When most people start fleeing the cooler outdoors for more time indoors, head lice pop up. Here's some ways to avoid them.

First of all, let's clear up a common misconception, head lice are extremely common, and they don't care what social strata you are in. The belief that only lower classes get head lice is false. Anyone can get them, so don't be embarrassed and get help as quickly as possible.

Jamie Young, who runs Jamie's Lice Angels in the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights told WXYZ-TV Action & News that the hardest part of her job is dealing with people's embarrassment.

“This is very common, if more people talked about it like they do the flu, it probably wouldn’t be so bad. There is never anything to be embarrassed of. They like clean hair, so it has nothing to do with the hygiene of it.”

So here are Jamie's tips on how to avoid getting head lice this fall and winter:

  • Lice can’t jump, fly or swim: the only way to get head lice is contact with the bugs directly, this is typically done through head-to-head contact. In rare cases, clothing can transfer the bugs, but it’s important to note that they must feed every few hours — meaning it’s hard for head lice to live anywhere but a person’s head.

  • Prevention matters: If you hear about a family member, friend, or a child’s classmate that has head lice, it’s worth doing a head check. If you can’t do one yourself, you can schedule one — Jamie advises coming back a second time a few days later to ensure you don’t get it.

  • Lice won’t live on your pets: Lice are found in human hair, not pets.

  • Be smart: Spread the word to close contact families if you find out someone in your home has head lice, it’s also smart to screen your entire home and wash products coming in contact with the infected person’s head daily (sheets, hats, hairbrushes, etc.)

  • Avoid home methods: Jamie warns that things like mayonnaise and olive oil aren’t the best options in 2019 — bubbles can form pockets of air for nits and lice to survive within, meaning you’re wasting time and energy without killing the head lice. She recommends coming to a professional, noting many of her clients come to her after spending time and money on alternative treatments.

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