Lice Salon Insights: Dandruff or Head Lice?

Often our mobile lice salon service gets texts and photos from past and prospective clients asking us to identify nits or lice. Most of the time, it’s just dandruff or other debris found on the scalp. Confusing the two is understandable, but preventable with a little education.

When our hair becomes itchy and dirty, we often mistake it for dandruff or dry scalp that’s has been causing the itch. But. if we’ve recently had lice or heard that it’s going around it’s easy to thinkg this itch is lice infestation or re-infestation. While dandruff can appear similar to nits and cause an itchy scalp, you can distinguish between dandruff and head lice. Read further to find out about a few key differences between the two. 

 

Meaning: Head Lice vs. Dandruff

 

Head lice are parasites that live and multiply on the scalp and suck human blood. An infestation of lice on your head can cause intense itching. If left untreated, the lice in your scalp will give birth to eggs resulting in a growth of such infestation. 

 

Whereas, sandruff refers to a common inflammatory skin condition that affects our scalp. It is also known as seborrheic dermatitis that causes the top layer of the skin to shed too quickly. Due to this shedding, we get a dry, itchy, and flaky scalp. 

 

Both these conditions are usually treatable at home, and a differentiation between the two can help a person choose the right treatment option. While Head lice can spread from person to person who comes in close contact, dandruff isn’t going to spread. 

 

 

Symptoms: Head Lice vs. Dandruff

 

Lice are more common among young children and people who are in close contact with children such as parents, teachers, daycare workers, and babysitters. 

 

Some common signs and symptoms of head lice include:

 

● Extreme itching on the scalp

● Scratching your head constantly

● Red spots on the scalp from excessive scratching

● Swollen lymph nodes

● Black tiny spots on the scalp or in the hair

● Teardrop-shaped lice eggs on the hair

 

Dandruff, on the other hand, may also develop on different parts of the body. Due to this, a person may notice scaly skin on the chest, neck, face, or ears. These areas may become dry, itchy, red, and painful. 

 

Symptoms of Dandruff include:

 

● Itchy scalp

● Flaky skin either very oily or very dry

● White or yellow colored flakes on clothes

● Red-colored patches on the scalp

● These symptoms might worsen during winter or dry weather

 

Causes: Head Lice vs. Dandruff

 

Head Lice are contagious, and you can get head lice when these parasites crawl onto your head. Different ways in which you may get head lice to include:

 

● Head to head contact with a person who already has a lice infestation

● Sharing your personal belongings such as a comb with someone who has had head lice

● Using any fabric items such as clothing, pillows, towels of an infected person. 

 

Dandruff can also have many causes, but unlike lice, they are not contagious; that is they do not pass from one person to another on contact. 

 

You may get dandruff due to:

 

● Irritated, oily skin

● A yeast-like fungus (the Malassezia fungus)

● Dry Skin

● Not shampooing your head often enough

● Sensitivity to hair care products

● Stress and fatigue

● Extreme weather conditions

 

 

Treatment Options: Head Lice vs. Dandruff

There can be different options for treatment that can be adapted to treat both these conditions. While dandruff can be treated with the help of OTC shampoos, it becomes hard to kill lice if an infestation is severe and you might need to consult a professional head lice removal salon. 

 

Treatments of Head Lice involve:

 

● Combing the nits out of the hair

● Chemical shampoos

● Dehydration by way of an FDA approved machine known as AirAlle

● Over the counter products

 

 

Whereas, dandruff is treated with the help of:

 

● Pyrithione zinc shampoos (such as Head and Shoulders)

● Tar-based shampoos

● Shampoos having salicylic acid

● Selenium Sulfide shampoos

Lice Salon Insights: The Takeaway

Whether you have lice or dandruff, we would suggest you get it treated immediately. Lice if left untreated can multiply in number and make the situation worse. Dandruff can also make your scalp dirty and can come back if left untreated. 

If home treatments do not work, call a lice salon before the situation becomes too challenging to handle and even more expensive.

