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

 

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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 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

How to Prevent Lice – Regular Head Checks

Head Lice Prevention VirigniaLice Prevention – Is it Possible?

Did you know that 3 percent of the kids at most schools have lice at any given time? And that’s when there isn’t a major outbreak.

Most parents don’t want to talk about it but lice is a nationwide epidemic that gets a little worse every year. There is no way to completely protect your family against lice, but you can take some common steps to educate yourself and be proactive against the problem. Particularly going back to school. It’s head lice season (Get 10 Tips to Lice Prevention)  August thru October.

Trying to avoid head lice would be like trying to avoid catching a cold. The best thing you can do in the prevention of head lice is to check your child’s head regularly, because early detection is key.

Didn’t receive a notice from school that there is an outbreak? Check anyway! At least every two weeks & weekly head check would be better. What about cleaning? We can’t emphasize enough to spend time on the head not the home. This is to all  what we like to call the “cleaning Ninja Moms” (you know who you are, you go into a crazed cleaning mode, Spring cleaning on speed) Yes, if there is a confirmed infestation, wash the linens and recent clothes and soak the hair brushes (we know – Ninja Moms already threw those out!). Vacuuming is another safe alternative if you must spend time cleaning your home.

Remember lice isn’t hazardous to your family’s health it’s just a big nuisance.  Certainly staying informed is another key to prevention. Ask after school programs if they notify parents and what their protocol for head lice is and what your children’s school policy is concerning lice. Discussing precautionary steps with your children are important like no sharing of hats, hair brushes etc.

There are a variety of product treatments available. Read about Best Lice Treatment & The Truth about Lice Pesticide Treatments  or many Natural Head Lice Treatments are available. In all cases whether you choose a pesticide treatment (that lice are becoming increasingly resistant to) or an all natural treatment its important to understand that nits (lice eggs) need to be manually removed.

Families who have experienced lice know that it can sometimes interfere with the families fun time or other planned activities. Being proactive & diligent is the key to prevention. If you work and don’t have time, call in a professional service. Virginia Beach Lice Treatment – Let’s Be PALS  offers head checks and a neat Pay It Forward plan for your circles (to help keep lice away) & Lice Doctors also serves Virginia Beach & many cities & states. Google Lice Treatment for a professional lice treatment & removal service in your area.

Did you know?

Head lice is one of the top three reasons why children miss school.
80 percent of the time kids pass on a lice infestation to their siblings.
80 percent of the time mothers contract head lice from their children.
20 percent of the time fathers contract head lice from their children.

Sources: Virginia Beach Lice Treatment Let’s Be P.A.L.S
Author: Julie B

Head Lice & Back To School in Virginia

Head Lice and Back To School in Virginia7 Ways to Help Your Child & Yourself Get Ready for Back To School

The end of the Summer  brings the start of a whole new school year, with different subjects, teachers, schedules and people etc. Being well-organized and prepared makes going back to school enjoyable and successful.

Buying notebooks and scoping out sales is the easy part. There are less tangible things you can do as well.

Here are 7 ways you can help your child — and yourself — get ready to go back to school.

1. Re-Establish School Routines

It’s basic training drill time the last few weeks before school starts. Practice getting up and getting dressed as if school were in session and scheduling snacks and lunch time around the school schedule

2. Break Summer Habits

Get up & get out. Practice leaving the house in the morning. Yes, actually getting dressed out of PJ’s and going somewhere scheduled. It will help to break the summer habits like relaxing in your PJ’s until Noon!

3. Nurture Independence

Practice having your child manage basic needs without having to rely on you, such as, organizing school materials, viewing school website for valuable information, like gym clothes costs or any other item that might need to be done at school by your student. Even young children can build confidences and independence skills. Have them practice writing their name or tying their shoes

4. Set Up Homework Routines in Advance

It’s easier to follow a routine if you have it planned out. Plan what time and where your child will study. A routine helps every one stay in sync.

5. Make a Sick-Day Game Plan (or yes, a Head Lice Plan)

Before school begins line up a trusted babysitter or group of parents that can help out if the children get sick (or have head lice). Know the school policy for release forms etc.

