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// Everything you need to know about head lice

Posted in Nits and lice, Uncategorized

What is the difference between a nit and an egg?
A nit is the egg that a head louse lays – it’s just another word for the same thing.

How can we tell if the louse or the nit is alive or dead?
The head lice will be crawling if it is alive. A dead nit or egg is either white or flat and dry. A healthy nit is plump and golden brown in colour.

On average, what is the number of nits/eggs a louse can lay?
A female louse lays up to 10 eggs a day and continues to do this for up to 30 days – so 300 eggs in her lifetime.

What is the average number of lice found on an infested person’s head?
An average infestation has between 5 and 20 head lice and up to 100 eggs.

I have heard that Afro Caribbean hair doesn’t get infested with head lice. How true is that?
Afro Caribbean hair has a different shaped hair shaft and there is a differently adapted head louse for this hair type.

Will shaving my child’s head help?
You can shave a boy’s hair but you still need to nit comb the hair stubble as head lice lay their eggs very close to the root of the hair – you will be surprised what you can find even on a cm of hair. It is more difficult to shave your daughter’s hair – that can have rather more serious social effects! Removing the lice another way is a better option!

Do head lice like dirty hair more than clean hair?
Contrary to popular belief, head lice do not have a preference for clean or dirty hair because they are interested in the human’s blood not their hair.

Will my pets get my head lice too?
Your pets will not catch head lice from you. Human head lice cannot survive off animal blood as its composition is different from human blood.

Can I see head lice jumping on the child’s head?
Head lice cannot jump or fly. They simply walk very quickly – up to 23cm in a minute. People often swear they jump but they don’t. If you nit comb the hair dry, without applying a conditioner and use a metal nit comb then you will build up static energy in the hair and that may propel a louse – making it look like it jumped!

What is the average life of a louse?
Too long! An adult louse lives for up to thirty days and can lay up to 300 eggs in that time. The female only needs to mate once and so over that 30 days can do a lot of damage.

Will everyone feel an itchy scalp from lice?
Not everyone will feel itchy with head lice. It is the saliva of the louse that makes some people itch if they are allergic to it. If you aren’t allergic to it, you won’t itch.

What is the time required for a nit to hatch?
The eggs take between seven and eleven days to mature and hatch, although this extends when the infestation is heavy and /or long term.

What do head lice look like?
Head lice are small insects with six legs and they can range from light to dark brown. Adult head lice are often described as being the size of a sesame seed. They can get quite black looking as the blood oxidizes inside them.

// Women in Business: Make a Difference and Join the Hairforce

Posted in Working with us

Are you looking for a change of career? Perhaps you’ve had kids and don’t want to return to a full time 9 to 5 job. We understand that your work needs to fit around your life – which is why The Hairforce was created by women, for women.

Read on to find out how the Hairforce could be your next step to career success.

Why is the Hairforce a good business idea for women?

The Hairforce is an excellent business idea for women because it is constructed around your lives, providing the flexibility that women so frequently need. It enables you to work from home if you want, be near your own children if you wish, and pick the hours that suit you. Plus, working with children and other women gives you the opportunity to build a business with proper support.

What business opportunities does The Hairforce offer women?

The Hairforce offers women a franchise business opportunity that’s flexible and adaptable and enables women to successfully work, run a business and manage all their other responsibilities.

We offer flexible work opportunities – either as a business owner or as a Lice Assassin employee. The Hairforce is a very female-orientated business and so has a real understanding of how women and mums need work to work for them.

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

The Hairforce Franchise opportunity is a comprehensive business in a box. You’ll be fully equipped and comprehensively trained in all aspects of checking and clearing as well as customer service and running your business. Following the training, our Head Office provides support to aid your development and growth.

Are there any additional or ongoing costs after I have paid the franchise cost?

The Hairforce Franchise is a comprehensive business package that equips you to start your business as soon as your training is complete, helping you earn back your investment.

The only additional costs you need to factor in is insurance and any decoration for your clinic. These costs are conservative.

If you want to know more about joining The Hairforce and embracing a flexible work/life balance, get in touch with us today.

