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// Head Lice And Other People’s Children

Posted in Nits and lice

The common reaction to finding your child has head lice can often be to blame someone else – be it another child for giving it to your child or another parent who you assume hasn’t checked or cleared their child.

The best thing all round is not to blame others but instead to get on with clearing your child and checking all the family, and then sharing your findings with all the other mums so they are alerted to checking also. Often if people aren’t reminded that there is a problem in the friendship group or class, they won’t remember to look and check.

Sharing this intelligence with those close to you is helpful to everyone – including yourself because if they check and find it they have a chance to clear it. Always tell their school so they can alert everyone that head lice have been found in the class.

Others may already be aware their child has head lice but they may be relying on the head lice treatments to clear it for them – the problem is that lice have developed serious immunity to them and they aren’t delivering the kind of effectiveness expected. Don’t rely on the products yourself and talk to other parents so they are aware that the products are not necessarily the thing to rely on – instead talk to the other parents promoting nit combing because it is much more effective.

At The Hairforce a key part of our process involves nit combing and we use our Comb to Clear Professional Nit & Lice Remover to ensure all the eggs, as well as the lice, are removed easily and effectively.

Why Telling Other Mums to Check For Head Lice When You Find Them is a Good Idea

At The Hairforce we really encourage mums to tell other mums when you find head lice. If you share your findings or situation with all the other mums, it will encourage them to check also – and if they don’t check, their children could well walk around with lice and give them back to your child.

As much as it might feel awkward to share that you have a problem with nits and lice, most mums have experienced it themselves, and they may even be struggling with it at the same time.

It is wise to inform your children’s friends’ parents and the school that your child has head lice. This will mean that they will check their children and the school can send a note to all the other parents to check. This intelligence sharing means that others will be encouraged to look and if they find head lice, to clear their children. If others do this, then your child has a better chance of not being re-infested.

It’s Always Other Children Who Pass Head Lice to my Child

Everyone always thinks it is someone else passing head lice around. As frustrating as it is, don’t forget that it’s almost impossible to work out where an infestation started in a school or friend group, and if your child has them then they are more than likely passing them around too.

It is to everyone’s advantage to remember that all parents have a role in clearing and checking their children to ensure that they are clear, and kept clear.

Why do Some Children Get Head Lice And Others Don’t?

For head lice it is all about the blood – high sugar levels in the blood are particularly attractive. If the child who always gets head lice is the one who loves apple juice and sweets then they are raising their blood sugar level by drinking and eating these things. If they have really thick hair then they are also very attractive to head lice. Check them regularly and when you nit comb make sure you’re particularly thorough with thick hair.

// Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Nit Combs

Posted in Hand Clearing Lice, Nits and lice

Nit combs are the most effective tool you have against head lice. But they’re not all created equal, so to beat the bugs, make sure you’re fully equipped with the right one.

Why do Head Lice Products Contain Nit Combs?

Head lice products often contain a nit comb because the product itself isn’t as effective as they say it is against the nits/eggs. So they need you to extract them to actually be 100% effective. If you don’t get all the eggs out then they’ll hatch, the lice will grow up, mate, lay more eggs and you’re back with a full-blown infestation. Nit combing is by far the most effective way to deal with the eggs with the products invariably acting as a combing aid – they give you a free comb to encourage you to comb.
However, this free nit comb is often of a poor quality because their teeth are not close enough together and it won’t pull out all the eggs. So don’t rely on the freebie in the product box – instead get yourself a good quality, long-toothed metal nit comb to get the lice and nits out that way which is much more effective.

What Kind of Nit Comb is Most Effective?

The most effective nit comb is a long-toothed metal one where the teeth are close together. At The Hairforce we sell the nit comb we use because we have found it to be the best quality and, as a consequence, the most effective.

Plastic nit combs are not effective and metal nit combs with the twisted teeth pull and damage the hair. So, pick the long-toothed metal comb for the most effective option.

Is Wet Combing More Effective Than Head Lice Shampoos?

You must wet the hair in order to nit comb. If you don’t you will tear the hair and also create electro-static energy which can then make the hair problematic to work with.

In the Hairforce nit and lice removal service, we use our own professional nit and lice remover to use with our nit comb. It has nothing in it that kills head lice as lice have developed immunity the chemical and pesticide products. Instead, we use a specially calibrated high-performance formula for effective nit combing. It is clear so you have great visibility as you comb so you don’t miss anything, and it is leave-in, so you don’t have to wash the hair afterwards. It is non-toxic and non-irritating as it has contains no parabens, sulphates, and no pesticides, but instead is made from very high-quality ingredients that will leave the hair in great condition.

