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Did You Know?

Head Lice Myths & Facts
  • Half of all infested people do not know they have head lice.

  • Many people with head lice will not feel an itching sensation.

  • Head lice is most common in children age 9-16 years old.

  • Head lice live/feed on human blood.

  • Girls are more likely to get head lice than are boys.

  • Adult head lice can live on a human head for 30 days.

  • A female head louse can lay between 5-10 eggs every day.

  • You might not know you have head lice for several weeks.

  • Head lice die after 24 hours without human blood.

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Is getting head lice a sign of poor hygiene?

Anyone with hair can get head lice..period. A person’s level of cleanliness or personal hygiene has nothing to do with catching head lice. It's a common misconception that head lice infestation is a result of poor hygienic practices. In fact, head lice actually seem to prefer a clean head of hair over dirty hair. You should NEVER feel bad for getting lice.

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How are head lice spread?

Head lice can be spread whenever there is direct head-to-head contact with an infested individual. Lice may also be transmitted by items such as hats, hair ties, scarves, pillows, etc. However, this type of transfer is probably quite rare.

Do I have to treat everyone if only one person is found to have head lice?

It is very common for close family or friends of infested individuals to also have lice. It is suggested that you check everyone in the household. You do not want to treat anyone who does not have head lice; however, many clients who have a family member with lice will choose to have a dimethicone oil treatment. This treatment, which is completely non-toxic, is a quick and easy way to kill any small bug that may be in the hair but is very hard to find.

Can children only get head lice at school?

Although children can certainly come into contact with other children who have head lice at school, it is not the only place where a transmission might occur. Children can get infested by head-to-head contact at summer camps, sleepovers and home.

How can I tell if the nits are dead or alive?

Although a microscope would be able to show you whether an egg is empty or not, there is no way to tell whether a non-empty shell is viable or not.

Where do lice come from?

Head lice can be spread whenever there is direct head-to-head contact with an infested individual. Lice may also be transmitted by items such as hats, hair ties, scarves, pillows, etc. However, this type of transfer is probably quite rare.

Is getting head lice is a sign of poor hygiene?

Anyone with hair can get head lice. A person’s degree of cleanliness or personal hygiene has little or nothing to do with getting head lice. A common misconception is that head lice infestation is a result of poor hygienic practices. In fact, head lice actually seem to prefer clean hair over dirty hair.

What is the difference between an egg and a nit?

Eggs and nits are the same thing. There is not a difference although a nit is usually referred to as the empty shell and the egg as a viable egg. Sometimes people refer to one or the other in relation to its viability.

What about combs, brushes, and hair accessories?

You can place them on the top rack of the dishwasher or soak items in HOT (not boiling) water for 20 minutes. You can also put them in a plastic bag in the freezer for 24 hours.

What do head lice and their eggs/nits look like?

The adult louse is no bigger than a sesame seed and is grayish-white or tan. Nymphs (baby lice) are smaller, and can be black, clear, or even blood red. Lice eggs, often called nits, look like tiny yellow, tan, or brown dots before they hatch. After hatching, the remaining shell looks white or clear. Nits are literally glued to the hair shaft and are very difficult to remove.

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