The complete guide about lice in hair – all in one

When you happen to hear the phrase ‘lice in hair’, it will immediately give you goosebumps. Of all the ugly truths we have known in reality, lice are among the most terrible experiences, especially for infants who are about to grow up and expect upcoming colorful life.

Do not take lice for granted because it is regarded as one of the top three reasons that make kids miss school. In United States, it is estimated that there are from 6 to 12 million kids aged 3-11 years old suffering from lice each year. Therefore, let’s equip yourself with a fair amount of knowledge to deal with them, even in the worst situation!

Why not follow us and seek for the ways to protect yourself and your family!

What are lice in hair?

You can skip this part if you do not want to be friends with academic terms related to lice. However, do not be subjective as you need to be aware of their appearance and types in the later part. Please be patient and gradually step into the world of lice in hair – the enemy of every mom and dad.

Lice, scientifically called pediculus humanus capitis, are the parasites surviving on human head by sucking tiny quantities of our blood. They are dangerous because they obtain a fast rate of good reproduction by laying eggs in the hair. Fortunately, they do not lead to disease, annoyance only.

Warning, lice in head are not exclusively a childhood illness but the majority of victims are young. Thus, it comes as no surprise if you have got a call from the school nurse and are notified of the head lice that your child happens to be affected.

lice in hair
A louse in the hair through the lens of a microscope (Source: Internet)

Characteristics of lice in hair that you should be aware of

What do they look like?

Do not mistake an adult louse for a sesame seed because the two have approximately the same size. If you take a close look through a microscope’s lens, a louse has six legs. You may get confused at lice’ s color because it varies from beige to gray. The color will alter to considerably darker shade when blood is absorbed.

However, they all possess an amazing ability to camouflage in your hair; hence, it is hard for you to spot them with your naked eyes. If you want to catch red-handed, let’s look for them in the proximity of areas behind ears and along the hairline right on the back of your neck.

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Lice in hair is hard to get rid of even though the camera does take a close-up (Source: Internet)

In terms of reproductions, female lice in hair are able to lay up to ten minuscule eggs a day. Let the figure tell! Should you spot some eggs which are oval in shape, congratulations as lice in hair start to give birth to nits (lice eggs). Nits have different color when compared to their mothers. Their color ranges from white to yellow to brown.

If you do not find a temporary solution to prevent them from increasing in numbers, you will get a big problem.

Where is their nest?

It may be a silly question as you can easily come up with an answer. Of course, the nest should be your head. However, do you know where exactly do lice live in hair? Lice in hair only survive on blood and as a result, they have to stay close to the scalp – an abundant source of food.

lice in hair
The moment the nits hatch, they move their house from hair shafts to the scalp (Source: Internet)

Nymph and adult lice are most commonly found on the scalp in the areas of neck and ears. Nevertheless, do not forget to check your eyebrows or your eyelashes. Should blood be fully provided, they can live up to a month. However, within a day or two without blood, they will die without fail.

A typical life circle of lice in hair

A female louse lay eggs on human hair shafts with a waterproof made by a glue-like substance. This covers the nits from being blown away by washing or brushing. This feature tells nits apart from dandruff and other dirty stuff in the hair.

A perfect nest of nits should be a fraction of an inch from the scalp. A warm and nice environment welcomes egg hatching. After eight to nine days, when eggs have hatched, they will move as we aforementioned.

In a nutshell, a process to form a louse is from an egg to a nit to a baby louse (nymph) to an adult louse. The cycle continues and the number keeps increasing if you do not have an immediate prevention.

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A detailed life circle of lice in hair (Source: Internet)

Creepy crawlers

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Lice in hair are insects; thus, if you are fear of spiders, just skip these creepy crawlers (Source: Internet)

It is these creepy crawlers that spread this ailment onto other people. The parasites are able to crawl onto your clothes, hats, towels and any other belongings. Therefore, it is suggested not sharing them with others. A good note to remember is not to blame for your household pets because they do not spread lice in hair to humans.

Actually, this part has something similar to the life circle of lice in hair because they all come from the same parasite family. However, they are just different species with various appearances and characteristics.

In general, you should be aware of three types of lice in hair.

  • Lice on the scalp, neck and ears
  • Body lice – a type of lice which take root from clothing items and beds and later move towards people’s skins.
  • Pubic lice, another name of lice in hair and ‘crabs’. You could find crabs in pubic hair and skin.
lice in hair
Do not mistake one for the others (Source: Internet)

Where do lice come from?

As you know, there are three forms of lice in hair. Therefore, there are three roots that lice take from. We will delve into each type as it follows.

