Why Parents Aren’t Successful at Getting Rid of Head Lice

Maybe it’s because of all the false advertising out there? Practically every paid ad on Google for head lice has a little bit of…..fluff. It’s expensive to advertise so you really have to make it  fluffy to make it count!

Here’s an ad from an OTC product that we KNOW doesn’t require 1 treatment, in fact, the instructions on the box say treat again in 7-10 days.

OTC head lice treatments

Be very weary of ad’s claiming one & done, only one treatment or “ONE” ANYTHING with lice is something to be weary of or the bait and switch routine of $80 & up (hint – the $80 treatment is not going to work for you & it’s probably not guaranteed and who wants to spend $80 for a treatment that’s not guaranteed?)

What parents really need to know is that getting rid of head lice is a process – period. You need the right tools and the right products to get rid of head lice and there isn’t any miracle cure. Much like weight loss, we didn’t get fat over night, we aren’t going to get skinny over night and we aren’t going to get rid of head lice in one treatment, one day or ONE anything else, let’s repeat that again – getting rid of lice is a process.

Here’s what the website mothersagainstheadlice.org had to say about this OTC in a random study they conducted. You can find the full study here http://www.mothersagainstheadlice.org/head-lice-treatment-study.html

Mothers Against Head Lice Study

Or this ad – buy once and use again and again? What does that even mean? Anyone who has ever experienced a bout of head lice certainly doesn’t want to get it again and again?

lice treatment

How do you prevent head lice? Every Mom wants to believe that there is something out there that is going to stop the creepy crawlys from getting in their child’s hair.  If you want to know more factual information about preventative head lice products, you can read more here: http://wp.me/p3Ht6o-6o

Tell us about your story and experience with head lice treatments. Were you successful with OTC products? What’s your success story?

Take our poll 

Have questions? We’ll tell you like it is & offer free advice to anyone who needs help in getting rid of head lice.(and no it doesn’t require any purchase) 

 

Publisher:  Let’s Be P.A.L.S

Contributor:  Julie B

 

What are my Lice Treatment Options?

Many parents have hit their breaking point by the time they call on a professional lice treatment service. With many families trying everything from home remedy lice treatments to OTC products, then to the doctors for prescription medications for lice that have all rendered ineffective.

Part of our treatment process is educating families on what their lice treatment options are. You can check out our lice treatment options for a list of prescription medications available and the associated cost and possible side effects. Your physician will be able to talk with you concerning the best option for your family.

In short here are your options:

  • Home Remedies
  • Over the Counter Lice Killing Products
  • Prescription Medication
  • Professional Lice Service

The nicest part about a lice treatment service is that they not only offer a guarantee, but are there as your friend and advocate and absolutely know what you are going through.

Here’s a list of lice treatment companies serving Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads area.

Remember, half of the battle in fighting head lice is the right comb. Read about the Best Lice Combs and get ahead in the fight against lice!

Publisher:  Let’s Be P.A.L.S

Contributor:  Julie B

Can Black People Get Lice?

Do Black People Get Head Lice?Here’s the truth about head lice and African Americans.

If you don’t know what a head louse is, it’s a parasites about the size of a sesame seed and it feeds on human blood. If you need more factual information head over to our FAQ&A’s.

The head louse, Pediculus capitis humanus, is by no means a new nuisance. The parasite has been an unwelcome companion to humans as far back as the days of Cleopatra and beyond.  Read more about  Where Do Lice Come From?

Let’s first explain the differences between black and Caucasian hair. To understand the difference between African-American, Black and Caucasian hair it’s important to understand how hair grows.

Beneth the surface of our scalp lie thousands of hair follides. They are found in what is called the dermis. The texture and the thickness of each individuals hair is dependent upon the shape and size of the hair follicle. How thick a persons hair is depends on both the size of the hair follicles and how many there are on each individuals scalp.

Primary Differences

  • Hair molecular structure and shape results in tightly wound or similarly straight
  • Follicle density or the number of follicles per inch on/in the scalp
  • Thick wide follicle structure versus thinner
  • Overall growth rate
  • Ability to keep follicles moisturized
  • Propensity for damage, breaking and tearing

The wave pattern and bonding is what makes the big difference between African-American hair and Caucasian hair.  The principal bonds are hydrogen and polypeptide. Close to 88% of the hair is made of polypeptide bonds. They are difficult to break and are what gives the hair its strength. This bond is also what is responsible for the tight curls. In order to break the bond a permanent straightening treatment has to happen.

African-American hair tends to produce plenty of sebum or protective oils, generally more than other ethnicity’s hair.

