Mum versus head lice: let the battle begin

Mum versus head lice - CopyHead lice.

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!

Prevention

Nit Free For MeNow 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!

Treatment

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?

26 thoughts on “Mum versus head lice: let the battle begin

  1. I use conditioner as well, but empty about a 1/4 out and replace with vinegar, the vinegar works well to remove the “glue” that holds the eggs on, works a treat and majority of the time don’t need to use a nit comb

  2. I’d keep up using the treatment after a nit free year, especially if your daughter has long hair! You’re right, good old conditioner and combing really is the best way to get rid of the little beggars. Time consuming but effective, and no chemicals.

    Visiting today from #teamIBOT x

  3. The daycare that my son attends had a couple of lice infestations last year. Thankfully we have not had to deal with them yet. There are so many easy treatments these days, when I had it as a kid, it was treated with kerosene and then a short back and sides haircut.

  4. Argh. This is something I am not looking forward to. And you’re right, my head started itching within seconds of reading your first line lol! That spray sounds like a God-send. I’ll be getting some of that when the girls start school.

  5. We had the dreaded lice recently and I tried a new product called Hedrin. Worked an absolute treat- very different to traditional poisons etc. Worth a try if anyone needs it! Far less time consuming and seems much more effective than the conditioner and comb method.

  6. I remember once all 4 of mine had it at the same time. I actually contemplated a career change to become Nat the Nit NURSE. I use cheap conditioner too. It gets them to stop moving and a great way to get the out. I also use orange juice .. you need to wash their hair in it as they don’t like the smell on the scalp (oh but neither do I). Let’s see if we can have a nit free year… yeah right.

  7. We haven’t had them for about three years thankfully. I spray the girls hair with my own concoction of tea-tree oil, conditioner and water, and then hair spray afterwards. It seems to be working.

  8. Fun times, not. The conditioner treatment combined with tight plaits were the only thing I found to fix my daughter who kept getting re-infected from the bus trip to and from school, of all things! Her bestie bus mate had white blonde hair – so no one suspected….You’ll be relieved to know they ‘grow out of it’…not really, just as they get older they spend less time with their heads together 😉

  9. We just had our first case of nits here last week. I was slightly mortified but realised it could be the first of many so I needed to get educated to combat the pesky little things. We did the conditioner trick too, but I really love the sound of this Nit Free For Me. Load me up with some bottles! Thanks for sharing the info about that.

  10. thanks for ALL these tips! I am a total newbie when it comes to kids and nits. I am dreading our first case! What about boys? My son is pretty shaggy-haired and has just started school. Should I start a prevention method on him, stat?

    • Unfortunately, I don’t think head lice discriminate between sexes 🙂 I’d still be putting in prevention spray, particularly if his hair is a little longer. There is a boys version of Nit Free for Me which smells like mint I think, or you could make up your own concoction with tea tree oil.

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