Lice Happens – From Lousy Head to Fresh Head
Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of mothers like the threat of a head lice infestation. Each day Fresh Heads fields phone calls from tired, frustrated, embarrassed mothers and fathers who have truly done everything they know to do. Head lice is passed by direct head-to-head contact, is highly contagious, and is the #1 reason for missed school days in the U.S. At Fresh Heads, we see hundreds of people each month. These folks tried everything from mayonnaise to vodka to expensive and toxic prescription creams.
Why is getting rid of head lice so difficult?
Usually, the problem lies with the lice eggs. Also called nits, lice eggs are tiny, very difficult to see, glued to the hair shaft, difficult to remove and very hard to kill. The best prescription pesticides are only about 84% effective at killing lice eggs, and over-the-counter or home remedies don’t stand a chance. Because they are so hard to find and difficult to remove, your chances of missing one is very high. One missed egg means that egg hatches and the cycle starts all over again. Luckily there have been some great strides in killing nits, with the most effective means currently being warm, dry air. More on that later.
Another problem is that it is very difficult to get accurate information about lice. A quick search on the internet will yield an enormous amount of advice, opinions, and home-made brews, none of which have a lick of research to back them up. As a result, parents often underestimate lice and trust me, you really don’t want to underestimate them.
One of the biggest mistakes
One of the biggest mistakes people make centers around housecleaning. Here’s a little tip that will blow your mind: When you have head lice, cleaning your house should be your LAST priority. The bugs are a parasite–they require their host. Their host is the human head. They cannot survive very well at all off of a human head, and they are smart. They wouldn’t come off a head for any reason. Fresh Heads offers a simple list of recommended house cleaning, but it’s nowhere near as bad as you think. You feel better already, don’t you?!?
So what does work?
The good news is that there are options, good options, in virtually every price range. If you are the brave do-it-yourself type, you need to get your hands on a good nit comb. Did you ever wonder where the term nit-picking comes from? Yep, from picking lice eggs. Roll up your sleeves, you are in for a whole lot of nit-picking. At Fresh Heads, we recommend a Terminator Comb. A Terminator Comb has metal prongs that are very close together and are serrated. It will change your nit-picking life. We sell them for $17 and offer a video tutorial on how to comb, plus a detailed instruction sheet.
We also recommend a heavily weighted silicone oil (specifically dimethicone, also available for purchase at Fresh Heads) to kill live bugs. The oil is heavier than the oils often used in household remedies (olive oil, coconut oil, mayo) and it kills bugs very quickly through suffocation. It will not do anything to the nits, which is why you need the comb and an enormous amount of patience. All in all, manual removal is a 10-day process, because those eggs are hatching about every 10 days. Stop too soon, and you are setting yourself up for failure.
You could pay someone to comb it out for you (Enter Fresh Heads!) We offer this service for a VERY reasonable price, but we don’t have many people who choose it. That’s because most moms realize that combing is just combing, there’s no real science to it, and yes, you can do it yourself. Also, Fresh Heads is very strict with the follow up we require with this treatment option. We want you to be done with it as much as you do, so even if you’ve paid us to do a comb out for you, we are still putting you on a strict 10-day follow-up plan.
By far, Fresh Heads most popular treatment is called the AirAlle treatment. This one is so cool we get a little giddy about it. The AirAlle (pronounced air-allay) is an FDA Approved Medical Device that uses warm, dry air to kill lice eggs. Yes! It kills the eggs!!! 99.2% of them to be exact! Currently the only treatment available that can kill lice eggs so effectively, the AirAlle treatment is a true, single treatment, and Fresh Heads is the exclusive provider in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Savannah. About 98% of the people who come to us for help chose this option. We also guarantee this treatment for 45 days! As long as we have checked mom and all siblings in the house, we will retreat those we initially treated if they have a re-exposure within 45 days. Great peace of mind!
Whatever you choose to do, keep in mind that you do have options. And PLEASE! Let your friends know what you are going through! No one will be angry with you, and early detection makes the problem SO MUCH easier to manage. Fresh Heads strives to be an educational resource for the community, visit our website or give us a call with any questions, and Good Luck!
About the Author
Mandy Ottesen is the owner of Fresh Heads Lice Removal in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Savannah. Originally from Key West, Mandy is a wife and mom of two boys who attend St John’s County schools. Mandy started Fresh Heads in 2012 after seeing that there was no professional head lice treatment centers in the area. Since then, Fresh Heads has grown into an award-winning and nationally recognized head lice treatment center. Currently, Fresh Heads helps about 1200 people each month from Northeast and Central Florida, and Southeast Georgia & South Carolina., who have either contracted or been exposed to head lice. Fresh Heads was recognized by Lice Clinics of America as providing the most treatments of any treatment center in America, and was awarded ‘Lice Clinic of the Year’ for 2015, and the Better Business Bureau awarded Fresh Heads the Torch Award for Ethics in 2014.