What are head lice?
Head lice are a type of lice that live in the human hair and are spread through head to head contact. They are very tiny, almost smaller than a pinpoint when hatched and about the size of a sesame seed when they have grown into adult stage. They are usually whitish or greyish in colour and are wingless and eight-legged. Head lice only affect human beings, they do not infest animals. They mostly affect children.
How do head lice survive on the head?
Head lice are able to survive on the head because the warmth from the scalp provides a favourable condition for them. Adult female head lice lay eggs which hatch into baby lice after 10 days. The little lice mature very fast and are able to lay eggs after only 9 days from the time they are hatched. Head lice survive by sucking blood from the scalp. This causes an allergic in most people which in turn causes the scalp of a person infested with head lice to itch a lot. People who are not allergic to the lice may not be aware that they have been infested by lice for even two or more months.
How can you detect head lice on the head?
Head lice are very difficult to spot owing to their tiny size. You can detect head lice infestation through white eggs and nits which remain on the scalp or cling to the hair root but it is very difficult to detect live lice on someone’s hair. To be able to see the head lice on the hair, you have to perform detection combing. This involves combing the hair with very fine-toothed comb. The comb should have a spacing of 0.2-0.3mm between its teeth to ensure that the head lice are trapped on the comb when the hair is combed. Detection combing gives best results when performed on wet hair but it is also alright when it is performed on dry hair.
How do you get rid of head lice?
There are a number of ways in which you can get rid of head lice and ensure that they are no longer a nuisance to you or your family members. The first way is to use lotions and hair sprays which have been made to help kill head lice. These lotions and sprays are available in most local pharmacies. It is important to get prescription from a qualified medical personnel before purchasing them.
The second way to get rid of head lice is to comb your hair while wet. You need to wet your hair with water and then comb it with a fine-toothed comb to trap head lice as well as remove the eggs while combing. Removing the eggs will ensure they don’t hatch into new lice and continue the cycle of head lice infestation.
The third way of getting rid of head lice is through special oil treatment. There are a number of oils which are known to be effective in removing lice from the head. These include olive oil, lavender oil, neem oil, tea tree oil and aniseed oil among others. It is recommended that you apply the oil on the hair and scalp after combing the hair and leave it overnight for better results.
Additionally, you can get rid of head lice through suffocating them. You can pour some amount of paraffin on the hair to suffocate the lice. Although paraffin has a strong smell, the smell can always be washed away afterwards by thoroughly and repeatedly shampooing the hair.