Help with Head Lice

Our list has compiled some helpful hints, information and recipes concerning head lice.
The health information contained herein is provided for reference purposes only and is not intended to replace advice from a health professional, seek medical advise as needed.
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Here is the web site that Penny sent, lots of good info and pictures so you 
know your dealing with the right critters:

we've never had these in my house but a good friend has, and after doing a 
lot of searching she finally came up with something she say's works 
beautifully, she saturates the hair with baby oil, then wipes off the excess 
and puts on a shower cap and leaves it on over night, the following morning 
she shampoo's to remove the oils, then she soaks her hair with a mixture of 
one part cider vinegar, four parts water and allows that to remain on her 
hair for like 20 to 30 minutes and rinses her hair clean. She says by doing 
this she removes all traces of any critters or eggs that may be attached to 
the hair, and her hair is silky soft and has a really nice shine and most of 
all critter free. 
She's a day care worker for disadvantaged kids and she come in contact with 
them all the time, so she says she does this like once a month if she needs 
to or not, I guess it's sorta like those saturday bath's.

Just wanted to make sure you proceed with caution with the shampoos 
that are designed to kill head lice.  I've heard that they can cause 
neurological problems (brain/nerve problems), especially when used 
excessively.  My girls both play softball and we had many 
infestations when they were younger (now both 12, no, not twins!). 
It was only after I dowsed those little lice with products like RID 
that I heard of the potential dangers of damage to brain cells. 
Please, please, please, proceed with caution.  Spend the time to 
"nitpick."  I found the special comb pulled their hair something 
awful and was very painful, found using the fingernails and squeezing 
them down the shaft until the egg was between the fingers was the 
most gentle way to go.  We put in a movie to help get our girls to 
sit long enough so we could get the job done.  It can take hours, and 
do it every day until you don't find anymore eggs.  I've also heard 
that blow drying wet or damp hair can help keep from getting 
reinfestations - don't know how true this is, something about the 
heat, I guess.

The most embarrassing thing about lice is that it is really important 
that you speak to the parents of the children who play with yours. 
Chances are their heads are infested, too, and if everyone "battles" 
the problem at the same time your chances of nipping it in the bud
are better.

I think you'd be surprised at the number of children who have had 
lice -- the biggest problem is that their parents don't tell others 
so that treatment can be started on everyone exposed, thus the 
terrible cycle.

Be sure to check your head and your husband's, too!

Good luck, sleep well, and remember, it happens to the best of us!
P.S.  Just think of how clean your house is going to be when you're 
all done with dusting, vacuuming and washing everything in it!!!  You 
WILL sleep well!

you have to pick off each and every nit. Use a nit comb and section
the hair off in tiny sections, you have to do it by medicine or
eo, etc will do that part.......that is the hardest part. do it daily until
they are completely gone.......I did it in 2-3 hour stretches.......
Please don't keep using the chemicals on her :o) They are so

My Daughter was a teacher in a Daycare & came home with them (only time I've
ever seen them) And she has thick black hair down to her butt was a nightmare. We bagged up all the couch cushions, washed
and bleached everything else.....vacuumed the house top to bottom...the cars
After it was finally over I came to understand the phrase "nitpicker"
Unfortunately it's the only way along with the nit combs to get them off the
hair shaft.

 I found a recipe for an herbal lice treatment posted by Ela Heyn in a 
Hair Care Recipes site.  it calls for 2 oz of olive oil, 20 drops of tea 
tree oil, 10 drops each rosemary, lavender, lemon, essential oils.
it says to combine, apply to dry hair and cover with a plastic shower cap or 
small trash bags with paper clip.  wrap head in a towel and leave on for two 
hours. Then work shampoo into dry hair to cut oil, rinse and shampoo until 
all residue is gone.       Our school nurse also suggests to soak the hair 
in olive oil, wrap with plastic bag for an hour or so, then wash out.   It 
seems that the oil smothers the little buggers.
Good Luck...  We had our problem with scabies.... We FINALLY got rid of 
those little bugger, now every time I see a little rash I start to panic.

Neem oil's also an excellent insect repellent, as well as it's other
properties. One site also says it's insecticidal. I'm not sure of that,
but it sure helps to keep those stupid 'no seeums' at bay.

I tell you head lice is everywhere.  No matter how clean or how many times 
you wash your hair you can get head lice.  The head lice are becoming immune 
to the RID products and the new products have even harsher chemicals in them. 
 A mother sent me a 3 page hand written note to share with my moms who are at 
their wits end in dealing with habitual head lice problems.  She takes and 
warms 2 ounces of Olive Oil in a baby food jar in the microwave for about a 
minute and then adds 40 drops of Tea Tree Oil and lets that sit while she 
washes her daughters hair with Dawn dish washing liquid two times.  She takes 
her daughter outside and applies the olive oil/tea tree mixture and she says 
the head lice start running!!! She then puts a plastic bag over the hair and 
waits 2 hours.  She then gets a flea comb from Wal Mart or Rite Aid and combs 
through her hair.  The olive oil loosens up the nits, kills the bugs and 
gives her daughter a "hot oil" treatment all at once!!! She then adds 20 
drops of tea tree oil to every bottle of shampoo.  She said her daughter has 
not had it now in  two years.  I have been the school nurse now for two years 
to 2000 k-12th graders.  Head lice seems to be getting worse!  I try to 
educate the kids about sharing hats, helmets, combs, scrunchies, brushes, 
coats, etc.  I have my "Lice Squad" check all the elementary rooms two times 
a month.  Some of the rooms weekly!!! I hope this helps. 

