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What you Should know about Pyrethrin and Permethrin

By August 23, 2018January 29th, 2019No Comments

One of the biggest problems with traditional head lice treatments is that they, inadvertently, end up creating generations of stronger lice that are resistant to the two commonly used ingredients found in these kinds of medications – Pyrethrin and Permethrin. And this, in a nutshell, is one of the reasons our lice removal products are so effective. They kill these pests and do so without creating generations of lice and nits that are impervious to traditional treatments. So, with 25 states reporting the presence of drug resistant lice, let’s take a look at two of the culprits that have put the country in its current predicament.


Pyrethrins are a class of organic compounds that come from the Chrysanthemum plant. For thousands of years they have been known to be a powerful class of insecticides and are now commonly used in bug spray, flea medications and lice treatments. Although it is known to be an organic compound, it is often combined with synthetic compounds such as piperonyl butoxide or other synthetic adjuvants. One problem with Pyrethrins is that their increasing popularity has resulted in illnesses and sicknesses in humans. Another, of course, is that certain insects have now become immune to this pesticide.


Permethrin is a chemical categorized in the pyrethroid, insecticide group. Since it is believed to have little systemic absorption it is often made into creams, sprays, etc. Moreover, Permethrin is often used on cotton, wheat, maize, and alfalfa crops in order to protect them from insects. One problem caused by Permethrin is that excessive exposure can cause symptoms in humans such as nausea, headache, muscle weakness, shortness of breath and even seizures.

Together the two chemicals have caused head lice to evolve a resistance to via natural selection. That is, the most resistant of the species passes their resistance on to future generations until certain chemicals become ineffective against the majority of new populations. After this happens, new formulations must be developed in order to “trick” certain pests. With our products this is not necessary since head lice and their nits never develop resistance. So the next time you hear drug-resistant lice referred to as “super lice” remember that our natural head lice treatment is the kryptonite that will rid you and your child of these pests. We can do this via one of our mobile vans or you can visit our salon in person.