How to prevent head lice with five practical hairstyles

You may be the parent of a child that have had head lice in the past. Or maybe you have been very lucky until now but have heard about recent cases of head lice in the school. No matter what your situation is, you are probably wondering how to prevent head lice.

In this blog, we are exploring the best way of avoiding them, which might be something you haven’t thought of: braids.

Head lice like to travel

As an infestation develops and takes hold in the hair some of the adult lice will want to move on. Head lice are driven by survival of the fittest so that means they want to expand their range and set up new colonies on other heads.  They are therefore looking for opportunities to crawl across – so hair which is out and about is ideal for them.

For this reason, hairstyles can play a crucial role in protecting the hair from catching head lice. A hairstyle that keeps the hair back, makes it much harder for lice to crawl across and shimmy up the hair strands onto the scalp. If you keep it back, you keep them out!

How to prevent head lice with plaiting or braiding

Head lice adore flowing locks as it makes their attempts to travel so much easier. Just putting the hair back into a ponytail isn’t enough if the ponytail swings around or is thick and bushy as this still creates the opportunity for hair to touch hair. Either plait the ponytail or get more creative with the hairstyle.

Lots of parents are worried about being able to plait or braid the hair and see it as an impossible task. We are going to help you conquer that and also show your child how to do it too.

Learning to plait or braid for beginners

Plaiting or braiding the hair looks much harder than it is. With a short tutorial, you can learn to do this. Here is an easy lesson in simple braiding for beginners to have a go at.

Braids are not only a very practical way to secure the hair to prevent head lice, they can also be super stylish when you get into the more creative versions. Looking good is motivating for everyone, encouraging other children to want them too – if the friendship group are into them then everyone wins, keeping their hair away from each other.

Here are easy lessons in the more stylish braids (click on the name of each hairstyle to see a tutorial):

All hairstyle instructions are courtesy of the talented Becky Stern.

Our recommendation on how to prevent head lice 

When we clear at The Hairforce we will often send a child off with one of these fabulous hairstyles. Head lice aren’t necessarily inevitable – how you wear your hair can help you protect against them.

Want to know more about head lice prevention and treatments? Read about why you shouldn’t use permethrin as a head lice treatment or how we use contact tracing as a head lice treatment tactic.

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