Head Lice

I'm part of a group on Facebook that is originally for Swedish moms with adoptive children from African countries (I was added to the group to give hair advice, obviously, since I'm not an adoptive mom to an African child, lol). The topic of head lice had come up on several occasions and has been occupied my mind a lot. Not only is my daughter in school with lots of other kids with hair lots of hair for lice to spread in  :S But all these questions about lice and treatment etc got my scalp itching, more than usual. :(

I've had head lice on two occasions as a child. The first time I had lots, the second time my mom saw one crawling in my hair and treated me right away and didn't find any more. Being treated for head lice traumatized me to say the least. My mother couldn't care for my hair on a regular basis, and now she had to comb through my tangled almost wait long hair with a super fine toothed comb! Yes, it was painful and took FOREVER! You can only imagine my experience of this...

The exact comb used in my hair!

So I headed to Google for some investigating ;)
What are head lice?
  Well as most of you know they are little parasites that live in your hair and suck blood through the skin of your scalp. The most common symptom is itchiness or the scalp due to the bites. They can't survive away from the human body more than 24hr. Their life expectancy is one month if you don't kill them! The female lays about 200 eggs during her lifespan! The eggs are laid on the hair shaft close to the scalp. It takes about 6-9 days for the eggs to hatch. And when they are about 9-12 days old their are fully grown and ready to reproduce.
Head lice are spread from head to head, but combs and hats etc can also be a source of spreading them. After 3-4 hours away from the human body the lice are weakened and cannot reproduce.

A close up of the parasite

"Africans don't get head lice." Well, this is a disputed statement, but what I have found is that head lice do prefer straight haired people more than people with really tight curls. But being African doesn't protect you from head lice, sorry, it just lessens the risk.

I asked Akua Wood (Sheabutter Cottage) who is my go to for all the best natural treatment options if she knew of any good tips against lice, she suggested Tea tree oil, Neem oil or Quassia bark. I haven't researched it deeper, but if anyone reading this knows more, feel free to comment below!

Useful links on head lice and treatment:
LusFri - A site in Swedish which sells a version of the head lice comb with a newer look. It says withing three days you'll be rid of lice and their eggs with this comb. Which is great for people with straight hair, but who with curly/coily/tight curls will be able to go through this? I couldn't comb through my hair three days in a row with that thing, my arms would fall off! But either way this is a good option if you don't want to use the chemicals, and have patience.
Tenutex - A Swedish info site about a anti-head lice treatment.

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