Sunday 19 June 2016

LICE In Dreads?!

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got dreads or not, lice suck. 

Despite what some people may have you believe, lice aren’t more common among dreadheads. Lice cannot fly and they cannot jump, they can only be transmitted through surface-to-surface contact - and they don’t specifically seek out dreads. If your dreads don’t come in contact with the lice… then you ain’t getting em - that’s not to say that you can’t get them though… and… well…they are trickier to deal with when your hair is locked, as you might imagine.

Removing lice from regular hair is usually a two step process - there’s the application of a special shampoo that kills the lice and then this is followed up with using a fine toothed comb to brush out the as of yet unhatched eggs. Some of you may have noticed the flaw here when it comes to dreads… you’re not going to be dragging any fine toothed combs though locked hair. Instead you have to repeatedly apply the lice killing shampoo. If you repeat the process every 3 days you will kill the new lice as they hatch, and you’ll kill them before they mature enough to lay new eggs. How many times you find yourself having to repeat this process is going to vary greatly from person to person, but I would personally recommend repeating until you’re 110% sure you’ve got em all… otherwise you’ll find yourself having to start over.

What you choose to use for the lice killing is up to you - there’s no dreadlock-specific or dreadlock-preferred product, it’s going to depend what you have access to at your local pharmacy. Those who are against the application of harsh chemicals may want to look alternatively into using rubbing alcohol to kill the lice - instead of applying lice shampoo to the scalp, the dreads are soaked in rubbing alcohol and covered over for 30 minutes with a plastic bag to trap the fumes… don’t breath in the fumes… or smoke around the fumes… but it should do the same lice killing job as the shampoo… the repeating every 3 days process remains the same.

With lice… it’s easiest just not to catch them… they can only be picked up through surface to surface contact… so just be vigilant… don’t share towels or tams if you’re concerned… they tend to be more common among school kids… so don’t go rubbing your dreads on kids… I think that should probably just be a rule in general. But if you do find yourself in the unfortunate position of contracting them… don’t immediately run for the scissors - there are options!

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