LICE. The bane of every school-aged child’s existence–and every mother’s worst nightmare. You know the feeling when you get “the letter” that comes home from school–there’s been a case of lice in your child’s classroom. Your blood runs cold. You prepare for the battle ahead. You start to panic because you know it’s only a matter of time before those little critters start laying eggs all over the place. You immediately start the tedious inspection of your kid’s hair, strand by infuriating strand. If you’ve never had the pleasure of doing this while your kid is squirming all over the place, count yourself lucky. Lots of tears and lots of bribes. I may or may not have promised her an iPhone for her birthday at some point during the ordeal.
So what do you do if you find nits or GASP! even lice in your kid’s hair? First of all PUT DOWN THE PESTICIDES! Any treatment that has the possibility of causing neurological symptoms is not what you want to be putting on your kid’s head. The lice are becoming resistant to these treatments anyway, so why take the chance? Second, take a deep breath. Before you get out the clippers and start going all GI Jane on your kid’s hair, I’ve compiled a list of things you can do to prevent lice and treat naturally if you ever find yourself in the midst of an infestation.
1. Quit Nits. This worked great when I found nits in my daughter’s hair. It’s a homeopathic treatment with no harmful chemicals. You can use it several times if necessary without worrying about it impacting your child’s health.
2. Terminator Nit Comb. I can’t sing the praises of this enough! It is by far the best nit comb I’ve ever used. It gets EVERYTHING, even the littlest of nits. You have to be very diligent and comb the hair every day for at least 2 weeks. No exceptions. There may be eggs in the hair that continue to hatch and then you’re back to square one. Using this every day for 2 weeks ensures you’re getting all of the lice, nits and eggs, period.
3. Fairy Tales Repel Shampoo. I love this shampoo. I use it to wash our hair now at least 1-2 times per week, especially when school starts. There is also a conditioner and leave-in conditioning spray in the line that work really well too.
4. Essential Oils Tea tree and lavender. Here is a great blog from a mom who uses this as a repellent spray for her kids’ backpacks and clothes.
5. Coconut oil. I used this in conjunction with the above treatments and not as a stand alone treatment. I can’t guarantee this would work on its own, but some have used this with good success. Be warned–when coconut oil heats up it turns to liquid, so have a towel around your neck to catch the drips and then put a shower cap on your head to keep all your hair in. It’s recommended to leave on for at least 12 hours, but that is not always feasible. I left it on all of our hair for as many hours as my kids would tolerate. The upside is that your hair will be extremely soft and smell really, really good!
6. Lint roller. This is the best product for catching any potential lice that may have gotten on furniture. Just roll over couches and cushions with the lint roller to catch any stragglers that may have fallen from your child’s hair.
7. Hand-held steamer. If you have one, use it on any soft surfaces such as mattresses, carpets and couches after you’ve used the lint roller.
8. Wash bedding every day for 2 weeks. Put pillows in the dryer every day for 2 weeks. This was annoying and tedious, but I wanted to make sure they were all G-O-N-E. I wasn’t taking any chances.
9. Bag up all stuffed animals for 14 days.
10. Throw out brushes and combs. Just buy new ones. It’s easier than having to deal with a re-infestation.
This system worked well for us when I found nits in my daughter’s hair. It never developed into the full blown lice stage. I was diligent in treating the whole family and the rest of us escaped lice free!
My suggestion to all our readers is to be prepared. Definitely have these products on hand so you don’t run around in a panic like I did and pay through the nose for overnight shipping! The best defense is a great offense!
Sound off in the comments if you have other natural lice remedies that have worked for you.
Word to your mother,