Wet combing is the recommended way to clear an infestation of head lice. If you rely on the head lice treatments you will fail as they have increasingly low rates of effectiveness.

To wet comb effectively it does not have to be difficult or chaotic. You need to work with good tools and a system to clear out all the lice and all the eggs. The Hairforce have a Home Assassination Kit that teaches you a system and equips you with everything you need to be efficient and effective.

Is a Nit Comb Really Enough to Clear a Head Lice Infestation?

More and more people are looking for alternatives to chemical lice treatments. The wisest option is not to use any of these products or treatments because they have very low rates of effectiveness – think about your own experiences with the head lice treatments and if you have still found lice and eggs soon after using them.

Possibly you think your child is catching them each month, but that usually means eggs were missed and they have matured and hatched.

When you find an infestation, don’t think you can get away with combing just once a week – you need to comb much more frequently than that to ensure that any eggs that hatch don’t have enough time to mature into an adult head louse. In the Hairforce Home Assassination Kit, there is the timetable you need to work to for maximum effectiveness.

Alternatively, if you want someone else to do it quickly, with 100% guaranteed effectiveness then the Hairforce nit and head lice clearing service can clear the infestation for you.

// Are Essential Oils Effective at Treating Head Lice in Children?

Posted in Head Lice news, Lice removal myths

We’ve posted previously about the effectiveness of a wide range of home remedies for treating head lice and nits, and one of the topics on our list was the use of essential oils.

Recently, a pharmacologist released an article in a medical journal, reviewing all of the evidence for using essential oils to treat children for a variety of issues, including head lice.

What do I need to know about essential oils?

Edward A Bell, PharmD, BCPS, Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Drakes University in the USA has reviewed a range of studies and reported on the results, though he noted that most studies into essential oils do not include children, making it harder to find out if their use is effective or not.

One of the other issues he identified was that the studies have significant methodological limitations, including lack of placebo control or description of the specific product purity and content of the oils they’re testing. The active ingredient in essential oils can vary significantly, sometimes due to the plant species or part of the plant that was used to extract the oil.

In practical terms, this means that whenever you buy essential oils, you can’t know how potent they are or how pure they are. On top of that, there is no regulation for essential oils – as there would be for medicines – so they are not tested for safety or effectiveness before being sold. The only restriction – which is significant – is that essential oils can’t be labelled as ‘treating, diagnosing, curing or preventing’ any disease. This control exists for good reason, because if you cannot prove something then you shouldn’t be able to claim it.

Are there benefits to treating children with essential oils?

Of the studies that did look at how effective essential oils are for children, very little data could support the idea that oils have benefits.

One study looked into the benefits of using lavender and ginger oils to reduce distress in children. Researchers found no difference in the level of anxiety and distress in the test group compared to a control group.

Lavender essential oil was also studied to test its pain-killing properties in children who had undergone a tonsillectomy. In that study no differences in the intensity or frequency of pain were found between the control group and the test group. Orange and lavender oils were tested in yet another study into pain, and again showed no discernable benefit.

What about head lice? Are essential oils effective?

Although essential oils are often suggested for the treatment of head lice, the American Academy of Pediatrics did not recommend their use in their 2015 review of head lice treatment options. The variances in content and purity, as well as a lack of evidence for their safety and effectiveness, made it impossible to recommend essential oils as a treatment.

In a more recent study, researchers tested a number of different oils to see if they would be effective at killing head lice. They did find some effects from clove oil and Yunnan verbena oil, however their study had some significant weaknesses that mean more research would be required for these results to be considered proof of effectiveness.

For example, the lice that were exposed to the oils had been removed from the hair prior to testing, and were exposed to the oils within a test tube. This is a considerably different environment than would occur in reality, making it very difficult to say whether or not the effects might translate to the real world.

The tests were also focused on live head lice not the eggs (nits). As a method of killing off an infestation, removing the nits from the hair is a vital part of the process. To achieve this, combing through the hair with a nit comb is the only method that has been found to be effective, and it is almost certain that essential oils will not have any direct clinical benefit on this.

So, are essential oils effective?

