Below are some of our most frequently asked questions.
Frequently asked questions
How to remove Nits?
This is the question that everyone asks. But did you know that nits are the white empty shells? This means though they do not look nice (a bit like dandruff) they are harmless and do not mean that there is a live infestation. Head lice and their eggs are what need to be killed to stop the head lice crawling in the hair and the eggs from hatching. The key is to break the life cycle.
- Only adult female head lice move from head to head
- Female head lice only mate once. They lay up to 100 eggs in 20 days.
- An egg does not sit on the hair. When the egg is laid it is fluid and there is a tubular shape that surrounds the hair shaft. The egg sits on the tube and this is why you can not pick an egg of the hair. The head lice egg or nit must be drawn down the hair strand and off. The good news is you cannot comb an egg back into the hair
- It takes seven days for a head lice egg to hatch. When the nymph (baby louse) is born it is almost impossible to see as it is so small. It stays close to the scalp to feed on the blood and keep warm
- After 10 days the louse becomes and adult. This is when they mate and start laying eggs.
- The reason for two treatment is to break this life cycle. The first treatment will kill all the lice and eggs. However because the eggs are so small they can be easily missed. The second treatment 7 to 9 days later, ensures that any eggs that have been missed will hatch. But they will not have become adults so will not have laid any eggs. The life cycle is broken. You will have no more head lice.
- It is important to know that if the infestation is over two months old we recommend a third treatment 7 to 9 days later. As occasionally head lice have not read the life cycle instructions and occasionally can take longer than seven days to hatch. I understand it is a little time consuming but believe me it is worth the extra two hours on the hair to ensure you are rid of head lice for good!
How do I prevent head lice?
The best way to prevent head lice is to keep hair tied close to the head/ Plaits, low down ponytails and buns work well at keeping head lice off the head. The female adult louse moves from hair to hair contact. The louse will crawl down the hair and move to another head when another persons hair touches the hair the louse is on. Head lice can move quickly (about 30cm a minute). Let me give you an example if two girls are sharing a book in class and both have long hair. If their hair comes into contact with each other a louse will move over quickly. Because adult female head lice will only mate the once, they can move over and lay up to 100 eggs. These eggs will hatch in seven days. So in a matter of a couple of weeks you can have lots of the little head lice in your hair.
Do prevention sprays kill nits or head lice?
Nits are the white or cream empty shells so they are harmless as they are dead. However head lice are the live crawling insects and genetically programmed to colonize. Which means a head louse never misses an opportunity to move to another head. There are many head lice prevention sprays on the market claiming to prevent head lice. We see countless customers in our clinic that have used all of them and still have head lice. There seems to be no scientific proof that head lice are repelled by fragrances. Tea tree, Lavender, Citrus and Rosemary oils are popular in prevention sprays. Though these have a pleasant fragrance as soon as our childrens heads get warm from being in class or playing the fragrance will evaporate. So if head lice prevention sprays worked it would not be for the whole day and you will have wasted your money.
Does Tea Tree or essential oils kill head lice?
There is no scientific proof that head lice kill or prevent head lice. The only experiments conducted with tea tree have been with high concentrations of head lice. Directly poured onto the lice in a petri dish. (i) There has been research with lavender and tea tree to treat head lice that found young boys developed breast tissue. (ii) Essential oils should be treated with great caution as they can harm the skin and if swallowed be highly toxic.(iii) (iv)
Are head lice treatments safe?
No not all over the counter head lice treatments are safe. NitNOT Eco Anti Head Lice Serum is classified as 100% as it is 100% dimethicone and hypo-allergenic.
Other head lice treatments are flammable and contain solvents, fragrances as perfumes. The MHRA issued a notice regarding volatile head lice treatments after more than ten life changing burn accidents had occurred while using leading brands of head lice treatment. (ii) Unfortunately very few people are being advised that these products are dangerous. (ii) As a mum it is my top priority to keep children safe from harm. This is why I developed NitNOT Anti Head Lice Serum
What do head lice look like?
Head lice are very small insects. They are about 2mm to 3mm in length when they are fully grown adults. The adult female louse is larger than the male as she carries the eggs for laying. They are about the size of a sesame seed. After feeding on blood they are a dark brown and after 2 to 3 hours they become a light tan colour. Head lice have six legs, three either side. The head louse will shed its outer shell three times before becoming an adult. These stages take ten days. When the nymph (baby louse) hatches they are so small they are barely visible with the human eye and can fit through the eye of a needle.
Is an itchy scalp the sign of nits?
An itchy scalp can be a sign that someone that has head lice. The itching is not from feeling them crawling in your hair. If someone is allergic to head lice biting them they will itch. It is the saliva injected into the skin when the louse consumes your blood that causes itching. It is reported that less than half of the population itch when they have head lice and nits. Commonly the first sign of head lice is when the white nits are discovered. Being allergic and itching is a blessing in many ways as it means if you are not check the hair regurlarly that the infestation will not get to heacy before being detected. Other common reasons for an itchy scalp can be dandruff, over heating heads (central heating and wooly hats) and hormonal changes.
Are head lice dangerous?
Headlice can be very irratating but they don’t directly cause diseases. However they do carry bacteria which can lead to infections.
Can my child get head lice at school?
Did you know that two thirds of students at primary school will get infected by head lice at some point? It’s not a hygiene issue as lice thrive in clean hair.