On the Donna Bella blog we love talking about fun and fashionable things, but we also want to offer solutions to tricky problems, like lice. Lice isn't a very glamorous thing to talk about. Yet lice infestations happen, and what do you do if you are wearing extensions and you find you have lice?
One of the reason that wigs got popular in the first place was because head lice was so prevalent that most people just kept their head shaved and wore wigs. Hair extensions, however, are a different story because they are actually connected to your own hair.
Fortunately, you don’t have to shave your head to get rid of lice. But if you are wearing hair extensions, it’s probably best to take them out before starting on any lice extermination treatment.
If the extensions are removed from the head, then any lice on them will die within 48 hours, because they don’t have anything to feed on. But be careful not to let them spread to anyone else before they die. It’s still probably a good idea to comb through the extensions and wash them before reusing them. Use a fine-tooth lice comb to find and extract lice and nits (their eggs) from the hair.
Lice treatments are made of pretty harsh chemicals. If you apply them to hair extensions, make sure to keep them away from the bonds. Also be sure to follow all the directions on the treatments exactly.
After your hair is lice-free, you can have your hair extensions put back in. It will probably take at least 2 weeks, but sometimes longer to eradicate the bugs. If the the problem remains, it’s probably best to talk to your doctor.
More things you should know about lice:
Lice will cling to hair whether it’s clean or dirty. If you get lice, it doesn't mean you don’t have good hygiene.
Normal shampooing and conditioning won’t hurt them.
Head lice don’t carry disease (thank goodness!), however, they can cause your head to itch, and this is pretty uncomfortable.
Scientists aren't exactly sure how lice spread. They can’t fly or jump, so they probably spread through direct contact. To prevent lice spreading, it is best not to share combs, brushes, hats, towels, or clothing with someone who has head lice. This has been found to be a successful way to prevent lice infestation.
Lice have a bad social stigma, but it’s a manageable problem and there are solutions to fix it. For more information about lice and how to prevent and treat an infestation, you can check out some of the sites below.
http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/ (Center for Disease Control)
http://news.discovery.com/human/health/lice-science-school-kids-121002.htm (Discovery News)