The studies that we have discussed all showed limited effects of essential oils on treating childhood concerns. A lot more robust research is needed to see if essential oils are of any benefit in the fight against head lice or other diseases.

Please note that all of the essential oils studied were diluted before being applied as it is dangerous to use undiluted essential oils in any capacity, especially on children. They can burn the skin or scalp. Issues arising from essential oils, including diluted oils, can include rashes, eczema, dermatitis, breathing difficulties and even hormonal fluctuations. For these reasons, it is extremely difficult to test the safety and effectiveness of essential oils, which explains why the head lice study used test tubes.

At present, the most effective treatment for head lice is repeated and diligent removal of the head lice and their eggs using a nit comb.

 

// Can you get rid of nits using vinegar? Reviewing the popular home remedies for head lice.

Posted in FAQ, Lice removal myths

We get asked a lot about home remedies for lice and nits. We understand why – it would be much easier if there was something in your kitchen cupboards that could beat the itchy enemies quickly and cheaply. Some of us don’t want to use harsh chemicals to treat head lice – especially given their low rates of effectiveness – and many have found the lice have become more and more resistant to the lice treatment shampoos available from pharmacists.

So, let’s review the home remedies and understand if they solve the problem.

Can you get rid of lice using vinegar?

Before trying this idea out, you should know that vinegar won’t kill head lice or their eggs, the nits. It’s not an insecticide (you wouldn’t put it on your chips if it was), so it’s not an effective way to eradicate an infestation.

It is believed that using vinegar helps to loosen nits from the hair by dissolving the glue that keeps the nit attached to the hair. If this was the case there would be a product with it in by now for sure. It’s the nit combing you do that gets the eggs off the hair not the vinegar. Be warned that vinegar is really not good for the hair and can leave you with a tangled mess. Which is the last thing you want when you’re trying to use a nit comb.

Ultimately, there are too many downsides and no evidence that using vinegar can help you with the eggs.

Can you get rid of lice using mayonnaise?

This idea pops up on a lot of lice removal home remedy lists. It sounds so simple – grab that jar of mayo, and all your nit problems are gone. The argument is that the oil content in the mayonnaise will suffocate the lice and kill them. You’re advised to really saturate the hair to make sure the suffocating effect works, so the thicker the mayonnaise the better – so no cheap ones then!

Supposedly you need keep the product on overnight for it to work – because it takes at least 8 hours to suffocate a louse, according to research. In fact, the research that’s quoted in most of the home remedy lists actually found that mayonnaise wasn’t effective at killing lice even after that time period.

Even more importantly, even if sitting with room-temperature mayo on your head for 8 hours did work to kill the lice, you haven’t eradicated the nits/eggs. Depending on where they are in their life cycle, you’ll soon have a freshly hatched batch of lice to tackle – and if you don’t get them before they start laying their eggs, you’ll be buying a lot of Hellman’s and not getting very far at all. Which doesn’t achieve the cost savings that people are looking for when it comes to home remedies. Also that mayonnaise is a nightmare to get out of the hair.

Can you get rid of lice using olive oil?

This home remedy relies on the same principle as the mayonnaise – suffocating the lice. It has a couple of advantages over the mayo approach – olive oil is at least nourishing to the hair, it won’t start to rot and stink while it’s on your head, and you can saturate the hair with it more easily.

Unfortunately, the disadvantages are exactly the same. Using olive oil to treat head lice will, at its absolute best, get rid of adult lice – and that’s not guaranteed in the slightest, as suffocation hasn’t been found to be effective. It won’t kill the eggs, so again you’ll have to treat repeatedly over the course of days and weeks to try and get on top of the infestation.

Olive oil is also not as cheap as many of these home remedies are supposed to be. Vegetable oil is too thin to be a substitute, and good quality olive oil is definitely not cheap, especially when you have to soak your child’s head in it on a daily basis. It’s also another nightmare to wash out.

Can you get rid of lice using Listerine?

The logic behind using mouthwash as a remedy for head lice is based on the alcohol content – the idea being that the alcohol will dry out the lice and kill them. Obviously, Listerine and other mouthwashes aren’t sold as head lice products, and you should always exercise caution in using a product in a way it wasn’t designed for.

With a high alcohol content, you risk irritation and even burns, depending on the sensitivity of your children’s skin. In fact, Listerine itself states on the bottle not to administer to children under the age of 12, and that’s not just because they might swallow it.

