Winter Head Lice–Don’t Let it Get you!

Don't let this critter pay you a visit. . .

Don’t let this critter pay you a visit. . .

When I heard that lice is contracted more easily in the winter, AND, that there is a new strain of “super lice” out there, well, my head began to itch. Breezy Mama reached out to Fairy Tales Hair Care creator, Risa Barash, for some advice on preventing the little critters from coming to a head near you.

I hear there’s a no strain of lice that is resistant to the current OTC remedies on the market today–is that true?

Super lice are resistant only to pymethrin the active ingredients in Rid and Nix. There are non-chemical treatments that lice are not and cannot become resistant to. One such treatment is yeast enzymes. Enzymes dissolve the body of the bug and the sticky nit “glue” making removal easy and effective. Because enzymes are not chemicals, the lice cannot become immune to them.

What makes this lice harder to get rid of than “normal” lice?

Super lice are just regular lice, but harder to kill. This is because the lice have built up a resistant to the active ingredient, pymethrin. It’s the same story with antibiotics. Germs/bugs have built up an immunity to antibiotics due to overuse and they are no longer effective in killing them. Same concept with lice!

When your child has lice, you can either get rid of them using OTC methods, or go to a professional (which costs so much!). What do you recommend?

Pesticides are never the solution. The chemicals are harsh and no longer proven effective to kill the latest strain of super lice. Many feel olive oil and mayonnaise will do the trick for at home remedies. However, although these ingredients will eventually smother a live bug – it will not ever remove nits, which is the trickiest part when it comes to dealing with lice. Our Lice Good-Bye uses enzymes to dissolve the body of the bug and the sticky nit glue. This is key in stopping an infestation as the nits take up to 10 days to hatch. So, you might be able to eventually smother the live bug with mayo or olive oil, but you won’t get the nits (eggs) out and you will be guaranteed to find live lice again in 10 days! You will also need a great comb. The Fairy Tales Terminator comb has stainless teeth, grooved teeth to help a parent comb thru small sections of the hair to ensure removal of all live bugs. This comb has been tested and proven nearly 300% more effective than all other lice combs on the market. This is because the teeth are so close together, they catch the smallest of nits/bugs.

Rosemary Repel from Fairy Tales provides families with a natural offering of daily use hair care products, clinically proven to help prevent head lice. Using organic herbs such as rosemary, tea tree and citronella and peppermint, the scent of these herbs helps repel the bugs. The Rosemary Repel Conditioning Spray is perfect for daily use before camp, school or daycare to help detangle and coat the hair with the proprietary blend of herbs to prevent head lice. During an outbreak, we recommend adding each morning the Rosemary Repel Hair Spray or Gel to provide a final “seal” on the hair which makes it difficult for lice to attach to the hair shaft. Plus it keeps styles in place all day long! Be sure to spray throughout the layers of the hair; focusing behind the ears, back of neck and shoulders. Don’t forget to spray backpacks, coats, hats and hoodies, too. A spray a day can help keep the bugs away! These natural and organic oils are clinically proven to help keep the lice away.

If you choose the professional route, are you safe from spreading the bugs to others immediately after being treated?

The nit removal business is unregulated, meaning anyone with a nit comb can call themselves a “nitpicker.” There is no guarantee that anyone can get all the bugs out at once! Lice and nits can be as tiny as pencil points and usually one treatment is not enough. Parents need to do some of the work – regardless if they go to a nitpicker or use an OTC product, they need to comb thru each night for 7 days to make sure any remaining nits are removed before they hatch. This is another reason why natural products are a better option. If you do need to retreat, you don’t want to put pesticides on your children’s hair once, let alone more than that!

Is lice spread more easily in the winter than the summer? Why?

With everyone in such close quarters during the holidays it makes it very easy for lice to spread. Lice are mostly spread through head-to-head contact so while children are normally the ones at risk having more physical contact at school, daycares and camp the whole family becomes more susceptible during the holidays. Lice can also survive up to 36 hours off the human head on clothing so additional layers during the cold months such as hats and scarves heighten the chances of getting lice.

With preventative products, such as your Fairy Tales line, do you have your children use these as soon as you hear of an outbreak?

Studies have shown that organic herbs such as rosemary, tea tree, citronella and lavender can help repel head lice. Using lice prevention hair care products every day can help prevent and keep outbreaks to a minimum. Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel® Shampoo, Conditioner & Conditioning Spray are clinically proven safe and are an effective way to help repel lice. Our products were designed to not only help prevent head lice, but they’re amazing shampoos and conditioners as well.

I constantly tell my kids not to share hats or brushes with their friends–any other advice for not getting lice?

Here are four simple tips for preventing head lice:

Tip #1 Teach + Practice Good Habits. Teach children not to share hats, combs, brushes, hair ties, pillows, sleeping bags, etc. as lice can survive up to 36 hours off the head. Going to a princess party? Wipe down the tiara first! Also, never share helmets or caps at sporting events.

Tip #2 Space It Out. At after school daycares or summer camps make sure to store jackets, backpacks and hats in separate cubbies or in a sealed bag. It’s also important to teach kids not to share their matt or pillow at night or during naptime.

Tip #3 Early Actions. Use lice prevention hair care products every day! Organic herbs such as rosemary, tea tree and citronella found in Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel® Shampoo & Conditioning Spray are proven safe, and effective ways to help repel lice. Regular head checks can also help break the cycle of infestation at home and school. Spend a few minutes looking at the “hot spots” each night. Check behind the ears, nape of neck and part line. Use this as a time to have a catch up chat with your child!

Tip #4 Safe, Natural & Effective Treatment. If you notice signs of itching or know there is an outbreak, the best method for identifying lice or nits is to use the Fairy Tales Lice Good-Bye® Survival Kit. The all-inclusive kit is the next generation of lice elimination as it naturally and effectively removes lice and their eggs (nits) using naturally occurring ezymes. No chemicals or pesticides are used, and there’s no waiting time between treatments!

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Risa Head ShotAbout Risa Barash: Risa hung up her mic as a comedian and became the “Lice Lady” back in 1999 when she and her husband, Robert, launched Fairy Tales Hair Care. The brand was developed to offer a natural solution to fight the many cases of head lice they noticed coming into Robert’s family salon in Hewlett, NY. For the last 16 years, Fairy Tales has been naturally caring for families as the proud makers of the leading line of professional hair care for children – providing affordable, high-quality natural products for families.

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