Lice in Afro Hair. Myths and facts!

Posted June 5, 2014 in Afro hair health, Black hair, Braids, Natural hair, Relaxed hair - Leave a comment

Lice are not hygiene related!


Lice in Afro hair may not be the most glamorous topic to discuss but is surely important to shed light upon for yummy mummies whose kids can bring home these very friendly insects. First things first, regardless of hair type the misconception has to be broken that head lice can occur due to hygiene issues. That’s a myth that’s still doing household rounds hence get your facts right as to why head lice occur in the first place. The pesky little blood suckers cannot fly or jump hence only head rubbing or being flung can allow them to transfer from one head to another and look for a new home.

 Natural Afro Hair / Braids = Fewer chances of lice


The good news is that head lice mostly like straight hair instead of curly as it’s easier to find their way through it, due to the straight, smooth texture of the hair. When they mistakenly make the decision of transferring to a new abode namely afro hair, it’s like landing in a world of adventure for them hence leading them to switch to a new head when a chance arrives. However when we use chemical relaxers on afro hair, the story is completely different as head lice find it easier to navigate as hair is smooth and soft. The only plus side to using relaxers in the lice instance is that the chemicals are so strong that the lice would not survive. Moral of the story, natural afro hair is much less susceptible to head lice than relaxed or chemically treated afro hair. Braids are also a good deterrent as they do not provide an easy environment for head lice.

Make Hair Grease your best friend


Another reason why there are fewer incidences of lice in afro hair is the use of hair grease in afro hair. Since decades the product has been termed as the cult favourite essential for black hair but recent advances in hair care have made it clear how the sulphate, petroleum, sodium and preservative packed formula is a big no-no when it comes to hair. It only leaves is dehydrated, greasy and stiff instead of the opposite, leading us to resort to more modern formulas like coconut, jojoba and grape seed oil as hair moisturisers. However the irony is that head lice feel suffocated in locks smothered with hair grease and they can survive better when it comes to these light, modern hair hydrating formulas. Tea tree oil is particularly good at ensuring your head is inhabitable for lice.

lice in afro hair prevention

Heat it up


Using heat on afro hair was another reason why head lice wouldn’t survive on the head for a longer period of time but gradually we moved to heat-free phases and left natural hair as it is, increasing the possibility of head lice in black hair as well.

So if you’re a yummy mummy and have been a victim of the blood sucking hair insect, thanks to the overtly friendly, head locking kids at school then this is what you do for the time being. Switch to the good old hair grease! It contains ingredients that has the ability to suffocate head lice and shorten their life span. Ditch your light formulas for now and tolerate the greasy texture until the lice is out of your life. As for styling tools, this is the time to bring out those blow dryers, curlers and straighteners and start styling. The heat will instantly kill lice making it easier to grab them all in a lice comb.

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