It’s that time of the year again, and we have noticed how many of our clients are struggling with those horrid little monsters; the nit (egg) or head lice (insect)!
Firstly, please don’t be embarrassed – it happens to most mums at some point. If it doesn’t, it probably means that they are lucky, rather than that they did anything different to yourself!
12 Things you Need to Know
Some things you might not know:
- The nit is the egg.
- If the nit is white it has already hatched, the unhatched ones are difficult to find as they are transparent.
- The lice are the insects.
- They like dirty and clean hair.
- Afro hair can get nits, but it’s less frequent.
- They don’t jump – they are transferred by head to head contact or sharing of hats, pillows or hairbands
- Just removing the insects isn’t enough as the eggs will then hatch and you’ll get more.
- It takes 7-10 days before the lice can lay nits
- The nits take 7-10 days to hatch.
- Animals can’t catch nits from us
- You won’t necessarily itch if you have nits.
- Ignore Nit removal products – in my experience they are expensive and no longer work due to the lice developing immunity.
12 Tips On Nit & Lice Removal
- Olive Oil – Smother the hair over night with olive oil or something similar. Pop a shower cap on top and a towel on their pillow. This will smother the lice and loosen the nits from the hair strand. The lice can hold their breath for several hours, so it needs to be over night.
- Use a Tea Tree Oil Shampoo & conditioner – tea tree oil is quite potent smelling, but that must be the key to it’s success – we recommend the Jason brand.
- Use a Thick White Conditioner – this will make the whole process much easier
- Use a Nitty Gritty Comb – this seems to be the best make of nit comb available.
- Section the hair into small areas and comb carefully through. The eggs are near the scalp. Hold at a 45 degree angle and go from root to ends.
- Keep going, from one side to the next until you find nothing in the comb.
- Use a magnifying glass to check the tissue/towel that you wipe the comb on. Also check the edges of the bath once it has settled, incase any fell in there.
- Wash their hair every other night and comb with the nitty gritty comb until completely clear.
- Use the olive oil trick each weekend for an extra removal and assistance.
- Once your child has been infested you will need to keep checking for ATLEAST 2 weeks to make sure that you have got all the lice as they hatch.
- Wash all their bedding and clothes on a hot wash, including hats & scarves. Keep washing the pillowcases every 2 weeks during the removal process.
- If one member of the family has nits, you need to check everyone.
4 Deterrent Tips
Now once you have got rid of them, the next step is to keep focussed on deterring them:
- Check your child’s hair with the magnifying glass and nit comb whenever there is a scare at school, or once a month.
- Tie their hair up – Plaiting your daughter’s hair or tieing it up for school is really important to help stop them from getting infested again. Boys get nits too, but girls are more prone due to their longer hair.
- Leave in Spray – I use the Vosene leave in Nit deterrent and it’s been brilliant. I probably use it 3 times a week.
- There are electric nit combs, but they didn’t work for me, possibly due to the thickness of my children’s hair.
I’m going to tell you a funny story now. My Mother was a very romantic woman and also a nurse in WW2. She decided to send a lock of her hair to her new boyfriend who had just been sent out to war. Sadly, she had to send him another letter a week later to burn the lock, as she had caught nits from the children on the ward. How embarrassing is that. (Don’t worry he returned safe and sound from both the war and the nits!).
Please check your child’s hair before going for an appointment with your hairdresser, otherwise we will need to charge you a cancellation fee. I your child has nits we won’t be able to book another appointment for you for 14 days to ensure they are totally clear.
I’m sorry that we can’t help by de-nitting your children at the salon. Unfortunately for us, if we got infested it would be disastrous. If a child comes in with nits, and we start the service without noticing, everything that was in the vicinity of them is either boil washed or bleached to high heaven afterwards. So instead, we thought we would try to help by coming up with these top tips. If you have any more tips yourself, please do add them in the comments, we’d love to know!