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Nits & Head Lice

Special Thanks to The Hairforce – Lice Assassins, a unique nit and head lice clearing service, for supplying the information

The Hairforce
22 St Mark's Crescent, Primrose Hill, London, NW1 7TU
Email: [email protected]
Tel: (07720) 838 271

Nits and Head Lice – terrorising the nation’s scalps

Nits and lice are every parent’s nightmare – the blood, sweat and tears they extract from everyone in the family is all too familiar. It’s hard for the kids having them - they get embarrassed and frustrated, and often find it uncomfortable at school and with their friends. But it is Mum in particular who’s at the sharp end – it is with her that the responsibility to clear it rests, and it is Mum that must accommodate the workload. Here are some key facts to help Mum’s everywhere that will make you wince, smile and feel more equipped to fight the enemy.

Facts that make you wince

  • Nits and lice are at epidemic proportions in this country – half of all 11-14 year olds get them each year. In addition younger and older siblings, parents, grand parents, teachers and carers also get them
  • Head lice are the second most communicable health issue amongst children – the first is the common cold
  • We spend £30 million per year on nit and lice shampoos and treatments in this country but 80% of them have been proven by a government research group not to work
  • The average infestation is about 20 lice – during their 30 day life span, 20 lice lay between 3000 to 6000 nits (eggs). Then the issue gets really bad
  • They suck your child’s blood – but only from the scalp. Without a meal they will die within 24 – 48 hours
  • You need to remove not only all the lice, but all the nits as well to break an infestation – if not the nits hatch, mature, mate, they lay eggs, those eggs mature, hatch and so on

Facts that make you smile

  • The female louse is to be admired – after she has mated the once, she doesn’t have to bother mating again. She simply keeps spare sperm in a special container in her body and uses it as she goes
  • Head lice are genetically programmed to move from one head to another so they don’t interbreed – they are destined to move to someone else in the family or to a friend
  • An adult louse can really move it – they can crawl 23cm in a minute

Facts to equip you for the fight

  • 53% of people who have them don’t itch – and if your child doesn’t itch you probably don’t look.
  • To avoid getting caught out do a weekly or fortnightly check with a nit comb so you can catch them early
  • Hairdressers are legally obliged to turn someone away with a nit and lice problem in case they pass it on to their other customers
  • Many people mistake dandruff etc for nits. The test is to see if you easily pull what you find off the hair with your fingers. If it won’t come away easily and is glued onto the hair it is more than likely a nit. They are tear drop shaped and are brownish in colour. If it is clear in colour then it has already hatched

Their life cycle works like this:

1. Nits – the eggs – take 7 to 10 days to mature and hatch
2. The baby louse takes 9 to 12 days to grow into an adult
3. Once an adult it needs to find a mate of the opposite sex
4. 24 hours after mating the female lays her first eggs – and then keeps laying them day after day, after day, after day

Many people find that after clearing their child it’s all back 3 weeks later and this means they must have re-caught them from someone. However what this usually means is that they weren’t fully cleared in the first place – all the lice might have been removed but not all the nits, and 3 weeks later those nits had hatched and matured

To break this cycle you have to keep clearing both the nits as well as the lice out of the hair day after day

When the products work they will kill the lice, but they won’t necessarily kill the nits. This is why you have to reapply these products 2 weeks later, to catch anything that has successfully hatched. However it is through overuse that lice have become immune to these shampoos and treatments and 80% of the time they don’t work at all:

  • Hand removal is still the best way of getting rid of nits and lice because:
  • Nits and lice cannot develop immunity to it
  • As a matter of course you tackle the nits as well as the lice and that way break the cycle

If you want your child to be clear but you haven’t got the time, energy or inclination to do it yourself The Hairforce will take the workload off your hands and clear it for you. We are a chemical free, nit and lice hand removal service.
Check us out at Itch or infestation call The Hairforce Hotline on 07720 838 27