Head Lice Treatments That Really Work
Get Rid of Head Lice
Your kids (and you) can get head lice no matter how often they wash and comb their hair. Once one family member has them, it's very easy for the whole family get infested. Chances are, your child will be barred from entering school until he or she is lice-free, so how do you get rid of the lice quickly, effectively, and permanently? Here's what you do...
Photo Credit: KostaMumcuoglu, Wikipedia
What Works Against Head Lice
You need to kill the lice living in the hair of whoever has them plus you need to address lice elsewhere in and around the home.
Killing Lice on the Head
Honestly, prescription medications don't work better than over-the-counter products, but they do tend to be more toxic to people, which is why you need the prescription. Some lice will die from the mildest of treatments, while resistant lice require fullblown chemical warfare. Here's a look at your options.
Mayonnaise: You can totally coat hair with mayo or with olive oil, wrap the head with plastic, and leave the product on overnight. Does it kill the lice? Maybe. It work, when it works, by preventing the lice from being able to intake air through their bodies, basically suffocating them. The eggs (nits) are still active, so new lice will hatch. The process needs to be repeated within a week to catch those lice before they are mature enough to lay more eggs. The downside is, the treatment isn't always effective and your hair will be a greasy disaster. The upside is, it's the least toxic method out there, except for one.
Combing: This is a non-toxic method, plus it works. The downside is, it takes forever to use a comb and fingernails to remove adult lice and scrape nits from very full or very long hair. You can buy lice combs at most pharmacies. Another option is to use an inexpensive pet flea comb. It greatly helps to apply a nit-loosening gel to the hair. Some people have success applying conditioner to the hair to plump it up so the nits can't slip through the comb. You use the comb by systematically going through the hair. Expect some split ends and damage.
Lice-Killing Shampoos: These contain an insecticide that usually kills adult lice within 10 minutes. The product needs to be re-applied within a week to kill lice that hatch from the nits. I'd love to be able to tell you the pesticides always work, but... they don't. You may need to resort to combing. Now, there is another option here, too... you can use cat/kitten shampoo for fleas/ticks/lice. Cats are very sensitive to toxic pesticides, so their products tend to be safer than products intended for dogs/puppies or for people. It's not an approved use, to apply a cat shampoo, but it tends to work. With any lice-killing shampoo, be aware you're using a potentially toxic chemical. Only use these products with adult supervision.
Treating Your Home
Lice Beyond the Head
It's nasty, but it's true. Lice aren't just on the head. The only way to make sure they are gone and stay gone is to make sure the house is treated for lice.
Combs & Brushes: These need to be treated. The easiest thing to do is dip them in boiling water.
Bedding & Clothes: Clean sheets, pillowcases, coats, hat, and any clothes that might have been exposed to lice.
Furniture: There are insecticidal products that you can spray on sofas and chairs to kill any lice that may be lying in wait. If you aren't up for spraying poison on your furniture, there are natural insect repellents that you can use. Look in the pet aisle of the store for natural flea and tick repellents. As with fleas, vacuuming and steam-cleaning are effective at removing adults.
Get Rid of Head Lice
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