According to the CDC, there are "an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States."
Most cases are found among children, who catch them at school or camp and then bring them home.
As head lice can only be spread by direct contact with person with lice or with items that have touched the infested person's hair, it isn't as easy to get lice as we think. But it is hard to get rid of them once we do. We asked Carol Gilbert at Fairy LiceMothers for advice on how to handle lice if you're unlucky enough to have a case at home.
What are some misconceptions about lice treatment?
That you are done after one treatment. Lice removal is always a two-week process. You must make sure every nit is removed and that you are not getting lice back from someone in your circle of friends or family who has lice. Combing the hair down to the scalp and in all four directions for two weeks ensures that you are lice-free.
There is no product that kills the nits AND washes them off your hair. The best way to remove nits is to use a nit comb. Nits are lice eggs that are glued to only one side of the hair strand and are laid very close to the scalp. You must comb the hair down to the scalp and in all four directions in order to remove all nits.
Is it possible to prevent/lower your chances of getting lice?
It is not possible to prevent lice 100% but a few things may help.
Wearing certain scents naturally repel lice - lavender and peppermint are examples of scents lice do not like. Fairy LiceMothers sells LavenderLocks and MagicMint Spray. Fairy Lice Mothers recommends using their MagicWand nit comb along with the MagicHalo Conditioner.
What is the first thing you should do if you find out you or your child has lice?
If you find your child has lice DO NOT PANIC. Lice cannot be in your house. Lice can only infect a human head not a house, car, school, camp, etc. You should check all family members with a nit comb and communicate to all friends that they should be checked with a nit comb as well.
Start a lice treatment on the infected person, but make sure to only use non-toxic products and a metal nit comb that have teeth very close together with grooves on each tooth.
When should you seek professional help?
Any time you are feeling overwhelmed and need directions you can seek professional help. Also, if you are not sure how to properly use a nit comb or if you just have questions. Fairy LiceMothers is always here to assist. We educate every client on the real facts and will show you how to do proper comb-outs, so if you get lice in the future you will know exactly what to do. Fairy LiceMothers has three Long Island Lice Treatment Centers and one Lice Treatment Center in Austin, TX. In addition, the Fairy LiceMothers's product line can be purchased on their website or directly from Amazon.