It is a subject that parents avoid at all costs. No one wants to even think about the sheer possibility of their children getting head lice, much less talk about it with other people. Plus, bugs are icky! Especially bugs that live and breed on your scalp.
Feeling itchy yet?
I will bravely admit that we have had head lice in our house. Twice. Matthew, Isabella and Noah have all had it. Bella had it twice. It is a myth that lice like dirty, unclean hair. Quite the opposite. They like nice, clean hair to lay their eggs on and chill out in. That’s not very comforting, is it?
Signs of lice on your child would be a suddenly very itchy head, and small, red little bumps on the nape of their neck and/or behind their ears.
The first time the kids got lice, we went with the heavy duty chemicals. You know, those crazy overpriced cans of poison that you are supposed to let sit on your child’s scalp as it supposedly fries the bugs and their eggs? The crazy thing was, even with they heavy duty poison, the bugs were still happily crawling around the head. It was the actual individual hand removal of each bug and egg that finally ended the lice reign.
The second time the kids were infected, it was just Bella and Noah. I say “just”, but the second time was equally as horrifying to me.
I decided to look online for less toxic ways to rid the growing bug populations on my kids cabezas. There are tons of home remedies, anything from smothering the head with mayonaise, hair color, or even blow drying the critters to death. I decided not to color my kids hair or scald their heads with the blow dryer, and the mayo, well, that just sounded disgusting to me.
I read that you could use Listerine. Yes, the mouth wash. As I researched more about this method, I learned a nifty hint about using the Listerine. If your kids have light hair, do not use blue or green Listerine! It will dye their hair! I went with the yellow, stinky, original Listerine for my blonde babies.
The treatment consisted of soaking the hair and scalp with the Listerine for about 30 minutes. Then rinse and begin the nit picking. That’s where you have to literally go through your child’s head of hair, one strand at a time, inspecting for the bugs or the eggs. It is time consuming, but necessary. We had a nit comb from the previous infestation, but a flea comb would also work well.
You know what I noticed with the Listerine? The lice stopped moving right away, where as with the “poison” treatments, they were still happliy frolicking around even after the thirty minutes had passed. We found no live bugs.
You can use the Listerine as a preventive spray as well, but I’ll tell you, it stinks. Like, p-u. And every time the hair gets wet again, the smell is freshened, for quite awhile. It fades, once it’s dry, but I don’t dig that funky smell.
What I like to use for a preventive spray is a few drops of lavender oil in a small spray bottle filled with water. Before the kids head out the door to school in the morning, they get their heads and necks sprayed with the lavender oil mixture. It smells nice, and so far, knock wood, there have been no recurrences. Another thing that is supposed to prevent lice is coconut scented shampoo/conditioner. The scent is not so yummy to the creepy crawlies, and they tend to move on to a differently scented head.
Lice are gross. If you have kids, they will probably get it at least once in their lives. As totally grody as that is, it is pretty easily treatable. And you do not have to use that crazy, expensive poison. The heebie jeebies last longer than the outbreak. Seriously, is your head as itchy as mine is right now?