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Readers Respond: How Have You Handled Head Lice?

Responses: 85

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Ew! Ew! Ew! Head lice! It's a nightmare to find them on your kid's head, all the more so if your child has special needs that make pesticide shampoos and relentless nit-picking problematic. I've had luck with smothering treatments and tea tree oil. How have you conquered the critters? Share your best lice-wrangling strategies here. Share Your Lice Advice

Hot water

My kids gave me lice after using my hair brush (my fault I know) so all 3 of us were in trouble. Both my girls and I have long long hair. Drug store lice kits didn't work. Only thing that worked was taking a hot shower, the hottest our scalps could tolerate and stay under the water for a good while. Then used the nit combs from the kits. Worked for all 3 of us...takes time and patience since some eggs may survive the hot water...but definitely way more effective than the lice treatments from the stores (and nontoxic!!). I did this daily for 2 weeks based on the life cycle of the lice and their eggs.
—Guest guestmomof 3 with long hair

Help help school won't let daughter back

I have been picking treating combing picking treating combing, and with only a bad back, upset daughter, missed days of work, and no money. Still finding nits -- no live ones, but nits. What's sad is they're not checking the other students, meaning we're being punished for being honest. I will never tell the school again and may have to get another job just to pay $80 an hour to get these eggs off. It's the eggs not the lice and nothing works. Please please help
—Guest Mel

CoconutConditioner + Apple Cider Vinegar

So far, this is the easiest, most pain-free and remarkably effective strategies we've used: - Mix Coconut Conditioner with Applecider Vinegar 3:1 - massage into hair from scalp out and let sit - Comb through all hair until tangle-free, then methodically go through with nit comb. The apple cider vinegar loosens the nits so they come off with the comb saving you additional hours of nit-picking. I do this daily for the first 4 days, then take a day off, then every couple of days.
—Guest Meg

Where Do I Get It?

Where can I get the tea tree oil? I haven't got much money and the best thing I've read to get rid of lice is the tea tree treatment. Can someone please tell me where I can get an adorable bottle of this stuff? Thanks! ... RESPONSE FROM TERRI: Tiffany, I've bought it in GNC stores. You can also order it online from Amazon.com and Drugstore.com, among others.
—Guest Tiffany

tea tree to the rescue of headlice

I love tea tree oil and its benefits especially the head lice kind. After 8 years of battling head lice with my step daughter and its inevitable spread to my other children including a curly haired 3 year old. I bought Tea Tree Oil at our local health food store, I figured if it can kill athletes foot and ring worm then head lice didnt stand a chance! after paying $16.99 for 2 ozs (pretty hefty I know but this stuff I swear is liquid Gold) I got it home mixed 6 drops of it with 2 ozs of olive oil( as a carrier to help spread it through the hair) i rub it through my daughters hair, (after a week long battle of her coming home after school every day with lice even after using RID, NIXX and the like) I wrapped her hair in a plastic grocery bag, and waited 30 minutes. I brought her to the kitchen sink and began to rinse her hair with the vegetable sprayer and watched the head lice bugs just "jump" out of her hair, eggs,nits and all. VOILA!! I even add to detangler spray as a preventative!!
—Guest starkravenangelgirl

Lice :p

I put oil in my hair and let it set in a shower cap for 12 hours slept in it and woke up combed it out and washed out it made a big impact and difference
—Guest Guest lol

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise! Believe me, this works. Apply regular mayonnaise to her head and rub it in I mean a lot of Mayo! Next, cover her hair with a garbage bag or shower cap and wait! The little suckers will drop like flies. Next wash her hair and use a comb to get rid of the leftover ones! Use mayo each day for the next few days to keep from being reinfested. Wash EVERYTHING in your house!!! Put her toys in a garbage bag and seal them up tight for two weeks Do the same with any other items that you can't wash. Wash and dry all clothes, bedding, curtains, etc. Clean your carpet and the interior of your car! Good Luck!
—Guest pAtInrwGHTYqInq

Tea Tree Oil

My daughter picked up head lice from school two years ago - and I read about tea tree oil mixed with shampoo. I also picked up one of those "electric" lice combs that zaps the live bugs....so we started with that - found 3 or 4 live bugs. Also used a nit comb and picked out all of the eggs we saw. Then used the tea tree/shampoo mix every day. Never saw another nit or egg on her after that. She uses it still to this day and has never gotten lice again - one small bottle from Walmart has lasted her over 2 years. My son just picked up headlice from school and we immediately did the exact same thing with the electric comb and started mixing his shampoo with the oil. Never saw another bug or egg after the first application and its been two weeks. Now he will use it every day as a preventative.
—Guest Michelle

Coconut oil and Tea tree oil

I want to repost an unknown woman's advice, it really works! I bought some organic coconut oil, warmed it up and added tea tree oil, rosemary oil, and lavender oil. I greased up my daughter's hair, tied it up and put them to bed with a towel over their pillows. I put the oil in my dreads(it took alot for my dreads) put my hair in my huge wool tam and went to bed. In the morning I used Dawn dish soap and water as hot as we all could stand it. It took two washes to get it out of our hair. I used a lice comb and dipped it in hot water with tea tree oil after every time I combed. Lots of DEAD bugs. I never found a live bug after using the oil. We did this every two days for a week and a half and the lice are gone!! With the boys I only combed their hair with the oil and hot water and we ALL use Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree soap now. Their bugs are gone!Our hair is super conditioned too! The oil also loosens the "glue" and the eggs washed out of my dreads:)
—Guest ZAY

Nix does not nix

A friend does nit patrol at her kids school and is finding the olive oil method works. Lice are becoming immune to Nix and no longer works.
—Guest Julie

Old-Fashioned Listerine

My family had never had lice ... and then we had it and nobody could identify it! Alright, that means we had it from June to August -- mom and daughter and granny and auntie. Three houses. All of my daughter's friends had already had it multiple times. I did my research and went for the Listerine treatment. We all poured enough Listerine into our hair by capfuls to get the scalp and hair fully coated. Wrapped our heads in Cling Wrap for 2 hours to build up some heat, with a towel around our necks for dripping. This worked. Of course, I had to identify why we had it for so long and nobody could identify it ... we use oil-based products for curl defining and frizz reduction. Olive Oil and Coconut Oil dissolve the exoskeleton of the nits.
—CrazyStepMom

mayo works for sure

I put a pair of underwear on my child's head before the shower cap. It makes the elastic more comfortable and it's more fun. Mayo works best as it sort of melts over night and "reaches" any part of the hair I may have missed
—Guest sharyn

How I Prevent Lice from Coming Back

Wash bedding every day and check my girls' hair every night before bed. i also inform their teacher to send notes home that other kids may have been in contact and my girls' friends' mothers. Wash and wash in hot water every day and check whole household's head.
—Guest jessica

Mayo Mayo Mayo

Just treated my girls.with it first time this school year. I'm gonna buy tea treatment oil tomorrow for prevention
—Guest Timika pamom

Tea Tree Shampoo

I've been reccommending Paul Mitchell Tea Tree shampoo for years to keep lice at bay. It is reasonably affordable (more shampoo for the same price as the treatments) and you can find it at any chain salon.
—Guest blustorm17

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How Have You Handled Head Lice?

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