
The key to effective treatment and elimination of a head lice infestation is to break their life cycle.
A lot of the frustration parents experience stems from their belief that current chemical treatments don’t seem to work. Combing remains undisputedly the most effective treatment method for head lice and also reduces the risk of developing an allergic reaction and/or skin irritations. Another reason for recurring head lice infestation is often attributed to the partial completion of a treatment cycle.