If you’re the parent of a mixed-race child, you may be frustrated after your attempts to remove lice at home have led to tears, multiple loads of laundry, discarded and bagged stuffed animals — and the re-emergence of new nits and eggs on your child’s scalp. Unfortunately, the unique texture of your child’s hair can make it more difficult for some over-the-counter methods to work, causing you to waste time and money as you search for a long-lasting solution. Read on to learn more about some lice removal techniques that may be more effective for your child.
Why does hair texture matter when it comes to lice removal?
Many commercial lice-killing shampoos and combs are designed for normal to fine-textured hair — often making them ill-suited for the hair of African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and others whose hair is coarser or thicker. This thicker hair can also come with more moisturizing oil follicles, which can make it difficult for lice shampoos to penetrate the shaft and scalp and kill any eggs that may be lingering. The third whammy involves the width of the hair shaft; often, the combs sold with lice-removing shampoo are too fine to be used on thicker hair, leaving you with a choice between a regular comb and pick or your fingers. As a result, when your child is diagnosed with lice or nits, going straight to the drug store may not be the best choice.
What are your best removal options for mixed-race hair?
In many cases, your best bet is to capitalize on your child’s natural oils and hair texture rather than try to go through more traditional lice removal methods. Because lice can’t live on (or lay their eggs on) oily hair, coating your child’s hair in additional oil, like olive or shea, can help make its surface too slippery for lice to stick. You may also want to purchase a fine-toothed comb with slightly larger gaps than the combs sold in lice removing kits, as this should be large enough to comb through your child’s follicles without being too large to allow the passage of nits or eggs.
You may also want to research head lice removal salons or hairdressers in your area. With a resurgence in the number of cases of treatment-resistant lice in many areas, hairdressers who specialize in lice removal methods are enjoying a new popularity, and you may find that entrusting your child’s hair to a professional is all you need to rid your household of head lice for good.
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