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Remove Head Lice Eggs At Home Easily With Regular Hair Conditioner

February 26, 2014
Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online

Specialty hair care products designed to get rid of the eggs left behind by female head lice are no more effective at removing nits than regular conditioners, according to new research published this week in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

Those eggs, which are laid directly onto individual strands of hair, are cemented in place with a special glue-like substance that makes them difficult to remove. In fact, according to the study authors, the nits often remain in place after being treated with special substances, known as pediculicides, which are specifically designed to kill lice .

As part of their research, a team of Belgian scientists collected a total of 605 hairs from six different children. There was a single nit attached to each of those hairs. Roughly 14 percent of the eggshells contained a dead egg, while the remainder were empty. The study authors then attempted to remove the nits using various methods.

The eggs that were on untreated hairs were the most difficult to remove, while nits on hairs that had been soaked in deionized water required far less force to get rid of. Likewise, it was easier to remove eggs on hairs that had been treated with regular hair conditioner and with products specifically designed to get rid of lice nits.

Surprisingly, they found no significant difference between the regular conditioners and the special nit-removal products. In both cases, it was easier to remove the lice eggs after the hair had been treated, but the effectiveness of both the regular and special anti-lice hair care products was said to be essentially identical.

“There were no significant differences in measured forces between the ordinary conditioner and the commercial nit removal product,” the Ghent University experts behind the research wrote in their study. “The commercial nit removal products tested in the current study do not seem to have an additional effect.”

They hypothesize that the effectiveness of the deionized water was because it served like a lubricant, meaning that less friction was needed to remove the nits from the hairs. They believe that treatment with conditioner helped with the nit removal process as it reduced the coefficiency of friction of both damaged and undamaged hair.

Earlier this week, one lice-treatment expert cautioned against posing with friends to take a selfie.

This seemingly innocent behavior, noted Mary McQuillan, who runs a pair of Nitless Noggins treatment centers in California, could help facilitate the transfer of lice from one person in the group to the others and might be responsible for a dramatic increase in the infestation rate amongst teenagers.

The validity of her claim, however, has yet to be confirmed by scientific study.


Source: redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online



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