Lice happens. Almost every parent will probably be faced with this childhood epidemic at least once in their parenting journey…Lice are not choosy, they like clean hair, dirty hair, short hair, long hair, old people, young people, kids and adults, if you got hair- then your fair game… Ok so now what? I escaped my first decade of parenting Lice Free, but looks like the luck ran out at 1 month after the 10 year mark…Before it happened to us, the natural uninformed reaction would be to give the stink eye, and now here I am to bust the stigma! It’s simply a case of BAD LUCK!
I had an itch in the same spot for 2 days, which I just figured was just a dry spot because I had switched my conditioner. Lice wasn’t even on my radar. Then the topic came up in convo, and you know how it goes, as soon as you start discussing lice you start to get all itchy and creeped out. I asked my friend, who I shall call the “expert”, and she recommended I get checked at Deliceful, in Great Neck. I arrived to a cute little cottage, and they begin the check, combing with a special “nit comb” section by section. On first glance I was in the clear and then all of a sudden a “nit” (egg) was spotted!🔎🕷Oh dear God, no…no, no, NOOOOOOO! WTFFFFFFF!!!! She asked if I wanted to be have the full treatment, which of course I said YES and NOW! She told me I would be here for 3 hours, which at first made my heart sink, but then I realized 3 hours of being left alone with no kids pulling at my every body part, alone with a tv, my cell phone and my mophie charger…thats like a Mom’s dream come true!
The reality sunk in, oh SHOOT I have 4 kids and family and friends are in and out of my house everyday! This is like social suicide! UGHHHHHHH! A few minutes later, I had the Grandmas literally SPRINTING to pick all the kids up from school and bring them to Deliceful to get head checks…in a matter of minutes my phone had blown up…word travels fast, and I was forced to be the blabber! My peaceful de-licing process ended 20 minutes later when the shop was inundated with my 4 kids running around…
Unfortunately one daughter had lice and the other had nits. I’m gonna do this people, because I told you I’m an open book. Don’t you dare turn on me. I will show you the pics so you will be able to know what your looking for.
The first pic, are the nits (eggs). They can be white or grey or even blend with your hair. Ours were brownish and they stuck to the hair shaft. You couldn’t flick it away. You needed to peel it down with your nail or “work” at it, as opposed to blowing it off like dandruff. They can look like tiny yellow, tan, or brown dots before they hatch. Lice lay nits on hair shafts close to the scalp, where the temperature is perfect for keeping warm until they hatch.
It’s more common to see nits in a child’s hair than it is to see live lice crawling on the scalp. Lice eggs hatch within 1 to 2 weeks after they’re laid. After hatching, the remaining shell looks white or clear and stays firmly attached to the hair shaft. This is when it’s easiest to spot them, as the hair is growing longer and the egg shell is moving away from the scalp.
The next pic is the actual lice bug attached to the hair. It was bigger then I thought, like a beige color. It literally looks like what my nightmares are made of…a 🕷 (Zoom I dare u)
Interestingly, my boys, the nanny and both grandmas were lice/nit free, the husband will get checked in the morning and will be quarantined tonight. 5 hours later, the Shaps were walking out lice free and good to go…We survived step 1…
This afternoon was filled with vacuuming, putting all sheets, pillows and pillow cases and stuffed animals in the dryer on HIGH for 45 mins, anything that can’t be put in dryer she said to put in a garbage bag sealed shut for 2 days, because lice can’t live without feeding off of human hair for 24 hours, and throwing away brushes. I’ll contact anyone who has come in contact with my girls and I, it’s all about responsible parenting. AGAIN I WANT TO REITERATE THIS VERY IMPORTANT FACT- IF LICE DO NOT HAVE A FOOD SOURCE (HAIR/SCALP) FOR AT LEAST 24 HOURS THEY ARE DEAD!!!!!
FYI the chances of you getting Lice from an inanimate object (a hat, brush, couch etc) is less than 5% because they need a food source. By the time they leave your head they are already starting to die. Every 3 hours the lice need to feed off of your head (blood) they are so minuscule that that’s why you don’t feel the bites or may not even feel them crawling. 40% of people never experience itching, which is oftentimes from the glue in the saliva the lice leave so that the eggs can attach. However with lice bites yout may experience itching and scratching due to a reaction to the saliva of lice. Here are some facts and myth, please read them all.
Listen it sucks, it’s annoying and embarrassing, but it’s part of life. As parents we will all face these annoying kids issues like lice, cocksackee, the flu, strep etc that you get from other kids…its par for the course. Of course you can be diligent and live in fear every day, but that’s not realistic. Like the past 10 years, we will do our best to prevent and be careful moving forward. They recommend braids and buns for the girls as much as possible, it reduces the chances but does not completely stop you from getting lice. We will use the peppermint detangler spray. Lice don’t jump, they are transmitted from direct contact to contact. That means 2 heads need to be TOUCHING long enough for the lice to crawl from one hair shaft onto another, because they DONT JUMP OR FLY!
Ok so where do we go from here? For the next 2 weeks we will use the shampoo and conditioner that they sell at Deliceful, and after the shower we will use the special nit comb to make sure the shampoo and conditioner have been evenly distributed. The reason you need to do 2 weeks is because the lice leave a scent, so the 2 week treatment is important in killing off the smell. Every morning before school as I’m putting their hair in braids/buns I will spray their entire hair with their special Peppermint/mint spray. The bugs do not like the scent of the spray and while it is not a guarantee for preventing lice it reduces your chances of the bugs wanting to transmit to your hair. We will all get a recheck after 5-7 days, and as long as you did your due diligence (clean your bedding, lice shampooing/conditioner/ peppermint spray and make sure your kids are all checked and treated), they said they rarely see reinfestation at the recheck.
