Believe it or not, this is one of the most-searched questions on the internet pertaining to head lice. It is NOT true that African Americans cannot get lice, but it is true that it isn’t as common.
A study conducted in 1985 showed that roughly 10% of Caucasian children got lice while only 0.3% of African American children got lice. The question is why there is such a huge difference. If only 0.3% of African American children in the United States get head lice it is understandable why it is common to think that African Americans can’t get lice. According to Dr. Dale Clayton, renowned parasitologist and inventor of the revolutionary AirAllé Head Lice Treatment device, “African-American hair is shaped differently than Caucasian, Hispanic, or Asian hair, and lice have a hard time getting their grasping hooks around the shaft. Since lice are uniquely adapted to crawl along a hair shaft, and since lice glue their eggs to the hair shaft, this often prevents African Americans from getting head lice. Cultural use of oils actually doesn’t affect this much, contrary to popular belief. It is, in fact, the different shape of the hair shaft that typically insulates the African American population from contracting head lice.” At Lice Clinics of America – Philadelphia, we have treated children and adults who have parents that are both African American as well as those who have one African American parent and one Non-African American parent. Although the incidence is quite low, African Americans do indeed get head lice.
Now that you know it is possible for African Americans to get lice do NOT overlook the importance of checking your child should a letter come home from school or you receive notification that your child has been exposed to a friend who has been positively diagnosed.
While the threat of lice is nothing to lose sleep over, it is helpful to be informed about the possibility. If you have any questions or need a head lice removal treatment, don’t hesitate to contact us. At Lice Clinics of America – Philadelphia with clinics in Conshohocken, Chadds Ford, & Downingtown, Pennsylvania, we are proudly serving Chadds Ford, Chester County, Montgomery County, and all surrounding areas! Our heated removal process is the only guaranteed way to remove head lice in 1 quick, easy, and safe treatment, so your kids and family members can get back to the things they enjoy. Call us today to schedule an appointment at Conshohocken (610) 222-6149 or Chadds Ford (215) 608-0443 or Downingtown (484) 870-6060!