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Readers Respond: How Have You Handled Head Lice?

Responses: 85


Smother option

I am against using oils (like olive or vegetable) because they are such a nightmare to get rid of. I found something else that works for smothering. Get the thickest conditioner you can find -- it can even be that dollar a bottle kind. My personal favorite is V05. Apply it the same as you would the other remedies. Leave it on at least an hour, comb, and then rinse. I do this after an essential oil treatment that includes neem, tea tree, and a couple other oils, and it works pretty well. It is also a lot easier to rinse conditioner out!
—Guest momof 2

Smothering With Petroleum Jelly

I know the article says to smother using petroleum jelly, but I would avoid this. My daughter's stepmother put it in her hair and sent her to my house and I could not remove this from her hair. I washed over 50 times, using baby shampoo, regular shampoo, dawn dish detergent, and finaly found something about cornstarch on the internet, and they used that and finally got it out. Her hair was discolored, and it was just a nightmare. I would try the olive oil first, then the mayonaise, but stay away from vaseline!!!!!!
—Guest mommy

Tea Tree

On the pricey side, Paul Mitchell sells a good shampoo and conditioner. It's very soothing and tingly to the scalp. Tea Tree oil can also treat crabs.
—Guest Shelia

freezer works

Instead of having to throw out stuffed animals or do tons of laundry, bag it and freeze it for 48 hrs. Then run what you can through the dryer. Tea tree oil smothering for hair was a lifesaver. We were all at our wits end. Never a problem since!
—Guest Trishh

Lice Ice

I'm a mom of 4 boys. When my stepson came home with lice my fiance freaked out! We spent around $100 trying different things until we found Lice Ice. We heard of tea tree oil. So we went to buy it but a cashier told me to try Lice Ice 'cause it had tea tree and neem oil. All my four boys had very long hair. We cut my stepson's hair cause he had the lice. Three weeks later my 3 year old had lice. His hair had been growing for 2 yrs so I cried!! I tried Lice Ice and after a few minutes the bugs were falling out! And they were dead too! They looked like someone smashed them! Then some were fallen out but were moving around confused and after a few seconds they died. It's a gel that you put all over your hair for about 8-15 hours. It hardens your hair so the lice and eggs can't feed or latch on to your hair so they eventually die. With my hair I had it damp a little cause it was longer. I also put it on my son's hair as a styling gel instead of regular gel.
—Guest LALA

Hair straightner

After using the special lice shampoo and combing her hair with the special lice comb, I use a hair straightner. It kill the rest of the eggs and lice by burning them form one inch of the scalp (not to burn her head) to the tip where often there are some eggs or lice left. The hair straightner heat fries them. It's important to repeat the shampoo every 7 days and to take the eggs and nits out of the head of your child every day. Wash everything after in hot soapy water. And vaccum. Good luck.
—Guest Caroline Seguin

head lice

The best 30.00 i ever spent was on a nit comb from the lice sqaud. we have been battling with nits, i used the comb and lots of conditioner, thats how i got rid of the nits. My daughter had no live ones, thank goodness.
—Guest S.Ellis


yikes! All three of my children had head lice.... My husband went to Wally World and bought over the counter meds. We looked like little monkey's picking at each other's hair. This did NOT kill all of the lice & their eggs. In doing some reasearch on the internet we found a remedy of using Tea tree oil and smothering. It worked!!!! We looked like little baker's with our tea tree oil and shower caps on all day. (3 easy steps). Apply oil, cover hair with shower cap & leave it in all day, comb with a fine tooth comb several times!!! These little pest were gone! You will have to shampoo two or three times to get the oil out. Hint: Put a little oil in their hair several days after to keep from getting them again.
—Guest carebear

tea tree and ryobi comb(electronic)