Head lice find it difficult to navigate in black hair because of the construction of the hair. It is hard for the tiny insects to “get a foothold” on all of the twists and turns of black hair, so they tend to prefer European hair because it is easier to navigate.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln reports:

“In 1985, a study showed that only 0.3% of African-American children were infested with lice compared with 10.4% of non-African-American children. This study has been repeated, with similar results. However, in these surveys, there were still a few, rare cases of head lice among African American children.”

So, the answer to the question is YES, African Americans can get head lice head-hair and racesalthough rarely in the US.

In Africa countries though native children are infested with head lice but their head lice are adapted to hang onto the oval cross section of curly hairs.

If you’re interested in further studies you can refer to Terri Meinking a head lice researcher at the University of Miami School of Medicine, discussion in Current Problems in Dermatology.

In Summary:

Head lice have to be highly adapted to their environment if they are going to thrive.

  • This means they have to be able to scoot around easily in human hair.
  • The shape of hair strands differ between different racial groups and this affects head lice.
  • Africans living in Africa get head lice that are highly adapted to living in hair with strands that are oval in cross-section. The differences are small but they are significant.
  • Caucasians have round hair strands and have head lice that are adapted to this shape.
  • In North America most head lice seem to come from the Caucasian strain and thrive in children with round hair strands, that is mainly Caucasian and Hispanic children.
  • There are some cases of head lice in African-American children but the pool of these head lice seems to be very much smaller and so the incidence of head lice is much lower.

There are plenty of reports of bi-racial children getting head lice so we have to assume that their hair is suitable for at least one, maybe both strains of head lice to prosper.

Continued Education:

7 Things White People Don’t Understand About Black Hair

Want to fall out of your seat laughing? Read the Bitchin’ Sisters account and suggestions on head lice in the Huffington Post, it’s hysterical.  If profanity bothers you – pass on the read.

Sources: UNL, Mayo Clinic Head Lice FAQ, Global Health Associates of Miami

Image Credit:  Head Hair & Race to: http://watchingtheworldwakeup.blogspot.com/2009/11/awesome-wife-i-spent-weekend-nit.html

Publisher:  Let’s Be P.A.L.S

Contributor:  Julie B

Head Lice Salon or In Home Lice Treatment?

head lice treatment salonI’ve been going to people’s home for over ten years treating them for head lice. When I relocated back to Virginia Beach and started Let’s Be PALS (Pros Against Lice) in 2012, the only Virginia Beach based lice treatment service, it only made sense to me that it would be a mobile service.

Head lice salons are abundant on the West Coast and many of the franchise companies open and operate salons all across the United States. In this article by ABC they feature Hair Fairies a Chicago hair lice treatment salon. Hair Fairies like many other franchises have several locations. In most lice treatment salons to make the experience more pleasant, there are video games, large flat-screen TVs and portable DVD players to help distract the clients, many of whom are kids.

With an in-home service you have the convenience of the kids using their own games, players etc and Mom can do her cleaning (even though she really never needs to do what she think she needs to do) and everyone can wear their pajamas if they want to!  You just have the pleasure and comfort of being in your own home and not having to go anywhere.

Many of these head lice salons really seem to be capitalizing on vulnerable families pushing their head lice prevention products and in some cases selling their products for the follow up treatment.  At Let’s Be PALS we don’t sell any preventative products because we don’t believe in them and we would never want to take advantage of someone’s vulnerabilities. We treat people ALL THE TIME who religiously use preventative lice products and there is absolutely no scientific proof that these products deter lice as a matter of fact there is a lot of scientific research that shows that it doesn’t.  Read our Blog on Prevention Shampoos Do They Work?  Still head lice prevention product is BIG business as are OTC treatment products. Fairy Tale brand is a very popular one and almost every head lice treatment service will have their own to sell.

I love what Richard Pollack had to say in the above ABC article “There should be some expectation that [delousing salons] know what they’re doing and the products they’re using are known to be effective,” said Richard Pollack, a public health entomologist at Harvard University. “But how is a consumer going to know what’s real and what’s not?”  I guess to answer that question you really just have to go with a salon or mobile treatment companies guarantee.  We have treated several clients that used another service that is in a near by city with ineffective results. When we asked the client why they didn’t call that company back, their reply was “they were nice and live far away and they told me to just keep combing” WOW – These clients paid $300 for 3 people and still had head lice a month later! Be sure to ask whatever service you use if it’s a salon or a mobile in house lice treatment service what their guarantee is and if you need them back to the house what is the procedure, cost, guarantee, etc. Some companies even advertise as a salon but in fact are mobile so be sure to clarify that before you’re driving all over town for a non existent address – sad but true.

Would you prefer to go to a head lice salon or have a mobile service come to your house? Take our survey

Do you have a lice story? Please share it with us. If we use your story we’ll send you a FREE nit removal comb!

