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Never Assume that Someone Knows the Difference Between Lice Eggs (Nits) and Dandruff

little boy scratching his head face grimacing in confusion

Updated on June 25, 2020

By Lice Doctors Technician, Shiana Rasheed

This is the story of Shiana, a lice technician, who years before she became a professional, trusted her mother-in-law’s assessment that her kids had lice. That led to a lot of wasted money and unneeded exposure to chemicals.

Families share a lot of things. Laughs, memories, viruses. You know, the usual. Well, there were two weeks when our family was allegedly overrun with a lice infestation.

Now, this monstrosity started with my mother in law...up in arms over someone having lice. My husband and I were on vacation and before we even knew about it, the kids were going through treatment with their grandmother. Then, silence. We found out a few days later that the kids had been treated multiple more times.

My mother-in-law had been creeped out and had bought hundreds of dollars worth of lice products. She then had our house fumigated with questionable chemicals.

This is the point that I started to really question the validity of this infestation. It seemed so out of control, like I should come home and check for myself.

We returned and I took a look at my step daughter’s thick, beautiful, dark brown hair....Nothing. Clean. cartoon image of woman in purple throwing her head back with hair flowing above.Luxurious. Checked my niece’s hair…. same thing. My son...nothing either. Now my feelers were out! I was confused as to what happened to those lovely bugs that my mother-in-law insisted were still there. My mother in law… who now had MUCH shorter hair.

What was going on?!?

She insisted that the kids still had lice, so we looked together. At this point she was ready to shave everyone’s heads Brittany Spears style. We looked together and she showed me……dandruff. Clear as day dandruff.

I asked if she had ever seen a live bug? No. Just these white specks on the scalp. This whole time, all of the money was spent because the kids had a dry scalp! They were treated with strong chemicals for nothing!

I tried to explain the difference to my mother-in-law. I showed her pictures; I even scratched some more dandruff from the head. It was easily removed, all different shapes and sizes, right on the scalp. This was probably the one case that WebMD would have ACTUALLY helped.

Head and Shoulders shampoo had never been such a relief. And we learned our lesson…. never assume anyone knows the difference between lice and dandruff (I didn’t have the heart to tell her that cutting her hair short was a major waste of time). I did decide after that experience that I should become a lice technician and help people to remove real eggs from the hair and to understand the difference between dandruff and nits! I guess you can say I turned lemons into lemonade.

Anyone can be burdened with a lice infestation; as long as you have blood, lice will love you. Lice bugs are parasites, so this means they survive off of blood, which they get from our scalp. It is easy to tell if you are looking at nits (lice eggs) versus dandruff. Nits camouflage and stick on the hair, while dandruff is white and flakey.

If you are unsure what you are looking at, you are not alone. Call LiceDoctors on the Treasure Coast at 772-879-5671 for a house call today.