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Preventing Head Lice

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When you receive notice that head lice have been detected at school, you want to keep the lice from adhering themselves or their eggs to the hair shaft. This is a page about preventing head lice.


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July 27, 2010

If you let your kids use those headphones at media centers or music stores, it is the same as sharing a comb with all the people who have used it before. Lice can climb into their hair this way.

Also, here are tons of natural and nontoxic, tried and true tips on lice treatment and prevention. Some of these I have never heard of. Here is the link:

There are a lot of good ideas here on lice prevention.

By Robyn Fed from Hampton TN

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By 2 found this helpful
September 22, 2011

I had a terrible time with lice when my son first started school, they were so bad I had to cut his hair to a quarter inch long! These three tips worked to prevent them.

  1. Wash your children's hair every night. Lice need approximately 24 hours to feed and lay eggs. This washes them out and you never get the eggs. Yes, I know children hate to wash their hair, but they hate lice treatments even more.

  2. Use some kind of hair product on your children's hair. I used mousse and hairspray and they both work. Any kind works, I just used the dollar store ones.

    If you put it into wet hair it won't get stiff. Just make sure that the hair is fully coated. It takes a lot less product than you might think. This works to keep the lice from adhering themselves or their eggs to the hair shaft.

  3. In winter, when you get the notices from school that lice have been found, have your children put their outerwear into the dryer for about 10 minutes every day after school.

I did all three of these things and my children never had lice after that first year.

Source: My son's K-4 school nurse.

By Jen from Lancaster, PA

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June 30, 2011

Children's hair can easily transfer lice when they are sitting close together, on rides such as carnival rides, such as roller coasters. Going through the hair with a lice comb should take care of any potential problems.


Metal nit combs and long toothed lice combs are best. The plastic ones do not work as well. Putting conditioner on hair before slows them down and lets you see them better.

By Robyn Fed from Tri-Cities, TN

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 14, 20070 found this helpful

When a child gets head lice often, what can I do?

Sharon from Bolivar, MO


By mike (Guest Post)
March 14, 20070 found this helpful

if it a boy you can shave his head thats the easyest way to go about it

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March 14, 20071 found this helpful

I'm wondering if y'all are actually getting rid of all of the nits (eggs) when you're treating the lice. The one (and only, thank goodness!) time my daughter contracted lice, I caught them from her. We both have pretty thick hair and it seemed like just when we thought we had gotten rid of them, the little buggers would be show up again. After about 2 weeks and over $100 in treatment, I was at my wits end. I called the doctor and the doctor on call suggested applying Vaseline to our hair and working it to the scalp.


We then placed shower caps over our heads and left them on overnight. Talk about an uncomfortable night! Plus, it took FOREVER to get the Vaseline out the next morning, but it worked! The Vaseline "smothered" the nits and lice and it also left our hair pretty darn shiny. Just make sure that you comb through with a nit comb to remove any eggs on the shaft and treat all linens, clothes, stuffed animals and even car seats by washing in hot water and/or using the lice spray. Good luck, I truly know how you're feeling.

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By Just me... (Guest Post)
March 14, 20070 found this helpful

Also, when you do finally get rid of *ALL* the nits/lice/eggs, put about 8 drops of tea tree oil in your shampoo/conditioner to keep them away!! :)

Good Luck!

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March 14, 20070 found this helpful

At the age of 8 my daughter cought head lice at school. It was summer and HOT~~~ They spread very quickly at school with kids


sharing combs etc. We washed bedding daily and washed and bagged all stuffed animals, you name it we did it. We ALL used the lice shampoo. It was awful. Her hair was long brown and beautiful. We didnt want to cut i so we used that fine come and combed till the cows came home EVERY DAY!! She would fall asleep with her head in my lap as I combed and combed.. she cried and cried.
But in the end it came down cut cutting her pretty hair. No other way around it. The nits are just to hard to get rid of.
We washed all bed linen EVERY DAY
Bagged all stuffed animals.
Bagged all the clothes in the dresers.
I didnt let her touch her clean clothes.. only I got them out for her!
Vacumed furniture daily and threw out the vac-bag.
VAcumed the car
Told her NOT to share combs at school
And NOT to wear others hats and not to let her clothingbe close
to others. Its Sounds harsh but it was awful, it can last for weeks

and reinfest. Shes grown now but my kids remember it very well!!'
Good luck!!

