“Watch out, the lice are back”, this sentence, usually hung on a school bulletin board, all parents know it by heart and find it every year. First reflex? Protect the hair of his children, but also his own. The transmission of lice is a phenomenon that occurs very quickly and in an invisible way. Getting rid of nits and lice is no small task, but it is possible to treat infested hair effectively and quickly with anti-lice treatments .
A louse is a blood-sucking parasite that feeds exclusively on blood. His place of life? The hair where it finds heat and humidity. Lice are known to have strongly hooked legs that allow them to cling to hair very quickly, whether it is shoulder-length or very long. Lice cannot live anywhere other than on the hair because they can quickly starve. These insects are between 1 mm and 2 mm, some can reach 3 mm long. The presence of lice on the hair is a phenomenon called pediculosis.
Nits are the eggs of lice. They can easily be confused with dandruffbecause of their colors and shapes. A female louse can lay up to 100 nits in her lifetime. After a maximum of 10 days, around 10 nits can hatch. Nits are the size of a grain of sand set by spumaline, a glue-like material produced by insects to allow them to glue their eggs to a surface. After hatching, the nit becomes a nymph. It begins to wander on the hair in order to feed itself at the roots of the hair. Even after hatching, a transparent colored shell quickly remains attached. The pupa is not an adult louse although it looks like it, it remains however smaller (1 mm) and more mature. The nymphs turn into adult lice after 15 days and after molting 3 times. Unlike the adult louse, a nymph cannot reproduce.
Adult lice have a very elongated body with three short legs on the thorax that make it easy for them to hang on. Particularly sociable, lice do not like to live alone and can easily reproduce. More than clever, lice have the ability to successfully adapt their color to the hair where they reside so that they are difficult to spot. However, in general, lice are slightly transparent . With a true instinct for survival, adult lice are difficult to reach and love to camouflage themselves even when their colors turn brown or red from the absorbed blood.
Lice lifespan easily reaches 50 days when the head is left untreated. Within those 50 days, the lice have an easy opportunity to breed in the hair where they reside. It is for this reason that it is essential to treat this problem with a treatment for nits in order to limit the infestation.
How do you get lice?
Contrary to what many people say, lice don’t jump and fly. They are also not caught because of a lack of hygiene . Catching lice is a phenomenon that is caused by proximity or by direct and brief contact. There are two different factors of transmission of lice and nits. The very first happens to be promiscuity. Having a great physical proximity with other individuals makes it possible to catch lice by hugging, playing or exchanging clothes and personal items such as a cap, a blanket, a hat, a scarf, comb or with bedding. The second factor is community life. The place where lice get caught the most is at nursery or school. They spread more quickly because community life is very strong, as are contacts between children but also from children to adults. In a group, a person with lice can infect everyone without realizing it. It is also possible to catch lice at the movies, at the swimming pool and even on public transport.
Since 2020, lice are less present. The reason ? The measures taken to fight Covid-19 as well as the confinements have allowed lice epidemics to be reduced since human contact and exchanges have also been reduced. Ultimate proof that shows that lice are caught because of human contact and proximity and not from a questionable lifestyle.
How do you know if you have lice?
The sign that never deceives? The itching . When the head is infested with the presence of nits and lice, the hair begins to scratch. This sensation brings a lot of discomfort and can irritate the scalp very quickly, especially when it is sensitive. Lice cling to hair when they find heat and humidity, then bite the scalp to feed on blood. Lice bites and saliva are responsible for the itching. Lice love certain places in addition to the hair, such as the back of the neck, temples or behind the ears .
At first glance, it is possible to see the lice because they can move around. They tend to wander over the scalp until they reach the scalp, or they get stuck on a hair and stop moving. At the waist, the lice are between 1.5mm and 2mm long. The body of the lice is slightly transparent.
Nits are often mistaken for dandruff because of their appearance. Nits are lice eggs in the form of small white pockets that are stuck quite strongly on the hair. They are always found near the hairline. On dark hair, nits are easier to spot.
How to eliminate lice and nits?
Unfortunately once installed, lice do not go away on their own. It is for this reason that it is important to eliminate nits and lice with a very specific treatment to kill these insects. On the market and in drugstores, there are easily three types of treatment that ensure effectiveness from the first applications.
- Treatment with asphyxiants
Some treatments for nits and lice are formulated with fatty substances such as coconut oil, jojoba oil or beeswax or silicone derivatives such as dimeticone which will suffocate the lice which breathe through. their body. Non-toxic, these products kill lice and nits before they even hatch by carrying out a physical action, not a chemical one. Nits and lice are thus coated with a fatty film which blocks their excretory ducts.
According to numerous studies, this type of care is particularly well tolerated. In addition, resistance from lice is unlikely. If this type of treatment is well tolerated, we invite you to take your precautions. Products based on silicone derivatives must not come into contact with any intense heat source during application or when rinsing the hair.
- Treatment with pest control products
The pesticides are treatments with insecticides as pyrethrin or malathion. This type of treatment usually combines shampooing with an effective lotion that quickly kills lice as well as nits and loosens them up for removal with a fine lice comb . Anti-lice and anti-nits based on antiparasitics and insecticides cannot be used as prevention.
- The natural anti-lice treatment
It is possible to treat lice in a more natural way. The natural treatments against lice and nits are usually care formulated with essential oils. Others can be based on vinegar, onion juice… They are a good alternative to chemicals . These solutions also help prevent the appearance of lice on the hair. If this type of treatment does not work or if the infestation worsens, see a doctor.
