Did you just scratch your head? Just the mention of it makes my whole body feel itchy, and I get nightmares! OK getting lice may not be the worst thing in the world, but it’s got to be up there on the list.
While cruising our local spouses Facebook page, I came across a post from a mom whose daughter had lice. Her daughter is in my daughter’s kindergarten class. I completely freaked out! The next morning I was telling my friend how that would be the worst thing to happen to me. Yea you read that right, ME! The worst thing to happen to ME!
So for that whole week, I put my daughter’s hair up in a bun and put rosemary and tea tree oil all up in her hair. As we walked to school, there was definitely a strong essential oil trail coming from her head. The next week there was another girl in her class who had lice. I upped the dosage of essential oils! We survived two weeks, and I thought we were all good.
Then I got the call from the nurse. My daughter’s thick curly hair had tiny bugs living in it.
Before all of this, I didn’t know what lice looked like and really knew nothing at all, except the thought of bugs living in anyone’s hair seemed awful and disgusting. So, I went to the nurse to get my daughter, and she showed me the live bugs and the nits (lice eggs) in her hair. I felt sick to my stomach. The nurse told me that if I treated her hair, she could return to school the next day.
Off I went to the store in search of treatment as my daughter danced through the aisles singing “I have lice, I have lice.” Oh, how I was glad to be in Walgreens and not the commissary! I bought NIX Complete Lice treatment. It came with a type of shampoo that was supposed to kill the bugs, a gel to help comb through the hair, a tiny comb to get the nits out, and a spray to disinfect/kill any bugs or nits on furniture or bedding. I also was told that mayonnaise suffocates the eggs. So I decided to do that, too.
The Treatment Process
I treated her hair with the NIX and it took four hours to comb through her hair. Awful doesn’t even begin to explain it! Oh, and that tiny comb was absolutely no help. Next, I put mayonnaise all up in her hair and let it sit in her hair for over an hour. Oh, the smell. Again, awful doesn’t even describe it. There were no signs of live bugs and what seemed like just a few nits left. I took her to school the next day and the nurse Okayed her for class.
Oh, The Laundry …
Everything had to be washed! Everything! The millions of stuffed animals that were on her bed, her bedding, the blankets we use on our couch, and our pillows and any soft plushy thing she may have come in contact with. Even her car seat padding had to be washed. I sprayed down all furniture and vacuumed all rugs and floors. And every single day and night I washed towels and bedding again. I put a towel on the couch and she was allowed that small section to sit on and that towel got washed every morning she went to school and every night she went to bed.
Every day after she was sent back to school, I was still pulling nits out of her hair with my fingers. We put olive oil in her hair and left it on overnight because I read that it suffocates the eggs. I needed to make sure those things were dead! I spent hours each day working through her hair. Then four days later, I found another live bug. So I kept her home from school. I really wanted to curl up in a ball in the corner, rock back and forth and cry.
I heard about a special salon called Dr. Nit Wit that dealt with lice. Depending on the company, the location and how long it takes to get the nits out, these professional lice salons can cost anywhere from $100-$500! But I was ready to spend any amount of money to be done with those little bugs! The hairdresser at the salon was awesome and got all the bugs and eggs out of my daughter’s hair in under two hours. My daughter even had a great time. She sat in a comfy chair watching Netflix while the hairdresser worked on her.
Things I learned:
-It takes eight days for nits to hatch into lice.
-Lice die on their own after 30 days, but they can lay up to 180 eggs before then.
-Lice can hold their breath for 8 hours (Weird, right? Who knew?).
-It doesn’t matter if your hair is clean or if it’s dirty. The lice can live there.
-Many people, including the lice specialist I went to, say that over the counter treatments aren’t very effective, and they aren’t good for your hair.
-Mayonnaise and coconut oil or olive oil treatments are effective but need to be on the head for 8-10 hours.
-Peppermint oil is the best deterrent for lice.
-Lice don’t jump.
How It’s Dealt With
A friend of mine told me that in Argentina, they just send kids to school with lice like it’s not a problem. They figure the kids will just outgrow it. In India and Egypt, many women and kids shave their heads to avoid getting lice. Lice is found in countries all over the world and in different sizes.
Do you know how your school deals with it? My kid’s school only sends a letter home if two kids in the same week get lice. And once treated, the student can return to school. Some schools have a no nit policy. Children cannot return to school until all eggs are out. So know what your school policy is.
Some Advice From a Mom Who’s Been There
Put peppermint in your child’s hair every single day, and keep it up in a tight bun. My daughter only gets to wear her hair down on weekends. Also, if your child gets lice, consider paying someone to get rid of it. Those professional lice salons usually come with guarantees to get it all out.
A few links to help you find a Lice removal salon
Have you dealt with head lice? What’s your advice?