Is there an economical way to rid children of head lice. My family is infested with the critters and after 2-1/2 mos of Rid, Nix and other home remedies, we cannot seem to clear them. Help!
- Frustrated in Fresno
(This was originally posted 10-01-2001)
Here is an all natural way to cure head lice. I have not tried it, but it would be the first one try if I had to. Lice become immune to Nix and Rid, etc. To kill lice and nits: Saturate hair completely with Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise, Best Real Mayo or Kraft Real. Make sure it's real mayo. Work the mayo into the hair and roots well. Hair MUST be extremely greasy from the mayo to prevent lice from breathing. Next wrap hair as tightly as possible with Saran Wrap (plastic wrap), then wrap w/a towel. Allow to remain on head for at least one hour, two hours will guarantee all the lice are dead.
During this time make sure to wash all linens, pillows, towels, etc. Anything that may have come in contact with any lice infested hair. Run through the washing machine. Shampoo hair thoroughly. Rinse hair with white vinegar, then rinse clean with water. Comb hair with a nit comb if desired. No nits should survive this treatment if done properly. No need to repeat the treatment in seven days as with medicated shampoos. Lice die within 12-24 hours without a human head to feed on. Lice cannot jump nor will they transfer to your pets. Hope this works. I found this on the internet! (01/10/2001)
I am an RN in Florida, and I've advised many mothers to try the mayonnaise treatment for head lice. I've never heard from anyone that it did not work. Be sure to clean every single surface that the head might have touched -- don't forget the car upholstery, the child's backpack and jacket, stuffed animals, and hair doodads like scrunchies and brushes. I suggest that mothers trim their children's hair short, since it keeps it from getting into contact with other stuff that might carry lice and makes hair care simpler.
You will need to be vigilant and check each child daily - after school is easiest - to make sure there is no re-infestation. If you find more lice or nits, repeat the mayonnaise treatment. Make sure your kids know not to trade hair doodads and hats. The drugstore remedies (Rid, Nix, etc) may advertise that they are safe, but the poisons build up in your child's system and can be toxic. Please be careful, because the effects of these poisons is not completely known yet. Good luck! Nancy Nurse (01/11/2001)
We fought lice for 4 months. But I learned a lot. One of the most effective ways is olive oil. Pretty much soak the head, hair, and scalp with this and cover the head at night. The oil is thick and will get into the pores of the lice and suffocate it. Also, when doing hair, always use hair spray. Lice for some reason does not like hair spray. Good luck. Cheryl (01/11/2001)
You need to do all your furniture, apparently you're not washing everything or you're still in contact with the person who gave them to you. We were getting them all the time and didn't know from where, then I found out it was a friend that kept coming to my house and never told me she had them and to tell you the truth I don't think she knew she had them. You have to wash and spray everything and put all stuffed animals in a plastic tied up bag and store in a closet or sit in the garage. (01/12/2001)
Here's a link for Headlice.org (01/12/2001)
If you are plagued by these pesky critters olive oil applied to the hair AFTER the shampoo process is completed, helps to loosen the nits for easier removal.- Tracy (01/12/2001)
I want to assure you that one need not be dirty and nasty, or poor, to get lice. However, this means that nice clean people who contact your family could be sources of re infestation. Do a favor to everyone who comes into your home, car, etc. and encourage them to check themselves and their households. Remind them that lice don't discriminate along social strata; that clean prosperous people do get them, usually from other clean prosperous people.
Lice can hide in many places. When we had them, I put all the bedding I could in the dryer at high heat for an hour. Roast the little bugs! Anything that I could not wash or at least dry was bagged up and stored away from people until we were clear. I also vacuumed the beds and other furniture thoroughly, and repeated this every other day. Pay attention also to clothing, coats, hats, scarves, brushes and combs, car upholstery, and anything else anyone in your family might possibly get near their hair. Repeat often. Get fanatical about this, until you have been nit-free for a week or more.
Frequent combing with the fine-tooth comb is vital. It may seem easier to just poison them, but mechanical removal is more effective. Although I used Rid the first time, I would not use it again -- I have heard many people praise real mayonnaise, and I know it has to smell better than the poison! (01/22/2001)
I heard a doctor say to put Hellmann's mayonnaise on the child's hair & scalp, leave on overnight. You will have to shampoo twice to get out & is a great scalp treatment. I have used it for that. - P C (01/24/2001)
1st. Get out your vacuum cleaner and if you have an attachment with short hard teeth put that on the hose. Run this in all directions over the head letting the hair go up inside the hose. This gets rid of any live critters.