Using one of these treatments is essential to eliminate the presence of nits and lice but also to prevent their appearance a second time. However, treatment for lice removal is not enough. Sheets, lint and all clothing worn by the infested person should also be washed. Lice can stay on some personal items for a while . You can also spray the bedding with a spray that repels bacteria and parasites like nits and mildews. This action helps protect the hair of the whole family even more.
The tip of the mothers of the Easypara team? After washing your child’s blanket, do not hesitate to put it in the freezer for a few minutes. A radical way to kill lice that love heat and need to feed. Thus, they will perish quickly. A second wash can be even more effective.
How to choose your anti-lice care?
Treatments to fight against the presence of nits and lice have special formulas that cannot be used by everyone. It is for this reason that it is advisable to choose its treatment taking into account certain important health factors.
The age of the child is very important. Indeed, some products cannot be used before 6 months or 36 months because of the formulations of the products. For babies aged 6 months and over, it is preferable to opt for a herbal lice treatment composed mainly of oils that will eliminate nits and lice without attacking the very fragile scalp of young children.
What if my child has asthma ? Many lice and nit treatments cannot be supported by children with asthma. We advise you to use care in the form of lotions for children with asthma and to avoid repellent sprays which can be harmful to your child’s breathing.
In case of recurrence, start by changing the product. The product may not have worked the first time or the application may not have been done correctly. When lice appear again after ten days, it means that they are from an outbreak of eggs that have not been killed or removed from the hair. In this case, the same product should be used. We also suggest that you use a fine comb to remove lice more thoroughly. This technique is recommended for people with allergies or pregnant women.. The operation is simple: moisten the hair, separate it into several strands and use a fine comb to remove lice and nits. This technique should be repeated every day for two weeks. Opt for a very fine comb like the sterilizable anti-lice comb from Assy 2000. Composed of 33 micro-grooved teeth with slightly rounded tips, it allows in a single gesture to remove many parasites present on the hair. The comb is completely made of sterilizable hardened stainless steel.
What are the natural anti-lice treatments?
Many natural treatments against nits and adult lice are available in drugstores. They are formulated with essential ingredients to radically eliminate lice while protecting the scalp which can be very fragile and the hair. Natural treatments are insecticide free and can be used by adults and children alike.
- The organic 2 in 1 anti-lice treatment Pranarôm
The ultimate kit? The organic 2 in 1 anti-lice treatment from the Pranarôm brand. This kit is composed of a lice treatment, a mild shampoo, a comb and a repellent spray against nits and lice. The treatment is formulated with ingredients like coconut oiland apricot nut vegetable oil: real fatty substances that will block the respiratory openings of lice. The formula of this treatment also contains essential oils of lavender, ylang-ylang and lavandin to completely eliminate lice and nits present on the hair and on the roots. The treatment is followed by a very mild organic shampoo which cleans the hair thanks to a very fluid texture. This organic shampoo is perfect after a treatment to gently hydrate the hair. The comb is a supplement to be used to remove lice and dead nits in a more picky way from damp hair. The advantage of this natural anti-lice kit is that it has a repellent spray. The anti-slow and anti-lice spray helps prevent another infestation.
- Anti-slow and anti-lice lotion from Pouxit
Want a treatment that guarantees speed and total elimination? We recommend Pouxit Xf anti-slow and anti-lice lotion for children from 6 months and adults, pregnant or breastfeeding women. This medical device has a neurotoxic mode of actionon all lice. It will kill lice, larvae and nits thanks to the combination of dimeticone and penetrol: the combination of these two ingredients will suffocate nits and lice in just 15 minutes. A single application is enough to radically eliminate all the lice present on the head. This type of action prevents lice from developing resistance by mutating species. Without insecticide or alcohol, this Pouxit treatment does not penetrate the scalp and does not affect your hair. Colorless and painless, it guarantees absolute discretion.
- Cinq sur Cinq organic lavender anti-lice shampoo
Did you know ? Lice hate fine lavender ! So what could be better than using a shampoo with lavender essential oil to get rid of them drastically? We recommend an essential as a treatment, the organic shampoolavender with its plastic comb of the brand Cinq sur Cinq. Entirely natural, this organic shampoo against lice is formulated without chemical insecticides or parabens. It mainly contains coconut vegetable oil and organic lavender essential oil to suffocate nits and lice in just 15 minutes. This organic treatment can be used from 36 months. It contains a plastic comb to allow you to remove all the nits and lice after washing the hair. Particularly gentle and effective, this shampoo can be used throughout the epidemic to avoid new infestations.
Lice prevention: how to protect yourself properly?
Although it is difficult to prevent the infestation of nits and lice, it is not impossible to protect yourself effectively against a new infestation. After effective natural treatment, we recommend that you use hair care products during the epidemic period that soothe the scalp after lice treatment. The shampoo soothing organic Cattier is ideal to protect hair and scalp. It has a composition rich in essential oil of lavender, tea tree, geranium, andiroba oil and quassia vinegar. This organic shampoo is particularly gentle to protect and soothe the hair. It can be used daily and from 3 years old.
To protect the heads of your children, we advise you to opt for the Zéropou repellent spray from the Alphanova brand. This natural product is insecticide-free with a unique repellent composition based on organic lavender floral water and essential oils of lavender, geranium and eucalyptus. With such a formula, this repellent spray can be used every day, whether on the hair of small or large. This product is perfect for preventing the appearance of lice at any time.
The use of a treatment against lice and nits must be done precisely. We invite you to read the precautions for use and other warnings on the instructions for use of the product purchased before use.