Here are the things you should do first
- Check all family members for signs of infestation.
- Call “Lice Cleanse” for effective & professional head lice treatment.
- Let your school know and any friends you’ve seen recently.
Head lice treatment FAQ
Wash hair the night before. Do not come in with wet hair or hair products such as gel or hairspray.
Brush or comb hair free of tangles, if possible.
Wear a button-up shirt for easy removal.
Bring to your appointment:
- A new or cleaned hair tie or scrunchy.
- A favorite book, or toy.
- A snack.
- All family members so everyone can be checked. This helps minimize the odds of re-infestation.
- A clean shirt to be worn upon leaving.
DON’T STRESS over the cleaning. We will guide you through some safe and effective means of cleaning necessary items after your appointment.
One of our friendly, compassionate and knowledgeable technicians or staff members will greet you.
If you haven’t previously visited us, you will be asked to fill out our confidential client information form.
Once the forms are completed, a technician will bring you and your family to our treatment room. Children can watch TV.
If there is a lice outbreak at your school, expect to wait if you haven’t made an appointment.
Technicians will apply safe products and thoroughly comb the hair to remove all lice and nits.
The process for each person being treated should take about two hours, although for boys it could take less time. The process could be longer than two hours depending on the cooperation, length and thickness of hair, how tangled the hair is, and amount of infestation.
A technician will check to see if any other family member has lice. Only if lice or nits are found is treatment recommended. You do not have to pay extra to have all members of the same household checked. Even a person with very short hair should be checked. Time permitting, if lice or nits are found on other family members, we will treat immediately.
You will need to make appointments for two 15 minute follow-up visits within a two week period. Only by keeping these appointments can we ensure that no further contact with lice exists.
You may want to educate yourself while in our facility. Take advantage of this time to learn more about Head lice. We have plenty of reading material, including a sample copy of LICE ADVICE and we are always willing to answer questions you may have. Education is the best way to help prevent future reoccurrences!
Leave product on for at least two hours before washing out with a mint based shampoo and conditioner.
Be a friend and tell a friend. Notify your child’s school and any close friends who may have been in contact with your child. Remember, it is not just where the child got lice but who the child gave it to as well. Failing to notify contacts could put your child at risk for re-infestation.
Make head checks a part of your weekly routine. Early detection is the only way to stop Head lice from escalating or spreading!
Reduce your child’s chances for re-infestation. Keep girls’ hair pulled back, any time they are around others. Shampoo regularly using a mint-based shampoo or lice prevention shampoo to minimize the risks.
Use a mint-based leave-in spritz on the hair before leaving home. Comb with lice comb once or twice a week for 2-5 minutes each time and watch for signs of Head lice.
Use a mint-based shampoo and conditioner twice a week.
Play It Safe! Know who you are coming in contact with and NEVER knowingly expose yourself to Head lice.
Remember to come for your two follow-up visits.
Although the feeding bite of the louse is painless, its saliva can cause an allergic reaction in many people. There can be red marks and itching at the site of the bite. Reaction severity depends on host sensitivity and number of prior exposures. Initial infestation may produce no signs or symptoms for 4 to 6 weeks. Subsequent infestations may cause itching within 24 to 48 hours. Thus, first-time infestations are often asymptomatic, and severe itching usually indicates an infestation that has been present for several weeks. 50 % of the population are asymptomatic and never itch. This may account for the high rate of re-infestation among individuals who appear to be lice-free.
Intense itching at the site of the bite compels a person to scratch, often breaking the skin. The open scratches, in turn, create an entryway for germs and lice feces and may lead to secondary infections and swollen glands in the neck.
Secondary infections are far worse than the lice themselves and often lead to far more serious problems. One of our male clients went to a pediatrician with what was assumed to be mumps. Upon examination, the pediatrician discovered that the child had head lice and a reaction to the lice saliva caused his enlarged glands. Likewise, the child’s mother had been feeling lethargic. She had complained to her doctor that she was feeling “lousy” for no apparent reason, and he treated her for depression. When she found out that her child had lice, we checked her and discovered that she also had lice. Upon the elimination of their lice problem, both returned to being physically normal.