2nd. Using a high quality nit comb carefully comb through the hair. Dip the comb in glass of water and wipe with a paper towel after each pass. You can hear and feel the eggs pop off the hair. Do this until you don't see anymore eggs.
3rd Vacuum again to get rid of any loose eggs. You should repeat this treatment at least twice a day. You can make a game of it with the kids they are very curious. Let them do your hair if they are old enough. (01/28/2002)
A big thing that people tend to overlook are backpacks and winter coats. Be sure to wash and dry them. Everything that isn't nailed down needs to be washed, vacuumed, or put in plastic bags for 3 to 4 weeks. Be sure when you're done vacuuming, that you get that vacuum bag out of the house ASAP. Vinegar also helps the nits be removed easily. (01/28/2002)
Bagging items is a big waste of time. Vacuuming is a sufficient safeguard for any questionable areas or items that may be in regular contact with those who may be infested. You can also take bed linens and other items and put them in a dryer for 30 minutes. (02/03/2002)
I know how frustrating having and getting rid of lice is. I had off and on for many years. About a year ago or so I read that coconut shampoo gets rid of them. I didn't try it out until this year.. I was in the store and saw it and said well hey if it doesn't do anything oh well. At least I like the smell of coconuts. So I bought it and have been using for about less than 4 months and I noticed a month ago that the bugs were gone.
I have no signs of them left. I didn't have to do anything to the house or car. I didn't do anything else to my hair right before and during the time I was using the coconut shampoo. So just give it a try. My big bottle was 89 cents at Walmart and I had used a little less than half the bottle (about 3-4 times a week) when I noticed them gone. HTH! (06/04/2002)
Another couple of things to consider! We were having a major problem with nits and I'd tried everything natural and unnatural that I could find and we were still having problems!
I went to speak to a herbalist and she told me that if you're lacking in vitamin B it can be harder to get rid of them. She also said they hate garlic in the blood - so eat garlic very regularly for awhile (if you don't mind it that is!). I must say since I started taking garlic regularly and used hairspray regularly I have found they are gone from my head at last! (08/22/2003)
Try using olive oil. It makes it hard for the lice to move. It suffocates them and most of the nits slide right out or fall off! It does take a few washes to get that oily look out of the hair but this does work! Good Luck! (09/23/2003)
This tip is in response to your request about head lice. My children were plagued with head lice while in elementary school. After using the over the counter products that worked but didn't keep them away I learned about coconut oil shampoo. After using the chemical products to kill the present lice and washing the whole house and especially bedding, pillows, coats, towels, etc. our whole family began washing our hair with coconut oil shampoo, daily. We continued using it for many years. We did not get hair lice again. And coconut shampoo is a great shampoo. (09/27/2003)
We have been suffering a strain of mutant head lice for quite some time now. In an attempt to get rib of these bugs we tried just about everything under the sun not to mention hundreds of dollars (including herbs, old remedies and over the counter treatments) Unfortunately, none of these worked for us. After weeks of searching the internet for answers I came across a site that treated fleas with a garlic and vinegar solution. The article read, "Does Flea Free shampoo really kill head lice ?
A. Yes! This was discovered accidentally when one mother was at wits end with her daughter's lice infestation. The mother knew that Flea Free contains only all natural ingredients. In her persistent effort to finally rid the head lice epidemic that had taken over her home and life, she shampooed her daughter's hair every other day with Flea Free shampoo for two weeks. The lice and newly hatched lice from eggs were then gone.
I started researching garlic and it's active properties. As you may or may not know, there are many varying ways in treating head lice. One of those include antibiotics. Antibiotics such as (Bactrim or Septrin) are sometimes prescribed as a second line treatment for head lice. The belief is that the bacteria in the gut of the lice, which are essential for the digestion of nutrients, are killed when the lice feed on the blood of a person taking this antibiotic. They then starve to death.
However, this method may cause future use of antibiotics to lose their effectiveness. The reason why garlic is so effective for the treatment of head lice is it's ablity to act the same way as a prescribed antibiotics without the side effects. High potency garlic oil such as Blackmores and Natures own (3000mg x 3 per day) will kill and prevent head lice. Treatment usually takes two weeks to complete and to break the cycle of head lice. Continue to use as a preventative.
I hope this information can help others who are suffering from this dreaded condition.
By the way, this treatment really works!
I am an adult and I have had lice off and on for a long time. I have used Rid and Nix, left it on for hours, rinsed it out, combed with my licemiester comb (I recommend it) and found LIVE bugs after the poison shampoo, so I decided to try and find a non-poison way to get rid of them.
