By Lice Technician Jessica Zachar
April 30, 2020
When treating for head lice, you want to be sure that you have high quality tools. It can be challenging to get out all signs of head lice and having the proper tools is important.
A good friend of ours who lives in Colorado recently said "I guess living in this cool climate means that we are not susceptible to head lice." Her daughters had gone through school without ever having gotten lice. Of course, she was lucky but not accurate. Like most insects, head lice like hot humid weather, however, there are plenty of head lice in Colorado. If you are reading this blog, chances are you've already discovered that. All lice need to exist is a human head and blood. Head lice are found all winter, even in colder climates. The Denver area is where LiceDoctors got started. If your children have head lice you are certainly not alone.
Given the healthy approach to life in Broomfield and Brighton, we receive a lot of calls from families who do not want to use chemicals. We explain to each family that they have made a good choice in rejecting the use of chemicals. As the bugs have developed a resistance to these products, the chemicals often do not work. In addition, who wants to put chemicals onto their child's head?
Ironically, outdoor lifestyle for young children, while healthy and encouraged, may actually assist in the transmission of head lice from child to child. Since head lice are spread from head-to-head, when children are playing, whether it's roughhousing or tumbling or generally playing in close contact, the lice are given the opportunity to spread.
Professional nitpickers know how important it is to have the best tools for lice removal. The lice are hard to find and their eggs camouflage into the hair and are difficult to extract from the hair strands where they are cemented.You need to have the best aids possible to make the lice removal process go well.
A Good Quality Nit Comb is Necessary for Efficient Lice and Nit Removal
A good quality nit comb is the single most important tool in treating head lice. Many over-the-counter lice treatment kits come with a plastic comb. While these may catch some of the fully grown bugs, they are not effective at removing baby lice (nymphs) and small nits from the hair. This means that you can comb for hours without eliminating your infestation! Why comb and comb some more if the tines of the comb are too far apart? This means that despite your hours of work, you are likely leaving behind lice and nits that slip right through the comb. When that happens you have wasted a lot of time and energy and you will eventually find yourself back at square one.
We recommend the Terminator™ brand metal nit comb (see picture above). Each tine has a spiral etched along it and the teeth are set so close together that you can only see between them if you hold it up to a very strong light. They can be a bit more expensive than the plastic combs, but getting the professional quality tool will save you from treating and retreating the same infestation for months. All you need to do is wash the comb with hot water and soap between users and you can treat the whole family with one comb. The comb is built to last so should you encounter lice in the future, you can use this comb.
The Licemeister comb is another high quality, professional lice comb. Like the Terminator comb, the Licemeister comb has strong metal tines that are spaced close together to pull out nits and lice.
Lice Shampoo and Conditioner
There are many lice shampoos and conditioners on the market. The best ones will have mint, as that is the #1 scent that lice hate!
You can use these hair care products after a lice treatment and it will help rinse out the oil. You can also use them year round as an added preventative against catching lice again. The best prevention, as always, is to avoid head to head contact (or sharing brushes and combs), but the minty scent can also make your head a less desirable destination for the bugs.
LiceDoctors offers a sulfate-free spearmint scented shampoo and conditioner whose scent helps to repel lice and that does an excellent job of cleaning the oil that is used to treat the lice.
Prescription lice treatments also come with potential side effects and are not guaranteed to kill lice. Lice killing products such as Sklice, Ovide, Spinosad, and Lindane are sometimes recommended by doctors. Keep in mind that your doctor in not a lice doctor which means that he or she is not going to have the time to spend hours removing head lice from your family’s heads and also is likely not an expert on head lice.
Over the counter lice treatments often come in the form of a permethrin or pyrethrin lice killing shampoo that aims to kill the bugs chemically. Not only do both permethrin and pyrethrin possibly irritate the skin and have other possible side effects, but lice have developed so that the chemicals are only partially effective at killing the live bugs. If you have live lice in the hair, they will reproduce and you will soon have a lot more live bugs. In addition, none of the permethrin or other chemical treatments are ovicidal (meaning that they are not able to kill the nits (eggs).