Even if you’re using it as a mouthwash and spitting it out appropriately, you will absorb some of the alcohol and plant extracts. That’s fine for an adult having a quick rinse of the mouth, but how might it affect a child having their head liberally covered especially as children’s scalps are highly absorbent? It’s not worth the risk. On top of that, use the wrong colour and you may find yourself trying to work out how to fix sickly green or blue-coloured hair!

A few people promote using Listerine as an ‘effective alternative to toxic chemicals’. We understand that sentiment, absolutely. But Listerine is a chemical compound, and using it to treat lice is using it in a way it has never been tested for. As much as we can shy away from topical lice treatments as ‘chemical’, they have undergone testing for safety and efficacy. Even water is a chemical, so let’s put to bed the idea that all chemicals are bad. But using them incorrectly can certainly be a problem.

Can you get rid of lice using Vaseline/petroleum jelly?

This is another version of suffocating the head lice, so it has the same problems as the other approaches we’ve talked about here. But there’s another issue that you should consider before slathering your children’s heads in petroleum jelly. Getting it back out of the hair is not easy. And by ‘not easy’, we mean you’ll be tearing your own hair out. Do yourself a favour and avoid this approach. It has nothing going for it.

Can you use coca cola to get rid of head lice?

This idea has been circulating for a while – it started out as a meme in 2016 and keeps popping back up again. Without even looking into it, the thought of pouring something as sticky as cola on the hair already seems like a terrible idea. But let’s review it properly.

If we look at the ingredients for cola, there’s nothing in there that would either kill lice or remove nits from the hair. Sugar, caffeine, citric and phosphoric acids, and colouring. None of those have magical lice-killing properties, and the acids are in such small amounts that they wouldn’t have any effect – it wouldn’t be drinkable otherwise. The carbonation won’t do much either. All you’ll get out of this old wives’ tale is sticky, tangled hair and no resolution to your nit and lice problem.

Can you treat head lice using essential oils?

There are a few different essential oils that are recommended as a home remedy for head lice. There are also quite a few issues with using them. Firstly, undiluted essential oils can be very dangerous – people have experienced burns, blisters, rashes, headaches, nausea and vomiting through the use of essential oils directly on the skin and scalp. Once you’ve reacted to a particular essential oil, you will also always be allergic to that oil – which can be a problem in the future, if you unwittingly buy a product containing it.

Even when using diluted essential oils you should be extremely cautious, and dilute far more than you would for an adult. In fact, many doctors say that you should never use essential oils on children at all.

With those risks covered, the next question is are essential oils effective at treating lice and nits? The oils that are suggested cover quite a range – from tea tree and lavender to cinnamon and nutmeg. The home remedies that recommend them tend to fall into two camps – either they recommend mixing the oils with olive oil and saturating the hair, or they suggest mixing with rubbing alcohol and spraying the hair.

As you can see, the essential oils themselves are just a variation on the olive oil and Listerine methods, and with such a wide range of oils suggested – clove, eucalyptus and red thyme are also mentioned – it’s unlikely that it’s the essential oils themselves that have any effect.

Tea tree oil is the most commonly recommended oil, and in the past it may have been effective although there is no scientific evidence to back that claim. It contains a compound called anticholinesterase, which is believed to have helped kill lice. Unfortunately, this ingredient no longer works as lice have become resistant to its effects, in the same way that many formerly-useful over the counter remedies have become ineffective through lice resistance.

Home remedies that work for head lice

You may be reading this thinking ‘but I’ve heard that some of these methods really do work, my friend used olive oil and got rid of her children’s lice.’ All of the sites that recommend different techniques have testimonials and success stories, and it’s hard not to think that some of them must be right, that there must be something to these remedies. And you’re right, but it might not be what you think.

Let’s look at something all of these remedies have in common. All of the advice includes using a nit comb and combing through the hair to remove the eggs once you’ve done the home remedy part of the treatment.

This is the part that’s actually effective. Using olive oil or conditioner might help make it easier to comb through the hair, especially if it’s thick or curly, but it’s the act of physically removing the lice and nits that gets rid of them. Essential oils might make everything smell a bit nice, mayonnaise might do the opposite, but on their own they’re not effective strategies for treating a head louse infestation. Patience and combing are.

// Don’t use head lice treatments while near a naked flame

Posted in Chemically clearing lice, Head Lice news

A dozen people, children and adults, have been badly burned over the past decade from using head lice treatment and being near an open flame.

