Head lice

Updated 13 July 2016

Supermoms can do anything – even beat head lice!

Your child has come home with lice for the first time and you're not sure what to do. Follow these steps to take back control and beat lice with Controlice.


Squaring up to head lice for the first time is a wobbly moment for most mothers.

Apart from the horror that it could happen to her child and the crawly feeling in her own hair all of a sudden, there is a huge expectation from the anxious little victim who needs reassurance that mom can handle the situation too. 

In cases like this, do not weaken or despair. Instead, put on your Supermom T-shirt and call on Controlice® to deliver an easy-to-use, 1…2…3 step solution to beat head lice.*

1. Eliminate:

Controlice® Oil Spray or Controlice® Head Rinse Lotion are gentle and easy to use to eliminate head lice already infesting hair.*

The Controlice® Oil Spray is the most convenient as it only requires 15 minutes application, whereas the mothers with a little more time to spare can opt for the Controlice® Head rinse which must be applied and left on the hair for 8 hours.

Both treatments must be reapplied again seven days after the initial treatment, because that is when the little lice eggs, called nits, hatch. It is important for Supermom to attack them again in order to break the breeding cycle.*

2. Comb out:

The Controlice® Lice Buster Comb or Controlice® Triple Comb are fine-tooth combs that can help sift out the nits to reduce the possibility of a lousy counter attack.*

With your little one’s head comfortably resting on a paper towel on your lap he or she can chat or watch television while Supermom combs out the nits.

3. Protect and defend:

If you hear that there is a head lice outbreak at your child’s school, or if you have managed to get rid of the little crawlers but don’t want them coming back, use the Controlice® Defence range on an ongoing basis for protection against the head lice.

While they don’t eliminate an existing infestation, the Controlice® Defence Shampoo or Controlice® Defence Spray put up a line of defence to stop head lice from moving in.* 

All Controlice products are pleasant to use for the whole family.

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 or a white cloth. 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.

Important to note is that 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 attacking and combing out the head lice and nits to avoid re-infestation, it also helps to:

• Treat all household members simultaneously when an outbreak 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.