An Unexpected Encouter With…Head Lice!

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Our hair things bagged up for a couple of weeks.

Our hair things bagged up for a couple of weeks.

When you google head lice you get all sorts of advice from how to spot them, what their life cycle is like, and everyone has a different opinion on how to get rid of them. These are the different things I tried. (Please feel free to take a break to scratch your own head at this point. Whenever I talk about head lice everyone starts feeling itchy!)

We had our suspicions for a couple of days (lots of itching), but we didn’t see the little buggers until Easter Sunday of all things! Both the Princess and I have extremely longish, thick hair and we were not happy campers to have this to deal with.

I would prefer to do things more naturally, but on Easter Sunday there weren’t many choices. So we purchased lice shampoo. We also started washing all our clothing, bed sheets, pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals. Some of them we just put into bags because I had also read that keeping things in an airtight bag for two weeks would work as well as drying them on a hot cycle for 30 minutes.

We merrily went off in our separate directions the next day thinking the problem was resolved. It was not. The Princess got sent home from school and when I got home from work I helped with laundry that my husband had already started. Since the shampoo didn’t work we decided to try Neem oil. Neem oil is pretty smelly, but everyone left it on for a while before washing again and heading off to bed. Next morning we still had a problem. I combed out the Princess’ hair before I left for work and started all the laundry AGAIN.

At this point I was completely exhausted. I called my salon and they suggested olive oil with cedar oil. After work I applied it to everyone’s head along with a shower cap before we crashed into bed. (This way we didn’t have to do laundry again if it didn’t work!) The next morning I was stuck home with the Princess alone again and wondering how in the world I was going to comb out my own hair. I googled it again and I came up with the Nice Lice Lady. Apparently, in Canada there are people you can hire to comb lice out of your hair!

Her suggestions were completely opposite of most of what I read before. I’d pretty much tried everything else, I was still itching, and I was exhausted so I decided to give it a try.

She doesn’t suggest shampoos, “natural” remedies, or even doing your laundry. She just suggests getting a good lice comb and using it! By applying conditioner to wet hair and combing it out everyday for two weeks you will have success in eradicating the head lice. The conditioner “freezes” the bugs so that they can’t move and it also makes the combing process much smoother. She does suggest a blowdrying method also that was proven effective by the University of Utah. She even outlines how you can do this to yourself!

It’s been over two weeks now since the Princess has gone back to school and we’ve both noticed that we’ve been scratching less and less everyday. It’s interesting how the simplest thing is the most effective. What have been your experiences with head lice (if any?)

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