Taking Selfies Might Give You Headlice

What’s one of the common ways headlice spread? It’s not so much clothing, or shared hats, or bedsheets. It’s selfies.

Yes, the humble selfie is providing nits with a perfect ‘hair highway’. Headlice have six little legs with a curved claw designed for gripping hair strands. They can’t fly or jump, but they can crawl. When kids touch heads in a selfie pose, nits step nimbly from one head of hair to the next.

A new headlice treatment that 100 percent guarantees to bust even the ‘superlice’ that are resistant to chemical treatments is now available in Melbourne.

Using the non-toxic AirAllé hot air system from the United States that dehydrates nits and their eggs, Lice Clinics Australia has opened its first Melbourne clinic in Vitality Medical Health Centre, 1632 High Street, Glen Iris (03 9885 5433).

Founder of Lice Clinics Australia and dad of two, aged 3 and 6, Michael Lawless is becoming a minor celebrity in his daughters’ playground.

“My daughters’ friends’ parents at school and preschool chase me down to ask about the treatment,” he says. “I’ve never been more popular at school drop-off.” He is even getting booked up by P&Cs to give talks about lice-busting.

“A lice-dehydrating session takes about an hour, and your child walks away with a certificate they can wave in front of the teacher,” he says. If you’re not sure whether that itch is what you think it is, the Glen Iris clinic offers a free head check.

Michael says there is no ‘lice season’ but the first term of the year sees the most infestations.

Many of his clients are mums who have no one to do the treatment on them. “Husbands may be fantastic at many things but using a lice comb is not one!” he says.

Kids squeezing together to watch videos on their parents’ phone or on an iPad is another big opportunity for lice, he says. “As is kids hugging or tackling in the playground!”

Washing your hair with shampoo doesn’t get rid of lice – in fact, they prefer clean hair over dirty – and cleaning the house or bagging up toys won’t work.

To learn more about how to head off an infestation, visit liceclinicsaustralia.com.au

Note: This article provides general health information and in no way constitutes medical advice. Ideas and information expressed may not be suitable for everyone. Readers wishing to obtain medical advice should contact their own doctor.

Image by Louis Blythe

Natalie Ritchie
Natalie Ritchie