21 Mar Is There a Way to Prevent Head Lice?
Parents fear head lice because these pests are difficult to get rid of and can spread to others in the household. Lice are most commonly spread from head-to-head contact, which is why they are most common at school, daycare and summer camp. However, a live louse can jump onto a strand of hair if the hair touches an affected hat, helmet or hair clip. The good news is that lice can only live for 24-48 hours off the head, so it’s less likely for them to be transferred this way.
Head lice are not picky about the hair they latch onto. They like clean hair, dirty hair, curly hair, straight hair – the list goes on. Still, there are a few ways to lower the chance that your child comes home with lice. Here are our best tips for preventing head lice in your household.
Put up long hair
Don’t be mistaken – head lice have no problem crawling onto a perfectly manicured ponytail. However, having the hair pulled up makes it less likely for your child to get lice. Because there is no hair hanging down, lice will have a harder time swinging onto a hair strand. A bun is preferable, but a high ponytail works well, too.
Use hair spray
Once the hair is pulled up, use some hair spray to hold it in place. Lice actually prefer clean hair with no products in it because it’s easiest to climb. When hair contains hair products like gel, mousse or hair spray, the hair gets hard and sticky and is harder to climb. Before your child leaves for school, put some product in it for added protection.
Use tea tree or lavender oil
Add a couple drops of tea tree or lavender oil in your child’s shampoo or detangler. The jury’s still out on how effective these essential oils are, but they can help deter lice from habituating in your child’s hair. You can also dab a couple drops of tea tree or lavender oil around your child’s hair line for a similar effect. Mix them in some olive oil first so that they do not irritate the skin.
Comb hair daily
We can’t stress enough how important it is to be vigilant about your child’s hair. Purchase a fine-toothed comb to comb through your child’s hair and look for lice. Lice can be found on the scalp, neck and ears. If lice are present, you will notice small, sesame-shaped insects moving around. They are hard to remove, which is how you can tell the difference between lice and dandruff or dirt.
In the end, there is no foolproof way to prevent head lice. Still, following these tips and being vigilant can make a big difference for your family. To prevent the spread of head lice in your child, check out the line of all-natural lice prevention products from My Hair Helpers.