How do you get rid of it? tried many things to no avail. would like any advice.
What's the one thing that at the mere mention of it makes us scratch our heads? That's right folksÖhead lice. Nasty rotten little bugs that lay eggs, many eggs that
will just continue to hatch until you get rid of every last one. Keep in mind that it is something that can happen to any child/family no matter what their status, so try not to be too embarrassed by it. They say that head lice actually prefer clean hair. Not that people with dirty hair donít get head lice too, but I guess the lice donít like to stay there long so they jump (they canít fly) onto clean hair. Unfortunately for me, due to my job, and especially my newest job as well as past experiences I have come to know a lot about this subject.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR; when they send that horrible letter home from school saying that a kid in the class has had it and to be on the look outÖ.
There are two things, the nits (otherwise known as their eggs) and then there are the actually lice bug themselves. The bugs are whitish in colour, sometimes with a black spot on them. They are quite small, and can be hard to see, especially in fair coloured hair. They seem to like to hang out in the hair at the base of the neck, behind the ears and around the crown of the head (especially in girls hair, ones who have ponytails, etc.). You probably will not see a lot of actual bugs if you catch it early, but you have to keep a close eye out for the Nits. They are even smaller little white coloured balls that stick to the root of the hair. You can tell the difference between them and just a flake of skin or a piece of fuzz because when you flick at them they will not move. You literally have to pull them out with your fingernails all the way down the strand of hair to get them out.
There are three very important keys too getting rid of these nasty little beasts:
The shampoo 2) ditch the nits and 3) clean, clean, clean and more cleaning!!!
So you go to your pharmacy and get yourself a decent kind of shampoo, there are many on the market but talk to your pharmacist and let them recommend one, even if itís the more expensive one that they recommend to you, listen to them, they hear about this a lot. With whatever shampoo you end up buying it usually comes with a silly little comb (or the pharmacist may show you some other ones you can buy separate). They are pretty much useless as far as getting rid of the nits, even though thatís what they claim to do. But they can help comb out any dead bugs from after you shampoo.
As I explained earlier you have to go through the hair strand by strand almost, and ďpick and flickĒ. Flick at anything you see that looks like it doesnít belong there. And anything that sticks to the root pull it out and get rid of it because thatÖis a nit. Itís unfortunate to tell you that this process can take hours just for one child.
If you have tried the shampoos and they just arenít working you can always try this method. It involves mixing half a cup of vinager with a half cup of mineral oil. The vinager is supposed to kill the headlice themselves and the mineral oil makes the hair greasy, which helps to pull the nits out. Saturate the head in the entire mixture using a spray bottle works best for application. ***Be aware the two donít exactly mix, they separate in the container, I believe the vinegar ends up on the top and thereby goes on first then the mineral oil. Put a shower cap on their head and let it sit for an hour before rinsing it out. If you donít have a shower cap, Plastic Wrap wrapped around the head will work too. Then you can pick through the hair before and after shampooing out the oil and vinegar (as well as use the silly little comb too).
Ditch the Nits
As explained earlier, it is imperative that you get rid of every single nit on all of your childrenís heads. Follow the directions in the above section (shampoo) to make sure you get each and every nit. If you follow all of these steps and are confident that you have gotten rid of everything, then there should be no need for a second application of shampoo a week later as recommended. However, if it makes you feel better to do the second application, then by all means do it. Better safe than sorry!
Clean, Clean, Clean
But while you are waiting for the shampoo to sit on your childís head (itís anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour before you are allowed to rinse them out) thatís when you can get started on your cleaning process because it also can be an extremely long process. There are several ways to get rid of lice within your house to prevent them from infesting the whole family as well as outside people that your children have regular contact with.
Your first option is the dryer. Anything that can go in the dryer on high heat for at least 20 minutes without being damaged, especially things that you will need quickly, jackets, bedding along with the actual pillows, and maybe a favourite stuffed animal that they just canít live without for 2 weeks.
Your second option is to Bag it. Anything like stuffed animals or plush items of any kind (even if your child hasnít recently played with them but they are out in their bedrooms). You would need to put them in garbage bags and tie them up tight and let them sit for 2 weeks, do NOT take them out early, unless you absolutely need to and you are able to put it in the dryer immediately.
The third way is to vacuum, anything that can be vacuumed, such as all carpets in the house, the couches and couch cushions, and even your vehicles, all the seatsÖseriously I know it sounds extreme but those little things they can end up anywhere.
***Also keep in mind that it is not necessary to scrub your entire house, as long as you get the carpets, the clothing, and anything plush. (Donít forget to do such places as the padding on your dining room chairs with your vacuum (if you have padding, wood is fine as it is).
Prevention of head lice
Momís who have daughters with long hair, you do not need to cut her hair but try to always keep it tied up while at school. At least in a braid, if not a bun of some sort is your best bet. If you are not opposed to using hairspray then use it (if she is older and doesnít have baby fine hair still) as it helps because again, they donít like ďdirty hairĒ. Your other option is to use tea tree oil once a week. Pour out your regular amount of shampoo, then pour a small amount of tea tree oil on top of the shampoo in your hand and continue to clean and condition your head as normal. Do NOT pour a bottle of tea tree oil into a shampoo bottle, as the two will break each other down over time. You should be able to get tea tree oil over the counter at your local pharmacy or health store. Here in Canada it will cost you anywhere from 12 to 18 dollars per bottle. But donít worry, the bottle of tea tree oil will last for several bottles of shampoo at least.
I hope this is helpful to anyone who needs help with the dreaded head lice, and if you have anymore questions by all means ask. If I donít know the answer, I more than likely can find it out.