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Head Lice: the Never Ending War

Updated on August 6, 2009

There are all manner of cures for head lice. There are the store-bought remedies like Ridz and Nix, which are insecticide. (Tell me, would you rub poison into your little girl's hair?) There are natural remedies that include such niceties as olive oil and beeswax. (So, you want your daughter's hair to look as if it were painted on her head?)

Having battled head lice on various heads now for more than a decade, I know what works. There is only one truly, infallible, sure-fire way to get the lice off your child's head, and that's the lice comb. You can use other stuff, too, if you want, but it's the comb that does it.

Check out the data at the National Pediculosis Association. They'll tell you.

In addition to the comb, you need hair clips, good eyesight, good lighting and patience. Basically, to rid a head of lice, you must inspect every single hair and eliminate every single nit (lice egg). That is the only way. So if your kid has head lice, click the link above, go visit the National Pediculosis Association web site and educate yourself as to what nits and lice look like. Then sit yourself and your kid down and get to work.

Divide the victim's hair into sections. Mark the sections with hair clips. Scoop up a few strands of hair at each pass and check each strand of hair for nits. Healthy nits cannot easily be pullled off. Often you will have to cut the strand of hair near the base to remove the nit. Run the comb all though the hair to try and catch the bugs. Rinse the comb off in hot water between passes. When you finish a section, clip off another section and do that. Thus work your way all around the head, searching every strand of hair.

The last time we dealt with this scourge, we did use a product that helped. It's called Licefreee (with three e's) and we got it at Whole Foods Market. It smells like anise seed. I don't think it does all that much, but it slows the lice down enough so you can get them out on the comb, and it washes right out. That's more than you can say of olive oil or beeswax I'll tell you right now.

But once again, you do not need to use any product other than a lice comb to get rid of head lice. Anybody who tells you otherwise is just plain wrong.


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    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 6 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Wllrhoades!

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

      Tom, yes, I too have spent many a happy hour (LOL!) hunting down head lice, and I thoroughly agree with you. Good thick conditioner and a nit comb has always been my most successful method. What's the point in paying out for a chemical cure when they can pick it up again in school the next day?

    • Zollstock profile image

      Zollstock 8 years ago from Germany originally, now loving the Pacific NW

      Ahh, Tom, your hub made me itch and brought back some nasty childhood memories of being doused in vinegar (apparently, that was the treatment of choice in Europe at the time). I will store your advice in the back of my head and hope strongly that my kids will somehow manage to escape these cursed things.