  • Head lice

This kind of lice is infectious. When they crawl onto your head, you will immediately get the ticket to be their victim. You may get head lice because:

+ head-to-head contact with an infected person

+ sharing personal belongings, comb for instance

+ via fabric stuff which has been used by a victim of lice in hair

  • Pubic lice – crabs

These crabs infest humans through intimate contact, including sexual intercourse. Why? Because you two share the same blankets, towels, sheets and even clothing items of lice victims. Do not worry because they cannot jump and transmit from one to another via a toilet seat or furniture. They only leave their host until they are totally dead.

Therefore, when you determine that you get pubic lice in hair, do not let your family members stay in the same bed with you. In case your child happens to get pubic lice, he/she may have been abused sexually.

  • Body lice in hair

As you can see in the picture above, body lice in hair are much larger than the other types. Body lice are not too different from pubic lice because this ailment spreads via close human contact or shared personal belongings. Should you be in non-hygenic or crowded living conditions, the likelihood is that you will be infested with body lice in hair.

Detecting lice in hair – lice symptoms

  • Visual inspection

Visual inspection is the most traditional but effective way to detect lice in hair. However, your naked eyes are required to work at full capacity because they are so small. It is a painstaking experience to section your hair and literally running through each part by a fine-tooth comb.

Should you still follow this method in the detection and diagnostic process, a useful tool aid is a bright light and magnifying glass.

lice in hair
Without it, your face will be panic-striking when being heard of lice in hair and asked to help detect them for kids. (Source: Internet)
  • Itchiness
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When you find so itchy that you cannot sleep, you are unlucky to get lice in hair. (Source: Internet)

Itching is the most common symptom of any type of lice that you are unfortunate to suffer from. Why do itching feelings derive from? As lice bites, an allergic reaction will lead to this itchy feeling. The feeling is nothing different from that caused by dandruff.

A few weeks when you first get lice, you will not feel itchy right away. Just a light infestation does not make you notice and immediately ignore. Up to six weeks later, all you want is a minute to rest and stay away from itchiness.

  • Other symptoms, especially for kids

+ A warning letter from school nurse

lice in hair
Lice are harmless but they are required to be absent from class for fear of wide spreading onto their peers. (Source: Internet)

Lice in hair are simply parasites which can be easily transmitted by head-to-head contact. Even though they are not able to fly or jump, this ailment, sooner or later, wide spread due to child’s daily routine. Therefore, a letter from the school nurse is encouraged to limit their transmission.

+ Scratching and sleeplessness

lice in hair
No matter who you are (adults, kids or even toddles), it is inevitable to scratch when you feel itchy (Source: Internet)

As the consequence of itchiness, you will scratch for sure. It is natural to scratch because it is your temporary way to deal with this allergic reaction. As lice in hair grow up or begin to laying eggs, you can feel a moving sensation in head. Scratching is your instinctive reflex to kill these disgusting tiny insects.

lice in hair
Sleeplessness or trouble with sleeping is common when you have lice in hair  (Source: Internet)

Itchiness is always accompanied by scratching and sleeplessness. Maybe you do not know, lice are the most active at night. Imagine when your head is suffering from splitting due to these tiny lice in hair, how could you fall asleep? Should your child keep twisting and turning at night, why not check his or her scalp then?

+ Mistaken ‘dandruff’

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These are not dandruff because as reasoning above, they are waterproof eggs (Source: Internet)

Before receiving any treatment, please make sure that you have diagnosed your head correctly as they are not too much different from each other in terms of size or color. However, if you want to take advantage of water to get rid of them, you will fail. You just could not let go of them. Looking just like a grain of sand, nits are not easily eliminated.

Therefore, when you or your child suddenly get too much dandruff that nothing can brush it away, remember to check your scalp and attempt to get rid of it with your own hands.

+ Small red bumps and swollen lymph nodes

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Scratching too often can result in small red bumps on the neckline. (Source: Internet)

This symptom of lice in hair signifies the later stage. Only when your intense scratching occurs, red bumps on neckline, scalp, ears and shoulders appear. At this point, this is not simply scratching. You come to the irritation stage with constant sleeplessness and itchiness.

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This symptom often appears in kids and teenagers (Source: Internet)

Do not ignore these aforementioned symptoms because when your kids come to this stage, it means that they have to suffer from infection – a bad sign that affects their health as well. Infection is characterized by swollen lymph nodes on ears or neck. At this point, do not find your own method. Just consult doctor as the kids may utilize antibiotics to relieve the pain.

Lice in hair are not dangerous but you need to be a bit more careful and pay attention to them.

+ Physical appearance of lice in hair

Do not panic when you notice these small white objects in your hair. You are lucky enough to see them before they start to cover your head with eggs. Use the fine-tooth comb to run through the strands. By this way, you can reduce a fair amount of big lice in hair.

