I got lice twice in my life. Once was 2 weeks before my wedding. The second time was a few weeks ago.
Lice are really, really gross. Unfortunately, I live in a place where it is illegal to discriminate against someone with lice, illegal to send an infested child home from school. Consequently, this little bugger spreads like wildfire among children, and anyone working with youngsters is likely to get infested.
The best known ways to avoid getting lice is to not share brushes, combs, or hair accessories. Annoyingly enough, doing all that will only help so much in a country with more residential lice than humans. Bus seats, couches, and merely standing near other people are all potential ways to tell these little bugs that they're welcome to come visit your hair.
Once you or a loved one gets lice, ridding oneself of this menace is both tedious and expensive. While I have no way of helping this process be less annoying and time consuming, with this method, you will be able to at least avoid spending money (hopefully not repeatedly!) on lice treatments, and also not have to worry about powerful chemicals on your or your child's scalp.
You see, there are many different methods of removing lice. One popular chemical free way to kill lice is to slather your kid's hair in mayonnaise, cover the hair with a shower cap, and let it sit overnight. This will suffocate those darn lice, in addition to making the hair slippery enough that the lice just slides right off.
While doing so will probably make the hair nice and greasy and necessitate hours of shampooing, this method of lice removal seems both a waste of time and good mayonnaise, given that it doesn't work all the way. This only kills the lice, but the nits escape unscathed, and then in a few days when the nits hatch you have to repeat the process again and again.
From personal experience, the best way to get rid of lice is this:
1. Invest in a good lice comb. If you buy a cheapo one, it will do a shoddy job and will be a waste of money. A good metal lice comb, with grooves to kill both lice and nits, is worth its weight in gold, and will be pretty much all that will be needed for the ridding process.
2. Wash your kid's hair with hot running water (a shower is better than a bath for this). This gets the lice all groggy and confused, slows them down, and makes them easier to take out.
3. Slather cheap conditioner on your child's hair. You'll want a lot, enough that all the hair is well coated. I guess mayonnaise will also do for this, but why waste good food?
4. Know your bugs. Review pictures of lice and nits, so you know exactly for what you are looking.
5. Take your good lice comb and comb through your child's hair. You will want to focus most on the area near the nape and behind the ears, as this is where lice prefers to be.
6. Work methodically. Divide the hair into a grid, and work each square, one at a time, ensuring that every last strand of hair gets combed. Use hair claws to help you do this- clip the checked hair together, and the unchecked hair together. This way you will only have the hair currently being combed free, making your job lots easier.
7. Once the whole head has been checked, repeat the process on the nape and behind the ears, just to make sure.
8. Rinse out all that conditioner.
9. Spray your child's hair with vinegar and or peppermint oil, as lice hate the smell and this will keep them away.
To prevent repeat infestations, run a lice comb through your child's hair on a regular basis after baths so you can catch the lice before it sets up full time residence on your child's head.
Have you or your children ever had lice? What did you do to treat it?
(This is part of Homemaker Monday.)