Got Lice from Movies & Theater Seats? Steps To Get Rid of Your Lice

lice and nits on a lice comb
Lice looking like rice in a comb of nastiness.

I wrote an article about how I, an adult avid movie-goer for RunPee.com, got a gross, itchy, rashy head of lice and nits from my local AMC movie theater. My theater is normally a spotless establishment, but since a lice epidemic has taken the nation, all I can say is: pests happen. People are turning to the internet to 1. Avoid getting Lice 2. Test for Lice, and 3. Get Rid of Lice.

My prior article discusses how to avoid getting lice now and forever. This post tells you what to do if you’ve found those nasty critters and their eggs making a home on your head. (A follow-up article will report on my de-lousing process, and the results of my steps to never again donate blood to these tiny bloodsucking scalp tenants.)

Lice comb and lice head spray
You need something like this. (Photo by Target)

None of these steps are hard, so don’t panic! I’ll walk you through my experience.

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WHat YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LICE, AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT:
  1. Lice and nits look like tiny oval round specks. You need a specialized comb to really see them and determine they aren’t dandruff. Comb from your hair roots in the back of your neck, and them  look at the comb. If you’ve got them, you’ll see the nastiness all over the comb’s teeth. Ugh.
  2. You have lice? Nice! Welcome to the club. Now you need to go online or to your doctor, and get de-loused. You might need more than one treatment.
  3. Keep checking every few weeks to ensure some old eggs haven’t repopulated your head. One nit can grow up to breed thousands of yucky little children.
  4. Lice Free? YAY! Now take some precautions for the future. I’ve been reading up about the movie seats, and this seems to make the most sense: have a clean towel each time you go, and lay it over the headrest. If the seats are solid (not plush), you can wipe the headrests down with Clorox wipes (cheap at Walmart or on Amazon).
  5. So that’s why you need the towel. This is probably one of the reasons the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy says to always travel with a towel. Use a clean one each time you head out, then sterilize that in a hot, hot dryer cycle. Or put it outside for three days.  Make it four days if you’re extra nervous.
  6. Also, put your hair up, and put on a special movie cap, or wrap your hair up in a scarf. You want to make sure your hair never again touches the seat back. That’s not hard to handle if you get into the habit. Be careful out there. 😉
  7. This advice should apply to airplane seat backs as well, trains and planes, or any place chairs are used communally, like Uber cars. Don’t be paranoid, but don’t take it lightly. You don’t want to deal with this particular parasitical problem more than once.
  8. If you’re a parent, none of this should be news to you. I remember catching lice one year at summer camp, and my mother combed my hair patiently for hours.  I actually treasure that memory. Like the Great Apes we are, humans find grooming each other soothing.
  9. Heed this message.  Lice are out there and want to make buggy love on your head. I’m 50 years old and never imaged my neck rash would be from lice, a children’s ailment. I guess you never get too old to host a happy head farm.
  10. OMG, I just saw a photo of someone having lice on their eyelashes.  Seriously. It makes me wonder about other hair zones…OK, maybe lice paranoia is a good thing.
combing out the lice and nits
Do this. Comb, comb, comb, then use a toxin made for hair to kill what’s left.

Next up: how my de-lousing treatment went and my (hopefully) lice-free results. Stay tuned for live action details. (It’s not like I can stop going to the theater with my job of seeing movies every week to get Peetimes. Call me motivated!)

Avoid Getting Lice At The Movies (a personal story and a PSA)

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