Frequently Asked Lice Questions - Center of Lice Control 
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Lice FAQs

Lice Prevention

Q. How important is a head check and how often should it be done?

A. Doing a combing head check really helps to cut down on any infestations. If completed weekly, any lice evidence would be caught before a full blown infestation and easily treated.

Q. What am I looking for when I do a head check?

A. The younger the child the more interesting things you may find in their hair. Glitter, paint, wood chips from the playground, sand, food, or lint from clothing can make it confusing when you comb out debris onto a white paper towel. Please compare what you comb out to our “Life cycle of a Louse chart” to see what nits and lice look like versus normal debris. If you’re still not sure what you’ve found, email us a photo. We’ll take a closer look and get back to you with our recommendations.

Q. How does KaPOW!™ Lice Defense Spray work?

A. Mint is a natural deterrent for lice and safe to use daily for boys or girls. Not all products are safe for everyday use like KaPOW!™. The KaPOW!™ Lice Defense Spray is also a leave-in conditioner that is great at detangling hair and it also makes weekly head checks easier.

Q. What is a good way to prevent lice for long hair?

A. Keep your hair to yourself with an up hairdo like a bun, braid, or gathered ponytail.

Lice Treatment

Q. How important is a head check and how often should it be done?

A. To stop the cycle of lice and the risk of re-infestation, you must stop the egg laying lice first, then remove the actual eggs (nits). The KaPOW!™ Lice Attack Solution destroys the bugs. If done properly, the first treatment will defeat all live lice, including the mommies or egg-laying lice. Then you need to comb out ALL the nits (the lice eggs). If you miss any nits and they hatch, the 2nd or 3rd treatments will take care of the young ouse before it has a chance to mature and lay lmore nits. Our 3 step treatment plan is timed to beat the cycle of a louse’s life (and we guarantee it will.)

Q. What if I see live lice after treatment?

A. Lice do not survive the KaPOW!™ Lice Attack Solution when it’s done properly. However, if you don’t follow the instructions (for example, if the treated hair was wet, very knotty, or not completely saturated with the Solution) lice could survive. The good news is that most of the live bugs are eliminated with the 1st treatment and its safe to repeat the treatment anytime. Simply re-treat as needed to eliminate all live lice but make sure to follow the instructions carefully. Be sure to massage Lice Attack Solution onto dry hair and into the scalp thoroughly and let it stay on for 5 minutes.

Q. Why must the hair be completely dry to apply the KaPOW!™ Lice Attack Solution Treatment?

A. When hair is wet it sticks together. Lice like to hide and they could find wet pockets of hair to hide in. The KaPOW!™ Lice Attack Solution needs to completely saturate dry, tangle-free hair to work most effectively. Use the usage guide on the Lice Attack bottle to make sure you are using enough to saturate your hair type.

Q. What if I see nits after treatment?

A. It is OK to see nits, whether viable or not, as long as you are completing the 3 full treatments. We know it is unsettling to see nits but they are harmless for now. If you see just a few nits and your school does not have a “No Nit Policy” then you are fine. Just make sure to do your scheduled follow up treatments with KaPOW!™ Lice Attack Solution and a nit comb-out. If you find 10 or more nits we recommend doing a quick comb-out in between treatments to remove remaining nits.

Q. What makes someone contagious?

A. What makes someone contagious with head lice is having a mature, egg-laying adult female louse on your head that could travel to another head. After the first treatment, when the egg-laying lice are eliminated, you are no longer contagious. To stop the cycle of lice you must stop the egg laying first, then remove the nits. Timing is everything and you must complete the 3 well-timed treatments to ensure you are lice-free. The follow-up treatments will eliminate the nymphs (baby lice) before they mature and lay eggs, therefore ending the cycle of lice. Read more about Are Lice Contagious?

Q. What if I comb out baby bugs on the 2nd or 3rd treatment?

A. Don’t freak out – seeing baby lice is exactly what you might expect to see at that point of your treatment cycle. The Lice Attack Battle plan is designed to eliminate the original, egg-laying lice with the first treatment. Subsequent treatments are timed based on the life cycle to get any new nymphs before they become mature, lay eggs, and keep the cycle going. If you do not comb out all the remaining nits, they will hatch and restart the cycle in 7-10 days from that point. That’s why we recommend 3 treatments over a 12-day period of time. This stops the life cycle of lice.

Lice Prevention

These are nits at different stages and a louse. It is often hard to tell the difference between them.

Q. What if I see more adult lice or an increase in nits during the treatment cycle?

A. If you see adult bugs, you want to repeat the KaPOW!™ Lice Attack Solution and do a comb-out. One of two things happened. You either got re-infested (which is possible because your lice came from someone close to you and they may still be contagious) OR you didn’t follow the treatment instructions properly. Remember you must apply to untangled, dry hair and soak it with KaPOW!™ Lice Attack Solution.

