“Big Wigs” How Our Forefathers Prevented Head Lice

Head lice can trace their ancestry back to the very beginnings of humanity when species of lice split off between apes and humans. This included, of course, the three varieties we know today as head lice, body lice and pubic lice. Head lice evolved into their own species separate from these others, and our head lice only infest humans, so you won’t spread them to or catch them from your pets. One interesting part of the story of head lice has to do with more recent history.

The Use of Wigs in 17th Century Europe

While the 1600s may not seem like recent history to most, it certainly is when compared to the time of the beginnings of lice. Anyone familiar with this time period is aware that many, particularly upper class, individuals wore very noticeable wigs. These wigs were known as perukes and became common among the aristocratic set in the 17th and 18th centuries. The wearing of wigs actually began due to the disease syphilis running rampant in Europe at this time. One of its symptoms was patchy hair loss, and hair was considered an important status symbol back then.

Wigs and Head Lice

While the use of such wigs may not have started because of head lice, combating this problem quickly became seen as an added benefit of wearing a wig. While head lice are not known to spread disease, they were at least as prevalent as syphilis and other diseases of the day. Using old world techniques, picking the lice eggs, or nits, off peoples’ heads was painful and time-consuming.

As a matter of fitting a peruke, people typically had their heads shaved. The lice nits are attached to the base of hair follicles by a female louse. With no human hair follicles left, they could only be laid on the wig strands, which were frequently made from horse, goat or human hair. This made delousing as simple as removing your wig and putting it in boiling water. This would clean it in general as well as remove or kill any lice or nits in it.

Head Lice Removal Today

With the prevalence of antibiotics, diseases such as syphilis have not been a problem for some time. Also, with perukes seen largely as a symbol of aristocracy, the large, white wigs of that day went out of style after movements such as the French Revolution in which commoners rose up against the aristocracy.

Fortunately, if you find a child of yours has head lice today, you don’t need to shave their head or fit them for a big, old-fashioned wig to keep them at bay. While many head lice have grown immune to the pesticides used in many over-the-counter lice treatments sold today, there are still effective, affordable solutions to the annoyance of a head lice infestation.

Lice Removal in Palm Beach Gardens

If your family is in the Palm Beach County area, you’re in easy reach of an excellent treatment if any of your children catch lice. At Lice Lifters of Palm Beach Gardens, our staff of professional, certified lice technicians know how to identify the presence of lice. Once found, we then set about quickly and cost-effectively eradicating them using 100 percent safe and natural techniques and products.

It’s nice living in a time where solutions to what were burdensome problems are so convenient and effective. At our lice clinic, even head lice that are highly resistant to retail toxins or pesticides in over-the-counter products are no match for our experts. The best part is that we guarantee to handle your lice infestation, and you won’t have to buy a big, poofy wig to achieve this result!