Myths about lice in hair

As your child gets lice in hair, your first reaction should be anxiety and over-exaggeration. You will think about the worst situations and rush to take your kids to hospital. In these cases, just keep calm and follow word-of-mouth methods. They are effective to your surprise.

In the search of solutions, you may read some myths about lice in hair. For example, your kids are likely to get lice in dirty conditions. It is the case to some extent; however, you still need to check other aspects to find the roots of the problems.

  • The dirtier, the more common to get lice in hair?

As your kids are unfortunate to get lice, some may blame you for creating an unhealthy environment for them. However, maybe you do not know, lice, just like us, prefer clean hair and the wealthiest communities. If lice are going around, it is nobody’s fault. The hint should be that your children are travelling through the contagious neighborhood or school.

  • Lice are dangerous?

Again, lice are not dangerous at all as they cannot kill you as other bacteria. They are just annoying and causing itchiness.

  • Black light helps to detect and kill lice in hair?

It is true that black light gives fluorescence to help you diagnose nits with live lice in hair. Nevertheless, this method cannot help you to eliminate them from your hair.

  • Only children easily get lice?

In terms of accuracy, this sentence must be wrong because lice attack everybody, including both children and adults. However, the majority of victims are kids and juveniles. To acknowledge the reason, please read the aforementioned parts.

Prevention at home

Normally, at home, once an individual gets lice in hair, the other family members will respectively be infected. Thus, this process requires efforts from all of you to get involved in lice elimination. As reported from clinical experts, the ideal treatment should be safe and chemical free.

Before you get started with over-the-counter treatment, you had better wipe out the root where the ailment ‘starts up’. Let’s remove all clothing items or use custom-made products to wash them.

After that, you try to apply lice medicine called pediculicide with detailed instructions on its label. Should you want the medicine to take effect, please do not use a cream rinse or shampoo/conditioner before and not to rewash in one or two days after treatment.

After the initial treatment, do not forget to check and comb through hair. At this point, lice in hair are dead in a fair amount and all you need to do is to wipe out their dead bodies. You can retreat in from seven up to 10 days.

This is the fast and furious method to deal with lice in hair. However, as a person who has tried all the solutions, we recommend that you should try natural home-made mixtures to kill lice in hair. Everything from the Mother of Nature does good to your health.

  • Wet combing
lice in hair
An easy method to do but long-term efforts are required (Source: Internet)

If you desire to go for it, remember two useful tools, namely fine-toothed comb and a natural anti-lice conditioner. Let’s keep combing until you have found no lice in hair.

  • Lice killing essential oils
lice in hair
Tea tree oil is recommended (Source: Internet)

According to a study carried out in 2010, a lotion containing 10 percent tea tree oil and one percent lavender oil helped to eliminate 97.6 percent of lice after the last day of treatment. They also mentioned that all essential oils including coconut oil, ylang ylang essential oil and eucalyptus one are equivalent in efficiency.

Cheap and no side effects are their superior advantages that you may hope to take into consideration!

  • Other traditional remedies

+ Garlic:

lice in hair
Its strong fragrance suffocates lice (Source: Internet)

Why not put on gloves and grind eight to ten garlic cloves into a paste. Next, mix them with two tablespoons of lemon juice. Apply onto your scalp within an hour and rinse hair out. Keep doing until you have found no lice in hair.

+ Salt

lice in hair
What an inexpensive material available in the market! (Source: Internet)

Salt only cannot work. Remember to buy vinegar to create a perfect mixture. The recipe is to mix one-quarter cup of salt with the same quantity of vinegar thoroughly. Now, spray gently onto your hair and leave it there about two hours. Wash and condition your strands. Repeat until lice in hair are totally defeated.

Prevention at school

As for kids aged from 4 to 11 years old, it will be so hard to control their head-to-head contact with other kids. However, this is the most effective way to prevent the widespread of lice in hair ailment at school. Once lice infected kids are detected, it is perfect to let them miss school for a week or more.

Immediately ask for the childcare department to rewash and sanitize all the belongings of victims and shared spaces. Lice in hair are not dangerous but they interrupt schooling. You may get the prescriptions from school nurse. Do not go against their guide but you can combine with natural methods above.

lice in hair
Prevention is better than cure (Source: Internet)

This is the end of the complete guide about lice in hair – all in one. We hope that you will find your most suitable solution to deal with annoying parasites on your kids’ head. Just relax and accompany with your children to kill them all. Lice in hair are not dangerous; use this sentence to empathize with them.

Do not forget to remind them that lice are not born because the kids are not clean or hygienic. Lice are just lice and they happen to get. Should you still have any queries to be consulted, do not hesitate to comment below or inbox us if you want! Thank you for your reading!

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