Head lice prevention begins by avoiding contact with people who have head lice. Since it is impossible to know who has head lice and who does not, it is recommended that individuals (especially children) not share personal belongings that come in contact with the head and hair of other children such as hairbrushes, headbands and hair clips, hats, clothing, coats, helmets, pillows, sleeping bags and other sports equipment. This, however, can be hard to teach and enforce, especially among very young children.
Head lice passes easily among children and teens because they are so frequently in close, even head-to-head, contact. Tying back hair into ponytails or braids can help prevent the spread of head lice as can spraying children’s hair with a solution made of garlic and water—the smell helps to repel lice.