Lice!!! - Mothering Forums
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Women's Health > Lice!!!
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 05:22 PM 07-30-2006
My oldest DD noticed lice in both of her younger siblings' heads this afternoon. Ugh- we just went through this a month ago!

Right now, all 4 of us have coconut oil(spiked with tea tree oil) on our heads, then saran wrap, then a terrycloth turban (except me- we only have 3 turbans so I'm wearing a cotton hat.)

I bought a metal nit comb (I couldn't afford more than one, but it's metal so it can be sterilized between people.)

Should we leave the oil goop on our heads overnight, or wash it out before bed? Should I send DS to day camp tomorrow?

What should we sleep on tonight?

nolonger's Avatar nolonger 05:34 PM 07-30-2006
The oil has to stay on for a VERY long time to kill the lice and nits, but in my experience, that is the only way to get rid of them. Both times we have had lice, I have used the chemicals until we ran out of money (as in dipping into savings accounts and skipping meals kind of run out of money) and then resorted to the oils, which did work.

Shaving my son's head the last incident didn't work either.

Coconut oil is a nice, light conditioning oil that me and my dd use weekly, so it shouldn't be anywhere near as much hassle for you as the corn oil I had to use was. Just use a plastic produce bag (if you're out of saran wrap) and a pretty scarf or warm knitted hat and relax. I'd leave it on overnight at least. I've left it on for several days myself, and you can even go out in public if you wear very tight buns, braids, or ponytails because it just looks like styling gel.

I'm not sure about how contagious your son would be tomorrow, so I'll leave that to another poster.
forthebest's Avatar forthebest 05:58 PM 07-30-2006
We have far less headlice now and only get em from visiting people who aren't doing anything about them! I don't use chemicals and usually buy natural repellent only stuff not actual insecticide and just comb,comb,comb.Conditioner is a good one too. One of my kids gets riddled in them,one hardly gets any and my eldest just combs when they are around and doesn't really get em anymore. Other people can catch em if close contact is maintained, if your dc is due to go to camp shortly He would need to nitcomb his hair while he is gone. They are really annoying and am not sure how efficient the chemical stuff is you would have to carefully read the instructions as to leaving it on over night as some of that stuff could be harmful, the coconut/teatree sounds good, hope you get shot of them soon. They say that lice don't jump thats rubbish I've seen lots of jumpers. Someone gave us scabies last year, it was awful and I had to dose us in some nasty stuff several times to eventually get rid of them, again only 2 of us got them even tho my 2 dd's were sharing a bed. Boy was I mad!!
LISSA~K's Avatar LISSA~K 06:12 PM 07-30-2006
I've heard great things about tea tree oil. Worked for a mama I know that found chemical treatments to be ineffective. Good luck!!
momto l&a's Avatar momto l&a 06:22 PM 07-30-2006
my mw recommends mixing tt with your shampoo and using that for a couple of weeks.

My mom when I was a kid used kerosene : worked well
Pynki's Avatar Pynki 06:22 PM 07-30-2006
Also, do a vinegar rinse on the hair. THe vinegar disolves the "glue" that hold the nits to the hair making them easier to comb out! GOOD LUCK!
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 07:22 PM 07-30-2006
I hadn't heard the vinegar tip before.

How much vinegar do I need to use for this purpose?
~member~'s Avatar ~member~ 11:06 PM 07-30-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by momto l&a

My mom when I was a kid used kerosene : worked well
OMG! My sister and I tried that one year when we had SuperLice. All it did was burn like crazy and ruin our hair. That time, the only thing that worked, was dying our hair blond. : If I remember right, it was the L'Oreal kind.
~member~'s Avatar ~member~ 11:07 PM 07-30-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla
I hadn't heard the vinegar tip before.

How much vinegar do I need to use for this purpose?
I just poured it on until our hair was soaked, then rinsed it out, applied hair serum, and combed 'em out.
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 11:08 PM 07-30-2006
OK, so undiluted vinegar?
~member~'s Avatar ~member~ 11:09 PM 07-30-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla
OK, so undiluted vinegar?
That's what I used. Never occured to me to dilute it.
beansavi's Avatar beansavi 11:13 PM 07-30-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
OMG! My sister and I tried that one year when we had SuperLice. All it did was burn like crazy and ruin our hair. That time, the only thing that worked, was dying our hair blond. : If I remember right, it was the L'Oreal kind.
Okay, this might be ignorant, but when I was little I had a friend who had relatives that were COUNTRY. I mean really COUNTRY. I met one of her cousins and she was kind of "slow". My friend told me it was from her mother using kerosene on her head for lice one time.

Now I was a kid, and she was a kid... but it was a "well known fact" in their family that the kerosene had messed the cousin up/damaged her. Inhalation? Getting into her bloodsteam through the scalp vessels?
~member~'s Avatar ~member~ 11:32 PM 07-30-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansavi
Okay, this might be ignorant, but when I was little I had a friend who had relatives that were COUNTRY. I mean really COUNTRY. I met one of her cousins and she was kind of "slow". My friend told me it was from her mother using kerosene on her head for lice one time.

