Well, now that school is back in session, I’ve already received a notice from one of my children’s school that there has been a reported case of head lice. Never a fun note to get. Fortunately, all in my household have remained lice-free, but the recent note reminded me of 3 years ago when we were not so lucky in avoiding the spread.
I remember rushing to the store immediately after discovering my daughter had caught the nasty little bug, and buying the expensive, chemical-laden treatment. But hey, what else was I going to do? I remember the treatment not doing a bit of good, except to dry my poor daughter’s hair out terribly. I remember buying ANOTHER treatment, and having no luck again, meanwhile we were airing out the house of the very strong chemical smell. I remember being SO frustrated!!
Refusing to buy a third harsh treatment, I turned to the web for ideas. Oh, how I wish I’d done so earlier! By this time, my daughter’s lice had spread to me, and it had gotten quite bad. We had rid her bedroom of clothing, toys, and everything, really, and the poor kid was practically confined to that one room to prevent any further spreading.
We tried a few homemade treatments, all of which worked BETTER than the stuff we’d purchased at the store. And so, as I take a stroll down memory lane, I feel the desire to share some of the many ideas for getting rid of head lice with you:
Listerine. The article here explains the process very well. We personally did not try the Listerine treatment, since we didn’t happen to already have the product on hand, so I can’t share any personal testimonials, but it’s definitely a better option to look at than the other commercial stuff!
Mayonnaise - We did the mayonnaise, and although it worked for me, it did not work for my daughter. She hated the smell, but hey, it’s mayo! Like I said, the treatment worked for me, and though I smelled like egg salad for awhile, I was very happy to have those little bugs gone!
Olive Oil - Olive oil was what finally did the trick for Munchkin! The smell was less invasive than the mayo, but I made up for it by making her use a vinegar rinse along with it. The instructions suggest leaving the olive oil and shower cap on for up to 8 hours. We kept our caps on overnight, so it was on for at least 9 hours. I didn’t care; it worked!!
With all of these treatments, it’s important, crucial to remember follow up! You may find a product smothers the lice, but the eggs may still be intact. After picking the nits (eggs) out, you may discover a few days later that you missed a few. Follow up your initial treatment every few days for a couple of weeks to ensure that the eggs are given NO chance to hatch, and if they do, that the lice have NO chance to mature and lay more eggs! It’s a royal pain, but it’s SO incredibly important.
For more information on what exactly head lice is, go here.