What You Need to Know About Head Lice

Get the Facts

Why do we keep getting head lice? Many of us know how frustrating it can be. While it’s hard to avoid catching head lice, the good news is there is a lot you can do to control it so it’s no longer a problem for you or your family.

We’re experts at treating head lice and nits. To stop them in their tracks, here’s what you should know:

What are head lice?

Head lice are tiny parasitic insects that live in human hair. They live off human blood and lay eggs (also known as nits) on the hair shaft close to the scalp.

How do you get head lice?

Head lice are highly contagious and spread by direct contact with the hair of an infected person. Head lice crawl but they can’t fly. They don’t survive for long outside of their human host, but they can sometimes be transmitted by sharing personal items such as hats or towels.

Anyone can catch head lice. They’re not a sign of poor hygiene or dirty hair. Head lice are very common in children as they play and interact in close contact with each other.

How do you check for head lice?

While itching may be a tell-tale sign, sometimes you may not have any head lice symptoms, so it’s important to check the scalp regularly. That way you’ll have a better chance of detecting head lice and treating it early.

The best way to check for head lice and eggs is to part the hair in small sections and look close to the hairline around the ears and front and back of the head. Look for tiny white, yellow or brown dandruff-like specs (the eggs) that will be attached to the hair close to the scalp. You may see live lice crawling around too. Live head lice are fast, and hard to spot, so even if you only find eggs, it still means you have head lice.

What do head lice and eggs look like?

Head lice are tiny oval shaped insects that are difficult to see so you will need good light when you’re checking for them. They can be brown, black, grey or white.

Their eggs (also known as nits), are tiny specs that are attached to the hair shaft close to the scalp. They can also be yellow, black, brown or white.

What is the head lice life cycle?

A single louse can live on the human head for as long as 30 days. It’s important to understand the head lice life cycle because when you treat head lice, not only do you need to kill the live lice, but also the eggs. If you don’t kill both, the cycle will continue.

Do home remedies for head lice really work?

There’s a lot of information out there about home-made solutions for head lice. When you or your child has head lice, the important thing is to get on top of it as soon as possible. You need to make sure you’ve thoroughly treated all of the lice and eggs (nits), as it only takes one egg or louse to continue the infestation. Instead of a home-made remedy, you’re better off finding a solution that’s safe and proven to work the very first time you use it.