Other lice symptoms are:
- Rash at the nape of the neck
- Swollen glands
- Low-grade fever
- Bags under the eyes
- Inability to sleep because of the nocturnal characteristic of lice
- Anemia in severe cases
With a large number of lice bites, the infested individual may be feverish and feel tired and irritable due to lack of sleep, hence the term “feeling lousy.” Chronic scalp infections are not uncommon in individuals with active head lice infestations, especially in tropical climates or when daily hygiene is difficult to maintain.
At a minimum you should have a:
- Terminator comb
- Mint shampoo
- Mint conditioner
- Mint spritz
The intense heat of a blow dryer can kill lice and possibly damage some of the nits in the process. It doesn’t, however, kill all of them. Furthermore, because most bugs are found closest to the scalp, and a blow dryer cannot have direct contact with the scalp, far more lice and nits remain unaffected by this process.
The AirAlle is a fancy blow dryer device that kills lice and nits through dehydration. However, you still need to comb to eliminate all evidence. It is widely popular and claims to kill 92% of lice and nits. While we applaud this means of bringing safer alternatives to the market, we believe that our methodical approach, when used beginning to end, is the most efficient means of ensuring a successful outcome.
Despite what you may have heard or done in the past, cleaning your home or classroom need not be very difficult. Studies have shown that there is less than 2% chance of anyone getting lice from items such as stuffed animals, bedding, carpet, linens, helmets, hats, coats, dress-up clothes, and draperies. This is because lice cannot live more than approximately 24 hours off the head.
We recommend you do ONLY 5 things:
- Remove bed linens, towels and pajamas used by the infested person and replace with clean bedding and pajamas. Put used bedding and pajamas in the hamper for 24 hours or wash and dry them on hot temperatures.
- Lightly vacuum couches, carpets, and car seats or throw a blanket/sheet over them for 24 hours.
- Remove comforters or bedspreads from beds the infested person came in contact with for 24 hours or throw into the dryer for 30 to 45 minutes on high heat.
- If your child sleeps with a stuffed animal or blanket, place it in a hot dryer for 30 minutes.
- Clean combs, brushes, and hair ties used in the last 24 hours in any of the following ways (or do not use them for 24 hours):
- Place in alcohol, ammonia or dish detergent and allow them to soak for a minimum of two hours.
- Put into boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Put in a Ziploc bag and place in freezer for two hours.
- Wash in dishwasher on a hot cycle.
Make an appointment for as soon as you can. As a quick fix, get a good lice comb (we recommend the TerminatorTM) and thoroughly comb your child’s hair while wet to remove as many lice as you can. You can also wash your child’s hair with a mint-based shampoo and conditioner. Use the shampoo and conditioner only a couple of times a week, as they can cause dry scalp and increased itching.
Head lice are tiny six-legged blood-sucking parasites. Each leg is equipped with a claw, enabling the lice to grasp onto the shaft of the child’s hair. They can vary in color from grayish white to reddish brown. Head lice, like chameleons, have the ability to adapt to their environment.
The female louse lays her eggs by gluing them to your hair shafts. She will produce approximately 200 eggs in her lifetime. Eggs, or nits as they’re commonly called, generally hatch in 7 to 10 days. Once hatched, they have a life expectancy of approximately 30 days.
Lice are wingless and cannot jump or fly. They can, however, move with amazing speeds.
They depend on human blood for survival. A louse separated from its human host will rarely survive more than 24 hours.
No one knows for sure. The first mention of lice existence is in the Bible.
In almost all cases, lice are transmitted from one human host to another, brought about mainly as a result of head-to-head contact.
Certain people just seem to attract lice. Head lice are always on the lookout for a favorable environment.
There are many factors that draw head lice to one individual over another. Blood type and Rh factor are among them.
While it’s more commonly spread among children, parents and other adults are not immune. When hair has contact with another’s hair (and it will), if that person has lice and you are a favorable environment, you take the risk of exposing yourself to an uninvited houseguest.
