Nits: TikTok trichologist busts common headlice myth and warns 'no one is safe’ from having lice in their hair

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The specialist, who is also a mum, also shared her tried and tested method for getting rid of lice

A trichologist and mum has busted a common myth about headlice, but also warned that ‘no one is safe’ from finding that they have the bugs in their hair.

Maliha Ihenacho shares her tips about hair, skin and beauty, with her 156,400 TikTok followers and has racked up 2.2 million views on her videos. Ihenacho is a qualified trichologist, a specialist who focuses on problems related to the hair and scalp, and also a mum of a young son so she knows the frustration of headlice.

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Her video has been uploaded to her TikTok page as the NHS revealed that the number of parents looking for help tackling head lice has risen sharply since children went back to school. The video has been captioned “A common myth BUSTED! #headlice #nits #hairtok #momsoftiktok”.

What is the myth, you will be asking. It’s all about the condition of the hair itself. Headlice have been a problem in schools for many decades, and for just as long as the nits themselves have been around there has been a rumour that nits prefer to live in unclean hair. But, Ihenacho says this is not true at all.

'Nits have only one preference'

In the video, accompanied by her son, she began by posing the question “do nits prefer dirty hair?”. Her little boy smiled and shook his head. She then said “no” and went on to explain “if you have children and are struggling with nits or headlice you need to hear this: a common myth is that headlice prefer dirty hair. Nits have only one preference and that is for a warm human host.”

Maliha Ihenacho shares her tips about hair, skin and beauty, with her 156,400 TikTok followers - and she's shared her tips for combating headlice. Photo by TikTok/Maliha Ihenacho.Maliha Ihenacho shares her tips about hair, skin and beauty, with her 156,400 TikTok followers - and she's shared her tips for combating headlice. Photo by TikTok/Maliha Ihenacho.
Maliha Ihenacho shares her tips about hair, skin and beauty, with her 156,400 TikTok followers - and she's shared her tips for combating headlice. Photo by TikTok/Maliha Ihenacho. | Photo by TikTok/Maliha Ihenacho.

She added: “Catching headline has nothing to do with dirty or clean hair.” She also had bad news for anyone hoping to sort out the problem quickly by simply washing their hair. She said: “Washing your hair will not rid your head of lice or nits”. This is because “nits can expertly cling to the hair follicles during washing and the nit eggs are glued to the hair shaft.”

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In another video, Ihenacho said she has a tried and tested method for treating headlice after her son comes home from school with them. This includes using a metal comb to remove the lice every day for ten days and using suffocating agents such as olive oil, soya oil, sunflower oil and mayonnaise to kill the lice. She said: “Studies have shown (these agents) are able to kill a significant number of lice, only if they are applied in liberal quantities for more than 12 hours.”

She added that she also used acidic shampoos and conditioners to kill the lice and advised viewers to follow her routine, and then repeat the process if they have not eradicated the nit problem in ten days.

She finished the video with a warning, urging parents to check their own head too as “no one is safe” from catching headlice if they have had head-to-head contact with someone who has them.

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