Here is some more info…from my friend the “expert”. If you really want to be diligent you can use these magnifiers to help easily spot lice and nits. This nit comb is very important for after lice care for brushing . In detecting lice the grooves between the tight teeth are what pulls the nits out.
If you are worried about your kid being affected, you definitely should get them checked out right away because if they came into contact with a child with lice, the lice will start laying eggs literally the very next day and you want to catch it as early as possible, even thought you treat lice and nits the same way. If you have any more info that can be helpful to others please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can add more info…
Head lice can survive on a human host for approximately 30 days. They generally cannot survive longer than 24 hours off the host.
A female louse lays 3-5 eggs a day. The eggs hatch in 7-10 days and it takes another 7-10 day for the louse to mature and lay their own eggs.
Head lice cannot be “caught” from pets and cannot survive on pets. They are human parasites and require human blood for survival.
DON’T FREAK OUT! It’s a pain, it’s annoying but you too will survive! They’re contagious, and sometimes tough to get rid of. But while they’re frustrating to deal with, lice aren’t dangerous. They don’t spread disease. Lice is a part of life with kids, it happens to the best of us. Nothing to be ashamed of people. This too shall pass…
For further reading here is Lice facts from the website of Deliceful:
Answers To Common Questions About Lice
Q: What are the symptoms of head lice?
There are many indicators that you or your child may have a head lice infestation. These include a tickling feeling that something is moving around in the hair; itching caused by an allergic reaction to the bits, sores on the head from scratching, small red bit marks on the scalp or a red rash on the back of the neck. If you have any questions regarding head lice facts please feel free to call one of our 3 locations.
Q: What are nits?
Mature louse produce eggs called nits. These eggs are small ovals with a white or cream color. Most nits are about the size of a sesame seed and can be found attached within 1/4 inch from the base of the hair shaft. Nits are most often found behind the ears or on the nape of the neck. Lice attach nits to the hair with a super-strong glue, making them difficult to remove. Nits will not blow away with a hair dryer or comb/brush out with conventional haircare utensils. The best way to remove nits is with a nit comb- a special device with up to ten times the amount of tines that a normal comb has.
Q: Can lice jump or fly?
Lice are crawling insects. They do not jump, fly, or swim. Lice do not have wings, rather they are a six-legged creature with small hooks at the end of the legs which allow them to latch onto the hair follicles and hold on for dear life. Lice can only transfer from person to person with direct contact, through the sharing of haircare utensils, or through direct contact with clothing, bedding or furniture.
Q: Does using gel in the hair help to prevent head lice?
Unfortunately, gel, hairspray and other haircare products are not likely to prevent the transfer of lice. A daily spritz of mint spray has been shown to be an effective deterrent, though not a guaranteed solution.
Q: Can my pet have head lice?
No pets cannot have head lice. Pediculus Humanus, the correct medical term for head lice, are a human problem. These bugs have specifically evolved to latch onto human hair and feed on our blood. You do not need to treat your household pets when dealing with a head infestation, as these lice are all specific to humans.
Q: Where do head lice come from?
We do not know how or where head lice first popped up, but evidence suggests that we have been dealing with this problem since the dawn of humanity. Evolutionary biologists believe that modern head lice was first a form of chimpanzee lice which, at the time of man’s evolution from chimp to early human, evolved with us. The world’s oldest physical proof of lice is a nit found at a Brazilian archeological site dating back 10,000 years. Egyptian mummies have been found with petrified head lice and eggs, and nit combs have been found in Egyptian tombs.
Q: What is the life cycle of head lice?
Head lice are parasitic animals that can survive for approximately 30 days when attached to a human host. Generally, lice can not survive if they are separated from their human food source for more than 24 hours. A female louse lays 3-5 eggs (nits) per day. These eggs hatch in 7-10 days, and it takes another 7-10 days for the immature nymphs to develop into louse, at which point they can lay their own eggs.
Q: Can African Americans get head lice?
The incidence of head lice infestations in African Americans is significantly lower than that of Caucasians, Hispanics and Asian Americans. Studies by Pediatric Dermatologists suggest that African American school aged children account for less than one-half percent of all reported cases. Though African American children may be less susceptible to infestations, they can, and do get head lice. Head lice in the United States are of a different species than head lice found in Africa, where the lice have evolved to specifically target the thicker hair follicles genetically inherited by African and African American populations.
Q: Can you catch head lice while swimming with an infested person?
Swimming carries no greater risk of transmission than any other activity. In fact, when lice are submerged in water, they latch on firmly to the hair and hold their breath, literally hanging on for dear life. This is why lice often survive shampooing, rain, seawater and swimming pools. Risk of transmission in and around swimming areas generally occurs with the sharing of towels, the piling of over-wear around the pool, sharing of lockers, and direct head to head contact associated with child’s play.
Q. Why shampoos don’t work!
Rid and other lice shampoos only kill adult lice and adolescent newts. These shampoos work by attacking the bug’s central nervous system. Because baby lice or “nymphs” have not yet developed a central nervous system, they can not be killed. In addition, lice shampoos do not kill lice eggs or “nits”. So while you may kill the adult bugs, their eggs will remain, only to hatch a few days later starting the cycle all over again. This is why lice is so hard to eliminate!
Here are some important head lice facts to consider:
Lice shampoos contain toxic chemicals which can enter your system through the skin on your scalp. Many adult lice have become resistant to these chemicals. So in many cases, the shampoos are completely useless.
The only way to guarantee the complete removal of head lice is by hand picking each and every bug and nit. This is exactly the service we provide!
Q. Do I have to clean my house from top to bottom?
Absolutely not! Lice cannot live off the head for more than 24 hours. So all those companies that offer to come and clean your homes while delicing your family… totally unnecessary and a BIG waste of money!