Head lice actually prefer a clean head of hair. Lice, however, are not prejudicial. A louse’s only concern is for its own survival. To accomplish this, the louse needs to feed and is always looking for the most convenient means of doing so.
While we hear this question a lot, we strongly discourage it. It is nice in theory but wrong in actuality. Shampooing daily does nothing to prevent head lice.
Since nits are glued to the hair, all the brushing and washing on earth won’t change that fact. The eggs are coated with a fixative substance, which literally cements them to the hair shaft. They are blood-sucking parasites with crab-like claws. They can attach themselves to your hair and will hang on for dear life.
The most obvious way is the usual itchy scalp so commonly, but not always, found in head lice cases. The only way to confirm your suspicions, however, is by a thorough examination of your child’s hair. Making head lice exams a part of your regular routine will allow you to identify the problem at its onset and thus prevent head lice from taking over your family, your home and your life. To be on the safe side, let us check your child. Once your child is in our system, you only pay $20 for each head check.
If you find head lice on your child’s head, take care of the problem right away. Each day wasted is an increased opportunity for reproduction, not to mention the additional chances of spreading to others. There are many options for lice removal. Of course, in our opinion, professional lice removal by Lice Cleanse is the best. However, how you treat the problem is entirely up to you.
No. We do not accept insurance. However, we do provide you with the necessary code so you can submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement.
- How long have you been providing this service?
- Where did you receive your training?
- What method of nit removal do you use?
- Is your treatment process safe?
- What is your success rate?
- Do you provide follow-up?
- What guarantees, if any, do you offer?
- What about other family members? Do you check them as well, and if so, is there a charge?
Be wary of any service that claims to have a 100% success rate.
Head lice are one of the number one reasons for absenteeism in schools across the country.
It’s impossible to know exactly how many cases of head lice there are each year. Statistics derived from product sales, however, suggest that the U.S. alone sees over 12 million cases of head lice each year. It is estimated that parents spend 150 million dollars annually trying to be rid of this problem. The cost is far greater when you factor in the missed wages that often occur as a result of parents being forced to miss work while tending to their child’s head lice problem.
For the most part, head lice themselves are just an irritating problem. While in some cases their saliva can produce an allergic reaction among certain individuals, these reactions are usually mild compared to the risk involved with many shampoo products.
Products containing Lindane have caused the greatest concerns. Exposure to the neurotoxic product has been linked to seizures, developmental disabilities, hormone disruption and worse yet, cancer. Thanks to the EPA, Lindane can no longer be used on animals or the environment; as it is considered too dangerous an option, BUT IT IS STILL ALLOWED AS A HEAD LICE SHAMPOO. Thankfully, many states, including California, New York, and Michigan have taken this decision out of the FDA’s hands and banned the pharmaceutical use within their states.
Adding to the dangers is the fact that many parents fail to follow proper directions, leaving the shampoo on longer than recommended or re-treating too quickly. Improper treatment is one of the biggest causes of re-infestation and among the greatest dangers to your child. Another such danger, and one clearly marked on the shampoo packaging, is the danger in treating a child under the age of 2 or the use of such products by pregnant individuals.
The National Pediculosis Association was formed in 1982. Since then the Association has made great strides in increasing awareness through research and education. The group fought to limit the use of potentially harmful products containing dangerous chemicals such as Lindane and was also instrumental in establishing the current “No Nit” policy still utilized in many schools today. The NPA was also instrumental in recognizing the importance of combing and through their research they helped to revolutionize the way we treat head lice, with the use of better and more effective combs.
- It takes 7-10 days for a nit to hatch. Some experts believe this can take as long as 14 days.
- It takes 7-10 days for a baby louse to become an adult.
- A head louse lives approximately 20 days after mating.
- A head louse lives approximately 30 days from hatching to dying.
Lice cannot live off the head for more than 24 hours and begin to die after approximately 12 hours.
