Have you or someone you know recently gotten head lice? If so, you want to quickly start treating the infested person so that they not only are free of the lice, but also so that it does not spread. Head lice is very contagious and can spread very quickly, especially at school with younger children, and for people living at home with an infested child. There are several different treatment options for head lice, but some are more efficient than others. Let’s start by discussing what head lice is, and then we will explain various treatment options and if alternative treatments, like lice spray, are as efficient.
What are head lice?
Head lice, or Pediculus humanus capitis, are tiny parasitic insects that live in human hair. They survive off of a tiny amount of blood that they get from the human scalp. The result of an infested head of hair? An itchy scalp that is in need of treatment! Head lice cannot jump or fly, but rather spread from head to head, usually by direct head to head contact. Because of this method of spreading, it is very common for elementary aged children to contract lice while at school during nap time or recess, or during a sleepover with another infested child.
While direct head to head contact is the most common way for lice to spread, there are other ways that it can as well. Lice can sometimes be found on an infested person’s clothing, hair accessories, hair tools, towels, bedding, furniture, or rugs. Therefore, if someone has lice no one else should risk getting it as well by sharing these items. Treatment of lice includes cleaning all necessary items so that all head lice are killed and removed from the home.
While head lice cannot survive very long when detached from a human head of hair, it is still possible that while they are still alive they can transfer from clothing, towels, etc. to another person. Also keep in mind that pets cannot get head lice from humans.
How do you confirm a person has head lice?
Confirming that a person has head lice involves examining the scalp very closely to find the presence of living head lice, or of head lice eggs, called nits. Head lice are very small, so you have to look very closely and carefully to be able to see the lice and eggs.
This is very important in order to determine if a person has lice, and also afterwards to determine that all head lice and eggs have been either killed or removed. It can be helpful to use a special comb designed specifically for this purpose.
Nits will attach themselves very close to the scalp in order to have access to the scalp, which is their food source. If the nits are found low down the hair shaft (more than a quarter of an inch from the scalp), they are likely dead. Nits close to the scalp however are likely living eggs and will need to be treated. Once you have confirmed a person has head lice, treatment needs to begin.
How are head lice treated?
In short, head lice need to be killed and removed from the head in order for a person to be considered totally lice free. In the past, it was common to use heavy head lice shampoo products that use chemicals and pesticides to kill the lice. Not only can this be dangerous and bad for the hair, it is also increasingly becoming less effective. Head lice have been developing an immunity to the most common chemicals used, which is leading people to look at other treatment options.
We recommend using a natural shampoo and conditioner head lice treatment. These treatments contain no harsh chemicals or pesticides and instead use a natural method to kill and remove the head lice and nits. With this method, there is also no worry of the head lice developing a resistance.
Is head lice spray an efficient alternative treatment?
Head lice spray is becoming a more popular treatment option these days, as it typically also does not contain any harmful chemicals or pesticides such as permethrin, pyrethrum or lindane. Instead, it uses a more natural route to dehydrate the head lice using sodium chloride in order to kill them. While using a natural treatment is more beneficial over using one that uses chemicals, a lice spray may be less efficient at getting all of the head lice and nits.
A spray is a lighter product that you will have to use a lot of in order to thoroughly coat the hair and get to all of the head lice. Therefore, a treatment shampoo tends to be a more thorough and efficient way to treat the scalp and the hair in order to kill all of the head lice and nits. If even one nit stays alive, you can end up back with an infestation very quickly.
Treating head lice is a serious and sometimes time consuming process. Ensuring the lice is treated, the nits are removed, and that the house where the infested person lives has been treated is not easy! The last thing you want to have happen is that you take the time to clean the entire house and all clothing and bedding, just to have to do it again a week or so later.
A deep cleaning, thorough shampoo treatment is the most effective way that you can treat head lice at home. While it may be tempting to pick up a quick head lice spray, it may actually end up being more time consuming to use it in order to do a good enough job to coat the hair to treat it. If the entire hair doesn’t get sprayed, you may end up with some living head lice left than can multiply.
Head lice is certainly not a fun thing to experience, but at some point in your life it is bound to happen. Selecting the proper treatment is the best way to ensure you get rid of the head lice for good. While there are several treatment options available, you will find that chemical shampoos are far less effective, and that head lice sprays and less efficient than a natural shampoo products. Lice spray is a better option compared to chemical shampoos, but is still not the best option when compared to all natural shampoo and conditioner products.
Head Lice Treatment
Head Lice Treatment