Due to the high volume of flammable chemicals used in products to treat head lice, people have suffered burns from being near cigarettes or gas fires. In most of the cases an unknowing parent has lit a cigarette near their child causing the hair to go up in flames.

In 2007 manufacturers were told to publish warnings on packages, however the accidents have still been happening.

We always recommend clearing by hand, as this is the safest and most effective way to rid head lice out of your life. This means no nasty chemicals on you or your children’s heads. If you are struggling to get all the lice and nits yourself, you can contact your nearest Hairforce branch for help.

Read the full article here.

// Popular £12 head lice lotion can catch fire

Posted in Chemically clearing lice, Head Lice news

Due to some cases of children suffering burns while being treated with chemical lice treatments, including popular brand Hedrin, experts are warning parents to not smoke near children’s heads or let them near an open flame.

The chemicals in the lice treatment are extremely flammable and a dozen adults and children have suffered burns in the past decade from exposing their doused head to flames.

While many of the accidents happened due to being near cigarettes, one woman was left with serious burns after adjusting a gas fire with the treatment on her hair.

Avoid the risk and clear your head lice by hand. We sell comb to clear kits in our shop, or if you don’t want to do it yourself you can reach out and contact your nearest Hairforce Branch.

You can read the full article here.

// Head Lice Products are Flammable/Combustible

Posted in Head Lice news

Several sources lately have discussed how some products for the eradication of head lice infestations are combustible/flammable when on the hair and can ignite and cause serious harm in the presence of an open flame or other source of ignition such as when lighting cigarettes.

According to Gov.uk “Eight cases of serious burns associated with Hedrin 4% cutaneous solution have been reported to the MHRA since the product was licensed in 2005. Following the first reported case in 2007, warnings about risk of fires were added to the pack and patient information leaflet for Hedrin 4% cutaneous solution. Four cases were associated with a cigarette lighter or lighting of a cigarette, one with a lit cigarette, one with a candle, and 2 with adjusting a gas fire.

There have been 2 further serious burns cases associated with other products. In 2006 a woman suffered serious burns when smoking during treatment. In 2017 another incident occurred when a child undergoing treatment came into contact with a naked flame, resulting in very serious burns.

Pharmacists should encourage parents, caregivers, and people with head lice to read the instructions carefully for all headlice eradication products.”

// What methods do you use to get rid of nits?

Posted in FAQ, Hand Clearing Lice, Nits and lice

“What methods do you use to get rid of nits?”

The service we provide at The Hairforce – Lice Assassins is one that guarantees to be 100% effective. We use a combination of clever technology and hand clearing to deliver a forensic, fast, safe and effective result. We don’t use any head lice products, dimethicone or insecticides so the head lice cannot become immune to any part of our process. We see someone twice, 7 days apart. At the first appointment we hoover out all the head lice using a specialist lice hoover. We then use University developed controlled heated air technology to dehydrate the eggs. After that we apply an organic, enzyme free, leave in conditioner and nit comb and nit pick out all of the visible eggs. We see someone for a second appointment because when lice lay their eggs they lay invisible sacks of liquid, so there are eggs at the first appointment we cannot see. The controlled heated air will dehydrate the vast majority of these, but that technology has an over 95% effectiveness rate, so we are then interested in that potential under 5% -because we will be guaranteeing 100% shutdown. We clear a lot of people who use a lot of product and haven’t cleared the infestation. Our process gives them the certainty and the result they have been desparate to achieve.

// How do you get rid of head lice?

Posted in FAQ, Hand Clearing Lice, Non-chemical removal

“How do you get rid of head lice?”

Firstly don’t use the head lice products or you could find yourself chasing your tail. If they don’t kill all the nits and head lice then the cycle continues, and can often multiply out of control quite quickly. You are much better off with a more straightforward approach – a good metal long toothed nit comb and some conditioner. At The Hairforce we recommend that you need to be systematic in your combing and to do it regularly so that you get all of the lice and all of the eggs out of the hair before the lice grow up and the eggs hatch.

// What do you provide if I want to start a franchise?

Posted in FAQ

“What do you provide if I want to start a franchise?”

The Hairforce – Lice Assassins Franchise opportunity is a comprehensive business in a box. You are fully equipped, comprehensively trained in all aspects of checking and clearing as well as customer service and running your business. Following the training Head Office are supportive in your development and growth.