Lice can travel 9 inches per minute! They have 6 legs, which helps them move forward, backward and even sideways!
A nymph is a baby louse. Another word for nymph is “instar”.
A nymph goes through 3 molts before it becomes an adult.
Mating can occur as soon as 10 hours after third molt, although 24 hours is more common.
A nymph becomes an adult approximately 9-12 days after hatching.
Lice are grayish white or tan.
Adult lice are approximately the size of a sesame seed.
Nymphs are extremely small and difficult to see – they could look like dirt or sand, or like a freckle.
Lice need blood to survive & must feed every 3-4 hours. A nymph must feed within 1-2 hours after birth.
COMB, COMB, COMB to remove Head lice from their food source – the blood from your head! They will usually die within 6-24 hours.
Use a good lice comb – we recommend the TerminatorTM.
It’s difficult to suffocate head lice as they can hold their breath and shut down their system for approximately 2 hours, even under water!
Intense heat can kill them – put clothes, stuffed animals, linens and pillows in the dryer for 30 minutes! You can also vacuum all areas that came into direct contact with the infested person’s head.
Most products don’t kill the nits!
Cetaphil may kill some lice, but it doesn’t kill the nits. It requires multiple treatments and is no more effective than other available OTC products.
- A female louse becomes pregnant immediately upon mating and then remains pregnant the rest of her life, laying 8-10 eggs each day.
- Females are bigger than males.
African-Americans can get head lice although this isn’t as prevalent as other populations. This is because of the shape of their hair.
In Africa, head lice have claws that have adapted to tightly curled, oval-shaped hair.
More African-Americans get head lice now than in the past, partially due to increased interracial relationships, although infestation is still less severe than among other ethnic groups.
Although hairspray is often thought to be a preventative, it is not. Many people believe that a dirty head of hair can’t get head lice, therefore, they tend to over-apply hairspray, gels and similar products. While hairspray does keep hair closer to the scalp, making it less likely to have contact with another person’s head, this is not a strong guarantee that lice will be prevented.
The only difference a warmer climate makes is that the bugs have the ability to move more freely about the hair and therefore, will lay eggs throughout the hair; while in colder climates they generally stay closer to the scalp. Head lice exist virtually everywhere!
There are many reasons why some people seem to get lice repeatedly. First is the likelihood that they never got rid of it. Second is the fact that they are back in the same environment, sharing close contact with the same individuals that they were around when they had lice, thus risking re-infestation. Additionally, when the bugs feed on people, they leave a scent behind, actually acting as an attraction for more head lice. While no one knows for certain how long this lasts, we always encourage clients to be extremely cautious for three weeks and extra careful for 90 days after battling a case of head lice.
While it may seem that you see more cases of head lice during the school months, it is not due to a lice season. Lice happen all year round. However, since children have more contact with each other in a class environment than during the summer months, you obviously see an increase in numbers. Additionally, there are many schools that still enforce head lice policies, therefore making those numbers more obvious.
When in the dying stage (whether at the end of its normal life span or after its food source is taken away from it) it is not likely that a female louse will lay eggs. The nits need hair to cling to, so nits wouldn’t survive if laid off the hair. Also, when in the dying stage, the louse is in a weakened state.
While it is more likely to find nits closer to the scalp, nits can be found an inch or two or even further down the hair shaft, especially in warmer climates where bugs can move more freely throughout the hair. All the bug knows is that it’s hair, not where they belong on the strand. We have examined samples of hair with multiple eggs on it only to discover that the eggs nearest the root were empty, while eggs farther from the scalp were viable.
If the head lice are fertilized females, they can and will begin laying eggs immediately. Another point to keep in mind is that head lice generally travel in harems, often consisting of seven or eight females and one male. With this many egg-laying females laying eight to ten eggs daily, you can see how what starts as a simple case of head lice can escalate very quickly.
The only way to be certain if a nit is viable or not is to look at it under a microscope. This is one of the main reasons why no-nit policies exist. Obviously, you’re not going to stop and examine every nit. So as policy goes, if you see a nit, pull it!
