With so many different home remedies, lice kits and Lice Treatment Services out there, it can be difficult to figure out what treatment method will work best for you. Myths and misinformation about head lice are so rampant making it even more difficult to know which treatment methods are most effective.
Heat Treatment Methods (Straighteners, Hair Dryers, & Lice Dryer Treatments)
Heat treatment methods have not proven to be very effective in treating head lice. Using a hair dryer would burn the scalp if it was used long enough to kill the bugs. A straightener will not get close enough to the scalp to catch most live bugs and will also crystallize nits to the hair strand making them even more difficult to remove. Professional heat treatment methods direct hot air close to the scalp and will kill most live bugs, however, it will not kill nits and they will need to be removed with a lice comb. Any heat treatment method will require combing afterwards.
Home Remedies (Mayonnaise, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, etc.)
Many home remedies suggest coating the hair with an oily product and leaving the product on the hair for 8+ hours. These remedies claim to suffocate the lice and that they will fall out when the hair is washed. However, when head lice detect moisture they shut their bodies down and can hold their breath for up to 15-18 hours. Nits are also not affected by these treatment methods and must be removed with a lice comb or they will still hatch.
Over-the-Counter Treatment Kits
When their child has lice many parents’ first instinct is to go to the drugstore and pick up a lice treatment kit. These kits typically include 1 or 2 products that are put onto the hair and claim to kill lice and their nits. Many of these kits also include a comb to remove nits afterwards, while others advise that no combing is required. The two main flaws with these kits are that the combs included are often made of plastic and will leave nits behind, and that lice are growing increasingly resistant to the chemicals in the treatments. The formulas for popular lice treatments have not been modified in many years and are not up to date with the newest strains of head lice. Even if the kit is able to kill all of the live bugs the nits will still be left behind. These nits must be removed but the comb provided will not be thorough enough to do the job. In addition to not being effective at eliminating the infestation, the chemicals in the treatment can cause permanent damage to the hair.
The Truth about Treating Head Lice
The most effective and most proven way to get rid of head lice is by combing out the infestation with a good lice comb. The Head Hunters Pro-Lice Comb is used by Lice Removal Professionals across the country and around the world. You can treat at home with this method by wetting the hair down, making many sections in the hair, and combing until you see nothing. This comb has steel, micro-grooved teeth that grab nits and lice.
The Bottom Line about Treating Head Lice
Many companies lure parents into buying their treatment products or services by claiming the infestation will be completely eradicated immediately. These companies offer a “quick fix” for a very stressful and confusing problem. When treating head lice it is important to realize that treatment is a process. Diligence and patience are key to staying calm and getting through this process. With any treatment method it is almost impossible to get rid of the whole infestation in one day. Humans are imperfect creatures and if even 1% of the original infestation is left behind untreated you may end up starting over again within a few weeks. It is critical to follow up any treatment with combing at least every other day for one week and weekly head checks for a few weeks to ensure that the infestation is completely gone.