Head itchy? Might wanna check for lice


After several years of reduced contact and therefore fewer chances for lice to spread, cases are on the rise again across Central Alabama.

School administrators said they’re seeing a spike in cases among students and teachers.

While many people consider lice “gross” or “icky,” it’s important to recognize that anyone can find up affected. Lice travels through close contact like hugging, sharing hats or hair brushes or by sitting on furniture that’s been infested.

Treatments include medicated shampoos, combing through hair for lice and treating any clothing, linens or furniture that could be affected.

Most hair salons and barber shops cannot help with lice and will halt services if they discover it in someone’s hair because of liability issues so at-home treatment is your best bet.

But if your case is tougher than a few nits, there are places that can help. One of those is The Lice Place Birmingham, located in Bessemer.

Owner John Powell said a good rule of thumb for parents with children in school is checking their hair for lice weekly. After all, picking out a few nits is a lot easier than eradicating a home infestation.

“The schools really don’t tell parents if they find a case,” Powell said. “Some schools will, but most don’t. They don’t get that warning of ‘hey, someone in your class has lice.’ ”

That’s why weekly checks are imperative, he said, even if fewer lice infestations means less money in his pocket.

“We aren’t here to see how much money we can make,” he said. “We are trying to help. And what will help more than anything else is weekly head checks.”

If you’re interested in keeping lice away, Powell said he has some tips there, too. Tea tree oil and peppermint are natural lice deterrents.