Head Lice and Nits : The Facts

We were recently approached by Hedrin to see if we would like to try their recently launched Hedrin Protect & Go, a clinically proven protection spray against head lice and nits which offers parents greater control in the ongoing and oh so itchy battle against head lice.

Headlice & Nits-4

Now, whether or not this was because they’ve seen pictures of my little girl or not (see below) – I welcomed the chance to try their new product, because we’ve only very recently suffered our first family bout of nits!  I was itching for days – though not at all because I had the nits myself, rather more that just the very idea of nits or lice can set anyone off itching!

I’m actually itching a little bit at the moment while writing this post!

With both my young girls in nursery and pre-school and in constant contact with others, you can just imagine how easy it is to pick up everything from coughs and colds, through to the dreaded little critters which crawl around in hair!

I must admit, when the nursery called to let me know that they’d found eggs in Little E’s hair, I sort of panicked a bit!

Silly I know, but we’d never had this before.

Even the thought of having to battle with my children – who cannot stop fidgeting for two minutes – filled me with dread! So to sit them down in the hope they’d stay still long enough for me to literally search through their hair with a fine toothed comb truly gave me nightmares!

But I managed.

And we also shampooed the rest of the families hair as well!

Just to be on the safe side. Which, having since read the advice (see below) from Christine Brown, school nurse consultant and head lice specialist, was entirely unnecessary and the wrong thing to do!

Anyway, this is H! She can practically sit on her hair when wet – so you can imagine the length of time it took me to comb her hair with lice shampoo!!! Would you like to look for head lice and nits in this mop!!!

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And this is why I am in full support of an easy spray-in, preventative leave-in conditioner which is designed to protect the hair in the first place.

Plus – the Orange & Mango scented spray was great as there have been others I’ve tried which leave you smelling like a walking citronella candle!

Hedrin Protect & Go is a perfectly easy spray which, when applied twice-a-week, protects children’s hair from the parasites by breaking the life cycle and killing lice before an infestation can be established.

Head Lice & Nits : The Facts

Head Lice and Nits : The Facts

Christine Brown, school nurse consultant and head lice specialist, said:

“Head lice infestations can be hugely frustrating for parents and children alike. An effective preventative solution that offers greater control and reassurance is not only a real breakthrough, but could drastically reduce the number of infections which currently affect as many as 1 in 5 school children. The spray is also kind to children’s hair and should be used as part of the regular cleaning regime, much the same as cleaning teeth or using a shampoo.”

Anyone can get head lice, although they are most common amongst children aged 4 to 11 due to their greater levels of close physical contact with friends. The best known symptom of head lice is itching, which can lead to a loss of concentration and sleep. Not treating head lice can lead to a loss of self-esteem and confidence, and a general feeling of being unwell.

It is skin friendly and contains no known asthma triggers.

Answers from Christine Brown, ex school nurse and advisor to the Medical Entomology Centre

1) What ARE head lice? “Head lice are small wingless insects that live on the scalp, feeding from the blood. Baby lice are extremely small but mature within 10 days and only after that are they able to reproduce, with numbers growing more slowly than most people think. Females lay several viable eggs a day and adult lice can live for as long as a month.”

2) How do they spread? “Lice are spread only by head-to-head contact, so sleepovers, after school activities, playing with friends and visiting family are the most common places for children to pick them up and pass them on.”

3) How do you know if you’ve got them (as the child and as the parent looking)? “Although the best known symptom is the itching, although only about 30% are aware of it – the only true way of knowing is by regular checks with a head lice detection comb. Head lice can be uncomfortable, can prevent sleep and concentration, and can cause bullying. It’s best for parents to check for head lice using a comb made for the purpose – ideally white, so that lice can be easily seen and with teeth no more than 0.3mm apart. Research has shown that detection combing is nearly four times more effective than visual inspection for finding live lice. Lice are around 2-4mm long but immature lice are even smaller, living close to the scalp. Nits are dead or empty shells, which can be removed by hand or by combing.”

4) Why are kids more prone? And girls? “Children are more prone as they are in close contact with each other. Children aged 4 to 11 are most at risk but no one is immune. Girls and women do tend to be more prone as girls tend to play more closely together and women are the carers of the family. But there are certainly plenty of boys and men with lice.”

5) Any preventative measures? eg things to avoid, products to use “ Avoiding will not stop you from catching head lice! Hedrin have just launched a clinically proven head lice protection spray called Protect & Go. It’s a mango and orange scented conditioning spray which should be used at least twice a week. It protects children from the parasites by breaking the life cycle and killing lice before an infestation can be established. The spray is also kind to children’s hair and should be used as part of the regular cleaning regime, much the same as cleaning teeth or using shampoo.”

6) If you’ve got them, what should you do? “If you find live lice, firstly, don’t worry. Head lice are a normal part of life and there is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. Research suggests lice have become resistant to pesticide treatments, so pick a non pesticide treatment which will work by smothering the lice and either stripping them of their waxy coating, causing them to dehydrate or blocking the openings to their air tubes, disrupting their ability to manage water. These physical modes of action mean there is theoretically no chance for the head lice to build up a resistance. Try a treatment containing dimeticone or octanediol, which are used in Hedrin’s treatment products. If you’re unsure about treatment options, speak to your pharmacist.”

