Head lice - do YOU wash your hair regularly? This is why you’re still at risk

Head lice and nits are common in young children, and are usually picked up from head-to-head contact, according to the NHS.

The lice are small insects, that are less than 3mm long. Nits are the lice eggs, and are a yellow/brown colour.

The only definitive way to spot an infestation is to find live lice or their eggs.

But, despite the myth, you aren’t more likely to become infested if you have dirty hair.

“There's nothing you can do to prevent head lice,” said the NHS.

“You can reduce the risk of lice spreading by avoiding head-to-head contact.”

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) added: “There is no evidence that head lice have a preference for either clean or dirty hair.

“Children of primary school age should be examined regularly at home (using a detection comb) to identify infestation early.”

Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

They spread by coming into contact with an infested person’s hair.

Lice move by crawling - they cannot hop or fly.

Left untreated, the lice can persist in the hair for long periods of time.

It’s not possible to prevent a head lice infestation.

There’s also no reason to treat clothing or bedding that’s come into contact with lice, NICE said.

Infested children can still attend school, but household members, close family and friends should all be checked for lice.

Herbal remedies and oil-based treatments are not recommended for treatments.

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