Yikes! Just hearing the word lice can make your skin crawl. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), around 6-12 million people are treated for head lice in the United States each year! Why are so many families having to RID themselves of those tiny insects? The answer is all around us: gymnastics mats, football helmets, the cute scarf you tried on at the store, and maybe even those headphones you shared on the airplane. But perhaps the most common transmission of these bugs is through head-to-head touching, which is why it is no surprise that most cases are in children between the ages of 4 and 14 (as children enjoy being in close proximity with one another).
Luckily, because our salons have a lot of experience working with children and hair, we have a pretty good idea of how lice can be prevented from entering your home. Tabby Bibbs, manager at the Lee's Summit Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids notes that, "Head lice can happen to anyone at anytime, no matter the socioeconomic status. It is more prevalent 3 times a year - the beginning of the school year, winter coat time, and when pools open for the season. It's a never ending cycle."
Head lice are small - about the size of a sesame seed. They are wingless, and as such can't fly or even hop. But with feet that are especially designed for hanging onto hair follicles, these annoying little parasites can live up to a month on the head. However, they will die within 2 days of falling off - which is why sealing infested items in plastic containers or bags for around 2 weeks will make sure there are no surviving lice. Lice will also lay tear-drop shaped eggs (nits) that are attached to hair follicles near the scalp.
So what should you do if you find lice in your home? The first and most important thing is not to panic! As stated by the CDC, "head lice can be a nuisance but they have not been shown to spread disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice." As for treatment, it's totally up to the parents. We suggest getting it professionally done, because you have follow up visits. And as always, remember not to share hairbrushes, caps, beanies or any other head covering with others. If your child is in school or daycare put their coat, hat and gloves in their book bag. Also, be sure to ask their teacher if there have been any cases of lice every few weeks. Keep boys hair cut shorter, and girls hair in a high ponytail or braid.
Furthermore, if you'd like a little extra insurance in keeping the creepy-crawlies away, be sure to pick up either Circle of Friends Lice Defense products or our Organic Original Sprout products at our stores. They are both very effective without being full of harsh chemicals. Lice Defense from Circle of friends includes a hairspray, leave in conditioner, and hair gel. Organic Original Sprout carry several products as well. Bibbs says that, "The Miracle Detangler and Leave in Conditioner from Original Sprout helps to repel and prevent head lice - and they smell absolutely wonderful!" Read more about Lice treatment and Hair care products here
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