Can black people get head lice? Myth or Fact? It’s a fact that blacks can get head lice. It’s definitely more difficult for blacks to get head lice because of their curl pattern. The coil in the curl pattern makes it more difficult for lice to travel to the scalp where they thrive. Any nationality is subject to getting head lice.
Wearers of Sisterlocks have a very unique problem when it comes to head lice. One of the main ways head lice are removed is by combing the hair with a fine toothed comb after the hair has been treated with a special over the counter shampoo or a prescription shampoo. Yikes!! We can’t comb our locks, henceforth our fingers become our combs, each lock must be individually inspected and wherever there’s head lice, nits or nymphs they must be removed by hand. This is a tedious and time-consuming task but it must be done in order to rid the locks of the head lice in its many forms. Mainly, it’s our little peeps with Sisterlocks that get head lice but big peeps aren’t immune either for many of them have little peeps that they get them from.
Please check out the information below to further understand head lice and how to treat them. I’ve had clients whose kids have had head lice, it was not the end of their Sisterlocks journey. Reassure your child that everything is going to be just fine, make sure they understand that it’s not their locks that caused them to get head lice, nor is it anything wrong with them. I suggest you use it as a teaching opportunity, knowledge is power. Please see below for more information.
~Three Forms of Lice
exist: nits, nymphs, and mature adults. Nits are lice eggs that attach to the hair shaft and usually hatch within a week. The microscopic eggs are easy to mistake for dandruff or residue from hair styling products.
Once the eggs hatch, lice are known as nymphs, an immature form of the parasite that is gray-ish tan in color. After nine to 12 days, the nymphs mature into adults. The average size of an adult louse is still tiny, at 2 to 3 mm or about the size of a sesame seed.
~Where Do Head Lice Live?
Head lice feed on blood and therefore stay close to the scalp where there is an abundant supply of food. After the nits hatch, they move from the hair shafts to your scalp to find sustenance.
You’ll find nymph and adult lice most commonly on the scalp around the back of your neck and ears. They might also live in your eyebrows or on your eyelashes. When fed, head lice can live for up to a month, but they will die within a day or two if they are not able to feed on blood.
: Head lice are insects, but they can’t fly. Instead, they crawl around in your hair and on your scalp to get nourishment. Lice are spread through close personal contact. The parasites crawl onto your clothing, hairbrushes, hats, towels and any other personal belongings.
If a friend or family member shares your comb or scarf, the head lice can crawl onto the new host and lay eggs, spreading the infestation. Female head lice can lay several eggs each day. Household pets and other animals do not spread head lice to humans.
~Symptoms of Head Lice: Some people experience the uncomfortable symptoms of head lice before noticing them in the hair, while others are asymptomatic. Head lice bite you in order to feed off your blood. The parasites’ saliva is irritating to many people, causing itching of the scalp. You might develop sores or red, raised bumps on your scalp from scratching your head without realizing why you are itchy at first.
Other symptoms that alert you to a case of head lice include a ticklish feeling on your head, especially at night. The head louse is a nocturnal creature and is more active in the dark than during the light of day.
~Detecting Head Lice: A visual inspection of your hair and scalp is mostly effective in detecting head lice, though the creatures are so small that they can be difficult to spot with the naked eye.
Parting your hair in small sections and literally going through each section with a fine-tooth comb is a painstaking but necessary step in order to find and remove head lice. A bright light and a magnifying glass are useful tools to aid in the detection and diagnostic process.
: Head lice are treated through manual removal with a comb as well as special shampoos containing chemicals that kill lice. Even if just one nit or adult louse is found, treatment is advised to reduce the threat of a full infestation.
Clothing, bedding, and towels must all be washed in hot water to control the infestation. Vacuuming carpets and furniture upholstery is another component of the treatment process for head lice.
~Outlook and Prevention
The good news is while a head lice infestation can be annoying and possibly uncomfortable, this common condition is treatable. Complications are rare and generally limited to skin infections caused by scratching.
Prevent head lice by instituting a “no sharing” rule for personal belongings such as combs, hairbrushes, towels, hats, and bedding.