Do head lice prefer clean or dirty hair?

When I was a kid I remember everyone use to have little sleep overs and share pillows and sleep in sleeping bags together. Well that wasn’t me. The day I came home from the sleepover, I was constantly itching and scratching. I had very long nails, so every time I itched I would check my nails. About two weeks later I found a louse bug in my nail. It was gross yet cool. Ever since then, I always thought that washing my hair three times a day would keep the lice away. (I rhymed)  But I learned later that that’s not the case.

As most of us know, lice are small, wingless, greyish-white insects with flattened, elongate bodies with oval heads.

Every civilization in human history has tried to get rid of head lice. But they’re still here. That’s because head lice are very, very good at what they do and because, until now, there has been no safe, reliable way to remove an entire infestation (head lice, nits and live eggs) quickly and easily. As in the movie Alien, if you don’t get rid of the eggs, you end up right back where you started. Head lice spend their entire lifespan in our hair, clinging tightly onto it as soon as they emerge from their eggs. They tend to stay close to our scalps in order to feed directly from our blood, and they cannot survive for long once they have been removed from the head.

Head lice are very good at moving from one host to another during head-to-head contact. When your hair is touching someone else’s, even for a few moments, there is an opportunity for head lice to migrate. This is why they are so prevalent amongst primary school children.

Now, those are the facts but the question of this blog is, do head lice prefer clean or dirty hair?

The answer is no. They are tough, resourceful little creatures. You can’t wash them out, and there is no scientific evidence to indicate that either washing or not washing the hair will do anything to prevent an infestation. Not to mention,  girls normally often have longer hair than boys, which can make it easier for head lice to move from one head to another.

Buy a quality lice treatment (also known as a pediculicide). You should be able to buy one over the counter at a local drug store. You should also get a quality nit comb (a normal comb is not fine enough to remove nits and lice from hair); a flea comb for pets may also be used. But do remember, head lice are annoying, but they are not dangerous. Don’t ever let them make you or your children unhappy. Your Thoughts?

Here’s a little video so you know what to look for when it comes to lice>


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