What makes your scalp itch worse – the thought of little critters roaming around searching for a mate in your hair,or remembering the burning sensation of getting your hair permed in the late 80’s when Vanilla Ice’s hit song “Lice Lice Baby” was all the rage?!
I am currently pregnant in my second trimester, so ANY physical malfunction that happens with my body is chalked up as a “pregnancy discomfort”. Thankfully trusty Google is always right there to confirm that other pregnant women somewhere in the world have reported the same benign but annoying conditions. Three weeks ago I “came down with” itchy scalp, and sure enough it is something that pregnant women experience from time to time. Off to the drugstore I went for the most natural shampoos and potions to relieve this annoying symptom of my 4th pregnancy.
That night I was half asleep when Jordan, our 4 year old, came running into our bedroom – which is a nightly occurrence. He climbed into bed with the greatest stealth ninja-like moves and snuggled up next to me. There we were, as we lay every night – close, sharing pillows and blankets, snuggling, when I noticed that he was itching his scalp too. Now if there is one thing I know about pregnancy discomforts, it is that they are NOT contagious. But I was too tired to give it any further thought until the following afternoon. Then I vaguely remembered that there was something I was suppose to do with Jordan’s hair.
Jordan is very sensitive about getting his hair cut, so generally we chose not to torture him more than semi-annually. His blonde locks were getting unruly and taking on a life of their own, signaling that a haircut was in his future. I started combing through his hair, not really knowing what I was looking for. I noticed that he had some sand on his scalp, which I thought would have been from playing outside at school – until one of the “sand” pieces started moving – or rather walking.
Let it be known that my demeanor at the time was completely calm and collected. I quickly snatched up the little unidentified bug in between my finger nails and stuck him to a piece of tape. Rather ingenious, if I must say so myself. I taped the evidence to my laptop and turned to Google, once again. There… on my screen was a perfect specimen of the tape entombed bug – under the search word “LICE!”.
Still calm, I gathered the kids and off to the drugstore we went – once again on a mission to cure our itchy scalps. At least this time I knew that it was not a pregnancy related ailment. Jordan’s lice colony was destroyed with one round of homeopathic drugstore purchased warfare, followed by an impulsive head shave. He rather voluntarily agreed to letting us shave his head, which all in its own was a huge milestone.
I realized after treating Jordan, that my own small infestation had to be taken out using less harsh methods. First and foremost from a safety standpoint – because we all know that shaving your head while pregnant can only lead to an extremely hormonal meltdown. There is a reason why they say you should never change your hairdo while pregnant. Obviously the baby’s wellbeing is also at risk if you use any of the products listing ingredients you cannot spell nor pronounce. So I did what I always do when I am in a pickle and need a natural remedy for something – I call my aunt Dina (more about her in future blog posts).
In true form, aunt Dina had just the right natural solutions for me. First I doused my hair with mayo and sported a very attractive shower cap-covered-head for several hours. Once the smell of egg salad became too much to bear, I rinsed my hair in a water/ white vinegar solution. Please take a moment here to pause and imagine the smell surrounding my head that night as I crawled into bed. Of course our sheets and pillows had been through the washer and dryer – along with all other washable items in our house. I smelled like a spoiled deli sandwich. The mayo mixed with vinegar is not a combination I recommend if you wish to impress or attract a mate. Thankfully my husband was rather understanding, but still offered to sleep on the couch – just to escape my stench.
The following evening and every other evening for the next week and a half, I soaked my hair in yellow Listerine – yes – mouth wash! So I went from smelling like something that should be reported to the health department, to literally smelling like a breath of fresh air! Over two weeks later I am proud and excited to proclaim a lice-free head of hair!
Lessons learned: You can find any answer you are looking for on Google – even the wrong ones. “Itchy scalp” as a medical condition is not contagious – but lice are. You can kill more lice with a rotten deli sandwich than a fancy boxed product from the drugstore.
Which lice-terminating remedy has worked for you in the past?
I have since this infestation written another Lice-related post with my tips and tricks to prevent and get rid of the pesky little critters!