What Causes Head Lice?

what causes head liceThis fantastic photo is compliments of Mike Fiddleman

Do you know what causes head lice? It's not poor hygiene, dirty homes, or any of the other old wives tales.

Hair lice infestations are generally the result of close friendship and good will!

Lice actually prefer clean heads. I hope you'll take some comfort from that.

I remember when I was a kid. It was all a bit hush-hush when someone got hair lice. It was embarrassing and almost shameful.

Since I've studied more about head lice info, I've learned that lice in hair is caused by close contact and nothing more or less.

Children happily play together in very close quarters in the ever popular day care and pre-school; kids walking arm in arm or sharing a toy, hat, or brush; these simple actions of happy, healthy, children are the main causes of head lice.

Head lice are wingless little parasites about the size of sesame seeds. A live louse is grayish white or light brown in color. Lice can't fly, and they don't really hop either (that's fleas you're thinking of). 

You usually see hair lice around the nape of the neck and ears because of the warmth of that area. What causes head lice to spread so quickly is the fact that they lay many eggs every day on individual strands of hair. The nits (lice eggs) are found about 1/2 inch from the scalp.

Ever heard these expressions
and wondered where they came from?

A number of common sayings actually refer to lice. 
Calling someone a "nitwit" is the same as saying they have the intelligence of a louse egg (nit).
"Getting down to the nitty gritty" and "nit-picking" refer to the detailed work involved in removing nits.
Describing someone as "lousy" implies that they are as nasty as having lice.

Quite often people panic, thinking they or their child have lice in their hair. Many times it turns out that what they thought was eggs on the hair was really just a flake of scalp or a drop of hair spray.

If you can flick or blow the object away, it's not a nit! Nits are almost glued on with some incredible substance by the mother louse. They have to be firmly dragged all the way down the hair shaft between your fingers or with a stiff fine tooth head lice comb.

If you receive a head lice diagnosis, you have several options. You could use an over the counter insecticidal shampoo like Nix or Rid. You have to consider that these contain pesticides that are harmful to humans as well as lice. Not only that, it's been reported that lice are getting quite resistant to the active chemicals in these head lice treatments. So, you may go to the trouble and still not kill them all.

Here are two other options I'd recommend:

  • Head lice herbal treatment - This home cure for head lice is made by combining regular shampoo and conditioner with certain essential oils. It has it's own set of warnings, but I like it much better than commercial treatments for head lice.

  • Home remedy for head lice - This lice hair treatment uses simple olive oil. This is the safest possible method of getting rid of hair life.

So, now that you know what causes head lice, don't let headlice completely discourage you. It's a little extra work, but look on the bright side. This will give you some quality time to spend with your children one on one as you go over their heads with a fine toothed comb.

To your good health!

Comment Or Question
About Head Lice Treatment?

If you have any questions about head lice treatment feel free to ask them here. Be as specific as possible, including what you have already done, so that we can do our best to help.

You might have an experience of your own to share that will encourage and help others get rid of the little creepy crawlies.

What have you found that works for you in getting rid of lice? What absolutely DID NOT? Please take a couple of minutes to tell us about it.

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Do Head Lice Bite? 
Do head lice bite if they fall on your skin? First I thought I had head lice and did the treatment. No improvement so I did it again and again. …

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