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With the holidays upon us, giving is on most people’s minds. As we consider the perfect gift for everyone on our list, let’s not forget that head lice are easily given during the holidays when love and hugs abound. No one should ever shy away from family because of lice, nor should any family members be shunned due to lice. NJ Lice Lady has some bits of advice on how to avoid giving or receiving anything unintentional this holiday season:

  1. DO YOUR HEAD CHECKS! And do them properly! I wish I kept track and could tell you how many families I’ve treated and the story starts like this: “My child was scratching her head and I looked through her hair and I didn’t see anything.” Sigh. Big Sigh. My job is to look for and treat head lice and don’t look for lice. I COMB to find lice or nits.Visual screening is notoriously inaccurate for ruling out lice and should never be relied on for a true evaluation of the situation. One must comb in order to properly check and one must use a HIGH QUALITY SOLID STAINLESS STEEL nit comb to do this effectively. You won’t generally find a good quality nit comb on a shelf in a major chain drugstore.
  2. If you find head lice, treat safely, effectively and treat EVERY PERSON IN YOUR HOME WHO HAS LICE: Every member of your household with hair longer than 1/8″ must be checked using a comb to properly rule out or diagnose lice. Contrary to what some lice services will tell you, only family members who actually have lice need be treated. It is unnecessary to treat anyone who doesn’t have lice or nits in their hair. Of course, the people selling you the extra product will have an interest in seeing everyone in the family treated! Spending time and effort (and money) to treat one person when multiple family members are affected is a waste of all above-mentioned resources. Sadly, the traditional go-to, OTC pesticide treatments have become much less reliable than they were in the past. NJ Lice Lady recommends using KaPOW! Lice Attack Solution, a non-toxic, oil-based product that reliably and safely eliminates live lice.
  3. Inform others with whom your family has had close contact: It’s not just the nice thing to do, its the SMART thing to do. If your family has been in close enough contact to give lice to someone, eventually your family will be close enough to get it back.

Got questions about how treat head lice or how to detect head lice? Do you need a professional resource to help lighten your load during this hectic time of year? Reach out for help, even if it’s just advice! Contact NJ Lice Lady at (908)548-4480 or send an email:

Do you want to know how to detect head lice on your children? Your best bet is the “wet check.”

Lice head check

Weekly wet head checks are the best measure for early detection of head lice

 

So, you want to know how to detect head lice on your children. Well, research has shown that “wet checks” are the most reliable and effective method for detecting head lice. A wet check is done on wet or dampened hair with a good, high quality, solid stainless steel nit comb. Using a comb with a flimsy plastic handle or a poorly made comb will not yield an accurate result. In combing through dampened hair, one is examining what is removed for the presence of either lice or nits. The presence of either one is a confirmation that treatment for head lice is warranted.

If you’ve found something and you aren’t sure if it is a nit or not, feel free to email a photo of your suspicious object to: njlicelady@gmail.com  Please place your object on a white background next to a penny (in order to give perspective for size). See directly below. It is important that pictures be taken as close up as possible and as in focus as possible in a top down orientation.

How to detect head lice and nits

Close up of nits next to a penny

 

 

All Rights Reserved 2011-2016. Material May Not Be Reproduced Without Express Written Consent of the Author.

How do you know a lice diagnosis is real? If a provider of lice treatment services is going to perform a treatment on a client, they should ABSOLUTELY be providing proof that the client in question does, in fact, have lice. What constitutes proof when making a lice diagnosis? Optimally, a hair plucked directly from the head of the individual (or on the head for a parent/caregiver to feel and see) with a nit on it is the proof you want to be given. Similarly, a live, moving bug (not a dead bug sitting around for the purposes of providing fake proof) on the head or pulled directly from the head in the view of the parent/caregiver. Finally, nits or live bugs combed from the hair during a proper head check done with a good quality nit comb that has been properly cleaned prior to being used on a new head. False diagnosis due to using a comb not properly cleaned can be an issue.

