All About Lice - And How to Get Rid of Them for Good!
Well, it’s that time of year again!
Back to school means loud hot kitchen sex with your partner, silence as you drink hot coffee, lunch packing, and yup- lice! School- the perfect breeding territory for lice.
All About Lice
Lice are parasites that live on the scalp and hair shaft of humans. They survive for up to 30 days on small amounts of blood obtained from the individual. The medical term for head lice is pediculosis.
Lice is usually found in school-aged children (girls more frequently than boys) and women… and like to lay their eggs along the base of the hair shaft — close to the scalp — behind the ears and/or back of the neck.
- They do not jump or fly, but they crawl at an extremely fast pace.
- It takes 8 to 12 days for one nit to hatch.
- An adult female louse (plural for lice) can lay 6 nits (eggs) a day.
What Causes Lice?
Contracting lice happens to those who:
- come in contact with an infected person through play, school, sports, home, sleepovers, etc.
- wear the clothing of someone that has the parasite.
- share personal care items such as…brushes, combs, towels, and other accessories that are contaminated.
- lay on bedding, carpets, and/or furniture that a person with head lice was previously laying on.
As if getting rid of lice wasn’t difficult enough, there’s a new breed this year. We’re talking about, SUPER LICE
Similar to bacteria and antibiotics, lice have become resistant to medications we use to treat them. A 2014 study found that over 99% of lice that were tested had a mutation that let them survive treatments with insecticides permethrin and pyrethrin, the most common treatments used.
Though it's time consuming, the only way to truly get rid of lice is to use a fine-tooth comb, carefully combing every strand of hair to get rid of the both the lice and nits.
It’s a pain in the ass, but check your child's hair once a week. It is WAY easier to deal with lice early than after the bugs have been there for a month. AND... It's not enough to do a quick visual by parting your child's hair. Lice move very quickly, bastards.
- Lice hate the scent of mango, rosemary and tea tree oil. Placing these oils in shampoo bottles and spray bottles will prevent them from squatting in your child’s luscious locks.
- Kids who go to school should wear their hair up everyday. Period.
- Teach yo ur kid not to share hats, brushes, etc.
How to check for lice:
- Start by purchasing a metal fine-tooth comb, plastic options are ineffective and a waste of money.
- Prepare a white towel and fill a mug with boiling water.
- Part your child's hair in sections.
- Using either water or nit spray (dyes nits to make them visible), start with a small lock of hair and work your way down from the roots, pulling the comb all the way down to the ends.
- Rinse the comb in the fiery mug of death, wipe it off with the towel and repeat the process until you've cover ed your child's entire head of hair.
If you should find the dreaded little fuckers: Relax. This isn’t the end of the world.
If your child comes home with lice at any point, don’t freak out. I know it can be embarrassing, frustrating and exhausting to deal with, but lice are not life threatening or dangerous and don’t spread disease, just annoying. It’s kind of a compliment.. It means your child has clean hair!
(Lice are attracted to clean hair.)
Getting Rid of Lice: Treat ALL Members of your Household
De-bugging your household:
- Wash all linens in hot water. To wash sheets and kill live bugs and nits, water temperature needs to reach 130 degrees. If your washer machine does not go that high, you have two options. Turn the temperature up on your water heater to try and get hotter water in that way, or boil a pot of water and add it to every load (fun times!).
- Items not suitable for washing, such as car seats, backpacks and cushions should be placed in a plastic bag, tightly sealed, for 72 hours. Lice need human blood in order to live, and therefore expire in two to three days without human contact.
- Lice hate the scent of mango, rosemary and tea tree oil.
- Placing these oils in shampoo bottles and spray bottles will prevent them from squatting in your child’s luscious locks.
- Soak combs and brushes in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5-10 minutes.
- Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or lay.
Products for Killing Lice:
I’m going to be honest with you, I was never one for natural remedies. My daughter had lice, and so I was treating her with an over-the-counter lice treatment, when she had a seizure. 10 doctor appointments and 6 tests later, it was confirmed. Her seizure was because of the chemicals in the lice treatments we used. (She had a seizure during one.)
So now, I’m a huge advocate for finding natural remedies to banish these little pests. It’s cheaper too!
These treatments work on the lice in a physical way through dehydration, suffocation or other methods and don’t rely on the insecticides that …many lice are resistant to anyway!
Tazer comb (zaps the shit out of those jerks!)
Metal lice and nit comb
Saline Based Lice Spray (dehydrates those little blood suckers!)
Neem Oil Shampoo (Neem oil, like tea tree oil, is also considered all-natural insecticide. Used by gardeners safely to prevent and kill pests on plants. It is just as safe and effective in the treatment of lice.)
Apple Cider Vinegar. Before and after shampooing, rinse your hair with vinegar…or soak hair with vinegar and leave it on for a few minutes before combing with a nit comb. Towel-dry hair. This will help remove nits from the hair shaft.
If you literally “can’t even..” There is seriously an actual, real life thing, called “lice removal salons.” For real! Find one near you.
Essential Oils to add to shampoos and conditioner spray bottles https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dbeauty&field-keywords=essential+oils+lice
You must check/comb EVERY DAY for 21 days. No ifs, ands or buts about it. All it takes is one nit to totally throw you back to square one again. Do not let your guard down for one moment and let those little nits win.
Once you are lice free, lice are now more attracted to your hair. It’s like they leave a scent on your hair and the other lice want to check it out. Like a dog who wants to pee on another dogs pee during a walk. So you must spray preventative spray in your hair every day. Erryday.