Head lice

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Updated 13 July 2016

Counter back-to-school head lice with Controlice®

It is common for lice to strike as children head back to school after the summer holidays. Prevent or treat infestations with the Controlice® range.

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Head lice can be difficult to treat due to a high re-infestation rate and their ability to develop resistance to some over-the-counter treatments. The Controlice® range contains plant oils as well as a dimethicone variant. Because of the composition and mechanism of action of the active ingredients, head lice cannot become resistant to it.*

Outbreaks in some schools are so frequent that mothers treat their primary school children preventatively and teachers arrange for bulk deliveries of Controlice®.  Nativa suggests that parents should use alternative non-toxic products when treating children frequently for head lice. “If you find lice or nits (lice eggs) it is important to start treatment immediately and then repeat it within seven days to prevent re-infestation”, they advise. 

controlice range

Step 1: Treat with either Controlice® Oil Spray or Controlice® Head Rinse Lotion

Controlice® Oil Spray

Nativa is so confident about this product that they offer a money back guarantee to anyone dissatisfied with this product’s promises on the pack!

The clinically tested formula has been proven to combat head lice infestations. It is formulated with essential oils such as coconut, anise and ylang-ylang which have insecticidal, antiseptic, parasiticidal and anti-fungal properties. Controlice® Oil Spray is safe for regular use in children and adults.*

To kill adult lice and their nits, spray Controlice® Oil Spray onto dry hair. Work it through the hair with your hands until the entire head of hair is moist enough to glisten and feel slick. Wait 15 minutes. Step 2: Wash and rinse with Controlice® Defence Shampoo or another shampoo.  Repeat seven days later to avoid re-infestation.*

Controlice® Oil Spray is available from selected pharmacies and retail stores at around R148 for a 60 ml bottle, which gives two to four treatments depending on the length of the person’s hair.  

Controlice® Head Rinse Lotion

Controlice® Head Rinse Lotion is a toxin-free treatment. Its primary ingredient is dimethicone which forms a waxy layer around lice that suffocates them, causing their death.* 

The colourless and odourless liquid is worked through dry hair with the fingers or one of the Controlice® combs, and left on overnight or for eight hours before being washed and rinsed out. Step 2 of the treatment involves combing out the nits (eggs) and dead lice. Repeat after seven days.  Because Controlice® Head Rinse Lotion does not work chemically, lice do not become resistant to it. 

Available from pharmacies at around R111 for a 100ml bottle.

Step 2: Comb with Controlice® Lice Buster Comb or Triple Comb 

While treatment is on the hair, de-tangle the hair with any comb then remove the nits (eggs) and dead lice from the hair with a fine tooth comb. It is recommended that mothers invest in one of the two Controlice® precision engineered combs. The Controlice® Lice Buster Comb is designed for long, curly or very thick hair. The Controlice® Triple Comb is ideal for short hair and is supplied with a magnifying glass.  Controlice Triple Comb retails at around R83, the Lice Buster Comb at around R80.

Step 3: Defend with Controlice® Defence Shampoo and Controlice® Defence Spray

Controlice® Defence Shampoo

Controlice® Defence Shampoo is a natural oil-based formulation with active ingredients that can help to repel head lice and avoid re-infestation. It also gently cleanses and conditions children’s hair. It is gentle enough to use daily and is suitable for the whole family. Around R73.50 for 125 ml.

Controlice® Defence Spray

Controlice® Defence Spray is a natural oil-based formulation with active ingredients that can help to repel head lice and avoid re-infestation.* It is a leave-in conditioner which moisturises the hair and also detangles it, resulting in it being manageable and shiny. Around R73.50 for 100 ml. 

Active ingredients of both products:

  • Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia);
  • Peppermint Oil (Mentha peperita);
  • Rosemary oil (Rosemarinus officinalis);
  • Lavender oil (Lavandula hydriba);
  • Geranium oil (Geranium maculatum);
  • Lemongrass oil (Cymbopogon flexuosus).  

*Efficacy of support may vary between users

About head lice

Head-to-head is by far the most common way of transmitting lice, which is why they spread easily among younger children.  Infestation can also occur through sharing hats, combs, clothing and swimming towels.

If your child complains of itching around the ear and neck hairline area, lice may be the problem.  To make sure, use a fine tooth comb and a magnifying glass, and comb through the hair onto a tissue. Using a magnifying glass is more effective than a simple visual examination. An adult louse is a crawling insect about the size of a pin head. It has six legs and grasps the hair with claws.

Lice are clear in colour when they hatch but turn reddish-brown once they start feeding on the blood of their hosts. Head lice may also be indicated if one finds tiny, black spots on bed pillows, sheets or clothing near the neckline and shoulders. These black spots consist of digested blood excreted by a head louse after feeding.

Female lice lay small yellowish-white eggs (nits).  The nits are oval-shaped and are attached at angles to the sides of the hair shafts.  After being hatched the female louse is ready to mate in 7 to 10 days and will then start laying her nits in another 7 to 10 days.  A female louse can lay up to 100 nits in her approximately 30-day lifespan.

Head lice are only spread by close contact. They crawl quickly but do not hop, jump or fly. They normally don't separate from their human hosts. If separated from their hosts, they die from starvation in approximately 24-48 hours. They spend their entire lives in human hair, dropping down to feed on blood from the scalp four or five times a day.

They favour the nape of the neck and the area behind the ears where they usually lay their eggs, so this is where you should check for signs of infestation. Many head lice infections cause no symptoms, so it is better to look for head lice than to rely on itching and scratching of the scalp.

The presence of lice does not indicate poor hygiene. Nor do they have a preference for long or short hair. Swimming, normal bathing and using a regular shampoo will not prevent or eliminate head lice problems. 

Apart from killing and combing out the head lice and nits to avoid re-infestation, it also helps to:

  • Treat all household members simultaneously when an infestation has been identified.
  • Wash bed linen and swimming towels and dry on high heat in a dryer.
  • Sanitize hair brushes, combs and hair ties at least once a week.
  • Check coat collars, hoods, hats and scarves for lice and nits.

For more information contact Nativa on 012 664 7110 or health@nativa.co.za or visit Nativa.