Head lice are small, wingless insects that live off blood on human scalps. Fully
adult lice are typically 2 - 3 mm in length. Their colour varies from off-white to
brown. The lice eggs are beige-brown in colour and stick to the hairline on your
scalp. Head lice hatch after 7 to 10 days; the white shells they leave behind are
known as nits.
An average affliction is about 10 lice. If left untreated, the number of lice on
your scalp can quickly increase to 200. Lice can neither jump nor fly; this is why
they can only be transmitted through direct head-to-head contact. However, it
is also possible for lice to survive on textiles for a short period of time. Anyone
can get lice, regardless of age, race and social standing. Lice are a problem that
effect society at large; they are not just limited to schools and kindergartens.
Contrary to popular belief, head lice can inhabit all types of hair – not just
unwashed or dirty hair.