It’s “back to school” season! Time to dust off the lunch boxes, pull out the backpacks and get your kids ready to learn. They will learn how to make friends, do math, read and share. I hope your kids share only toys, experiences and knock-knock jokes. May they not feel the need to share, exchange or bring home germs, pinworms or lice! (Be prepared to feel itchy in a matter of seconds!) Should your darling cherubs bring home any of the three evil forces, fear not – I am here to help you prevent and get rid of them all – because I have been there AND done that. You might as well learn from my
mistakes experiences of how to combat lice (almost) naturally!
First, let’s learn a thing or two about lice, so we know what we are up against!
Sanity-saving facts about lice, just to make you feel better!
- Having lice is NOT an indication of poor cleanliness!
- They like clean hair! I know, shocking!
- They do not spread infections or disease!
- Lice cannot jump or fly! (Fleas and kangaroos jump, birds fly – not lice!)
- You CAN break the cycle without breaking the bank!
- Just talking about lice will make you itch! (You just scratched your head, didn’t you?!)
- You do NOT need to tent the house or bring harmful chemicals into your home to combat lice!
- The recently reported “mutated lice” are not the lice version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. These lice are simply not as affected by the commonly used chemical treatments, which is why my (almost) natural options are effective and should STILL be your go-to solutions.
Ok, you should be feeling less anxious about the potential of a lice encounter. Let’s now talk prevention, how to avoid an infestation!
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- My best tips to prevent your kids (and you) from getting lice:
- Do NOT wash hair daily.
- Long hair: Keep the hair braided or in pony tails. Avoid free-flowing hair.
- Short hair: “high and tight” hair styles are easier to keep lice-free.
- Apply hair gel or hairspray daily, if applicable to the hair style.
- Spray hair with Fairy Tales Repel Hairspray and Shield for Kids or a solution of water mixed with tea tree, lavender and rosemary essential oils.
- Wash hair with a rosemary and tea tree shampoo such as Fairy Tales Repel Shampoo, Rosemary.
- Teach your child NOT to share hats, head phones, hair bands, brushes or combs – EVER!
- Discourage kids from putting their head next someone else’s (no selfies allowed) or ON anything in public areas (i.e. the school bus head rests, gym play mats or daycare nap mats.)
- Check your child’s scalp daily for nits or live lice. Caught early, you may prevent a severe infestation and avoid spreading it to siblings and other family members.
If you find lice during one of your scalp examinations, fret not! I am here for you, every step of the process.
How do you know if you or your children have lice?
- Does your child scratch his/ her head excessively?
- Did you feel itchy before you read this article?
- Inspect your child’s scalp and look closely behind their ears.
- Do you see little nits (eggs)? (Hint: they look like sand on the scalp)
- Is any of this “sand” moving? (Hint: sand doesn’t move, so chances are you are looking at a live louse)
- THIS is what a louse looks like! (I am SO sorry if this image causes you nightmares. I was not my itention)
Let’s talk treatment, if you find your child being the graceful host to a small village of lice:
- Don’t panic!
- Be a good citizen, call your child’s school and the parents of their best friends.
- You are not trying to find the source of the lice, but rather alerting others to check their children.
- Together you will avoid a severe infestation.
- Check the scalp and hair of ALL the household members.
- Wash ALL bedding AND pillows in hot water and dry in the dryer.
- Put all stuffed animals in large garbage bags, place in the garage for at least four days and then throw them in the dryer on high heat.
- Run to the pharmacy, buy ALL the chemical treatments available, shave your kid’s head and then use the harshest of the treatments!
- This worked on one of our boys – but I shudder at thought of the chemicals I used on his little innocent scalp! Or…
- Make sure you have the following supplies on hand: metal lice comb, shower cap, Yellow Listerine Mouthwash and either Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, organic extra virgin olive oil or mayonnaise.
- Rid yourself of lice with this proven, less harsh and much cheaper option:
- In the shower, wash the hair thoroughly with shampoo, rinse with Yellow Listerine Mouthwash (cover eyes well) and let the hair air dry.
- Slather dry hair with either Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, organic extra virgin olive oil or mayo. (Unless you wish to smell like a deli sandwich, I recommend olive oil or coconut oil, but to each their own!)
- Cover head with shower cap. Secure it at the base of the neck. Cover the pillow with a towel to protect from leaking oils. Try to get some sleep.
- In the morning, comb hair thoroughly with metal lice comb. Section the hair and comb from the scalp all the way through the entire length of hair. (I didn’t have anyone to do this for me when I had lice, but I combed the best I could.)
- Rinse the metal lice comb after every time it has gone through the hair to remove lice and eggs.
- Repeat this process daily for a week and then every other day for another week.
- This will eventually break the cycle.
Here’s a comprehensive list of the products I have used and therefore recommend:
This is not my first lice-related post. Two years ago I wrote a captivating account of my own lice infestation titled “Lice, Lice, Baby!” – because I was pregnant AND had lice, and who doesn’t love a timely Vanilla Ice reference?!
While you are itchy from reading all about lice, don’t miss my post on how to “Get Rid of Pinworms (Almost) Naturally“! This article is all the rage among moms with school-age children – for good reason!
Don’t forget to brush up on how to keep your family healthy once “germ season” starts: “Ten Best Ways to Keep Your Family Healthy This Season!”