For those who have tried chemicals, whether you have tried prescription lice treatments or over-the-counter lice shampoos like Rid Lice Shampoo or Nix Lice Killing Kit, you have likely found that they do not kill all of the bugs and they definitely don’t kill the nits (lice eggs).
Our official recommendation, based on over 20 years in the field of lice treatment, is to skip the dangerous chemicals and use a good quality metal nit comb with simple oil to remove everything from the hair.
Lice Prevention Sprays
Similar to the shampoo and conditioner, the best lice prevention sprays are mint based. These come in the form of hair sprays that can be worn all day to help prevent lice infestations. These work best when used in combination with a contained hair style (such as a braid or a bun) to limit hair-to-hair contact. The minty scent makes your head seem less inviting to lice. In addition, the spray adds a protective coating around the hair which makes it more difficult for lice to climb up the hair strands to reach their destination: the blood in your scalp.
LiceDoctors Peppermint Repellent Spray is a peppermint oil-based formula used to naturally ward off head lice. The sprays works by both repelling the lice with its peppermint scent and by coating the hair. It is recommended that you spray this repellent onto the hair every morning to protect your children from picking up active infestations at school, camp, playdates, and anywhere that they are close contact with other children.
Avoid using lice sprays designed for use on furniture or carpets. These are aerosol insecticides that aim to kill any bugs living in your home, but they are not necessary for killing lice at home. These sprays contain toxins; never use these products on your head. Lice cannot survive off of a human head; they need the blood and constant heat to survive. Lice will starve within a few hours, and the nits will not be able to incubate or hatch once detached from the hair. In addition, live bugs are unable to burrow into fabric or other materials, so they would not be able to hide in your home, bed, or furniture. For these reasons, we strongly urge to not use these alleged lice killing sprays.
Your lice technician will make a house call to you at the time that you request. LiceDoctors makes lice treatment as easy as possible for you. We know that you have your hands full and may be exhausted from trying to kill lice at home on your own. Your tech will arrive at your home with all the tools that she needs to do a thorough lice removal process. I bring a lamp and magnifying glasses so that I can see all of the nits and lice. Let me tell you: nits are small and they take on the color of the hair. You need to be able to recognize them so you can pull them out. I also bring oil and Terminator lice combs so that I can comb out nits and lice.
I have a hairdryer with me and after washing the oil out of the hair, I dry it, and then get to work handpicking remaining nits. First I use a regular comb to comb hair into sections. I take out my hair clips and pin up all sections of the hair except the one I’m working on. I feather the hair and as the strands are fanned out, I pull off the sticky nits that I find. This takes time to be thorough because I know that the consequences of leaving nits behind are bad; these nits will hatch and within a few weeks the client would have a full infestation. I take pride in the fact that I am thorough and have never had to go back to treat a client because I overlooked a couple of nits. You want your lice specialist to be an expert so you can be sure that she gets rid of the lice permanently.
Of course, the most important tools that your lice specialist must have are expertise and experience. No one beats LiceDoctors. And if you are deciding between LiceDoctors and a lice treatment center, we think that’s an easy choice and here’s why:
- LiceDoctors has the best track record—over 500,000 successfully treated clients
- Our prices are significantly lower than salons. For a family of 4, LiceDoctors cost averages under $400; the cost at a lice clinic is usually over $600.
- You can’t match the the convenience. There is no need to drive to a lice center when your LiceDoctors technician will come to your home.
- In-home treatment offers more flexibility. You and your family will be in the comfort and familiarity of your home. You don’t all need to sit in a lice salon for hours while everyone is checked and those with lice are treated
- LiceDoctors treats families from early morning until night, 365 days a year.
Obviously we don't want to put our children in a bubble to keep them isolated. As long as your child is with other children, he or she is at risk of getting head lice. You do not need to fear this, head lice are a nuisance but they do not cause illness. If you are in the Broomfield and Brighton area and have head lice, give LiceDoctors a call. Technicians use all natural ingredients and the treatments are effective every time.
LiceDoctors technicians bring all the products you need to treat head lice. For professional lice treatment from a technician who makes house calls to Brookfield, Brighton, and all Denver area cities, call 800-224-2537. Treatments are covered by FSAs and HSAs, as well as by some insurance plans.