Lex is incredibly discreet and professional and we felt very comfortable with her in our home. Having lice is a stressful event! She was a comfort and a calm to both my daughter and I. I’ve... recommended Lice Charmers to every parent in my child’s elementary class.read more
Joanna temple
Joanna T.
22:39 17 Jan 20
Lex was so sweet with the kids and made the experience just about as positive as it could be. I have already recommended Lice Charmers to my friends and family.
Emily Traetow
Emily T.
02:48 13 Jan 20
Lex came over within an 1.5 hours on a Saturday night. She was great. She was so gentle with our 2.5 year old daughter. We'd absolutely recommend her.
Josh Lieberman
Josh L.
04:50 09 Jan 20
When head lice first showed up on my daughter a year ago, I didn’t know what to do. Naturally I tried the over-the-counter lice shampoo treatment first and alas, it didn’t work!  So I sent a message... to Lex at Lice Charmers one evening and she got RIGHT back to me and offered to come the next morning, to my relief.  She got rid of the lice in a single treatment and even checked me too. When lice showed up AGAIN a year later, I knew exactly who to reach out to - Lice Charmers!  Lex is professional, knowledgable, and thorough.  She is responsive, fun, and truly makes the best out of an unfortunate situation. The convenience of treatment inside the comfort of your own home is SO nice and the rates for service are fair. Having head lice is unfortunate. Having Lice Charmers come remove them from your life is the exact opposite of unfortunate; it’s a pleasure. I can’t recommend Lex and Lice Charmers enough!read more
Jessica Zutz
Jessica Z.
17:27 08 Jan 20
Easy & painless. So nice to have Lex arrive at the house! Lice Charmers will be first call if we ever get lice in the future!
Justin Youngers
Justin Y.
18:30 07 Jan 20
They were very quick to answer our texts and very helpful and friendly!
Jennifer Sahli
Jennifer S.
16:34 30 Dec 19
This was the best experience for such a hard situation. We where made to feel like everything was normal and okay. She was absolutely amazing and carried out conversations with my child to help... distract her throughout the process.read more
Brittany Berg
Brittany B.
01:37 10 Dec 19
Lex was very easy to work with and professional. We called late in the evening and were able to get an appointment for the following morning. She arrived in a ordinary car and brought all of her own... supplies. It was much less stressful to have her come to our home then needing to go across town. She was very thorough in her work. The peace of mind from knowing our daughter was treated and cleared 💯 was worth every penny. I would highly recommend Lice Charmers.read more
Sarah Schauer
Sarah S.
23:06 08 Dec 19
Fast, in-home service made this process so easy. Lex was great: full of information, friendly, efficient with a tedious process, and was able to come to our house just a few hours after I contacted... her. I hope in the very best way possible that we don't have to call her in the future, but if we have a lice reappearance I'm so glad I know she's there. Highly recommend her!read more
Hannah Love
Hannah L.
22:12 08 Dec 19
I have never had nor dealt with lice before, so I called lice charmers and scheduled her to come out in the evening. She showed up and checked my hair, my son's, and then my daughter's hair who was... the only person with lice. She got all the lice, and nits out of my daughter's hair and my daughter's hair is very thick. She was very thorough and knowledgeable about lice and how to get rid of them and keep them away. I highly recommend calling her to take care of your lice problem, she also guarantees her work.read more
Michael Krout
Michael K.
03:40 27 Nov 19
Calling Lice Charmers was a great decision. Lex was wonderful with our 3 year old as well as extremely thorough. I recommend Lice Charmers... 100%.
Billy Marlowe
Billy M.
23:26 26 Nov 19
Definitely recommend this company! We called Lice Charmers late in the afternoon after finding out at least one of our kids had lice. They were able to come out first thing the next morning. Lex was... very nice and worked diligently with all four of us. We felt free of lice and were much more educated than we had been about the subject. Lex even brought a fun kids book about lice. It was great not having to go anywhere to get checked and treated. Thank you so much!read more
Sarah S
Sarah S
22:21 18 Nov 19
Definitely recommend this company! We called Lice Charmers late in the afternoon after finding out at least one of our kids had lice. They were able to come out first thing the next morning. Lex was... very nice and worked diligently with all four of us. We felt free of lice and were much more educated than we had been about the subject. Lex even brought a fun kids book about lice. It was great not having to go anywhere to get checked and treated. Thank you so much!read more
Sarita Chandler
Sarita C.
22:18 18 Nov 19
Definitely recommend this company! We called Lice Charmers late in the afternoon after finding out at least one of our kids had lice. They were able to come...
Sarah S.
Sarah S.
14:20 18 Nov 19
Lexi was kind and efficient and skillful - she really saved the day- we are so grateful
J Glasser
J G.
18:46 02 Nov 19

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