To get rid of lice it helps to understand lice and their life cycle. Begin by learning what lice are. They’re different types of lice. Head lice are wingless parasitic insect that lives among human hairs and feeds on extremely small amounts of blood drawn from the scalp. They sound disgusting right? Well other than the nuisance and itching they cause they are not harmful, but they are very contagious.
In fact, lice are a very common problem, especially among kids ages 3 years to 12 years (girls more often than boys because of their long hair). But the fact that a person has head lice does not reflect on the person’s cleanliness or social status. Lice can’t fly or jump, but they do have specially adapted claws that allow them to crawl and cling firmly to hair. They spread mainly through head-to-head contact. So can your pets have it too? Though lice can survive a few days away from their host they require a human host to live.
A louse (lice is plural form) dies about 32-35 days after being laid as a nit (a.k.a an egg). A louse can begin laying eggs about 1 or 2 days after mating and continues laying eggs for up to 16 days after that. “To attach each egg, the adult female secretes a glue from her reproductive organ. This glue hardens into a “nit sheath” that covers the hair shaft and the entire egg except for the operculum — a cap through which the embryo breathes.  The glue was previously thought to be chitin-based, but more recent studies have shown it to be made of proteins similar to hair keratin”. (Wikipedia)
This sounds difficult to manage right? I’m not going to lie. It is. But that doesn’t mean you should go out and buy the most toxic chemicals at the drug store to get rid of them quickly. Why? Remember the treatments you will be using will be used on the heads of your loved one. You want to avoid using something that harms them. Also consider that case reports suggest head lice are growing resistant to many of these drugs.
Now that you know what lice are and how they live it is time to take a look at your loved ones’ scalps (everyone who lives with you). Have someone check yours. If you don’t discover any, you are very lucky. If you do, consider the natural solutions below before resorting to store bought drugs:
Make your very own lice shampoo with a combination of oils. To view the recipe click on Safe Natural Cures.
Mayonnaise, the ideal solution for me is the new Kraft Mayo made with Olive Oil. Kills two birds with one stone. Since both mayo and olive oil can be used to suffocate and smother the head lice and eggs. How does it work? Grab a handful of mayo and rub it on the hair and massage it through out the scalp. Make sure get it behind the ears and a little down the neck. When the scalp and hair are covered in mayo cover the head with a shower cap if you would like (keeps it from dripping onto everything). After about two hours take the cap off. Rinse the hair out and then shampoo. It helps to use a nit comb in the shower. Use lice combs with metal teeth. Plastic combs tend to bend leaving spaces for the lice to escape.
Vaseline can be used in the place of Mayonnaise but it is much more difficult to take out. Baby oil and dish soap can be used to take it out. I have not tried this method but may resort to it, if lice invade my children again.
If any eggs remain rinse the hair with vinegar. Vinegar helps loosen the glue that helps the egg sticks to the hair. About every two to three days use 50% white vinegar and 50% water after you shampoo will dissolve lice eggs.
Another option is to soak the hair in olive oil and let it set in over night. Repeat the oil treatment every two to three days until not one nit is found.
Anything that may still remain (and they will because nit glue is strong) can be removed by use your fingernails to slide it off the hair strand. This is tedious but necessary.
If you find that the above options are not working or can’t be done in your home for one reason or other I have read suggestions to use a hair dry or hair straightener to burn the lice. I cannot vouch for this method as I have not used it, but it is an interesting idea that may work since Lice can’t take the heat over 110F. Then again neither can you or your kid. Please be careful trying this on children and don’t hurt yourself either. Also remember this amount of heat can damage and dry your hair. To help it recover soak your head in mayonnaise because mayonnaise is also a great way to condition the hair. Just don’t leave it on as long this time.
If these options still don’t help you get rid of the lice try the 21-day lice removal program.
Last but not least check everyone’s hair daily for the next two to three weeks to make sure the lice have not returned. In addition as a preventative measure continue to check everyone’s hair about once a week. Make it your weekly “lice check”. In an odd way it is a good time to take the time to talk as a family while grooming each other. If you’re images of monkeys sitting around eating other’s parasites pop into your head, remember you don’t have to eat your parasites, just kill them.
If the problem still persist call your doctor.
Wondering about the lice house cleaning? Because lice cannot survive without the host it is likely that they are not on clothes furniture or anything else, but just to be on the safe side it might be a good idea to clean and wash all bed sheets, pillows, etc.
Suggestions: Wash the clothes in hot water. Stuffed toys can also be washed in hot water or placed in plastic bags for two weeks to three weeks. Brushes, combs and hair “pretties” can be soaked in vinegar or boiled in hot water. Carpet, furniture, car seats, etc. can be vacuumed. For a natural lice spray for these items visit Safe Natural Cures
Worst-case scenario- if you cleaned your entire house and discovered lice cannot survive anywhere else but on the host, at least your house is sparkling clean. Don’t get mad. Consider it an early spring-cleaning.