When I was seeing clients in my Fairfield and Clark, NJ lice treatment centers, I would regularly clear more people than I would treat. Now, in my new practice, I still clear more people than I treat! It is very common for a lice lady like me to see people who think they have lice, but don’t. The nice thing about doing head checks to clear people, aside from giving them peace of mind, is that I get to teach parents how to do proper head checks to prevent family-wide outbreaks from ever occurring in their homes.

Recently, NJ Lice Lady has seen several families from around NJ in which everyone (including dad!) has had lice. This is a result of lice infestation in one individual going an extended period of time without a proper lice diagnosis and/or not being treated effectively. Effective treatment of lice leads to the ending of outbreaks in towns, schools, social circles and families. However, you should only be treated if you have lice! Make sure you are being shown any evidence of lice infestation prior to allowing yourself or your family members to be treated. Not every lice treatment provider out there is operating with your best interests in mind. NJ Lice Lady is committed to ethical lice treatment practices and affordable pricing. When I opened my first lice treatment center in Clark, NJ, it was my dream to help families deal with lice effectively and with the highest level of care and compassion. Now, with NJ Lice Lady I am able to do what I wasn’t able to do as a high-overhead franchise owner. My lice treatment services are often at least HALF the cost of competing providers and my 100% success rate speaks for itself. Why pay more for sketchy lice treatment and nit removal services? Call NJ Lice Lady, where you’re treated like family. (908)548-4480 njlicelady@gmail.com

All rights reserved 2011-2014. Material may not be reproduced without express written consent of the author.

Finding a NJ lice treatment service can be difficult. With so many providers in the arena, it’s hard to decipher what everyone does for the fees they charge. Here are some things that I consider important about finding a lice treatment service in NJ or anywhere in the world!

1- Process: What do they do and how do they do it? Do they require you to come back to them? Do they charge for mandatory follow-up visits? How do they treat? Do they use a product reliable for eliminating live lice?

My answer: I treat by applying a dimethicone-based product to the hair and scalp of affected clients. I then complete a thorough comb out to remove nits from the hair using a solid stainless steel nit comb of the highest quality. Follow up visits are not needed and therefore are not included in my service, though clients are free to schedule a follow up visit if they desire one. I try to discourage people from doing so, simply because they are an unnecessary expense.

2- Products:  What kind of products does the service use? What are you obligated to buy? What does an average family spend on these products for a complete treatment cycle?

My answer: As mentioned above, I use a non-toxic, dimethicone-based product. In addition to the product which retails for $25 for a 12 oz bottle, I strongly encourage every family to purchase the same nit comb I use in my practice. The comb retails for $15. Most families will spend between $40-$65 for product and a comb to complete their treatment. Some families will choose to purchase a bottle of the KaPOW! Lice Defense Spray as well ($15) for use in preventing future lice outbreaks as well as facilitating comb outs.

3- Follow-Up: Perhaps the most important part of the treatment process is the follow-up required to make it successful. Will your service require you to perform daily comb outs in order to achieve a successful result? Will you need to complete daily treatments? What about housekeeping? Do they want you to clean/wash/boil the contents of your home on a daily basis to achieve a successful treatment outcome?

My answer: My clients complete two follow-up treatments at home using the above-mentioned non-toxic dimethicone-based product in addition to starting the ritual of weekly head checks done properly with a good quality stainless steel nit comb. While there is housekeeping to be done initially, the only thing I ask my clients to do after Day 1 is place their bedding in the dryer on the days they complete their follow-up treatments (2 more times). My clients are left with a schedule to follow and step-by-step instructions on exactly what needs to be done. The instructions are based in science and common sense. Any service that requires daily follow-up is asking their clients to do the “heavy lifting” for them. I question the value of a treatment a client purchases that requires them to do more work than the person they paid to treat them!