A single female louse lays eggs twice a day and four to five eggs each time. Multiply that by the 10, 20, even 40 or 60 bugs that might be on the head and it’s easy to see how a severe infestation can develop so quickly.
Head lice only live on the head. But they can live in places other than the scalp. They may live in a beard or mustache, in eyebrows, or in rare cases in eyelashes. Lice Solutions has treated these extreme cases and works with a doctor if necessary.
When we look under a microscope we can see bugs breathing inside the eggs!
Mint is an offensive odor to lice, making the hair a less desirable environment.
Head lice are primarily spread through head-to-head contact. That is why communication with those individuals with whom you’ve had recent contact with is so important.
The general rule is that head lice don’t carry disease. The fact that head lice have a low morbidity rate and are fairly host-specific reduces the odds of spreading disease. Some researchers in the field, however, believe that they carry disease, and studies are being done in that area to prove it.
Pediculosis is another word for head lice.
A pediculicide is a pesticide that kills lice.
If a person who has lice dies, it is usually due to other factors, such as infections that come from scratching the scalp with dirty nails or from unsafe treatment methods.
Head lice are highly contagious. Whether or not you choose to battle them, if you don’t rid yourself of them you are spreading them to everyone around you. While not generally life- threatening, they can lead to other illnesses and, in some situations, even death.
Wouldn’t that be a perfect world? However, there is no miracle product. The product merely assists one in the treatment process. Therefore, we always encourage people to exercise caution and to use safe, non-toxic products when looking for a treatment product.
First and foremost, get a good lice comb. We recommend the TerminatorTM because its micro grooves grab the nits well. Beyond that we encourage parents to look for safe, non-toxic products, such as the ones we have for purchase.
We’ve already used the common products found in our local pharmacy and they didn’t work; why is that?
Many products currently available have been on the market for about thirty years. In part because of over use of these over-the-counter products, the bugs have built up a resistance to them. Regrettably, we were warned over twenty years ago that these products were losing their effectiveness. User error in proper treatment methods also plays a role in treatment failure. We must now look for safer and more effective alternatives, such as the methodical combing that we do at Lice Solutions.
We recommend damp combing because the dampness makes it easier for the comb to glide through the hair, making removal of lice and nits more effective. However, if someone is itching, combing on dry hair is ok. You should comb after a bath or in the shower a couple of times a week.
It is possible to have head lice for years without knowing it, especially if the person does not experience itching. Generally, however, by the time someone identifies head lice, he/she has had head lice for a minimum of two weeks, but more likely 4-8 weeks.
Don’t treat needlessly. We like to say, “If one family member has a cold, would you give medicine to everyone?” Of course not! What you would do, however, is exercise precautionary measures. The same holds true with lice. Be aware, check, comb, and watch for signs, and only if necessary, treat. So we do a Head Check first, and only if Evidence of head lice is identified on that person, we recommend treatment. Check first and only if necessary treat.
On rare occasions, a case of head lice can go away by itself. More often, however, the case continues to multiply and to spread to others.
We treated my daughter using an over-the-counter product and spent many hours combing her very long hair. It seemed she had a light case and you did the second treatment 10 days later. After about a week, I checked her head again and found a few more eggs. Should I re-treat her?
You should not continue to re-treat her. Instead keep looking and combing. The fact that you found more nits does not mean that she has a new case. It could be nothing more than missed nits. The question is not that you are finding them but how you are finding them. When a louse lays eggs, it lays them in clusters of three to five nits at a time. Imagine taking a quarter and setting it over the nit. Any nits within that area are considered to be a cluster. If you are finding them in a cluster, then you need to comb more and look harder as that could mean a bug still exists. If, however, you find them scattered (for example, one behind right ear, one in bangs, and one at nape of neck) then more likely these nits were missed. With a little time for hair growth, a nit that was originally at the root of the hair has now grown away enough to become visible to the eye.
Hot spots are areas of the scalp where you are more like to find lice – the nape of the neck, behind the ears and the crown of the head.