7) Are treatments still as noxious and overpowering as I remember them as a kid, or are there gentler versions now? “No – the new insecticides treatments are odourless, non stinging, easy to use and kind to skin and hair.”

8) What’s the key ingredient that kills them and is there a natural alternative? “With non pesticide treatments, the key ingredients in use are dimeticone, octanediol and isopropyl myristate. There is limited evidence to show that natural remedies, such as tea tree oil, mayonnaise etc are effective in eradicating head lice.”

9) Does the whole family need to be treated? “Only if you find live lice on other members of the family, never treat ‘just in case’.”

10) What would happen if you left nits untreated? “Nits are the hatched or dead eggs. They remain on the hair as long as the hair is on the head and having them on your hair will make no difference to the hair or to you. However, leaving head lice untreated thus leading to a long term untreated infection has similar symptoms to low-grade flu and can make a child irritable and can result in a secondary bacterial infection.”

11) Is it true they prefer clean hair? “Having head lice has nothing to do with personal hygiene. Head lice can live on all types of hair and no preference exists between clean or dirty hair!”

12) Does the ‘nit nurse’ still exist in schools? “No! Employing a nit nurse is not an effective method of controlling head lice. To adhere to best practice, each of the 5.5 million primary school children in the UK would need to be checked by the nit nurse once every week! So the likelihood of each child receiving a thorough check is minimal at best. Even if the nit nurse checked and found lice it would still be up to the parents to choose and use a treatment. Parents need to feel empowered to check for head lice regularly and feel confident about using an appropriate treatment when an infestation is found. The website www.onceaweektakeapeek.co.uk has some great advice for parents on managing and treating head lice.”

Giveaway!!!

So, if you’d like to try Hedrin Protect & Go Conditioning Spray for yourself, I have a couple of bottles to giveaway.

All you have to do is enter in the link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The competition will close on Thursday 19th March at midnight so be sure to get your entries in by then.

Winners will then be selected at random and contacted via email.
Unfortunately this is open to UK residents only.

*Disclaimer: I was provided with a sample of Hedrin Protect and Go for review purposes

Mami 2 Five
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12 Comments

  1. 25th February 2015 / 7:54 pm

    A really great and informative post. Plus a fab giveaway. Although I do feel very itchy now just thinking about it. Poor Little E having nits. I hope that she is okay now. I am dreading Little Miss H getting nits and/or head lice. At least, now I will know what to do and not do when treating it. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  2. 25th February 2015 / 8:31 pm

    she really does have the most beautiful hair EVER! Very informative post, we’ve escaped so far!

  3. 25th February 2015 / 9:55 pm

    Wow stunning hair, as a hairdresser I see this lots and am surprised how stressed people get over them, yes they are not nice but easy dealt with and inevitable in kiddies, the tip is to treat then remove every single egg x

  4. 25th February 2015 / 10:15 pm

    I didn’t know much, so thanks for sharing all this fab information. A fab giveaway too. Jess x

  5. 26th February 2015 / 2:15 pm

    I always make sure both of my girls have their hair tied up at school to try and avoid them. I have itchy hair from reading your post lol! Fab giveaway 🙂

  6. 27th February 2015 / 9:07 pm

    Wow, her hair is beautifully long and those curls are to die for! I am deading the day when Baby E gets them! But i know i will have a trusty stock of Shampoo! Suz xo http://www.beauisblue.com

    • 29th May 2015 / 10:11 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment and I’m just so sorry this reply is so late – just getting back on track after a rocky few months in the Midlife Mummy household!!! Steph xxx

  7. 1st March 2015 / 8:15 am

    Great post! After so long not having to think about headlice we have had our first break out at nursery so now I’m checking and itching constantly! All fine so far but I didn’t know where to start with treatment products so this has helped hugely! Thanks xx #sundaystars

  8. 2nd March 2015 / 9:18 pm

    It’s strangely fascinating but making me itch at the same time! Thanks for sharing, and great comp too. Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars

  9. Jeffie Replogle
    26th June 2015 / 5:07 pm

    People possess been who have contracted lice naturally look forward to a quick remedy. It is available over the counter at local drugs stores. Nits that appear closer on the tips of hair strands are probably just broken shells. Lice Removal, 100 Church Street Decatur, GA 30031 (770)-645-4548

  10. Griselda Peet
    26th June 2015 / 5:13 pm

    It thus remains very important to find permanent head lice remedy. Can simplify the utilization of the head lice brush. I have a lice removal salon in Huntington Beach, CA called Bernadette’s at the Beach. Lice Removal, 100 Church Street Decatur, GA 30031 (770)-645-4548

  11. Jenise Antonson
    26th June 2015 / 5:18 pm

    However, it the particular choice that a person which has. It might take a person or two to perform a thorough endeavor. Any parents who loved dearly their child will not tolerate the said mistake. Lice Removal, 100 Church Street Decatur, GA 30031 (770)-645-4548

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