9/22/2011

Why don't African-American/Canadian children get head lice?

It's true. It is extremely uncommon for African-American children to get head lice. What makes this strange is that Black African children get head lice. What's the difference?


This 2001 article from the University of California explains the reason behind this. North American head lice prefer hair that is round in cross-section - like the hair of Caucasian and Asians. But the hair of African-American's is ovoid (oval or egg-shaped) in cross-section. So they don't like it that much.


The hair of the Black African is also ovoid. But the head lice in Africa have adapted to this shape of hair. Because this is what head lice do. They adapt. In other words, given some time, I'm sure North American head lice will be equal opportunitiy parasites.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's a dumb theory.The reason African Americans don't get head lice isn't cause of the shape of a hair follicle.Lol!!So if that's true then tell me why African americans don't have Monkey DNA?The Science study's say that everyone else has 4%

A whole new wave of genetic race debate came in May 2010 with the reporting of the initial results of the Neanderthal Genome Project. These pointed to interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans which has left a genetic legacy of between 1-4% of Neanderthal autosomal DNA in non-African Eurasians. Blogger Lee John Barnes on far right wing website 21st Century British Nationalism seized on this to proclaim, “Yes Race exists” and outline The New Race Theory. He states that the fact that Modern Europeans are part Neanderthal explains racial differences. He translates the Neanderthal Genome Project Team’s ‘1-4% for all Eurasians’ into: “Modern Europeans have a minimum of 4% DNA from Neanderthals = Whites who are the descendants of the Cro-Magnons. East Asians have 2% DNA from Neanderthals = the Oriental racial groups. Black Africans have no DNA from Neanderthals = African blacks. It appears that Australian aborigines do not have any Neanderthal DNA either, so they are also archaic Homo Sapiens from Africa”. This is despite project team member, geneticist David Reich, saying that all non-Africans – be they from France, China or Papua New Guinea – share the same amount of Neanderthal DNA, suggesting that interbreeding occurred before those populations split. Genetic evidence also suggests that Australian Aborigines descend from the same lineage as the first modern humans to migrate from Africa.

Jamie Smith Seaton said...

Wow, very random. Didn't even end with how it relates to lice

Anonymous said...

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/epi.html

BiZaRRo said...

I don't know if it's oval or round hair follicles ...Lice has been a epidemic as of late in my neighborhood since it changed populations...Instead of pesticides I think everyone should get organic African hair weaves to stop this seeing it works well;) Think of the children and the harm these poisons might cause,GET THEM HAIR WEAVES!!!

Katie said...

We live in MInnesota and I am Caucasian and my husband Kenyan. My daughter has my husbands hair and got lice last August. That was a horrible experience. We finally went to someone with an air alle and it was awesome. She had a major infestation and has long hair so combing the eggs out was close to impossible. Luckily the air alle killed the eggs and the heavy oil killed the rest of the live bugs that may not have been caught. Now I spray her hair daily with oil so they won't be so attracted to her hair. No lice since even with several kids in her class being infected multiple times.

Cathy, the Nice Lice Lady. said...

Glad to hear! You gotta do what works for you. Drying lice out is a great way to deal with them and I am glad it did the trick. The people that make that drying device did a study when they first created it and they found that even a home hair dryer, blowing warm (not hot) directed air on sections of hair killed over 50% of the bugs and over 90% of the eggs in one sitting. So I whole heartedly recommend using hot air, especially when there are factors that make combing difficult. The thing I like about using a home hair dryer, as opposed to the adapted dryer, is that it is inexpensive and you can use it as often as you want. Check out the other posts on this blog for more information about this.