Giorgio Sommer (1834-1914), Famille napolitain...
Image via Wikipedia

Back to school can mean back to nits

It’s just a part of life but usually back to school means back to nits. It seems that the playground is a prime breeding ground for those tiny, blood sucking parasites that cause kids and parents so much grief. With the exception of the common cold, head lice is the next biggest health issue affecting school age children.

What makes matters even worse is that these microscopic bugs have built a resistance to commonly used chemicals found in most head lice treatments. This is a real problem because parents often reach for the chemical option thinking it is better. But the truth is, pure and natural tea tree oil is also a powerful and effective treatment for head lice. Professor Richard Speare from the James Cook University of Queensland conducted an independent study assessing the effectiveness of several head lice treatments in the market. He compared natural treatments with chemical formulations containing permethrin, a common pharmaceutical remedy.

In the study, live head lice were collected from school children and dipped into treatments for one minute and then observed for up to three hours. A few of the products seemed to work in killing the lice at first, but the lice were only stunned and soon returned back to life.

Only Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Head Lice Gel containing pure tea oil achieved and maintained a 96 percent kill rate over the whole three-hour observation period. Tea Tree Head Lice Gel was even more effective at killing head lice than permethrin.

What is reassuring about this study is that you do not need to engage in full scale chemical warfare to remove head lice and expose your children to harsh chemicals. For some children, lice treatments containing permethrin can cause side effects such as skin irritations.

The reason why tea tree oil is so effective at killing head lice is that it contains a substance known as terpinene-4-ol, which has an antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral property. It also has a complex chemical composition that makes it difficult for organisms (like head lice) to develop a resistance to it.

Also, unlike the harsh insecticide permethrin, Thursday Plantation’s Head Lice Gel with natural tea tree oil doesn’t leave a toxic residue on the scalp and the gel won’t run into children’s eyes. It is also free from synthetic parabens, synthetic fragrances and preservatives, so it is especially gentle on children’s delicate head and scalp.

What are head lice?
Head lice are brown wingless insects with six legs and grow just 2mm with a lifespan of around 20 days. The female lays 5 or 6 eggs each day which are attached to the hair near the beginning of the follicle. These eggs known as nits take around eight days to hatch. They may sometimes be mistaken for dandruff, however nits stick like glue to the hair and prove very hard to remove.

How can you tell if your child has head lice?
• Itching, particularly towards the back of the scalp and neck and behind the ears
• Nit eggs are usually glued to the hair shaft close to the scalp. Nits and eggs are found at the nape of the neck, behind the ears and at the crown of the head

Tips for spotting head lice
• The area should be well lit – sunlight is best. Lice do not like bright light and crawl away when hair is parted
• Wear gloves to ensure lice do not get under your fingernails
• Upon applying head lice treatment use a fine tooth comb, work your way over the entire head of hair, parting each section of the hair slowly
• A magnifying glass is useful to identify the nits. Nits, unlike dirt and dandruff, will not comb away easily
When to check for head lice
• Check periodically throughout the year
• If head lice are reported in your child’s class, check daily for 10-14 days to ensure early identification
• If detected the whole family should be checked and measures taken to prevent spreading

How are lice spread?
Lice can be caught by children playing together or by the sharing of clothes, towels, hats, combs, hairbrushes, ribbons, pillows, earphones etc…

While Thursday Plantation’s Tree Tree Head Lice Gel is powerful in killing lice, it is also important for the whole family to help prevent lice in the first place by regularly using Thursday Plantation’s Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner. For more information visit

Enhanced by Zemanta