Headlice. The bain of many a mother’s life and a complete pest to get rid of once they make a home out of your child’s head. They make you itch just thinking about them, and pretty much everyone gets them at least once in a lifetime. Sadly.
Being a hairdresser, I have come across many infestations on clients over the years. A lot of parents feel unsure of the best way to get rid of them, often winging it and buying expensive treatments. But, I have some tricks up my sleeve that have always been effective. And, as a result, I have shared some of my tips and tricks below for How To Get Rid of Headlice.
1) Invest in a good quality nit comb. The teeth need to be metal and close together. Plastic one bend and contort out of shape, making then ineffective at combing out the lice and eggs. Do not use wide tooth combs or brushes as they will only transfer the lice and eggs around the head.
2) Condition and Comb method. Wash and condition yours or your child’s hair every evening for 2 weeks and then switch to every other evening for 1 week. After every wash, use a nit comb to work through the hair in small sections. A louse lives for approximately a month but with this method you can get rid of them sooner. Give extra care and attention to the nape of the neck and behind the ears.
3) Wash all clothes and bedding every 2 days. Lice can’t survive longer than 24 hours off of a host. Washing bedding, clothes, hats, hoodies and even sofa cushion covers and throws will help you beat the infestation.
4) Don’t rely on lice treatments. They kill the lice but rarely have much of an effect on their eggs. These are distant cousins to cockroaches, they aren’t going to give up without a fight. If you do use treatments then be sure to use them every other day for at least the 3 week period. Once will rarely be enough unless you only have a select few that have recently ‘moved in’.
5) Keep hair tied back for school. Kids play closely together, especially in primary school. Heads touch and Headlice land on shoulders and use a sensor on their nose to detect gravity. This tells them which way is up. If they land on a shoulder and hair is free flowing, they have a stairway to the penthouse. If the hair is tied back, there is a big chance they shall fall off before reaching your little one’s head.
6) Lice hate peppermint and tea tree. Use shampoos with these scents in their formulation. Create a repellent by spraying wet hair with 1 part conditioner to 3 parts water with a few drops of peppermint or tea tree oil added. They will hate the smell and be less inclined to pitch up on your kid’s scalp.
7) Do not ignore the infestation. It will not go away by itself and it will only get worse. And very quickly too as lice lay thousands of eggs and they only take 7-10 days to hatch. They are horrible vermin and can really affect your child’s mood, temperament and concentration. It can prevent them from sleeping properly and cause them embarrassment in school too.
8) Remember to check all the family for any signs of lice. The eggs (nits) can be seen as either white or brown/orange. White nits are empty egg casings where the louse has already hatched. Brown/orange colour nits are live eggs and usually found nearer the scalp. Headlice are great at camouflage and have semi transparent bodies to help them hide. They stay close to the scalp usually (to eat and keep warm) so be sure to check all over the scalp as well as the hair strands themselves.
Follow all this advice and I assure you, Headlice shall not bother you and your family. It’s a method I use myself as a professional and it really does work. Just be consistent and methodical and all shall soon work out!
Has this post been helpful? How do you combat Headlice?