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How to Get Rid of Head Lice

Dec 16, 2007
Finding out that you or one of your children has contracted head lice is never good news. The first question that is likely to enter your mind is, "How do I get rid of these head lice?"

Removing head lice as soon as possible is important to prevent the infestation from spreading to others.

How Head Lice is Contracted

Contrary to popular belief, head lice is contracted through simple contact with the tiny insects and has nothing to do with a person's cleanliness. Once infected, being clean does nothing to rid a person of a head lice infestation other than to make the environment more habitable for the lice. Lice, like most insects, prefer a clean environment.

Infestation most often happens through the sharing of combs, hats, or simply coming into close contact with a lice- infested person.

So, how do you get rid of head lice? We'll discuss that next.

Dealing With a Head Lice Infestation

Once you or somebody you know is infested with head lice, you have several options at your disposal to deal with the problem.

First and foremost, you'll want to prevent the spread as much as possible. Keep your children at home, and if you yourself are infected, minimize contact with others by calling in sick to work and not going out if possible.

Furthermore, don't allow others to use your brushes, hats, or clothing that might contain lice or lice eggs.

To sanitize possibly infected items such as clothing, combs, and hats, wash all clothing in very hot water that is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit. This is hot enough to kill any lice and their eggs. Combs and hair brushes should have all the hair removed and soaked in boiling water for several minutes.

So now the big question: how to get rid of head lice.

Once you've dealt with any possible methods of transmission, it's time to get rid of the head lice that are living on your head or your child's head.

First consider the amount of hair that is present. Large amounts of hair make it very difficult to kill all the lice and their eggs. While this won't be an issue for most people, if you are dealing with a head of particularly thick and/or long hair, consider trimming it down to reduce the places that lice eggs can be hiding.

Unfortunately, simply washing your hair will not kill any lice or eggs. Lice are pretty resilient, and can withstand being underwater, as they are able to encase themselves in a protective casing to prevent themselves from drowning.

Specialized shampoo will be required to kill the lice and their eggs. Remember, the less hair there is, the easier it will be to kill any lice that remain. Look for natural lice cures that get rid of head lice without using harsh chemicals. Recent studies have shown that lice are becoming resistant to the most common chemical treatments available over the counter.

Another option is to simply shave the head bald. Since lice lay their eggs on hair strands, if there is no hair, then they can't lay their eggs. Furthermore, without hair the lice will be exposed and unprotected, without any hair shaft to attach to, and the lice will die off.

Being bald will also prevent you from ever getting infected to begin with. However, pediatricians recommend against shaving a child's head due to the negative psychological effects.
About the Author
Fairy Tales Hair Care (http://www.fairytaleshaircare.com/content/faqs.asp) specializes in natural hair care products especially for children. With head lice developing increasing resistance to traditional chemical insecticides, natural cures to get rid of head lice in children are a popular specialty.
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