7 children, head lice, these two products,PRICELESS!!!!!! PREE- TEST ON SKIN Just to make sure you don't have reaction to oil.
—Guest karan

new cheap product works great

I have found a product called Blue Magic. It is a dry hair gel sold at Wal-Mart for less than $2 for a big container. I grease the hair and put a shower cap on for an hour or 2. Then I comb through the hair. I wash with Dawn dish detergent at least 4 times before conditioning. Then I spend 2-3 hours going over every inch of hair until the kids are clear. It seam tedious but it works and there is no bad smell like tea tree oil and no side effects like the shampoos which I have read can lead to siezures and since I have unexplainable epilepsy I don't use them on my kids at all.
—Guest butrfliz

Thank GOD for Tea Tree Oil

My wife and I have a 7 year old who had the bug problem. Yes I mean that head scratching word;LICE! We had used the over the counter lice treatment shampoo and it had been a long drawn out process, that and the fact that pesticide is not something you want to have on your child's head. The best remedy so far for us is good old tea tree oil shampoo and tea tree oil conditioner. The little bugs just seem to act as though a doomsday bomb has been dropped! They either died after treatment or removed with ease. The nits were also much more easily removed after treatment. But due diligence with combing with a fine stainless steel comb, and couple with that combing twice a day daily seemed to work well. We also recommend whatever stuffed animals or pillows within close proximity or slept on just get rid of them we had an instance where they were living in these areas and caused a re infestation.
—Guest parents2bug0

Mayonnaise all the way

We used the shampoo at the pharmacy and it still left live eggs on my daughter's heads. Luckily an aunt had gone through this a few years back and her pediatrician recommend this old remedy. Here is the treatment: Mayonnaise and a shower cap. Get the real mayonnaise from the grocery store and put on the child's head at bedtime. Completely cover all of the head and hair with mayonnaise. Cover the head with the shower cap. In the morning, can rinse but NOT shampoo. Repeat this for 4 nights. Each morning you are to comb out the hair and carefully look for nits. Fingers crossed, we just finished this tonight and I am hoping no live nits are found in the morning. This works because the nits cannot live in the oily environment. So far we have not found any live ones. I have heard tea tree oil works, and will try it for prevention.
—Guest Mom in TX

tea tree does wax the head lice !

My daughter has been itching for over a week but we weren't sure whether it was mosquito bites or what. Tonight when I brushed her hair I used a brush that I kept dipping in water mixed with tea tree oil- when I was finished I looked in the dish & there were 4 nits lying in there DEAD ! I will add this to her shampoo & brush with this mixture every night. The only place she could have gotten them was when she had to borrow a helmut out at the horse barn. Highly recommend tea tree !!
—Guest Katie

head lice treatment

We went through the battle 2 years ago. It took us 4 months to get rid of the suckers!! This past week I baby sat for an acquaintance at my hubbys work. Found out after 9 1/2 hrs, of sitting and 3 days later they had lice. After freaking out I searched on line. This is the treatment I have found over and over again. I have found no lice yet but will treat because I refuse to go through that again!! 1. = pour Listerine mouth wash on head and saturate, cover with shower cap for 2 hrs. 2. =rinse out and pour white vinegar on next, cover with shower cap 1 hr. 3. =Rinse out and comb through with metal lice comb. Repeat every 3 days for 2 weeks. The life cycle of lice (lice, eggs, lice). The Listerine mouth wash kills the lice, and the white vinegar removes the glue the lice uses to stick their eggs on the hair shaft. Layer by layer check hair for nits (eggs), remove with finger nails if found. I am buying tea tree oil for our shampoo. Please, tell your school nurse, friends,and playmates!
—Guest amanda-in yuma

Tea tree all the time!!!

I'd recommend using tea tree oil at all times where nits are concerned they absolutely loathe the stuff, all you need is a drop or two of tea tree in normal every day shampoo and hey presto they ve vanished and died keep going through the hair with the nit comb just to make sure they've all gone and died, do this for a couple of days and you wont have any trouble again with Head Lice.

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