header-logotype
7AM - MIDNIGHT | 7/365
BOOK NOW

Head Lice In African American Hair

Head Lice In African American Hair
Updated on 
March 27, 2017

Do African American People get lice?

We often get calls from families looking for an explanation for what they are finding in the hair. “We are African American – so we cannot get head lice, right? What is this bug I found on my child’s head?” It is a common belief that, because of the coarseness of the hair, African Americans cannot get a case of head lice. This, however, is a myth. The truth of the matter is, despite the texture of their hair, African American people can, and do, get head lice. In fact, often some of the most severe infestations we see are in individuals with African American hair.

Head lice like hair, they do not care what type of hair. If there is hair on the head, they can, and will, make a home there. Lice will grab onto a strand of hair, no matter what the texture, smooth or coarse, simply as a means to get to the scalp to access their food supply of human blood. So, you may wonder, why is this such a common belief if it couldn’t be further from the truth?

African Americans Do Have Lower Incidence of Head Lice

It is true that African American families do have a lower incidence of head lice than other nationalities. As

lice tips african american ethnic get head lice bug crawl hair

part of the grooming regimen, a variety of sheens, oils and waxes are commonly used. The products create a coating on the hair which makes it more difficult for a louse to grab onto a strand and maintain the grip needed to crawl up the hair strand to get to the scalp.

Imagine, if you will, trying to climb up a rope. For most people, this presents a challenge all its own, but if the rope is squeaky clean and dry, it is much easier to maintain a firm grip and climb to the top. In contrast, rope that is wet or has an even coating of dirt or dust on it, getting and maintaining a grip to climb up to the top is far more difficult, and in some cases, impossible.

As discussed, the products used regularly by African Americans to maintain their hair do serve as an effective deterrent to getting head lice, however, they are not absolute barriers. LiceDoctors has treated many African Americans who exclude such styling products or who use them regularly but somehow contracted a case of head lice anyway.

How To Get Rid of Lice In African American Hair

Treatment for head lice in African American hair types is often more time consuming and requires a degree of patience, but is pretty much the same as with all other hair types, with only the addition of a few extra steps depending on individual circumstances. Prior to the lice treatment, any hair extensions, hair pieces, or wigs should be removed. If they are not removed, treatment will most likely fail as they provide shelter for the live bugs to hide under during treatment. After the hair extensions have been removed, all of the live bugs must be killed or otherwise removed from the hair. Since no treatment, pesticide or natural, penetrates and kills the nyph inside the eggs that are laid, all eggs must be removed from the hair as well. We recommend the use of a professional grade nit comb, such as the Terminator. To make the process faster and more comfortable, straightening of the hair is highly recommended. Application of oils also helps to make combing easier, especially for those who are tender headed.

african american hair lice dread locks dreads locs treatment

Treatment of head lice on individuals with dreads is a bit more tricky. Unfortunately, in almost all cases, removal of the dreadlocks by cutting them off is needed to ensure effective treatment can be completed. The only other option is for the dreadlocks to be untangled prior to treatment. There are a variety of products available today to make this process easier, but since this process can take a considerable amount of time, most of our clients opt to remove the dreadlocks prior to treatment. LiceDoctors: Head Lice and African American Hair

LiceDoctors Can Help!

Technicians with LiceDoctors are experienced with head lice in all varieties and types of hair. Rest assured, when you contact LiceDoctors, the technician that will help you will treat your family in the most comfortable and convenient way possible. The professional comb they use will ensure that every live bug and all visible nits will be removed from your hair before they leave. The oil they will apply will also minimize any discomfort that comes with treatment of head lice. Call LiceDoctors at 800-224-2537 to speak with a dispatcher that will walk you through the treatment process and get you set up with a qualified technician in your area. Appointments are available every day; weekends, evenings and holidays included.

We provide a friendly in-home lice removal service

Book your appointment today

RECOMMENDED POSTS

Who Usually Gets Lice?
Updated on 
November 10, 2020

Who Usually Gets Lice?

Head lice is the second leading cause of absenteeism from schools, after the common cold. Anyone with hair can get lice. Nobody of any age, gender, social status, ethnicity, or hair length is immune except someone who is totally bald.

Read more
Can Lice Live In Short Hair?
Updated on 
April 14, 2021

Can Lice Live In Short Hair?

If you are like many parents, you may be minding your own business when you notice your child scratching his head. A light bulb goes off and you go and check to see if you see any unwanted signs of head lice. Right there in front of your face, you see a bug crawl out of the hair. After you have recovered from a heart attack, you run to get the clippers or scissors to shave or cut your child’s hair. Before you do that you check your daughter and she has it also! What is a busy parent to do? Shaving or cutting your child’s hair may be overkill and can produce lasting trauma in some children. Before you grab the razor, read below to find out more about short hair and buzz cuts and the impact, or lack of impact, they have on head lice.

Read more
Can Head Lice Live In a Man's Beard?
Updated on 
October 14, 2021

Can Head Lice Live In a Man's Beard?

While most parents worry least about Dad having lice out of everyone in the household, occasionally as an afterthought, people say “oh, wait...can you get lice in a beard!”. We have been treating head lice for over 20 years and have only come across beard lice three times, out of over half a million cases we’ve treated.

Read more
Cart
0