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By (Guest Post)
March 15, 20070 found this helpful


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By glinda (Guest Post)
March 15, 20070 found this helpful

We had the head lice reoccurance problem one time, and I learned then, that even when I would get my kids checked by the nurse to "pass", they still re-occurred. We found out that the group we spent alot of time with, did not ALL treat, and one family kept re-infesting the rest of the kids. We had to finally make an announcement for everyone to treat, and get it over with. The one family finally did, and then the problem was gone.

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By Debra in Colorado (Guest Post)
March 15, 20070 found this helpful

I assume that you are using a medicated lice shampoo so here is some advice maybe your doctor did not tell you. Wash everything that child owns in HOT water with bleach. Sheets bedding and clothes. Put all stuffed animals in a black garbage bag and leave out side for at least a month of cold weather. Do not allow your child to share combs or hats until you are sure that you have killed all the little buggers. Be careful with the shampoo your child and the lice can build up a resistance to it. Good Luck.

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March 15, 20070 found this helpful

my grandkids had lice we spent close to a 1,000 dollars trying to get them out of their hair and out of the house. my daughter just gave up and got an appt. with a doctor and he gave them an antibotic called Bactin they stay on it for 2 or 3 days and the lice were gone. Dar in Texas

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March 15, 20070 found this helpful

If your child is in school, tell the teacher it is imperative that your child move seats away from the children she was sitting near. Also, you should mention to your child's school nurse about the lice. And, if there is no school nurse, then call and make an appointment with the Principle and get that person to contact central office immediately and they should have a person who will come and check out all the children in the school. This is very important. They do jump from child to child.

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By Little foot (Guest Post)
March 15, 20070 found this helpful

Some other things you can try to help keep lice away is as soon as your children come in from school put all their coats and hats in the dryer. If you run the dryer for about 10 minutes any louse will die. This really helps to cut down on reinfestations.

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By lynn (Guest Post)
March 16, 20070 found this helpful

licemeister comb is the best thing, but you must be diligent about combing, I usually do 2 sessions, a day for combing, one short and one long., The older the kids get the less they get it

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By Karon (Guest Post)
March 16, 20070 found this helpful

I do understand how you feel as my two children just recently had head lice and once your child has them it is very hard to get rid of them as no matter how many treatments you do to kill the lice and comb out the eggs as soon as they are back to school they get them again. The best thing I have used is a head lice repelant shampoo containing tea tree oil in it as I have been told the head lice do not like the smell and a nit comb and so far it has worked - Good Luck!!

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March 16, 20070 found this helpful

I just use the Tea Tree shampoo.

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By Julia in UK (Guest Post)
March 16, 20070 found this helpful

Is your child going swimming regularly in a swimming pool? The chemicals in the pool water stop the head lice chemical treatments from working. When a class of children at a school all have swimming lessons at the same time there is usually a problem with head lice.

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By Michelle (Guest Post)
March 17, 20070 found this helpful

after you get rid of the lice, put gel or hairspray in their hair in the mornings. my children were getting it at school so i make them do it daily. so far, so good.

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By Lisa (Guest Post)
March 23, 20070 found this helpful

I had the same problem for 3 1/2 months last year. It was a complete headache. I just kept taking out the eggs and nits. Because you can't keep using lice shampoo. It's not healthy. Also there is an easy home remedy, which actually works very well. Mix vegetable oil & vinegar together. 1/2 & 1/2.
You don't need very much to cover hair. Then you put some type of plastic cap over the head for 2 hours, then rinse and wash with shampoo only...NO conditioner.
Good Luck with that!
I know exactly how you feel.
leeb67 AT

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March 26, 20070 found this helpful

3 times my child has had this stuff this year! I tell the school, but they do nothing! What should I do? This is killing my wallet and tiring me and my daughter out severely! Also why am I not catching it from her? I'm greatful for this! But it makes no since! What kind of shampoo has this tea tree oil in it or where can you buy it?