I have tried mayo but I didn't know it had to be real so that is why it didn't work.
My aunt helped me a few years ago with the combing process, after combing through twice she went through it hair by hair with a pair of hair scissors. cutting below the nit on the hair. She put the hair in a bowl of water. This ensured that the loose nits didn't hatch on the carpet or something, they were thrown out each time we took a break. I didn't notice a difference in the amount of hair that I had after the cutting process. remember that this is after the majority of the nits are combed out.
I bought a Licemeister comb a few years ago and I love it. (it has a website) it was about $15 but you can use it many many times. I have used some combs that broke off of the handle or cut my hair, this one is still intact. I used it everyday for the few months after I get rid of lice just in case. The most recent time I had lice I dunked my head in white vinegar (I laid on the bathroom counter and dunked my head in the sink filled with vinegar and a little warm water.) This worked well to dissolve the glue that hold the nits on to the hair. (vinegar can dissolve a pearl btw) then my boyfriend (I bless his soul) combed through my hair.
I used lice as a good excuse to get the carpet shampooed. I know I didn't miss any spots this way.
I have also found nits that didn't pull all of the way out of my hair in the bottom few inches of my hair, so I decided it was time for a trim.
I hope this helps.
I know this is an old post, but I figure those who are now searching for a head lice remedy may find it. My 3 year old got lice from her day care provider. Her hair had never been cut and I did not want to cut it unless I had to. After consulting with her pediatrician on prescriptions for head lice, she told me she would not give her one unless we tried OTC stuff first. So we tried Nix! Ha! what a joke it so did not work. I washed her hair, then picked nits, by hand, for 9 hours!
I sent her back to her sitter and in 2 weeks they were back! So I shampooed and started the process all over again! I even permed her hair! We decided to stop sending her to daycare, and that seemed to do it. Then about 4 weeks later, I sent her to her day care for 2 hours, while my husband and I got our taxes done. 2 weeks later, yep head lice again! I was at the end of my rope! So I hit the internet and found Licerx. This product is all natural and guess what! after 1 treatment and no nitpicking! All gone! I will never use anything else!
One thing you can use is Skin So Soft from Avon. My niece kept bringing lice home from school after weeks of being clear. We started using Skin So Soft from Avon when it got cold and her skin was dry. It stopped the lice from coming to her. Seven to eight children in her class a month were being sent home per week and she never got it again that year.
Put Skin So Soft in a spray bottle and mist on the skin after bathing. No more lice.
If your child already has lice.. before using chemicals try vacuuming first and then try regular coconut cream rinse on the hair after shampooing. While still in the tub, leave cream rinse in hair and use the nit comb in all different directions after combing out tangles the lice cannot seem to move around with the cream rinse in. Rinse hair like normal and you should have removed all live lice. Repeat nightly or every other night until any remaining nits have hatched. This is a weekly regimen in my home while school is in session. Prevention is the best medicine and no chemicals. The chemicals in Rid and Nix do cause irreversible neurological damage. (08/30/2004)
Tea tree oil available at health food stores (and maybe even WalMart?) does the trick. That and using one of the very very fine tooth combs.
My kids were both sent home with lice a couple of years ago, after I used the OTC stuff. I went straight to the pediatrician's office and the nurse told me about tea tree oil. She also told me to combine the tea tree oil with something like Vaseline or other greasy stuff (baby oil, mayo, etc.). We left that in our hair over night and spent the next day trying to wash it all out, but it worked.
The Vaseline, etc, does take a long time to wash out, but it works.
In addition, you can add the tea tree oil to your shampoo after you get rid of them to keep them at bay so you don't get re-infestations. It has a not so bad smell.
Also, blow dry the hair with the hottest setting you have on the dryer.
And put all the laundry through the clothes dryer.
Good luck! (08/31/2004)
Try mixing some vinegar in a gallon of water and wash hair with it. Or you can use mouth wash. It helps get rid of them! Having really clean hair puts you at greater risk of getting head lice. So use hair spray every day or hair gel and don't wash your "all the time." Good luck. (10/03/2004)
Why can't you just bug-bomb your house for the lice (besides treating the hair)? (11/17/2004)
OTC treatments are a major waste of time and money. I've spent hundreds on the bullcorn. Shave their heads! (02/17/2005)
By lousy dad
I agree that the natural method is better, however I use mineral oil and a really good lice comb. Bagging up stuffed animals and decorative pillows that cannot be washed is NOT a waste of time. Also spray bedding with commercial flea killer and let the kids sleep on the couch for a couple of days. you can use flea shampoo to wash clothes and other items, hats, backpacks. Throw away all combs, brushes and sleeping pillows. I even bought brand new sheets.
