Head lice season is picking up. Here's what you need to know

Posted at 8:56 AM, Oct 28, 2019

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — It’s the busy season at Jamie’s Lice Angels in Sterling Heights — a business that specializes in taking care of people with head lice.

While not specific to children, the bugs tend to cause the greatest concern for school-aged children due to how it’s transmitted: head-to-head contact.

“This is very common, if more people talked about it like they do the flu, it probably wouldn’t be so bad,” said Jamie Young, the owner of Jamie's Lice Angels. “There is never anything to be embarrassed of. They like clean hair, so it has nothing to do with the hygiene of it.”

Young says that the hardest part of her job isn’t the head checks, lice treatments or prevention products they sell — it’s dealing with people who are embarrassed, or even hysterical, from dealing with a head lice outbreak in their home.

Inside Jamie’s Lice Angels, they schedule appointments and work with entire families to ensure the bugs are taken out and families can return to normal. They also sell preventative products and cleaning products that can be used inside the home.

Young says to follow these steps to protect your family from contracting head lice.

  • Lice can’t jump, fly or swim: the only way to get head lice is contact with the bugs directly, which is typically done through head-to-head contact. In rare cases, clothing can transfer the bugs, but it’s important to note that they must feed every few hours — meaning it’s hard for head lice to live anywhere but a person’s head.
  • Prevention matters: If you hear about a family member, friend, or a child’s classmate that has head lice, it’s worth doing a head check. If you can’t do one yourself, you can schedule one — Jamie advises coming back a second time a few days later to ensure you don’t get it.
  • Lice won’t live on your pets: Lice are found in human hair, not pets.
  • Be smart: Spread the word to close contact families if you find out someone in your home has head lice, it’s also smart to screen your entire home and wash products coming in contact with the infected person’s head daily (sheets, hats, hairbrushes, etc.)
  • Avoid home methods: Jamie warns that things like mayonnaise and olive oil aren’t the best options in 2019 — bubbles can form pockets of air for nits and lice to survive within, meaning you’re wasting time and energy without killing the head lice. She recommends coming to a professional, noting many of her clients come to her after spending time and money on alternative treatments.

This story was originally published by Matthew Smith on WXYZ in Detroit.