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By Miserable Mom (Guest Post)
July 8, 20070 found this helpful

Does Spray kill the eggs? Like on a couch or in a car. If not how the heck to you treat a carpet, couch or car? HElP

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By 0 found this helpful
March 19, 2008

My boyfriend has a two year old daughter he gets on weekends and he brings her over to my house with my two young children. Every time he brings his daughter back to her mother, her mother claims she has head lice. My boyfriends ex wife also claims it's only the nits that she comes home with, but my kids have never had head lice and neither have I or my boyfriend. Plus my daughter gets checked at school every week.

My boyfriend's daughter has also in the past several months come in contact with other children and his ex wife has still said that the every other weekend he does have her, she calls and tells him that his daughter has head lice. So, is possible for only one child to get nits in her hair when no one else in the household or any one who has come in contact with his two year old daughter has it?

Sunnie from New Orleans, LA


March 19, 20080 found this helpful

Probably not.

Next time your boyfriend brings his daughter over, use RID or another treatment on everybody (including the adults) as a precaution. Wait the recommended time frame (I think it's two weeks) and do it again.

Be sure to wash all linens, spray upholstery (furniture as well as car) with Lysol, etc. beforehand.

Keep everybody squeaky clean.

My kids never had head lice thank goodness -- but I would go through the above motions whenever any of their friends came down with them, and the precautions I took probably helped.

This way *if* she is picking it up from your house (and she's probably not) you can tell her mom what you've done to prevent her from getting lice at your home.

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March 19, 20080 found this helpful

It's possible that the ex-wife isn't treating her house. I had a similar problem. The nits must be removed because that is what hatches to create a bigger mess. I used Rid or a store brand and spray created to kill lice. It's no big deal to get head lice--they love clean hair; the problem is that all parties involved have to clean and treat the problem. It involves many wash loads and don't forget to spray the mattress. Just check the instructions and possibly contact her pediatrician since she is two.

God bless you!

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July 10, 20120 found this helpful

My daughter's friend was at our house playing for several hours. Later that night her mom called to tell us that she found out she has lice. I have checked all of our heads thoroughly several times and washed, cleaned, and vacuumed the entire house. I bagged up any toy that she could have even came in contact with. The pediatrician said it could show up for a couple of weeks. Do I need to keep my daughter from activities and other friends just because she was exposed? I feel like I'm just punishing her for no reason.

By Jen R.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 1, 2009

Can you get head lice from swimming pools?

By Reddy from TX

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By 0 found this helpful
September 18, 2009

Where do head lice originate?

By Lisa Latta from Vista, CA

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February 18, 20170 found this helpful

It requires a lot of work to get rid of head lice, so prevention is vital. This page explores the idea of using hairspray for lice prevention.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 18, 20090 found this helpful

Children will soon be starting back to school and unfortunately head lice are a fact of life. But I learned that putting hair conditioner (the cheaper the better) in the hair every night prevents the critters from laying their eggs, they prefer clean hair. So hair conditioner every night and wash it out in the morning and you should keep the cooties at bay.

By Cheaperthancheap from Boston, MA


Hair Lice Prevention

My hairdresser said to put a little bit of gel or hairspray in my children's hair everyday, because the lice can't "breathe" because of the stickiness of the products. Since I have been doing this, we haven't had any problems. (08/01/2006)

By Jennifer

Hair Lice Prevention

A good trick is tea-tree oil. Put some in a water spray bottle with the water, and spray it in each morning when doing your childrens' hair. I used to work in an outback community where they were on all the kids. They would cuddle me and sit all over me, play with my hair. The spray stopped me getting them. It also made me wonder about the "nits only like clean hair" theory. I washed my hair with conditioner every morning, and didn't get them. Yet the Aboriginal kids all had them, and they didn't wash their hair at all. (08/02/2006)

By katvn

Denorex Shampoo!

When our kids were in school (we now homeschool and don't have lice problems any more) we washed their hair daily with Denorex whenever we got the note from school saying someone had lice. Denorex extra-strength contains coal tar, an old-time remedy for lice. Apply to hair as a normal shampoo, let sit for ten minutes, then rinse and style as normal. The coal tar kills any lice and breaks the laying cycle of the eggs (nits). It is also much safer for your kids than that icky pesticide shampoo, which can be absorbed through the skin. (08/02/2006)

By Susabelle

Hair Lice Prevention

Each morning before school spray Listerine water and comb or brush hair. Take spray bottle, fill with water and a couple caps of Listerine. You cannot smell Listerine after it dries, but the lice can.

By Sharon

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