6. Attend Orientations to Meet and Greet

Be sure to meet your children’s teachers and be an active participant in their school lives.

7. Make it a Family Affair

Get kids involved in ownership of their plans. Have them decide their routine and set expectations – they’ll be more likely to follow the plan!

Don’t forget to Download Your FREE Quick Family Lice Removal Guide

Author/Contributor:  Julie B

Let’s Be PALS on Google Plus

 

Where Do Lice Come From?

ancient lice combsLice are said to be prevalent even before the recording of history began. The earliest recorded presence of head lice dates back over one million years ago.

The fact that head lice have been prevalent for over one million years suggests that humans and lice have a long and itchy history together. This research is currently being used for the development of a time line for human evolution.

Fact: Lice have been found on ancient Egyptian mummified bodies.

Head Lice Treatment: Earliest Records

Head lice (blood-sucking insects that grow to about 2-3mm long) have most likely resided on people for as long as humans have existed

The earliest records of head lice treatment in the United States is from the early 1800’s. The Wisconsin Historical Museum has a bone lice comb from the frontier days (pictured).

Fort Crawford was not a notably healthy environment. Soldiers could expect a seasonal threat of mosquito-born malaria as well as periodic outbreaks of dysentery, cholera, and typhus.

The lice comb pictured was excavated from the site of Fort Crawford by archaeologists in the 1930’s documenting one other insect nuisance Fort Crawford soldiers had to endure: head lice.
After a series of floods during the 1820s which slowly degraded the structure, the Army finally abandoned the wooden fort and built a second Fort Crawford of cut stone on higher ground a short distance away.

Not until 1864 when Louis Pasteur definitively document the full developmental cycle of lice and other insects did the prevention of infestations begin. Head lice became less prevalent during the period of World War II (mid 1900’s). This was due to the use of the chemical agent DDT. This chemical agent was a powerful pesticide that was utilized to destroy mosquitoes that spread malaria. It also had effects on decreasing the populations of head lice.

Previously routine companions of people of all economic levels, pesticides and improvements in daily hygiene made head lice infestations relatively rare in modernized countries by the mid-twentieth century. Soldiers and visitors to Fort Crawford, however, dealt with head lice as a normal part of life, simply accepting periodic infestation in much the same way as they would have to deal with an occasional bout of influenza or a cold.

To manage an outbreak people used fine tooth combs to remove adult lice and their eggs (or nits) from their hair and then crushed them. Other treatments of the time included the application of an ointment of brimstone (sulphur) and lard to reduce the itching, and saturating the hair with ‘red precipity’ (mercuric oxide powder) to try to kill the lice. The latter treatment probably slowly harmed the patient as much as it helped, but doctors still frequently used mercury compounds during the early nineteenth century as most were not convinced of the element’s poisonous properties.

Fine tooth combs (like the Terminator Comb) and those used at Fort Crawford still play a large role in combating lice infestations to this day.

Get your FREE Quick Family Lice Removal Guide

Reference & Picture: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/museum/artifacts/archives/002505.asp

Publisher:  Let’s Be P.A.L.S

Contributor:  Julie B

Does The AirAlle Head Lice Treatment work?

air.alleLousebuster is now called AirAllé™ (pronounced air-a-lay).

This is what it claims ” AirAllé™ (pronounced air-a-lay) is a medical device that kills head lice and 99.2 percent of lice eggs in a single, 30-minute treatment. Formerly called LouseBuster, the AirAllé device is used by lice-removal professionals around the world to provide a safe, fast and highly effective lice treatment.”

It appears even with this treatment as with any Head Lice treatment, combing is required.  We are unsure if they are including the combing time in the 30 minute treatment you’d need to be sure and ask the provider of the service this question.

The device concept was originated by Dr. Dale Clayton a professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Utah. Larada Sciences, Inc., which incorporated in 2006, formed to take the LouseBuster product to market.  You can read about the The AirAllé™ history here.

