Lice?!?!?!

I hate lice.  Granted, I hate spiders, snakes, and the creepy guy in the townhouse across the street, but I hate lice, too.

When I was young, under the age of 9, I got sent home from school early one day because I had lice.  Mom was totally grossed out and didn’t know much about treating it.  She did what everyone else told her to do and washed my hair with a lice removal shampoo and combed through my hair bit by bit with a metal comb that would “twang” when I played with the teeth.

The shampoo stunk and burned my eyes even though it didn’t actually get in them.  I hated every minute of it.

Now I have 2 daughters of my own and one of them is a first grader.  Last year in kindergarten everyone put their backpacks in one bin and their coats in another.  Two big fast-way-to-spread-lice piles.

I’ve done some research and with the help of a friend who worked for a professional lice removal company I no longer fear lice.

So let me share what I have learned.

The most important, for me, is that lice hate the smell of peppermint.  They will avoid anything that smells of peppermint.  So, if you want to prevent an infestation in the first place, you can actually make a spray for hair made of just essential peppermint oil and distilled water.  Mix about 10-20 drops in with the water and spray on the hair before leaving the house.  You can also use tea tree oil.

It’s almost Christmas time so the smell really is awesome!!!

I suggest distilled water because essential oils are less likely to separate and the water purity is higher.  Once mixed, you can use the spray to scent your house just for kicks, too!!

The next thing I learned involved the life cycle of a louse.  Louse? What the heck is a louse?  It’s the singular form of lice.  You know, like mouse vs. mice . . .

My head is itching just typing this!

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The most important thing: It takes 6-7 days for the eggs/nits to hatch and quite a few more before the lice and lay eggs to start the cycle again.

What does this mean in terms of infestation?  You child can actually have lice for up to 2 weeks before the nits appear and just one little louse can lay an awful lot of eggs before she dies.  It really is a slow process.

Now about those lice removal shampoos. . . really they are just bug spray in foaming form.  If you want to dunk your head in Raid, go ahead, but I’d never do it.  I don’t even use regular shampoo so there’s no way you’d ever be allowed to put that nasty chemical laden stuff anywhere near me or my children.  The “remedies” that only kill the adult lice are ineffective and guarantee the lice will come back when the nits hatch a few days later.  It isn’t worth the time and money.

So let’s say you didn’t know that you could prevent lice and your 4 year old daughter has just come home with lice.  What do you do??

First off, get this comb.

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It was recommended by my friend, Candice, who worked for a professional lice removal company.  She swears by it and so do over 200 people on Amazon.com.  As far as treatments go, it’s not expensive but the comb is hard to find on short notice.  I ordered the comb this week.  I hope it never has to come out of it’s packaging but if for some reason it does, I know I’ll be grateful I had it on hand rather than needing to hunt it down.

Once you have the comb it’s time to put it to use.  Start with hair that has been dampened with a conditioner/water mix.  You don’t want the hair too wet but it shouldn’t by dry, either.  Then starting at the base of the neck and working from one side to the next, slowly comb from the scalp to the tips then wipe the comb on a damp paper towel.  Inspect the comb for nits/lice after wiping to make sure the comb is clean.  Work slowly and methodically without missing any sections of hair.  Be patient!

If the hair being combed is thin, you can apply a little baby powder to the hair the help thicken it up a little.

Repeat the combing process every day for 2 weeks.  It’s important to keep checking daily because if you miss an egg, the cycle can start all over.

If there are men in the house, make sure you check them, too!

Remember: You can avoid all this with a peppermint spray!!!  So get off your behind and go buy some.  They sell it on Amazon because let’s face it–Amazon sells everything!

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