Hair is one of the main aspects of our appearance and the conversation around what it means with regards to beauty standards has been going on for a while. While we all give different degrees of importance to our hair, be it for personal reasons or due to cultural/religious significance, there is a general aura of importance around it too. ‘Can black people get lice’ is a question that arises from the same place?
Due to beauty standards and mainstream media being conventionally white for decades, we do not have a diverse catalog of information around different kinds of hair. It is important that this information is made available to the general public so that people with different hair types can educate themselves.
2 seconds summary:
Unfortunately, yes. African Americans catch lice but fewer than white Americans. It is because of their hair type, due to which they are less likely to get it. However, if you as a black person, are suffering from a similar situation, then continue reading this guide. It will not only brief you on whether African Americans get head lice but also show you easy and effective ways to get rid of them.
Can Black People Get Lice?
To answer the question on its own, yes black people or people with African heritage can get lice just like any other person. Ethnicity does not affect your tendency to get lice, even if their hair type is completely different. However, it is also true that African-Americans do comparatively get much fewer lice than other hair types.
Can Black Americans Get Head Lice?
Whether you believe it or not, this is the most-searched question on the internet at the moment related to head lice. But it is really NOT true that black Americans cannot get head lice, however, it is relatively true that it isn’t common. A study has found that around 10% of the black American children got head lice, whereas, only 0.3% of black American children got lice. As you can see there is a huge difference between the two percentages. It means only 0.3% of black Americans in the US get head lice which makes the quest understandable as to why it is common to observe that black Americans can’t get lice.
Why do black people are less likely to get lice?
The reason is that Black people have a different shape and texture of hair that makes it harder for lice to crawl and stick out longer. Apart from that, black men tend to shave their heads quite often and black women routinely oil their hair, which helps keep the lice away.
Regardless of the ratio for this being low, there is still a chance that if you are Black you can get lice. Being precautious is good for everyone, especially in this scenario. We meet people in public places all the time without realizing how close we are for lice to transfer. Of course, there is no reason that thought would be in our minds continuously, but taking precautions where necessary can be.
What to do if you get lice?
If you discover lice in your hair, the first thing you should do is take precautions. Even though there are ways to get rid of it, you need to isolate yourself from those who you believe to have caught from. Taking precautions is crucial as you can also transmit them to anyone with whom you come in contact. Following are the steps that you can follow to get rid of it for good.
Examine your hair in a wet state:
Whenever you or someone you know with Black hair seems to be in a situation where they were exposed to someone else with lice, you will need to examine the hair just to be sure. Here is how you do it:
- Start with wet hair if possible, it makes it easier to handle the hair. Part it in sections.
- Fine-toothed combs are generally used wherever lice are concerned. Use one to comb through the hair, the steel teeth will pretty much get through any hair type.
- Wipe it off on a towel or napkin and detect any lice/nits you find. They’re not easy to fetch out if you don’t know what you are doing.
Dos and Don’ts for lice treatment:
That was a definitive way of looking for lice in the hair, except if you have already found some without looking. Now onto dos and don’ts to treat it after you have found out lice in a Black person’s hair:
Choose chemical-free products:
- It is important to consider that natural, organic and non-toxic ways of treatment are preferred almost always, with no specifications. But especially products that you are about to put on your skin/scalp should be free of harmful ingredients. Make sure you choose chemical-free products in case you are going for that remedy.
Say no to home remedies:
- Ironically, home remedies often worsen the case. Using petroleum jelly, olive oil, or vinegar that a lot of people recommend won’t help get rid of the problem. They might not seem to have harmful ingredients that could be damaging for the scalp, however, they won’t help remove lice. So, it is always a better idea to avoid those products.
Avoid sharing hair accessories:
- Lastly, the ideal way is to prevent it in the first place. Avoid sharing towels, hair accessories, hats, scarfs, and any other thing that might put you at risk of having lice transferred from another person’s head. There are lice repellent sprays and products available in the market that could help be extra preventive. All these measures help you be cautious as not to get them initially.
Hope this was helpful and answered the many questions revolving around ‘Can Black people get lice’, because now you know, they can. Make sure you follow through with the preventive measures, and if you end up being unlucky to catch it, take help from lice lifters.
Take professional help:
If you are unable to get yourself out of the situation, consider taking professional help. Numerous dedicated salons and treatment centers work to help you with this problem.