Author:  Julie B

Contributor:  Let’s Be P.A.L.S

Prevention Shampoos For Lice – Do They Work?

Lice Repelling Shampoos - Do They Work?

Lice Repelling Shampoos – Do They Work?

Weather you’ve ever had the displeasure of dealing with a head lice infestation or you really don’t want to experience the displeasure, people want to know “Do Lice Prevention Products really work?”

Sales for lice prevention products are certainly on the rise, but that doesn’t mean that they work.  In this article Parents’ Latest Pick: Herbal Shampoos to Keep Away Lice by Timothy W. Martin of the Wall Street Journal they share some lice product sales statistics:

‘Sales of prescription lice treatments—used once the bugs have taken hold—rose to $73.8 million last year, up 15% from 2006, according to research firm IMS Health Inc. Sales of over-the-counter lice treatments—which include preventive and removal products—grew 11% over the past five years to $78.9 million for the year ended Nov. 27, according to Chicago-based market researcher SymphonyIRI Group, whose figures don’t include Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’

The owner of Let’s Be P.A.L.S a head lice treatment service in Virginia Beach says “I’ve been treating families with head lice for 11 years and I can’t tell you the number of times clients say ‘I’ve been using lice prevention products and we STILL got lice‘ I’ve probably heard that statement in over half of the families I’ve treated.”

In the article by Timothy W. Martin this from some public-health experts:

‘Some public-health experts and school nursing groups are skeptical about the lice-prevention products, citing a lack of formal evidence. The National Association of School Nurses says in a position paper to its members that, based on several research pediatric, dermatology and nursing journal articles, the preventive products have presented “little scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness.”‘

And our favorite

Richard Pollack, an entomology instructor and insect expert at the Harvard School of Public Health ….Most louse diagnosis is wrong, with dandruff or food crumbs confused for nits or eggs, Mr. Pollack says. He says he is skeptical that the lice-prevention products are any more effective than regular shampoos or conditioners.’ “These companies might as well claim that their products repel alligators,” he says.

Why are lice removal companies selling products if they don’t work? Well, to make money of course! If you come across a lice treatment service that wants to sell you a bunch of expensive lice repelling shampoo and conditioner as part of their lice treatment plan think twice about your purchase! We’ve come across several head lice treatment services suggesting that if you wash every day with the shampoo and conditioner that they sell that it will help with preventing a lice infestation.

There’s a great study read titled 10 Head Lice Repellents by Deon Canyon and in Final Considerations/Conclusion it states:

‘…..There are currently no functional head lice repellents available and all products claiming that they are effective repellents do so facetiously……. The challenge is significant because a head lice repellent needs to be close to perfect to be worth using.’

So what is the best prevention for head lice? Julie the founder of Let’s Be P.A.L.S lice treatment of Virginia Beach says “We don’t sell any lice prevention products because of the lack of evidence that they work. We want to be as helpful to families experiencing a lice outbreak as possible. Combing with a professional nit comb daily if you can and wet combing for early detection once a week is the best prevention besides keeping the hair unavailable – where there is no bridge for the lice to get into your hair there will be no lice!”

If you still feel strongly about purchasing lice repelling shampoos and conditioners go straight to the manufacturer the “non” brand product and save some money.  Nit Free is the non brand name and they usually have some shipping savings as well.

To answer the question “Do lice prevention shampoos really work?” Take our poll and tell us what you think?

Contributor:  Let’s Be P.A.L.S , Julie B

References:

Parents’ Latest Pick: Herbal Shampoos to Keep Away Lice
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052970203430404577094362860652858

10 Head Lice Repellents
By Deon Canyon

How to Clean Hairbrushes and Combs During a Head Lice Outbreak

howtocleanbrushesduringaliceoutbreak

Many are concerned about cleaning hair brushes during a lice outbreak. Hair brushes and combs easily collect debris and can transmit buildup onto your beautiful tresses so weather or not you have an active head lice case at home it’s always a good idea to keep your brushes and combs clean. Regular cleaning will help hair styling tools last a lot longer. It’s recommended that you remove all the hair from brushes at least once a week or more. During a lice outbreak be sure to dispose of the tresses in the outside garbage.

When there is a lice outbreak soak combs in hot water (not boiling – this will ruin them) (130°F) for 15 minutes. Many people like to use the dishwasher on a high heat dry for cleaning brushes! This might damage some of the handles, but we know in a case of a lice infestation combs are thrown out multiple times and most Moms prefer to throw them away and get new ones! In the event someone has a favorite brush or you’d like to try to keep them, read on. For items that cannot be soaked in hot water place them in a tightly sealed plastic bag and put them in a freezer for 10-12 hours to kill the lice and eggs and then presume with ordinary cleaning of your hair brushes.

