Lice actually loves clean hair: Do you know how to get rid of it - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Lice actually loves clean hair: Do you know how to get rid of it?

Head lice (Source: Wikipedia) Head lice (Source: Wikipedia)
NORTH OLMSTED, OH (WOIO) -

Michele Cancilla said she couldn't understand at first why the school nurse wanted her to pick up her daughter from camp right away.

“To think that there are bugs on your child, biting your child -- just the thought of it makes you itch,” she said.

Head lice treatment info | For parents | For schools

It turns out 8-year-old Cayla had lice.

“I thought it was weird for little bugs to live in your hair and how they hatch and everything, and how when I saw the eggs it was really gross,” Cancilla said.

Lice is common among kids, especially at school. Cancilla knew she had to treat the problem right away, but was worried about using toxins on her daughter's hair and had even heard that some over-the-counter shampoos are resistant to lice.

“I didn't want to put harsh chemicals or pesticides on my children for their health. There are so many risks and so many things that can lead to problems later on in life that you don't know about,” she said.

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are effective and in-expensive lice treatments that you can buy over-the-counter ranging from $14-$18 like Nix, Rid, A-200, and Pronto.

Gilbert Camargo owns Bernadette's Lice Removal in North Olmsted. He's been treating the pesky bugs for seven years and has seen thousands of patients. Cayla is now one of his patients, and during a check they discovered her younger sister Josie also had lice.

“Half the patients are crying, they're devastated. They just can't believe their kid got it,” he said. "A lot of people have a misconception that lice is for dirty people."

Gilbert says lice actually love clean hair, so they can lay their eggs in each individual follicle. Gilbert uses a non-toxic water-based protein enzyme spray to help remove the lice along with a special metal riveted comb.

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“What this does is melts the exoskeleton of the bug. But, it also eats the glue that holds the eggs on,” he said.

He says patients have to do the treatment every night for 5 to 7 days to get rid of them, unlike over-the-counter chemical shampoos that take at least 10 days.

Now Cancilla routinely checks both girls to make sure the lice doesn't return. She says she's glad she found a safe way to get rid of the bugs and is now educated on what to do and how to safely treat it. 

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