// How to Get Rid of Head Lice Effectively

Posted in Nits and lice

Getting rid of head lice isn’t always easy, and relying on the products doesn’t guarantee to make it any easier. The Hairforce are the professionals in nit and head lice removal who have been shutting down infestations since 2006 using their highly effective process. Here they explain their professional approach to the problem and give you the essential information you need to win the war on nits and lice:

How do The Hairforce get rid of nits and head lice?
Our process is head lice treatment free. Instead we use a combination clever technology and hand clearing to shut down an infestation for you. If you need to do it yourself we would firstly recommend that you really consider how effective the head lice treatments are – think about how they have worked for you and your family. Your experience means that you have your own evidence about their effectiveness. If you have used the products and have still found head lice or eggs then you need to consider whether it is wise to keep on using them. Many people find that a month later their child or children are infested again which means that more than likely the product did not clear the infestation and it has simply picked itself back up again. 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’re much better off with a more straightforward approach – a good metal long toothed nit comb and some conditioner – and thoroughly nit comb the nits and lice out of the hair.
At The Hairforce we recommend that you need to be systematic in your combing. You need to do it regularly to get all of the lice and all of the eggs out of the hair before the lice grow up and the eggs hatch. Alternatively, visit one of our clinics for guaranteed l00% shut down.

What methods does The Hairforce use to get rid of nits?
The service we provide at The Hairforce 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 treatments, 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 which is a very contained and effective way of removing them. We then use University developed controlled heated air technology to dehydrate the nits – the eggs. After that we apply our The Hairforce Professional Nit & Lice Remover 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 and they will come through nice and dry; but the technology has an over 95% effectiveness rate, so at the second appointment 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 products but haven’t yet managed to clear the infestation. Our process gives people the certainty and the result they have been desperate to achieve.

How often should I check for head lice?
At The Hairforce we recommend checking for head lice once a week to ensure that you stay on top of the problem. The best way to check for head lice is to divide the hair into sections, apply our Professional Nit & Lice Remover and nit comb with a long toothed metal nit comb to see if anything comes out on the comb. Wipe the nit comb on white toilet paper and examine it to see if you can identify any head lice or eggs. Additionally check after important events like parties, school plays, school trips or play dates if you suspect the child they played with was itching! Don’t wait for the school letter to check.
On our website is our Home Assassination Kit which has everything you need to assist you to do this in the most effective way possible.
How long does it take to check for head lice?
A professional head lice and nit check at a Hairforce clinic takes 30 minutes. The forensic check involves the hair being hoovered with a specialist lice hoover to see if there are any head lice present. If there are, we can start the clearing process.
If no head lice are found, the head is then checked systematically to identify if there are any eggs or nits present. Again if eggs are found then we can begin the clearing process.
Many mums are unsure if they’ve caught head lice from their children and a check can conclusively establish if they have or not.

Can you get rid of head lice permanently?
At The Hairforce we recommend that once you’ve cleared out and shut down an infestation, the best way to ensure you stay free of head lice is for your child to check your children once a week using a long toothed metal nit comb.
This check should follow the same systematic system you’d use if clearing – put the hair into sections and then run the nit comb through the hair, section by section to check if there are any head lice or eggs.
Do this the day after a sleepover or when they come back from a playdate or school trip. If you check like this you will extract anything very quickly before it has time to build. Another important insurance policy is to make sure any long hair is tied back for school or playdates. Head lice travel as hair touches hair, so if it’s tied back it makes it more difficult for lice to move across onto your child’s head.

// 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.

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// Are Head Lice Treatments Flammable?

Posted in Chemically clearing lice, Head Lice news, Nits and lice

Several sources 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 head lice eradication products.

POPULAR £12 HEAD LICE LOTION CAN CATCH FIRE
Due to some cases of children suffering burns while being treated with chemical lice treatments, including 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.

DON’T USE HEAD LICE TREATMENTS WHILE NEAR A NAKED 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.

// Do the head lice products actually work?

Posted in Chemically clearing lice, FAQ

“Do the head lice products actually work?”

Many parents think that they don’t and that is based on their own experiences with them. If you keep using them and find your child still has head lice, more often than not that means the product didn’t work. When head lice and eggs get under the product radar they hatch, the lice grow up and off goes the infestation again, building its momentum.

The understanding is that head lice have become increasingly immune to the products, much like bacteria is developing immunity to antibiotics. Head lice are constantly evolving to ensure their survival, and so have adapted and developed immunity to the many head lice products on the market.

// Embarrassing Bodies on Channel 4 recommend The Hairforce – Lice Assassins

Posted in Head Lice news

Embarrassing Bodies on Channel 4 recommend The Hairforce – Lice Assassins

Embarrassing Bodies call The Hairforce ‘The Lice Experts’ and have used them on their programme to clear all kinds of infestations from the heavy and long term to working with them to show how infestations transfer at a fast rate.  When Embarrassing Bodies deal with head lice as an issue they call The Hairforce in for a professional solution.