How to Clean Hairbrushes during a Lice InfestationFor Ordinary Hairbrush Cleaning:

Gather you hair brushes and combs and wet the bristles (not the bodies) of the tolss under warm water then place a small dab of shampoo onto the bristles or comb and carefully rub the bristles together for two combs or gently for a comb brush combination. Run under water rubbing gently until all the suds are gone. Dry the brush or comb on a towel. If there is still leftover grime on hair styling tools, use a cotton swab to get any left over product from in between bristles and repeat the process above.

Using baking soda to get rid of product’s chemicals remaining in hair tools is yet another great use for Baking Soda. See our Head Lice Home Remedies board & 51 surprising uses for Baking Soda  Start with what was mentioned earlier and take all of the unwanted tresses out of hairbrush or comb and dispose of them into the garbage. Then, soak hairbrushes and combs in the bathroom sink with about one half cup of baking soda and warm water for about fifteen minutes. The final step is to let the hair-styling tools air dry on towel.

Remember not to immerse certain types of brushes or combs in the water. These types are the following:

Rubber- cushioned brush
Wooden bodied brushes or combs
Natural boar bristle brushes.

Permitting water to get through the vent hole on cushioned brushes will erode the cushioning of the brush. A wooden bodied brush or comb may cause wood to absorb water and damage the finish or make the body swell and break. Natural boar bristle brushes contain natural hair that would take in moisture as would other types of natural hair. The bristles on boar bristle brushes would twist or curl if dampened.

How To Deep Clean Combs and Hair Brushes Regularly or during a Head Lice Outbreak

You Will Need:

1/4 cup Borax

Squirt of Dawn Dish Soap (or other dish-washing liquid)

Sink of warm water

1. Begin by filling your sink about a quarter full with warm water.

2. Add the 1/4 cup of Borax and swish it around with your hands to help it dissolve.

3. Squirt some dish soap in the sink and then finish filling the sink with warm water until it’s about 3/4 full. You don’t want it so full that it will overflow
when you add your combs and brushes.

4. Particularly for the hair brushes, remove as much of the hair that may be stuck in them as possible before adding them to the water.

5. Place the combs and hair brushes in the soapy borax water and let them soak for a while. About 30 to 45 minutes should do it.

6. After that time has passed, you should find that your combs and brushes are clean again and that all the product build up is gone.

7. Rinse the combs and brushes with clean warm water and then dry them off.

Now you’re all set until the next lice outbreak – oh that’s right we are supposed to be cleaning our brushes and combs REGULARLY!

Contributor:   Julie BLet’s Be PALS

 

Head Lice Rates Virginia Beach Never Pay Hourly Fees Again!

stopwatch

Why not?

What does it all mean? We know even though you are distraught over head lice that you are going to do your research.

There is a lot of information out there on the internet and we know that most people can get easily overwhelmed with questions, Do I wash everything? Do I bag everything? And now you’ve got ANOTHER equation thrown into the mix flat rates vs. hourly rates for a professional lice service.

Well, we are here to tell you that there is NOTHING to beware of when it comes to a companies rate structure in the lice service business. Flat OR Hourly. Most head lice services nationwide have chosen to set up their business with an hourly rate structure and some use a flat rate structure.

There is NOTHING to BEWARE of in either case (as far as rate structure goes) it’s simply a choice. There is no right or wrong. Any legitimate company would never try to scare you about rates.

Things to consider:

  1. Flat-rate billing is a charge for what we know and the results that can be delivered.  Hourly billing is a charge for the amount of time worked. Why would a job that takes 30 minutes ($50) be charged the same rate as a job that takes 2 hours ($200)?
  2. Consider the project – conventional wisdom has it that a detailed project with a definite beginning and ending deserves a set, flat price, while an ongoing, open-ended job is a better fit for an hourly rate.

Note:  If you know for sure you have a very heavy infestation it would make sense to call a flat rate company.

If a company tries to scare you then you have to consider their motivation and what it means to you. Don’t let anyone scare you – it’s not right, you have enough to worry about already!

Here are some Head Lice Treatment companies serving Virginia:

Let’s Be P.A.L.S the only Virginia Beach based Head Lice Treatment company offers all types of service options to fit anyone’s needs, A 100% satisfaction guarantee. All natural products and a proven track record. (Hourly Rate)

Lice Doctors:  In many cities including all of Hampton Roads. (Hourly Rate)

Lickety Nit:  Based in Suffolk, Va serving Hampton Roads. They tout the Air Allie device (Flat Rate)

Be sure to ask the lice service you decide to use about their guarantee and any hidden fees. Many companies have hidden fees like unlisted travel fees, mandatory return visits for guaranteed service and added gratuities.

Contributor:  Let’s Be P.A.L.S