©Victoria Joseph

Before I go on to share my experience about having hair lice and getting rid of it, I would like to briefly explain how one can get them and how they thrive on their host.

Lice are parasites that attach themselves to human hair and feed on human blood. Lice can only crawl – they can’t fly – and survive outside your head for twenty four hours. Most infestations come from direct head-to-head contact. That means, if you or someone you know has lice, it’s likely that they got it from a friend, family member or stranger with whom they had close contact. Shared items like clothes, towels, hair combs and brushes etc. can also facilitate an infestation.

Hair lice can only live on human hosts, so you can’t get them from your pets or any other animals. It is also important to note that getting lice is not a reflection on a person’s personal hygiene.

When I had hair lice it was sometime during November to December 2019. It was like an epidemic during and even shortly before that period, because I found out that several other people were having it, too. It made me feel depressed and miserable and I was desperate to get rid of them. I went to a salon recommended to me by a friend for treatment, but about a week or two after that, I noticed that the chemical which the hairstylist used didn’t kill off all the lice or it was probably that the eggs hadn’t been destroyed by it, as I thought they would, and had hatched.

I had initially decided that I would do all I could to get rid of the hair lice without having to shave my head, but after seeing that the chemical hadn’t worked to get rid of the lice completely, I was seriously considering shaving my head. Then as a last resort, I went back to the salon to undergo the same hair treatment as before, but the hairstylist who did it before wasn’t around. So, another one of the hairstylists attended to me and suggested that I treat the infestation by using a hair relaxer on my hair three times – once every week – and she assured me that it would get rid of the lice completely. I took her advice but I relaxed my hair five times just to be sure, and I was free of the hair lice.

After each treatment, I soaked and washed every single thing that I had used or come in contact with with hot water; and as for the things that I couldn’t wash, I tied them up in airtight bags and didn’t touch them for some months so that if there were any live lice or eggs attached to those things, they would have enough time to die off. Some other things that I couldn’t wash or keep, I had to get rid of them.

After my ordeal, I was happy that I was free and comfortable in my own skin once more and I didn’t even have to shave my head to get rid of the lice. It was a truly horrible experience for me and it was really frustrating that I couldn’t get any real help from the internet.

However, this was just my personal experience and I am in no way prescribing the means which I used to get rid of my hair lice as the best or the only way to get rid of hair lice. I only thought that it might be helpful to share my thoughts and experience on the issue of getting rid of hair lice for the benefit of those who might be struggling with hair lice or might later find themselves in a similar situation.

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