Heat does kill lice, but unless you have an industrial clothes dryer, it's gonna take at least an hour to kill them. A vinegar hair rinse helps get rid of the oily look after a mineral oil treatment and as harsh as it is to hair dish soap, especially Joy, is a good shampoo to help with both killing the lice (and fleas on your dog) leave in for 20 minutes. (03/15/2005)
By Randi S.
This was told to us by a vet, use a kitten flea killer. We used Frontline, and in 5 sec all the head lice were dead. Just one drop on the top of the head. It was so good, we did a whole preschool, and it's cheap. (03/16/2005)
This is an old suggestion from the book, the Happy Hooker, where she had crabs. The only difference between crabs and head lice is the spot on the body.
The best, and I mean best, treatment for headlice is Campho-Phenique. My kids were sent home with lice and I had them back in school the next day, completely clean of lice. Put the Campho Phenique in their hair for at least 1/2 hour then shampoo it out. It kills the galloping dandruff, and kills the nits.
The nits will not come off the hair shaft for a while, but you can see that they are dead as they are clear. I had to do this twice while the kids were growing up and it worked everytime. Of course, you have to clean house and clothes like crazy, but at least the head lice are gone and quickly, too. The kids also brought home ringworm and I used Campho Phenique on it too to clear it up. (03/25/2005)
I have found an inexpensive and really not all that hard way to get rid of lice. I have tried for a very long time to get rid of the lice in my 3 kids hair. And for a very long time I was getting nowhere. A friend of mine had sent me to the store to get some groceries. While I was there I had picked up a can of grease, that cost maybe $2.00 not even. I put that in my kids hair just as you would if washing your hair with shampoo. Then I put a shower cap on their head and left it there for about 2-4 hours.
When rinsing I used dish soap, as they say Dawn takes grease away. And it worked! Of course you would need a fine tooth comb. When finished their hair was nice and soft. No grease and no lice were left in their hair. That can was enough to do a family of 5, and if need be, there is enough to do again. (04/20/2005)
Frontline works really well on head lice. It is actually labeled for human use in France for head lice treatment/prevention. You can get it in a spray that will last a small dog or cat for 6 months or longer and you don't use as much on people. (06/28/2005)
We had a lice outbreak at school recently, and I learned a lot. It seems that nit picking is the key to ending the lice problem quickly. Kill the lice by slathering olive oil in the hair, and leaving on under a shower cap for at least a few hours. We did it overnight. Then shampoo out (we used a mixture of tea tree oil and olive oil shampoos).
To remove nits, apply Pantene white hair conditioner to the hair and comb out to remove snarls. Then put glob of Pantene and a mound of baking soda next to each other on a big plate (about a quarter cup each to start). Dip your nit comb into the conditioner, then into the baking soda, and comb through in 1/4 by 1-1/2 inch partings. Be sure to start right where the hair comes out of the scalp, and comb all the way through to the end of the hair shaft. After each run of the comb, wipe the comb between two very white paper towels. You will see the nits on the towels. Re-dip the comb before each comb-through. It takes a long time. This should be repeated every three days until nits are completely gone.
As a precaution in between combings, we slathered this product called Isoplus Tea Tree Oil and Lanolin conditioner into the hair and put it in pig tails for several days to make the head an undesirable place for lice, should they be exposed at school again. The lice can't lay eggs on oiled strands, and don't like tea tree oil. After we were clear (we caught it early and got rid of it in two days), we sprayed our daughters' heads (and our heads, too) regularly with a mixture of tea tree oil and water. I sprayed it on their pillows too.
While the olive oil treatment was doing its work, we removed bedding, pillows, stuffed animals, etc. and vacuumed.
Lice are an absolute nightmare, and you have to get obsessive to really get rid of them and prevent them from coming back. (07/22/2005)
By Mother of Three Long-haired Girls
As a last resort, I sprayed about 20 pumps of 'Frontline' on my medium/short hair. I combed it through till damply saturated. I woke up in the middle of that first night sweating and feeling as though my whole bloodstream was poisoned. I woke up in the morning tingling, but glad to be alive. For the next four days the lice went crazy running around through my hair, as the pesticide excites their nervous system.
After four days of this, I went back to sleeping with conditioner on my head, as I came to realize the 'Frontline' had not worked.
