No need to get dirty with your lice.

There is a phrase that people tell me all the time:
"I know that head lice prefer clean hair to dirty hair."

When someone has head lice, she often feels dirty and finds comfort in this misleading statement. We need to reassure ourselves that we are clean people. And part of the sentiment of the statement is true - head lice is not a hygiene issue. People with clean hair (and clean clothes, and clean homes) are as likely to get head lice as anyone else.

The circulation of this belief also stems from the fact that globs of goop do make things a bit more difficult for the louse. It is harder to maneuver around slimy, oily, goopy hair. So, people mistakenly think that head lice will not thrive in dirty hair. But do you know anyone who lets their hair get that dirty? Where globs of grease are dripping down their neck? No, you probably don't. Even if you didn't wash your hair for two weeks, it would never get that dirty. And even if it did, just because the restaurant takes longer to get to, that doesn't mean the lice are not going to eat. In hair clean or dirty, those bugs are going to get to your scalp and they will do just fine for themselves, thank you.

So for all of you folks who think that postponing your shampooing will assist you with your lice problem, you are sadly mistaken. Dirty hair will not prevent you from getting head lice, nor will it slow them down if you already have them. Please keep your scalp clean. Especially if I'm the one who is going to be looking through it. Much appreciated.

No comments: