Even the very word gets me to start itching my head.
You would of thought after all of these years that something would have been created to get rid of these pesky little blood suckers.
Oh how I dread seeing Miss 9 hand over the pink notice from school, the same one they print off every time there is a head lice outbreak in her classroom.
Somehow a miracle occurred last year and my daughter got through an entire school year without once contracting head lice! Yes, a whole year! Now that was something to celebrate, particularly if you compare it to the year before when I seriously lost count of the number of times I had to remove those awful little creatures from my daughter’s hair.
Amazingly, I have never ever had head lice myself – something Miss 9 hears and just looks at me in disbelief. Luckily, Miss 5 has never caught them at kinder or from her big sister, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it continues this year with her starting at school.
However with the new school year upon us, I’m still preparing myself for the onslaught, although I have to say that I feel like I have become quite the de-lousing expert over the years. Although, what mum of a primary school age child isn’t?!
But for those new mums with children about to venture into kinder or primary school here are a few of my tips for living head lice free … hopefully!
Now it may just be a coincidence, but I started to use a product called Nit Free for Me at the beginning of last year and Miss 9 hasn’t had a case of head lice since! I’m totally amazed!
You simply spray the product all over your child’s hair before school, comb it through and style as usual. It’s a natural product made from essential oils and water, smells lovely and comes in versions for both girls and boys.
I usually go through a bottle a term and my daughter has fairly long hair so it’s also quite cost effective too.
Before coming across this spray, I tried to make my own version using essential oils but it didn’t seem to have the same effect. I still like this idea though, so it might be something I’ll try again in the future. I’ll keep you updated if I have any success.
I also make sure I tie back my daughter’s hair at school every day. When that pink head lice notice comes home from school, I usually do a thorough check and if we’re in the clear I then put her hair up in a bun, plait or braid to take extra precaution for the next week or so.
I find a good dose of hair spray at the end also helps keep the pesky varmints away!
If your child does come home from school with nits, forget about all those harsh lotions, sprays and gels to kill lice. I don’t know how much money I have spent at the chemist on these but I think I could be quite rich by now if I hadn’t! Even if they did work the first or second time, lice have a tendency to develop a resistance to the chemicals in the product so they become useless.
Instead, buy yourself a large bottle of conditioner, any conditioner will do, as well as a good quality nit comb. You might need to try a couple of combs as their success depends on your child’s type of hair. While I have a metal one, sometimes I actually find the cheap plastic ones work better, even though I need to replace them more often when the bristles break.
Simply section hair and rub conditioner through the entire length from scalp to tip. Make sure the entire hair is covered and let it sit for about five to 10 minutes. The conditioner paralyses the head lice and prevents them from moving around and also makes removing the eggs easier.
Sometimes it’s easier to use a regular comb first to run through the hair to get rid of any tangles. Then grab your nit comb and start combing out the lice and eggs until all the hair is done. Wipe conditioner from the comb on to a tissue as you go, looking for any eggs and lice.
When you’re done, wash out the conditioner from your child’s hair. Remember to also give the combs a good clean.
Make sure you check your child’s hair over the next couple of weeks to ensure you have got them all because if any eggs are left these will hatch and the cycle will start all over again. If you find any, repeat the process until they are all gone.
Good luck with the battle against head lice this year – may the force be with you!
What do you do to keep head lice at bay?