Q. Why is it helpful to comb in between treatments?

A. Nits are hard to remove. They are cemented to the hair shaft pretty securely. It’s near impossible to remove all the nits in one comb-out. In an effort to not spend an exorbitant amount of time combing one person out in one sitting, remove all you can in the first comb-out. Try to keep the first comb-out to less than 2 hours. Follow the KaPOW!™ Lice Attack Treatment plan carefully. Any nits that were left behind after the first treatment will be taken care of in the second and third treatments. If you find a lot of nits after the first treatment, then do the recommended quick comb-outs with the nit comb and KaPOW!™ Lice Defense Spray to help the comb glide through the hair.

Q. Why is it helpful to comb in between treatments?

A. No! Lice live on heads, not in houses. Your house is not infested and there are no bugs or nits all over the house waiting to hatch and infest your family. Just utilize the dryer on a hot heat setting for bedding and items with direct head contact, vacuum and lint roll active areas in the house, or simply covering a sofa or car seat is fine. Lice do not want to leave their host food source, which is always a head. Lice do not burrow and they only lay nits (lice eggs) on human hair. Follow our house cleaning guidelines here.

Q. Do I need special house cleaning supplies or additives to remove the threat of lice from my house?

A. No! All you need is the heat from the dryer for laundry, vacuum for cloth surfaces, lint roller or a sheet to cover large items (sofas/car seats) for 3 days. Laundry additives and house cleaning sprays are a waste of time and money.

Q. If I give my son a buzz cut will it cure our lice infestation?

A. Nope. Only completely bald people can’t get lice. Lice can lay nits on ¼” of hair. But buzz cuts do make the comb out process a lot easier. If you buzz your son’s hair, protect his scalp from sunburn with sunblock or a hat.

Q. Do I have to tell people we have lice?

A. Yes! As Captain KaPOW!™ says “Stop the spread and protect all heads!” It may feel uncomfortable but you must tell anyone who’s been in contact with your infected family member within the last 3 weeks. This gives them the chance to do a head check. It also lessens the chances of them transmitting lice back to your family.

Q. Why are the pesticides less effective?

A. Evolution. The pesticides did work —years ago. Over the past several decades, lice have evolved to survive both OTC and prescription pesticide treatments. In addition to the products being less effective, the nit combs that come with some treatments are lousy (pun intended) and the instructions are not thorough enough. Lice have developed a protein that is present in their exoskeleton system and the nit glue. The nit glue covers the nit which secures the nit to the hair shaft and protects them from the neurotoxins in common OTC and prescription treatments. Often some bugs will die, but rarely all of them. These treatments are ineffective against lice because you can’t somewhat get rid of lice. Lice are all or nothing.

Lice in Schools & Camps

Q. Why do kids seem to get lice more often in school or camp?

A. An estimated 6-12 million people in the U.S. get lice each year, with the ages 3-13 being the prime target. Unfortunately, where there are kids, there is a risk of lice. So schools and camps offer many opportunities to share lice. So it is important to take preventative tips, keep your hair to yourself, and use KaPOW!™ Lice Defense Spray daily

Q. How can I be prepared for a possible lice problem?

A. Being educated about how lice behave is the best way to be prepared. Weekly head checks will keep infestations to a minimum. Keep a KaPOW!™ Battle Kit in your house and you will have everything on hand to defeat lice (Attack Solution, Defense Spray, Nit Remover Comb and Instruction booklet.)

Q. How can I minimize my kid’s risk for catching lice?

A. Be smart. Be proactive. Use weekly head checks to minimize outbreaks. Use up hairdos to keep your kids hair to themselves, and use KaPOW!™ Lice Defense Spray to deter lice.o.

Q. Do lice like dirty hair?

A. Lice like all kinds of hair. Dirty, clean, curly, straight, wavy, black, brown or blonde. If you have hair, lice like it. That said, they don’t like minty smelling hair, which is why KaPOW!™ Lice Defense Spray can deter lice.

Q. What’s a no-nit policy?

A. This is an organizational policy that states that all nits must be removed from the head before the individual is allowed to return to camp or school. At the Center for Lice Control, we do not believe in a no-nit policy. We agree with the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics who state that kids with lice are not sick and therefore should be allowed to return to school with nits. Also, it is very difficult to remove all the nits. That is why we use a 3-step battle plan. After the first treatment, you are no longer contagious (and therefore should be allowed to return to the institution). Any nits that are still viable will hatch and be removed in subsequent treatments before they can cause any problems.

Q. Won’t the school nurse do the head check for me?

A. While some school nurses have become skilled at detecting lice, most schools don’t check and handle cases of lice. Nor does your physician want anything to do with this. The responsibility falls on the parent or guardian and that is why we created the Center for Lice Control —to provide information and videos to help you be successful

Q. Do I have to tell our school if my son or daughter has lice?

Yes, so schools can be aware of potential outbreaks. Some schools send notes home to the class but if they don’t, you have a responsibility to let the class know. We recommend you use our “Heads-Up™” email notification. It will enable you to anonymously inform friends, teammates, carpools and babysitters that they may have been exposed and show do a simple head check. “Stop the Spread and Protect All Heads.”