I am interrupting my regular scheduled blogging for a public service announcement.
Please, If you want your hair stylist to keep you as a client, Do not come to my house at 8am, unannounced, on a Sunday with a pack of kids with head lice.
It is against the law for me to let them in the salon and I certainly will not let them set on my sofa.
Head lice are insect parasites that are found on the scalp. Infection with head lice is called pediculosis. It is pretty common for kids to bring home lice from school and daycare. They are so contagious that they sweep through just like wild fire.
Contrary to popular belief, lice like clean people better than dirty ones. They don't have to work so hard to get their food source.
Suspect lice if your child is scratching her head and has red rashes on her scalp and the back of her neck. Look closely at the back of the neck and you can see the nits, tiny tear-drop shaped lice eggs, that attach to a single hair. The color can be anything from clear ones that are just laid all the way to dark brown ones that are not viable any more.
You may have to treat you child several times before you get it all. Even when you have taken care of it keep checking for a few weeks if your child attends public school.
Reduce the chances of a re-infection by cleaning the house really well. You my want to consider tossing out all combs and brushes that you child has used and replace with new ones. It may be a good idea to let them have their very own brushes. Anything like pillows and stuffed animals that can be tossed should be. Wash all bedding on hot (with bleach if you can) and dry on the hottest setting for 2 hours. This includes your child's coat and back pack. If there is no way to wash something you need to put it in a sealed garbage bag outside or in the garage for 3 days to a week. Vacuum the furniture and rugs really well and then toss out the vacuum bag. Wipe all hard surfaces down. Use bleach where you can. use citrus oil on you wood. Instruct your child not to place their coat and backpack next to the other coats and backpacks. Hang them on the back of their chair. If your little girl has one of those cute coats with the fur around the hood... check it for nits.
If you have little boys giving them a "buzz" hair cut or a military high and tight is the fastest way to be done with the lice as it leaves no place for the lice to hide.
If you have girls it is a lot harder to shave their heads so you are going to have some work to do. There are plenty of over the counter head lice treatments. Some of them are really harsh and full of chemicals that strip the hair not only of the lice but of the cuticle too! That is going to make the hair break and split. The following are natural and conditioning formulas that kill the lice.
Baby lice oil
1/2 C. olive oil
30 to 40 drops of eucalyptus oil
20 drops tea tree oil
Combine oils in a jar and use enough to cover the whole head and hair. Don't get this in the eyes.
This is best for children 3 years old and younger.
Strong lice oil
1/2 C jojoba oil
4 T. coconut oil
15 drops chamomile oil
30 drops tea tree oil
30 drops oregano oil
In a small sauce pan heat the coconut oil just till it is melted. Remove from the heat and add the jojoba oil followed by the essential oils. This will keep in a sealed container for 2 to 3 weeks.
Tea tree shampoo
4 ounces of natural shampoo
10 drops tea tree oil
10 drops oregano oil
Mix the oil into the shampoo right before you use it.
For both oils you cover the entire head and hair. Massage it in really well and cover with a shower cap. leave it on overnight or for 12 hours. Wash it out with the tea tree shampoo. Then take the nit comb and go through the hair. I recommend going to a place where you have direct sunlight so you can see the nits better. Start at the nape of the neck and work your way up in small sections. If the nit comb doesn't work you may have to use your fingers to pluck them.
Repeat this daily till you no longer see any new nits. Good luck!