Symptoms & Transmission

Many people with head lice have little to no symptoms. Itching may occur as a reaction to the saliva of the lice. The extent of itching depends on how long the lice have been present and how many there are. The first time a person gets head lice it will usually take 4 to 6 weeks before itching starts. In case of recurrent infestations, it usually takes no more than 24 to 48 hours until a host reacts to the saliva of the lice. 

Itching is a very poor indication as to whether someone is infested with head lice or not. Consequently, if you have been alerted to a lice invasion at school, combing is the best way to make an early diagnosis and prevent an infestation. 

DIAGNOSIS

When examining a head for lice, it is not sufficient to part the hair and check the scalp visually. Studies have shown that this method leads to a great number of head lice infestations being overlooked.

The most efficient method is to comb the hair with a proper fine-toothed comb such as the KIT&COCO comb. 

Here are simple steps that you can take to properly diagnose a case of head lice:

  1. Check hair at least once a week with a lice comb.
  2. If you see brownish dots go through them with the lice comb.
  3. If the dots disappear, take a closer look. If the dots move, you have found a louse. 
  4. Also check around the ears and at the nape of the neck for the presence of "particles" that are either elongated, opalescent (full eggs) or crystalline (empty eggs) that are attached to the hair roughly 1cm away from the scalp.

If you find any, treat right away with a specialized treatment such as the KIT&COCO treatment shampoo.

TRANSMISSION

Lice reproduce very, very quickly and infestations can and do spread at a rapid rate. This leads to misperceptions about how lice infestations occur. Head lice have only a few ways of spreading to other hosts – being unable to either jump or fly.

Head lice leave a head voluntarily if they get the chance to crawl over to another head. This is only possible when the hair of one person comes in close contact with another person’s hair so that a ‘transfer’ can take place. This is called Head to Head Contact and is considered the chief means of infestation.

Head lice cannot survive for very long away from the scalp and once separated they have a very small chance of re-establishing themselves on another host. There is risk of infestation from the surroundings, through shared hairbrushes, caps, sheets and pillows. This is why, as an extra safety measure, we recommend that you avoid sharing hairbrushes when there is risk of infestation and that you roll up your sleeves & tie your hair when applying the treatment on someone else!