Finding a NJ Lice Treatment Service doesn’t have to be difficult if you know where to look! NJ Lice Lady provides safe, reliable, non-toxic lice treatment and nit removal for families from all over New Jersey. Low overhead allows me to provide world-class service at prices no lice treatment center in Cranford or Short Hills can match! Do you know someone who needs help with lice? Maybe it’s you? Give me a call and find out how affordable and uncomplicated good lice treatment can be! (908)548-4480 or njlicelady@gmail.com

 

Lisa Rafal, the NJ Lice Lady, is the former owner of franchised lice treatment centers in Clark and Fairfield, NJ. With a solid understanding of the problem and an empathy driven by having experienced lice as both a mother and as a pre-teen, Lisa is able to comfort families during the stress of dealing with lice. View the testimonials my clients have shared about the experiences with NJ Lice Lady and Lisa Rafal.

 

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Often I am asked by clients, “How long have we had lice?” It’s an important question to attempt to answer so that friends and relatives may be properly informed, but it’s just as difficult a question to answer definitively. While it is possible to answer in general terms, the effort to pinpoint a day or a point in time is complicated by the life cycle of this annoying little parasite. Follow along:

  1. An adult human head louse glues an egg (nit) to a strand of hair.
  2. From that nit, sometime between 7-10 days later, a first stage nymph will emerge.
  3. Over the next 7-10 days, that nymph will eat and grow and molt its exoskeleton 3 times to become an adult human head louse capable of mating.
  4. Within 24 hours of finding a mate, the fertilized female will begin laying her own eggs at a rate of 3-5 eggs twice a day.

So, sometime between 14-20 days from being laid as an egg, a bug will be mature. That’s a wide range of time. So, let’s play CSI: Head Lice Division for a moment. Here is what I found on the head that I treated today:
Somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 bugs, primarily stage 2 nymphs. There were a few stage 1 nymphs, numerous stage-2 nymphs, 1-stage 3 nymph and 2 adult lice. In combing the client, I found about 30-50 nits. Because of the amount of time it takes to stand and count eggs and because my clients pay by the hour, I eyeball my counts and guesstimate the timeline. Using the information I already disclosed above, can you guesstimate how long this person had lice?
Here’s what I think…I believe my client had lice for 2.5-3 weeks. In CSI terms, I believe the forensic evidence supports the following interpretation of the case: Client acquired a fertilized female from a friend at camp. Normal egg laying activity for a female is 6-10 eggs a day. It is likely that the female laid her eggs per normal until she was either presented with an opportunity to leave the head for a new host or she was otherwise interrupted, perhaps being killed by a hair brush, hair dryer, flat iron or the like. The eggs she laid were left to incubate on the host head. Because the number of nits did not exceed greatly the number of bugs, it is my guess that the adult lice I found on the client hatched on the head and only just matured. This case of lice was confined to the one family member and had not yet spread to other family members, HOWEVER, had it not been caught today and been allowed to continue, it is likely that within the week, the sibling and mother of the affected child would have become infested as well.
I cannot prove my theory because those inconsiderate lice don’t leave us Post-It Notes telling us the details of their adventures. Although applying deductive reasoning this scenario is feasible. There could be other explanations, though for me, it’s the low nit count relative to the number of bugs that leaves me thinking this infestation is fairly new.
Are you finding yourself asking “how long have we had lice” or other questions about head lice treatment? Need to talk to someone who can help? NJ Lice Lady can help! Email njlicelady@gmail.com

or call (908)548-4480

 

All Rights Reserved 2011-2014. Material May Not Be Reproduced Without Express Written Consent of the Author.

Effective and affordable head lice treatment in NJ is hard to come by. There are many people who will say they are professionals, but I have noticed that many of them don’t really understand the science of head lice themselves. Sadly, that doesn’t keep them from charging some outrageous fees for their services. It also doesn’t make them successful at what they do. When I started out as a lice treatment professional, I purchased a franchise and opened an office in Clark, NJ. It seemed like a good idea at the time. What I learned, unfortunately, is that the high overhead of running a franchised business makes being profitable nearly impossible. Despite having raised my fees, I was unable to sustain the business.

