Lice, Lice Baby

SavageAlright stop!  Collaborate and listen,
Lice is back and my head is itchin’!

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 preparelice 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.

gijaneSo 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,

Savage xoxo

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9 Responses to Lice, Lice Baby

  1. Maddie says:

    Hair conditioner and extra virgin olive oil did the trick for me! My daughter has very curly hair, so the dry method really didn’t work for her. But with the conditioner and olive oil, the hair is left oily and slippery enough for the lice comb to do its job.

  2. Michelle K says:

    I wish I would have saw this comprehensive post last week! Thankfully, I discovered everything outlined in your post, including Quit Nits (at Walgreens). We are in now if full preventive mode now! Thanks!

  3. kim says:

    My best advice is coat the hair with vegetable oil and use the nit terminator type comb. Do this every 2 days until you are sure there is nothing. Lice can only live off the body for 48 hours. I wash bedding every other day. I am a nurse and even as an adult I swear I am a bug magnet!! MY husband however has never had lice even sleeping in same bed.

  4. Diana says:

    VINEGAR! Dissolves that cement that holds the nits to the hairs!

  5. Kids in Hawaii get uku (head lice) a lot. Moms comb coconut oil through the kids’ hair and let it sit on all day–very effective. When Ryan got lice, he couldn’t tolerate the lice comb and we didn’t want to use the chemicals, and we didn’t want oil all over everything, so we found a homeopathic remedy at the health store. We had to leave it on his hair for 4 hours under a plastic cap, which he tolerated surprisingly well! It did the trick, fortunately.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Another option that worked great for us was the Robicomb. It prevented an infestation and removed 1 live bug and 2 nymphs before they had a chance to start a full on infestation. We were informed of my sons exposure within hours of his contact with the other children who picked it up at school.

    • Mary Ivie says:

      We have used the Robicomb for years. It is the only thing that worked for us. She is sensitive to many of the herbal treatments like tea tree. She is also chemically sensitive. At first the vibration bothered her, but we worked through. My daughter is 23. Now, every time we travel, we comb when we get home. We bagged EVERYTHING at the first sign of nits, including Barbies and dolls with hair.

  7. Tex says:

    Tea Tree oil is an *amazing* preventative. Put some in your kid’s hair products. You won’t have a thing to worry about all “lice season” long.

  8. Janice says:

    We dealt with our first lice infestation this past summer. Thankfully it did not make it to our child with autism, and I have to admit to resorting to a pesticide to ensure it stayed that way! However, before we were able to get to the store and get the pesticide, which was really just our insurance policy, we had coconut oil and tea tree oil on hand. I cannot say enough about how saturating her head in coconut oil made all the nits and slide right off her hair. The whole family kept Melaleuca (tea tree oil) in their hair for the next 2 weeks, but we also sprayed it on our pillow cases and all over my infested daughter’s hair. By the time we got to the store to get the Nix, there was hardly anything left in her hair. But it did take vigilance. No one else in our family got it, thank God!

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