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 catalogue 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.
To answer the question on it’s own, yes black people or people with African heritage can get lice just as 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 less lice than other hair types.
The reason is because 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.
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.
That was a definitive way of looking for lice in hair, except if you have already found some without looking. Now onto how to treat it after you have found out lice in a Black person’s hair:
- It is important to consider that natural, organic and non-toxic ways of treatment are prefered almost always, 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 chemicals-free products, in case you are going for that remedy.
- Often products that are over-the-counter seem to have a lot of harmful ingredients that could be damaging for not just the scalp but the overall internal heath of your skin. Avoid those products.
- 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 to not 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, use natural remedies.