From all things, we learn. I saw in the years that I was running that office, that many families simply could not afford to treat their children professionally. It made me sad to see children being treated with toxic chemicals simply because of the economics of head lice treatment. The worst part was knowing that those same children would likely experience treatment failure because of the unreliability of those products. It didn’t seem fair.

The truth is that lice is a big business. If you believe some things I’ve read, it’s a billion dollar a year industry. Why do drugstores carry products that don’t work? Well, if you have to keep buying them, they get to keep making sales, don’t they? I hate conspiracy theories, but the CDC and AAP still, despite mountains of evidence that shows pesticide resistance is a solid fact, continue to recommend Permethrin and Piperonyl Butoxide (Nix and Rid) as a first line treatment. Why? Why have they not endorsed, unequivocally, non-toxic lice treatment? There have been 3 new prescription lice products approved by the FDA in the time I’ve been treating lice professionally. Why are we pushing possible carcinogens onto children’s heads when a simple non-toxic product like dimethicone, found in the product I use and sell (KaPOW! Lice Attack Solution), kills lice in minutes and is as safe as any styling product found in a salon? Is it because treating lice right the first time would mean that people didn’t keep buying more product? I hope not.

The same holds true for lice treatment professionals. They want you to think it’s magical mystical stuff we do. Outside the “wheelhouse” of the average parent. It’s not. That’s why I want to teach parents what to do instead of treating their kids for them. Some parents don’t want to know and don’t want to deal with it. That’s fine. Those parents have the resources to pay someone to do it for them and that’s great. I love treating lice and will happily help a family that way! For the parents who don’t have the money to pay someone to do it for them, there needs to be a reliable alternative that is affordable for them. This is why I created my Head Lice 101 DIY approach to head lice treatment. I’m here to help and I want to make this less burdensome and more cost-effective for families in NJ. If you’re interested in learning how to detect lice proactively, and you’d like to host a parents’ workshop in your home, email me at Contact me

 

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Parents in Scotch Plains and neighboring towns have been battling a pesticide resistant strain of lice since the beginning of the year. While not uncommon, it is certainly frustrating for parents and children. Additionally, it re-allocates the precious time resources of the school nurse. Instead of dealing with the very important functions of medicine administration, caring for sick and injured students and completing State mandated paperwork, the nurse is forced to perform head lice screenings. There are a few issues with this:

  1. A visual inspection is not always perfect. It can’t be. This means that, despite spending hours doing these screenings, the nurse may well miss something.
  2. Relying on the school nurse allows parents to remove themselves from the process of lice detection. In fact, parents are crucial in this process and have the ability to do a far better job at home than the nurse can do in school.
  3. Parents assume that if lice is found in school, they will be notified about it by the nurse or administration and that is not always the case. It also makes parents feel that their responsibility to notify other parents of their child’s lice is nullified because they believe the school will notify their child’s classmates and friends.

Unfortunately, when a letter does come home from the school, the outmoded recommendation always included in that letter is to consult your doctor or pharmacist about lice “shampoos.” There is no such thing as a “shampoo” that kills lice. What is being referenced in that letter are the OTC pesticides that are found in every drug store in America. The truth is, they don’t work reliably anymore. Yes, some people have success with them. Sadly, far more people are experiencing treatment failure with them. Head lice in the US have become incredibly resistant to the pyrethroid pesticides found in drug stores. It is my personal and professional opinion that the resistance to these pesticides is behind the increasing frequency of longstanding outbreaks within communities.

The outcome of repeated treatment failures is this: children being repeatedly exposed to pesticides on their bodies (scalp) and parents who become so exasperated they stop trying, thus magnifying the problem. It is not necessary to pay for professional treatment, though some families may prefer this. NJ Lice Lady is a resource for parents who want to treat on their own as well as those who prefer a full-service approach. From our DIY, Head Lice 101 to simply being able to purchase a reliable, safe and non-toxic product along with a GOOD nit comb, I can help parents who have been struggling with head lice. You can reach me by email at njlicelady@gmail.com.

 

All Rights Reserved 2011-2014. Material may not be reproduced without express written consent of the Author.