WHAT ARE LICE?
● They are tiny grey/brown insects about 2,5mm long . They cling to hair and are usually found on the head especially behind ears and nape of the neck. They live on blood by biting into our scalps which causes the itching and sometimes a rash especially by the neck area
● It takes 7-8 days for the eggs to hatch (nits), leaving behind a white, shiny empty shell behind.
● hair grows at 1cm a month basically thus one can see by how far the nits are from the scalp, and for how long you have had lice
● they can only crawl, no flying or hopping
● a louse lives for about 24 hrs and can survive under water for several hours
HOW TO REMOVE NITS
● ensure all adult lice are dead and gone first using the correct shampoos eg Paranix or Treet-it
● use 1:1 water to vineger and submerge hair in the mixture, or dampen hair then thoroughly and saturate hair with vinegar – this helps dissolve the “ glue” that sticks the nits to the hair shaft
● rinse off
● use leave in conditioner to help detangle the hair. Leaving conditioner in overnight can also smother the live lice and kill them. coconut oil can also be used.
● comb out the nits with the nit comb one strand at a time under a bright light or sunlight, Separate hair into sections with clips.
● ensure rinsing of the comb properly in between combing of hair with hot water
● repeat the whole process again until all hair is combed out properly
● repeat after 7 days to eliminate any new hatchlings
● always comb hair twice a day for 21 days (to cover reproductive cycle of lice)
● tea tree oil (15 drops) mixed with 60ml almond oil /olive oil can be used to coat hair and smother the lice
● use regular shampoo to rinse off
Link Hills Pharmacy also sells the Vaculice machine that ” suctions” lice off of dry hair.
MEAURES TO PREVENT RE-INFESTATION
● vacuum child’s car seat cover every day and wherever the head
● change pillowcases, bed sheets, pyjamas and towels every day and wash in hot water
● seal non-washable items like teddy bears and hair bands in a plastic bag for two weeks (esp. items that come into contact with the hair)
● wash all combs and brushes in hot water and / or bleach to dislodge lice and nits
Use a preventative lice spray on family members