Different Ways To Deal with Head Lice
You would think that having 10 different ways of dealing with headlice would be unnecessary, but infact with 3 children, 2 boys and a girl (with very long hair) I am SUPER glad there are options! For the boys I can see combing the suckers out as achievable task, easy even, no big panic. For my daughter with hair that refuses to be combed, we are on the offensive with all sorts of preventatives. The fact is, even the mention of lice makes every parent scratch their heads and shudder at the thought that they may actually get it themselves. Who will comb MY hair? I think. As a parent of a kindy or school age child, chances are you will come across dreaded head lice at some point, so here are 10 of the best ways to deal with head lice when they occur and how to prevent them in the first place.
Conditioner & Comb Treatment
Simply coat dry hair with normal white conditioner. Detangle hair with a comb or brush if needed to prevent tears, then leave conditioner on for five minutes. Taking a fine tooth comb, comb through hair in sections, rinsing comb in very hot water in between combing. Continue until all traces of head lice appear to have been removed. Rinse hair and sterilise comb using extremely hot water. Repeat one week later to remove any newly hatched head lice.
Dry Combing the lice out
A fine tooth comb through dry hair can also be effective in removing head lice. It works in much the same manor as the conditioner and comb method, by sectioning off hair and removing the lice and eggs with the comb.
Tea Tree Oil Spray
Fill a spray bottle with water and one teaspoon of teatree oil and use as a daily spray in hair. This is also a great detangling method for girls with long or curly hair and appears to deter head lice, used as a preventative measure.
Essential Oil Treatment
Use a strong essential oil such as eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary or tea tree oil (or combination of these), mix it with olive oil, coat hair and leave mixture on overnight with hair wrapped in a towel. In the morning, comb the hair thoroughly, then shampoo and rinse hair at least twice.
Using a hair dryer to dehydrate head lice and their eggs can be effective, however this method works best on eggs rather than live lice so may be better utilised following other methods.
Over The Counter Head Lice Treatment
There are plenty of over the counter treatments with varying types of chemicals and natural ingredients designed to kill head lice. Generally these also involve the use of a comb to remove lice after treatment is applied.
Products using the silicone-based fluid Dimethicone have been shown as effective in suffocating lice. This is an active ingredient in many head lice treatments, however some parents also swear by using shampoo with silicone as the coating as it may help prevent lice from being able to grip hair in the first place.
Electronic Lice Comb
These electronic combs are used like a normal comb, however they zap and kill head lice in the process. They are used on dry hair only and recommended to be used a couple of times a day for several days until all head lice are eradicated.
The best method for dealing with head lice is always prevention and, while we cannot prevent head lice every single time, taking steps such as keeping hair tied back, avoiding head to head contact with other kids, using essential oil sprays and checking hair regularly can help prevent ongoing outbreaks of these nasty little critters. Essential oils like tea tree and eucalyptus are two common ones used often mixed in water in a spray bottle. There are also many natural shampoo and conditioners that use these essential oils as a base ingredient. Quitnits is another product on the market that includes both a headlice preventative and a detangler in one convenient spray to use each morning before heading off to school.