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Getting Rid of Head Lice

It is not uncommon for children to get head lice at school. Not only do you have to get rid of the lice in their hair, you also need to make sure you get rid of any lice in your house. This is a guide about getting rid of head lice.

Someone using a nit comb on a child's hair.
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February 4, 2014 Flag
6 found this helpful

I brought up 5 children and when one got lice, they all got lice. It is not a very funny subject in that you have to wash and dry everything in the house. The medication is not really great so I used hair dye on them. Each child's hair was dyed the same color it was before they had lice. I found the hair coloring killed the lice better than any prescription medication ever did.

Boy, was I thankful when they got older and there were no more lice infestations!

May 20, 2010 Flag
6 found this helpful

When my kids were young, head lice plagued the school system and my long haired children. My kids are Hispanic and Native American so cutting the hair was out of the question. I do not use chemicals and stories about them not working, costing a fortune, and causing damage just reinforced my choice not to go that route.


Tea tree oil is a popular homeopathic deterrent, and coconut shampoo and conditioner is also recommended. Always treat bedding, mattress, stuffed animals and winter coats and hats/scarves. Things that can go into the dryer -DO IT. Bag stuffed animals, because the dryer can ruin beautiful materials the toys are made of.

I am not fond of tea tree oil's smell especially when you send your child to school smelling like a medicine chest. I used cinnamon oil to improve the smell. Always mix only 2 drops into a quart of water. Never make it stronger or cinnamon oil will irritate skin. But I found that a light mist on the hair and spritzing the coats and hats eliminated the head lice plague!

Of course, use caution! I think food grade cinnamon powder would also work. Dust items in a garbage bag, sparingly and mix some in hot water for the spray bottle.

Compared to expensive and caustic chemicals, it works fantastically. Very inexpensive, very effective, and very Natural. The bottle of cinnamon oil did my kids for years and I shared it with others plagued by the insects. No one ever complained about the smell.

Between occurrences use coconut shampoo and conditioner and continue to maintain the bedding, pillows, and stuffed animals. You may never hear the words "head lice" again.

By Linda from Flint, MI


September 16, 2011 Flag
3 found this helpful

As a preschool teacher, I have heard (and tried!) many tips for getting rid of lice, the back-to-school bane of every school. The best and cheapest one is to use mayonnaise.

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March 13, 2013 Flag
1 found this helpful

My granddaughter has head lice. She goes to school after using different medications, prescribed and over the counter. She appears to be free of lice, but come home again with lice. What is the best treatment and why is she not getting rid of the lice?

By JM from WVA

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March 14, 20130 found this helpful

Please do not fool around with lye soap or mayonnaise. Go to the druggist and get his advice on the best product to use as shampoo. There is also a spray you can use for things like headphones. Freezing also kills the lice. But you must do the clean-up as the other posters have suggested, and do realize that you child may become re-infected as some people simply don't care and their children will continually re-infect yours.

Short hair is less likely to pick-up the lice. In my experience as a teacher, the little girls with the long beautiful curls were more likely to get head lice than the little boys with very short hair. For long hair, braids or pony tails, at least , are helpful. Head to head contact is one way that lice are spread amongst small children.

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March 14, 20130 found this helpful

Smother the hair thickly with hair conditioner and comb through with a nit comb. Then wash the hair as usual. I didn't want to use harsh chemicals and this worked for my kids. Check every night and keep the comb handy, unless the source (the feckless Mum) is treated they will be re-infested.And short hair is easier to deal with.

Marg from England.

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March 15, 20130 found this helpful

My granddaughter came to visit and brought a whole head full of friends. I immediately took her in the backyard (since she had long hair) I cut her hair. Then I took her in the bathroom and doust her entire head with Vegtable Oil. I then took seran paper and comletely covered her entire head. After the seran paper I took the hair blower and blew hot air over the seran paper. We then covered her head with a towel to keep her head warm. About four hours later I removed everything and all dead lice were stuck on the seran paper. I then put her in the shower and washed her hair throughly. BINGO never saw another lice in her hair after that treatment. Good Luck

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March 13, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

My granddaughter keeps coming home from daycare with head lice. I have done the spray and wash everything in hot water. Any other solutions? This doesn't seem to work.

By Jan

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March 16, 20120 found this helpful

Three things:

1) Naptime mats need to be replaced at the daycare,if there are any,as well as cubbies,or other storage bins where overcoats and scarves would be stored (turn the daycare onto tip #3, below).

2)And secondly,if your couch cushions will unzip,take them out,wash the fabric part,and put the foam rubber part inside two huge lawn and leaf bags and leave them there for at least two weeks. Same thing for any pillows it would be safe to cover with garbage bags. As long as they cannot feed for two weeks, they will die out.

