What Causes Lice in Hair?

Lice in hair

Lice in hair are caused by tiny parasitic insects known as head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis). These lice specifically infest the scalp and hair of humans and feed on small amounts of blood from the scalp.

The primary mode of transmission for head lice is direct head-to-head contact with an infested person. Lice cannot fly or jump, so they crawl from one person’s hair to another’s when their heads come into close contact. This is why head lice infestations are common among children who play closely together or share personal items like hats, hairbrushes, or pillows.

Other less common modes of transmission may include sharing hats, scarves, or other hair accessories that have come into contact with an infested person’s hair.

It’s essential to understand that head lice are not a sign of poor hygiene or cleanliness. They can affect anyone regardless of their personal hygiene practices.

Once lice infest the hair and scalp, they lay eggs (nits) that attach near the base of the hair shafts, close to the scalp. Nits are typically yellowish-white and can be mistaken for dandruff but are harder to remove from the hair. They take around 8-9 days to hatch, and the young lice (nymphs) mature into adult lice within 9-12 days after hatching.

Lice infestations can be bothersome and itchy, but they are not dangerous. Treatment involves using special shampoos or lotions that contain insecticides or other methods recommended by healthcare professionals to remove the lice and nits from the hair. It’s also essential to wash all clothing, bedding, and personal items that may have come into contact with the infested person’s hair to prevent reinfestation. Regular checks and early detection can help control and prevent the spread of lice.

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