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What Lice Removal Methods Are Available?

Most everyone has a story about the time their children came home from school with head lice, or when they themselves discovered lice in their own hair.  And many will be happy to give advice as to the best method of head lice removal.   There are many options ranging from the sensible to the absurd.  Take some time to examine your options.  This will save you time and money in the long run.

Lice Removal Methods

One lady recalls that whenever the kids in the family had itchy scalps, grandpa would head to the barn and come back with kerosene.   An oily substance (and highly flammable!), it was used to smother bugs in the old days.   Some families reverted to shaving heads;, very effective, but not such a popular approach for older children.  Others have reverted to mayonnaise, Vaseline or vodka!

Some do-it-your-selfers today make up a concoction of oil-and-vinegar.   It is true that oils such as olive oil, mineral oil, or coconut oil, can help smother bugs.  Oil must be applied generously and left to soak for several hours.  Wrapping the head with a towel or using a shower cap will help to create heat and contain messy drips.   Repeated oil soaking treatments may eventually work to eliminate a head lice infestation.

The Chemical Approach

Because the discovery of a case of head lice often creates panic, many families head straight to the drug store.  They want the fastest approach possible to remove head lice.  Some will purchase over-the-counter head lice treatments which are pesticide-based.   They’ll douse their children’s heads again and again until they think the lice are gone.

But in recent years, questions have arisen as to the efficacy of chemical products with some speculation that lice many be developing resistance to certain pesticides.  There are also reports of side effects with overuse and misuse of chemical treatments.  Read the instructions carefully and be sure not to administer to children under the age of two or to pregnant or nursing mothers.  Consult your doctor or health care professional if you have any concerns.

The Reduction Combing Method of Lice Removal

Today, there is a best practice in the business of lice removal.   It’s called “reduction combing.”  The reduction combing method of head lice removal uses a premium lice comb to gradually remove lice and their eggs.   For optimum results, a natural enzyme is used in a base of hair conditioner, applied generously to the hair and then combed out, wiping the comb on a paper towel to see lice and nits as they are removed.    This process is repeated several times over a two week period to ensure every last nit is removed.

New technology has also emerged on the lice removal scene.  AirAllé™ (formerly the LouseBuster™) is a medical device which uses heated air to effectively dehydrate lice and their eggs.  It’s been clinically proven to kill 99.2% of lice and eggs in just one treatment.  That’s a pretty great result in the challenging business of lice removal!  The AirAllé can’t be purchased by consumers, though.  It must be accessed through a clinic such as Lice Squad Canada’s “LS Clinics” located in metropolitan areas in Canada.  A professionally trained and certified technician performs the procedure and then does reduction combing to remove the bug and egg debris in the hair.

Lice Removal as a “Process”

Probably the most important thing for parents and caregivers to know is that lice removal is a process.  It’s a gradual process that takes patience and time. 

The average human head contains 100,000 -  150,000 strands of hair.  Eggs are laid on one human hair, usually very close to the scalp.   Only a methodical process of combing through every strand of hair will ensure effective lice removal.   The more you comb, the more lice and lice eggs you will remove.  Once you get started, you are interrupting the life cycle of the bug and you are on your way to eradicating a case.  As the days go on, you will see fewer and fewer eggs.

Lice Can be Removed without Pesticides!

Lice removal is possible without stress and frustration and without the use of potentially harmful pesticides (or potentially flammable kerosene!)  When faced with lice, take a moment to get the facts.  Purchase a high quality comb or seek out professional lice removal  such as the service provided by the Lice Ladies at Lice Squad Canada.   Check also if the AirAllé service is available in your area. 

Know that head lice is a common problem.  It’s the second-most common affliction in school-aged kids next to the common cold.  There are a number of options available to you that are safe, easy and effective.