3) Go to your garden center at walmart or wherever and look for spray for aphids on roses. it contains the same pyrethrins for 2.99 as the 12.99 lice sprays. The pyrethrins are derived from chrysanthemums, so they are safe for use around the children. I washed coats, cushion covers,pillows, towels-you name it,with the Aphid spray and hot water,and rented a carpet cleaner and used the Aphid spray in the solution tank. Problem solved !

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Anonymous Flag
January 31, 20160 found this helpful

Dawn dish soap all the way!! My poor 3 year old... I have tried everything from mayo...yuko! Oils, otc crap and nothing worked like dawn! You don't even have to let it sit on hair for hours it hands down kills bugs instantly if you don't bleve it find a bug and put a Lil soapy dawn on it and watch...:)!!! Course it don't kill the eggs so you still need to condition and comb out if they are in school but the trick is...wen the lice hatch they don't lay eggs till they are 10 days old. So eggs hatch after 7 days that means wash hair in dawn every 3 days with dawn for 2 weeks then wash hair with dawn 1 a week (every 7 days) no more lice ever Im telling ya easy, cheap, safe, I'm actually still in shock over something so common as dawn and yet people still put pesticides in hair...amazing really! Also head lice can't live more than 48 hours with out a host (head) so the whole wash everything and put stuff in bags for a 2 weeks or a month is just crap!!! Stop freaking out. guaranteed if you take a magnifying glass you wouldn't find any on furniture or

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September 17, 20161 found this helpful

Dawn dish soap kills a lot of nasty bugs

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December 3, 2011 Flag
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How do you remove the nits from a child's hair? Please let me know.

By Drakesmom

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December 15, 20110 found this helpful

I would not try home remedies. If these things worked, people would not have had head lice when my mother was a child, when the remedy was kerosene. Use products from the drug store. Of course, these things are toxic, as the head lice are living things that you are poisoning. But there is no other way to do it. I see there is now a teetree oil product on the shelves at my local drugstore, so that may not be as harsh.

The comb that is used for nit removal is essential to the whole process, You must use that on your child's hair.

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July 15, 20130 found this helpful

From everything I've read and experienced, no lice remedy gets rid of nits. They absolutely have to be combed out. We bought the Lice Terminator comb on Amazon and it works 100% better than any other lice comb we've tried. It has metal teeth with little grooves and it works great for removing nits and even smaller live lice.

We've used listerine, olive oil and mayo to kill lice and they all work well. The real issue is getting the other adults in your life to be as vigilant about checking their kid's heads as you are. Our daughter will go weeks or even a month without any sign of lice and then suddenly she'll spend a night away from home and come back with them.

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Anonymous Flag
September 18, 20160 found this helpful

Dawn dish liquid does work for the bugs themselves but you still have to comb the nits out, but you have to with the prescription stuff too.

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April 15, 2010 Flag
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How do I treat or find head lice?

By Melissa

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April 18, 20100 found this helpful

There is a shampoo that the doctor can prescribe to you. Also make sure that you wash your bedding and anyone else that has long hair in the house should also take preventative measures, since they jump from head to head.

The "mother lice" is a black small odd shaped thing (that you may never see, since it moves around) and lays clear eggs at the scalp of the head. Since the eggs are clear, they are difficult to see, but not impossible. If you find one egg, it is more than likely there will be other eggs in that same area. The way to kill the eggs is to pop the eggs in between your fingers (you will definitely hear them crack).

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July 27, 20100 found this helpful

I tried many ways and finally found the method! Denorex shampoo. Make sure it is the one with coal tar in it. It stinks but it does the trick. Even rids nits without combing. About 7 dollars at Walmart, if not found there, buy at Walgreen's. Worth every penny! You will get wonderful relief and be so thankful for this stuff!

Google this shampoo and you will get wonderful testimonies from others who tried everything before and couldn't solve the problem until they discovered Denorex!

I'm out to spread the word! :>)


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October 27, 20100 found this helpful

My 3 daughters and I had lice not long ago. It was a nightmare! I finally took them to a lice specialist and paid lots of money, but in 2 hours they did what I had been trying to do for 5 days. You don't need to spend all the money I did, though. The key is to find the right lice comb. The cheap plastic ones in the drugstore kits are worthless. The Terminator or Licemeister work wonders! We had such a bad outbreak at the school and nothing was working for anyone. Even our principal and her daughter got it. But everyone who got the Terminator was back to school in a day or two, with no nits, while those who didn't were gone for almost a week. You can find these combs online or at some kids salons. They aren't cheap, but it's cheaper than the money I spent tryng everything else.

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August 24, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

I found head lice on my granddaughter when she came to visit. How do I clean my microfiber couch and loveseat to make sure they are not on them?

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