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

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