I woke up that fifth morning feeling really ill. I combed my hair out and found all kinds of black specks...and still had lots of movement. Again the next night I slept with conditioner on my head, and again I woke up feeling horrible as though my whole nervous system were on fire. I was also dizzy and in a mental fog. Finally I read that if you put an oil or fat on top of a head that has been treated with a pesticide, it drives the pesticide into your body. It is a week and a half after my initial application now, and I am still feeling really horrible. My muscles have become highly sensitive, if I lean a calf against anything it gets sore. My toes and fingers are sensitive and tingle. I have pains shooting around in my body.
I still have head lice. Please do not put this product on your child or yourself. After doing more research, I see it is a known carcinogen, as bad as Lindane.
If you have put on Frontline, never put any kind of oil or conditioner on your head for any length of time, for a month after.
Before chemicals try a natural soap like 'Tom's' natural moisturizing liquid hand soap, comb it through and leave it on for 24 hours....this works better than Frontline and it is a lot safer. Editor's Note: Wow, sounds like you are lucky that you are alive. Please everyone, do not use Frontline on yourself. Make sure anything you use is either harmless or approved by a doctor. (06/19/2006)
Frontline definitely works and a chemist friend told us that the chemicals used in Frontline are way less harsh to a child than the chemicals in other treatments. We only used a cat dose each on our family of 6. I didn't even have to wash pillow cases, etc. All gone within a half hour of treating. It is so simple. Just 4 drops on the top of the head and viola all gone. (10/07/2006)
By busy mummy of 4
We have lice for the first time. We tried Licefree an OTC product using salts that the lice eat and die from dehydration or something, it's applied like the mayo treatment. We also bought an electric robi-comb by Liceguard which was expensive but advertised as a detector and killer. My children have white blonde hair very hard to detect the eggs.
So far, only 5 days from discovery, no lice or nits found but my daughter and I have long wavy hair that is difficult to pass a lice comb through without ripping it out and breaking it. I read about the benefits of coconut shampoo I have coconut oil I think I'll go greasy for a day should smell better than mayo. My scalp still itches and I'm paranoid! (09/30/2007)
Olive oil is the cheapest way and most effective. Saturate hair with olive oil, tightly wrap hair in Saran Wrap, then cover with a shower cap. Leave in over night. The next morning comb with a nit comb and walla! Coconut shampoo prevents re-infestation. For toddlers lavender and chamomile (night time baby wash.) (03/29/2008)
By 8 kids running in and out
Hi my daughter had the head lice cycle for 5 years. We used every treatment; natural, chemical, mayonnaise, radical hair cut etc. to no avail. I ended up taking a vet's suggestion of Frontline. She had the same problem with her own daughter so investigated the properties of Frontline. She found the ingredients in Frontline for small dogs to be the most harmless for use on humans.
Amount was just one capsule in tiny drops on front and back of head. I have not seen a head louse on her head or mine for about 6months and that is after 5 years with the most time clear, a week! I read above how someone saturated their hair with it and then suffered from terrible side effects! I am not surprised.
This should be used sparingly and some investigation into the properties would be an idea. I decided that one application of Frontline compared to 5 years of goodness knows how many different treatments was by far the lesser evil. Her scalp used to be raw and scabby and her hair dry and brittle and now it is all clear and her hair is shiny for the first time! (11/16/2008)
I have been fighting this all summer long! So after you use the head lice treatments, put 10 drops of tea tree oil in your shampoo. Also use 10 drops of tea tree oil and water in a spray bottle, and spray it on your couches, hats, beds, and carpet. That should get rid of it. But note that if you have animals they can get sick or die from it being on these areas. (08/27/2009)
It helps to shampoo with Dawn and then put on conditioner and then comb through with a meta lice comb. I forgot to put that in my last post. Especially for long hair, and the conditioner slows down the movement of any of the little critters. (12/15/2009)
By Robyn Fed
Before using Frontline on anyone or any animal, I will tell you it has stopped working on all my dogs. I am not sure what happened, but heard on here somewhere that it changed ownership to a retail store and the composition is now changed. (12/15/2009)
By Robyn Fed
It has been found that lice can "hold their breath" so to speak for the mayo treatment, and that would cause it to keep from working, but still, like someone said above, mechanical removal is the key with a lice comb about 5 or more times a day and washing the hair with Dawn and then letting it sit a few minutes, and then rinse and put in hair conditioner and comb through the hair while it has conditioner on it. (12/15/2009)
By Robyn Fed
I just cut my daughter's hair very short to get rid of the lice. (02/22/2011)
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