Here are some research findings on the device that we found interesting:

“Subjects with a high probability of reinfestation, such as those with other infested family members or classmates, were excluded from these follow-up trials.”

We aren’t exactly sure what that means? Does it mean they chose only Adults? Why exclude anyone?

“From the 18 subjects, a total of 422 lice were combed out before treatment, 35 (8.3%) of which were dead. After heat treatment, a total of 578 lice were combed out, 440 (76.1%) of which were dead. The percent of dead treated lice was significantly higher than the percent of dead control lice, with an absolute difference of 67.8% (95% CI: 62% to 72%).”

Why are they comparing dead lice before treatment to dead lice after treatment? And is this pre-treatment comb out a part of the 30 minute process? This concludes that 138 live lice were combed out but the marketing advertises that you only need to comb out dead lice? If you didn’t comb that would leave you with 138 live lice still in your head – that’s a lot.

“Two of the 18 trials were excluded from egg-hatch analysis because none of the control eggs hatched. From the remaining 16 subjects, a total of 839 eggs were combed out before treatment and 969 after treatment. The control–egg-hatch rate was 52.0% and the treated–egg-hatch rate was 6.0%, a significant absolute difference of 46.0% (95% CI: 42% to 50%). The egg-hatch rate was zero in only 6 (37.5%) of 16 treated subjects. In summary, this method killed more lice than any of the previous methods and an appreciable number of eggs (Fig 2).”

Again, we could be reading it wrong, but why are they comparing numbers of viable eggs before and after treatment? We would certainly hope that an after treatment would have a higher number of killed everything? Also they begin with eggs here (stating the 6% hatched which means they were not killed) and they end the summary with live lice?

“In summary, this method killed the largest proportion of lice of any of our other methods and nearly all of the eggs”

What other methods?

“At the 1-week follow-up, 10 (91%) of 11 had no lice. The eleventh subject had a single live male louse, which is not a viable breeding population.”

Well, that’s certainly lucky that it was a male louse. If it had been an egg laying female that was missed, you’d have potential 35+ more eggs in the head!

The studies appear to use a lot of non committed words “an appreciable number of eggs” “nearly all”. And the study excluded subjects with a “high” probability rate of reinfestation from the follow up analysis which sort of makes it sound like the tests were manipulated to have the best possible outcome.

You can read the full studies yourself for more information at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/118/5/1962.full and another study here http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1603/ME10122.

Also, we have to ask the question why was a follow up done at only a week? It takes a lice egg anywhere from 7-10 days to hatch (and now new studies are reporting even longer) and approximately 7 more days to become an egg laying adult? And they only mention the lice and no mentions of any eggs?

We have never used the device or seen it in action and the only product reviews we could find were by the manufacturer.

There were several poor reviews on Yelp for companies using the AirAlle device, but the reviews appear to be more about the company versus the actual machine:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/licenders-manhattan-10

http://www.yelp.com/biz/licenders-new-york-13

http://www.yelp.com/biz/airalle-lice-treatment-salt-lake-city

And the reviews indicate some sort of pre-post treatment requirements, so be sure to ask.

Here are some excerpts from the reviews……

“just so my kids will get it again 2 weeks after!!!! ….. This company needs to be reported to the better business bureau for taking advantage of people in time of stress and not being up front about the total cost of their service…..I will never use air alle again. I would recommend you go to another lice removal place or if you have the time conditioner and a lice comb and rigorously taking them out yourself. it would have been cheaper and not a waste of my money…”

Just a note – a two week guarantee is like having no guarantee at all, it’s not long enough. A reputable lice removal company will give you a 21-30 day guarantee.

You can read and decide for yourself but it certainly can give you an opportunity to ask the right questions that you need to ask before deciding on your lice treatment provider.

There is a local company originally based out of Suffolk, Virginia who uses the device, Lickety Nit.  Such a cute name!  They recently opened a Salon in Virginia Beach.

Looking for other Head Lice Treatment companies in Virginia Beach?

Publisher:  Let’s Be P.A.L.S

Contributor:  Julie B