By Suzanne Monaghan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The holiday season brings with it an increased risk of getting head lice.

A lice removal specialist who explains why there is spike in cases during this time of year.

It’s the season of get-togethers, family, friends, hugs, sleepovers, and lice, says Karen Sokoloff of Lice Doctors.

“Head lice are transmitted from head to head. It’s a myth to think that they’re transmitted through objects, through vectors like hats and coats,” she said.

Other myths: lice don’t jump or fly. They don’t die in cold weather, animals can’t get them and…

“It’s completely false to assume that lice are associated with dirty people. It’s either neutral or, in fact, they prefer cleaner hair,” Sokoloff said.

Tips for prevention: put oil, gel, or mouse in the hair or use lice repellents.

“Something that makes the hair artificially dirty,” says Sokoloff.

And wear hair up in a bun, braid or pony tail, “so that the hair is less accessible to lice,”

Sokoloff adds that lice is the second leading cause of absenteeism from school.