These are all types of lice:
- Bedbugs: Bedbugs hide among sheets, blankets, and in furniture and really do bite during the night when they seek a warm body for a meal. They usually leave brown or black markings on the bed linens and bite in rows, often leaving three or more linear bite marks.
- Head Lice: Head lice live only on the head; including, eye brows, beard, or eye lashes. They do not travel to other parts of the body.
- Body Lice: The body louse looks similar to the head louse, but is slightly larger. It lives in clothing (commonly in the seamed areas) and then transfers to the human host to feed. While the life cycle of the head louse and the body louse are similar in character and duration, an important difference is the ability of the body louse to survive for up to 30 days away from its human host. Body-lice infestation is a prominent public-health problem in communities with large populations dealing with poverty, overcrowding, and poor personal hygiene. Reused mattresses and bed linens as well as communal beds are risk factors.
- Pubic Lice: The pubic louse (“crab louse”) is somewhat rounded with three pairs of legs on either side of the body and it looks like a crab. The female life span is three weeks, and she produces fewer eggs per day (three) than her counterparts. The eggs attach to the base of the pubic hair shaft for approximately six to eight days before hatching. In adults pubic lice is transmitted by direct sexual contact; children generally contact the infection via nonsexual transmission from their parents, although sexual transmission is possible in cases of sexual abuse. A pubic louse can travel up the body. Pubic lice can live in the eyelashes, especially in children who lack pubic hair.
In order to remove the lice from your hair, dreadlocks need to be cut off and extensions need to be removed.
To emphasize how severe a neglected problem can get, we like to share a story. Several years ago, one of our local middle-school nurses called about a seventh-grader who was battling a head lice problem. The school was well aware of it, but since the child had already missed so much school, she was allowed to continue in class.
What the school wasn’t aware of was the real severity of the situation! Our technician, ill-prepared for how severe the problem was, quickly had to call for reinforcements. The child’s head was so infested that it took two technicians four hours each to comb through her hair and even then they didn’t get it all.
Because her case of head lice had been neglected for so long, it was difficult to work on her tender head. She suffered with multiple open wounds that had blood and puss oozing from her.
The technicians worked diligently, each taking a side of the child’s head. Working as gently as possible they attempted to remove the lice and nits. They had to soften the hair before they could even start and had to have the child rewash her hair three more times during the treatment process. Hundreds of live lice literally ran from this child’s hair and there was little free space for head lice to lay their eggs on. Not needing to work for their food, the lice were literally basking in the blood.
Finally the technicians admitted they had done all they could to do more required medical help. A doctor prescribed antibiotics to heal the sores and kill off any remaining lice.
This also became a child-neglect issue since the situation should never have gotten that out of hand. Mom, knowing the child had head lice, felt that at 12 years of age she was old enough to tend to her own head. It also became a serious school problem. Upon notification to her school nurse, they did a head by head check of the entire seventh grade and sent 86 children home in one day!!
While I know this description has probably made your stomach turn, it’s important to understand how quickly a neglected case of head lice can become a very severe problem. The most important factor that can’t be stressed enough is that having head lice should be no more embarrassing than having chicken pox! As parents, we’re sorry for those to whom we unknowingly spread it, but it happens.
We need to stop the blame game. That means, don’t look to blame and don’t stress over being blamed. Again, lice happens! The only fault you should accept is for failing to act in the first place. We always tell our families, “It’s not just about where you got head lice, but who you gave head lice to as well!” Get over the blame game, accept that it happens, and deal with the problem.
We like the Terminator comb because it works well! The Terminator’s micro-grooved design in a spiral form and the length and width of its prongs makes combing easier to grab the lice and nits! The end result of combing with the Terminator is less time than manually picking and a greater success rate upon completion. A comb comparison study performed in our West Palm Beach office in May of 2007 on 100 lice-infested individuals found that the Terminator comb outperformed the Lice Meister by 2 to 1 and the Rid comb by almost 4 to 1. Come in today to purchase a comb.
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