I knew it was inevitable. The dread is back. After a long summer with no mention of lice, today I received confirmation that they have made their way back onto the heads of countless children. I can now legitimately wonder if today will be the day that they enter my home for the very first time.
Having three young children in school, I know that if it is not today it will be sometime in the near future. I don’t get bent out of shape about many things, but for some reason I dread the day when I have to personally deal with lice. I have dealt with lice vicariously through many other brave warriors with the knowing that I am destined to someday join their ranks. But I am not ready.
I know that head lice don’t pose any health risks aside from the anxiety they cause those battling their existence. Having lice has nothing to do with poor personal hygiene; lice actually seem to prefer a clean head of hair (yet another reason my kids argue that showering isn’t really necessary). There is just a big “ick” factor along with a potentially itchy, red scalp. There’s an old saying that says “It’s not a shame to catch them, it’s a shame to keep them.”.
How to Avoid Getting Lice
Lice spread by direct contact – they can’t jump or fly from head to head since they don’t have hind legs and they are wingless.
- Teach children never to share personal items such as towels, hair brushes, hats, etc.
- Use a tea tree oil shampoo such as California Baby Tea Tree & Lavender Shampoo & Body Wash as your regular, everyday shampoo-I use it too. Lice don’t like the smell of tea tree oil.
- Spray your hair each morning with a tea tree oil and water solution.
- Keep long hair pulled back.
- Don’t share hooks for hanging winter jackets, sweatshirts and fleeces.
Non-Toxic Treatments for Lice
There are lots of products on the market that claim to make the lice go away, but many of them are full of heavy-duty pesticides and other harmful chemicals. There are also claims that the lice have grown resistant to some of these pesticides.
Fortunately, there are a few safe, effective, alternatives to get rid of head lice. Here are some of the best:
- Removal of lice by nitpicking-removing live eggs with a metal fine-toothed comb. There are commercial nitpicking salons and individuals who charge by the head or hour. This can be quite expensive.
- Safe Trap – Au Revoir Lice & Nits is the first certified USDA Organic Lice and Nits removal kit in the US. Safe Trap does not contain pesticides or any other chemicals-the ingredients are jojoba, rosemary, lemongrass and clove oils.
- Babo Botanicals–Lice Repel Shampoo and Lice Repel Conditioning Spray. Micaela from Mindful Momma reviewed these products and gave them a thumbs up! They received a very low hazard score from the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. Babo Botanicals claims that their Lice Repel shampoo and conditioning spray used together are clinically proven to be 95% effective at repelling head lice.
- Liceguard Robi Comb Electronic Head Lice Detector and Remover -do the nitpicking yourself-safely comb out all lice, eggs and nits from your child’s hair using a LiceGuard Combing Kit.
The well known brand Fairy Tales is not on my list of recommended products
I am not recommending the brand Fairy Tales, which is the brand I hear mentioned most often when discussing lice removal and prevention with other parents. Lynn at OrganicMania uncovered that although Fairy Tales claims to be “all natural and organic hair care”, there are no organic ingredients. Their products don’t have the USDA Organic label or the NSF/ANSI305 label –meaning their products are NOT organic.
Fairy Tales is part of greenwashing-taking advantage of the consumer’s vulnerability and misrepresenting a product as having environmental benefits when it doesn’t. Most of us rely on the word “organic” and believe that a product is pure and safe for our use. Make sure when you buy organic it has the USDA Organic label or the NSF/ANSI305 label.
Would you or have you used a nitpicker?
p.s. My head was itching the entire time I spent writing this post.
Disclosure-since we haven’t yet had lice I haven’t tried these products. I would love to hear what those of you in the know have used and what you suggest. Also, if you purchase any of the products through my site I will get a few pennies back from Amazon.