(see above)That is great advice..the detergent strips the oils out of the hair and truly 
is cheaper than buying Prell...our nurses do not have time to deal w/lice 
here..that is why I got the job :-)  actually, it is really slowed down..due 
to frequent preventative checking..for anyone who wants any information on 
the comb I use..please go to  Great Folks to work 
with..the flea combs are less expensive, this type of comb seems to be longer 
toothed and tighter teethed.

No need to be embarrassed.  It can happen to anyone.  I caught them on a
Greyhound bus.  It takes about two weeks to really get rid of them.  The
best thing i know of to get rid of them is smother her hair with mayo and
put a plastic cap on her hair and leave it over night.  Wash the hair in the
taking provigil if you missed dose.  Leave the vinegar on for at least 5 minutes
and rinse it off.  The mayo smothers them and the vinegar loosens the nits.
Repeat this every other day for two weeks.  Boil hair brushes, combs, hair
clips, hats etc.  Run pillows thru the dryer for 20 minutes on high temps
then cover with plastic for two weeks, wash all bed clothes in hot water and
dry with high heat.  You can spray the mattress with a solution of 1 cup
water,  10 drops tea tree oil, 10 drops camphor EO, 10 drops eucalyptus EO,
and 10 rosemary EO, and 10 drops of citronella EO.  Spray a light mist over
mattress and let dry.  Once it drys, cover with plastic for two weeks.
You can also spray brushes, and anything that comes in contact with the hair
with this solution to help discourage reinfestation.  HTH

Don't feel bad. I've just been through that with my daughter. At least
yours is old enough not to go around telling every stranger in the store
about it! I'll be glad when my 6 year old stops that.
Anyway, try massaging mayonnaise into her scalp. I think that will loosen
the glue the nits use. I also made a bar soap that was a little strong in
lye, not too much or you can burn her scalp with it. The lye will kill them
little bugger's. I think I upped the lye in mine about 2 ounces, not for
sure.  I also used a tea tree soap (tea tree oil was the only additive) and
used that to help with the itchies. So far no more lice. I just dread next
year when jenna starts 1st grade! I know it will be back and I'll be
prepared! Good luck.

I'm sure you will get tons of great info on this subject from other 'nuts, 
but I wanted to put in my .02.  My daughter had lice once, too.  And she has 
hair nearly to her hiney!  Not thick, but still lots of it!

I happened to have a fluorescent (sp?) light that I used when picking the 
nits out, and it did a wonderful job of helping me find them - and I just 
used my fingernails to scrape the little buggers of the hair.  Press a 
middle finger nail to a thumb nail and slide all the way down the hair to 
the end, then rinse the nasty little thing under warm running water.  I also 
washed every item I could get my hands on in the house, and stored all of 
her toys and bears and etc. in plastic bags for two weeks.  It was a LOT of 
work, but we made it through and the lice and their nits were irradicated.

Far Far from embarrassing!!! I am one who is sooo picky on how things look
and how clean things are etc..... and have fought and fought with lice!!
(knock on wood none this year!!!)   it is a lot more then just the hair  the
car, the beds, carpets, pillows, stuffed animals and other such things. They
can carry them too -- my daughter was the only one who couldn't get rid of
them. When I started treating the truck and car,  her school locker etc...
then they finally were disappearing!! I also have started to use tea tree
and lavender oils in my shampoo -- can't say this is what has kept them at
bay  but as I said -- so far none this year :)
good luck!!!!

Don't be embarrassed, head lice are more common than you might think.  I
can't recommend a homemade remedy although you might check out some of the
essential oil sites for something you could add to a light oil and comb
through.  What I can tell you is that your doctor can probably prescribe
something that will be more effective than RID.  Like you say, it's fine
for killing the live ones but it doesn't get the eggs.  You should also
call your daughter's school and talk to the nurse.  Your daughter could be
getting reinfested by another student and it is the nurse's responsibility
to see that anyone infested is treated so that can't continue to happen.
One small step you can take to prevent reinfestation is to braid your
daughter's hair as tight as she can tolerate it.  French braids are
attractive and fashionable and it will keep her hair away from other
students hair and clothes.  Good luck!

This is a terrible problem in most school districts,an we have discussed this 
alot on the list. An acquaintance of mine,shampoos/bathes her grandchildren 
with 15 drops +/- of tea tree oil daily.They haven't had a infestation in 3 
years, in a school district that is really loaded with the lice. She says 
that it works because the lice haven't become insensitive to the t-tree yet. 
May  or may not work as a control/deterent after you have gotten going with 
the other controls. Would a shorter hair length make it easier to get the 
combout done. Short haircuts are very in style right now.
Thirteen is such a self conscious age,I hope that this will help.


I hope that this will help some of you, please research all ideas before trying them out especially on young children. I think the most important advice or thought is that you must not feel this is any fault of yours as a mother/father/grandmother/grandfather, you get the picture. Many people seem to think that this is a 'dirty' subject that needs to be hidden, you would be surprised at the number of cases each year, this is not a question of your competence as a parent, but an outbreak that should be treated like any other childhood illness such as the flu, chicken pox, etc.



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