Schools in session, finally! However, I’ve learned over the last few that in addition to the usual homework, early mornings & tears, it also means head lice.
In our family we have either had or been exposed to lice infestations no less then 5 times in the last few years. The frequency seems to be increasing. One of the culprits among teens, who normally have less cases, is the selfie. Here’s a great article on Hello Giggles that lays it out.
We have tried several different treatments, including the following.
- Expensive Salons that deal in Lice
- Inexpensive Salons that deal in Lice
- Off the shelf, drugstore treatments
- Weird Home remedies
- Essential oils
The expensive salons actually worked! However, treatment can run in the hundreds, with multiple visits.
Inexpensive salons seemed to miss many of the nits and eggs and had a higher rate of re-infestation.
Off the shelf products contain horrible chemicals that have become ineffective due to the lice evolving to be resistant to them. Consumer reports has a breakdown on the various chemicals and their effectiveness here. Here’s another resource that lists out chemicals in the various lice treatments on the market.
Not sure your child has lice? Take a look at this video to see what they look like.
Our home remedies included castrol oil packs and sleeping with a plastic bag over the head in an attempt to smother the lice. Other then looking & feeling silly, it was hard to tell if it worked.
In order of most to least effective, the essential oils to try include:
- Melaleuca (tea tree oil)
- lavender oil
- neem oil
- clove oil
- eucalyptus oil
- aniseed oil
- cinnamon leaf oil
- red thyme oil
- peppermint oil
- nutmeg oil
It’s important to use a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil or olive oil when applying. Also, always test a small amount on the back of your child’s hand before fully applying to make sure there’s no reaction.
Use two ounces of your carrier oil with 15 to 20 drops of the essential oil. Apply with cotton balls and leave on overnight. Wash it out in the morning and use a the metal comb to clean out the nits and eggs.
Here’s a link to a video showing you how to do the combing. Follow up is super important as well as washing everything that might have come in contact with lice.
Don’t forget your car!