Now I was a kid, and she was a kid... but it was a "well known fact" in their family that the kerosene had messed the cousin up/damaged her. Inhalation? Getting into her bloodsteam through the scalp vessels?
My sister and I were adults when we tried it. No way would we have tried it on our kids first. We took all precautions that we knew of, ventilation, no fires/hot things near us, etc. I was the only one who actually put the kerosene on my head and hair, my sister just helped. It burned so bad that I didn't leave it on, yelled for her to start rinsing, NOW!!!
gr8tfulmom's Avatar gr8tfulmom 07:41 PM 07-31-2006
We all got it last year while I was pg (both of my dd's, my bf and her dd) after a visit to ex dh/biodad's house : We used lots of olive oil and lots of combing - like almost 2 1/2 weeks worth of combing (all of us have long hair) and picking through strand by strand. For the girls we would douse with EVOO, wrap hair up tight, put on a shower cap and leave it for the night. In the morning comb it all out once again, oil again and wrap til evening. The 12 hr cycles had them pretty under control within a few days with daily checks and another dousing at the week and 2 week marks. Hope your friends are out of there soon!
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 07:22 PM 08-06-2006
Waah, they're not gone yet!
giarose's Avatar giarose 12:09 AM 08-17-2006
i picked a bug out of ds hair about 2 weeks ago and thought nothing of it at the time as he is always getting dirty outside. But when I found the 2nd and 3rd bugs, something clicked inside my brain and I showed dh who confirmed it was lice. We had been on the road for a month, so not quite sure when or where we got them. My head had been itching before I found the lice in ds hair and I just thought my head was getting dry due to different water. Anyway, ds (2 1/2 yrs), dh, and I all have lice but it seems like I have the worst of it. I have long hair and have already trimmed off 3 inches but am considering cutting off more. I'm pretty thorough with ds and dh heads but dh just doesn't have the patience to sit there and comb my hair and pick out the nits.

anyway, this is what we've tried so far...
-Hair Clean 1-2-3 -a non-toxic remedy I found at Whole Foods
-Dousing heads in olive oil and leaving in over night (I wasn't sure how long to keep it on, it sounds like others have kept it in continuously which I may start doing too)
-MG217 Medicated Coal Tar Shampoo

I have yet to try:
-Neem Oil Shampoo (neem oil supposedly suffocates the lice sufficiently)
followed by Tea Tree Oil Conditioner

I may try dousing my head with Cetaphyl gentle face wash and using a hair dryer it until it is completely dry and then letting it set for at least 8 hours before I comb through it. It's supposed to work like the neem oil.

My plan is to do something different for 4-5 days in a row and then start the cycle over again for at least 2 weeks.

I had also heard about dying the hair. Does anyone know if it matters whether it is a shade lighter or darker?

now for a mini-vent: I'm sick of doing laundry every day. And running after a toddler and trying to reason with him about why I need to comb through his hair again... and my head itches!!!
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 11:06 PM 08-26-2006
Why am I bumping up my own thread from July? You guessed it- the lice are back. :
Metasequoia's Avatar Metasequoia 11:36 PM 08-26-2006
OMG Ruth!! I followed your thread back then, it just isn't fair!!! Maybe you can all shave your heads & live in a motel for a month or two? I'm sorry, I'm sure jokes aren't what you need right now, poor mama.
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 11:49 PM 08-26-2006
DD10 and DS have coconut oil in their hair right now- I plan to comb them out in the morning after they shower.
giarose's Avatar giarose 10:50 AM 08-27-2006
so sorry to hear that they're back! we still haven't gotten rid of ours. i haven't tried coconut oil yet, just olive oil. dh used some otc and thought he was over it but I pulled out some fresh nits...

what i don't understand is that i keep pulling out nits but no louse is ever seen. it's gotta be somewhere, right? where is it (are they) hiding!!!!!? dh looks and looks and never sees anything. i haven't broken down yet and tried cutting more hair or dyeing it. but wow, my head is sore from combing and getting tangled...

Metasequoia - we think we actually got ours from a motel we stayed at on a recent road trip - ick!
dewlady's Avatar dewlady 11:31 AM 08-27-2006
we all got lice twice in the past few years, i work at a school and my kids all go there so if anyone comes into school with it we seem to get it too....
i am not joking, you will NEVER get rid of the lice by just washing or oiling with any product. they all help. no mater what your best defense is brushing through and picking the nits out with your fingers.
here is what we do.

cover head with something oily. wrap it up and leave it on as long as you can. (this kills the live lce, smothers them)

while this is going on you have to change all your bedding. sometimes if i can't afford the launry mat i bag stuff up for 3 days. they say 24 hours, but i play it safe.

sit down on the couch and get comfy. i like to do this at bedtime cause then my kids tend to fall asleep as i comb.

fill a dish with viniger and a little water. start at one side and start a-brushin. don't think of the comb getting the nits out, think of it seperating the hair so you can see the nits.

when you find one, pull it out with you nails. lay it on your thumb nail and press it with the back of another nail. it will make a little pop. then you have killed it, horay.

finish up the whole head like this. it will take a really long time on the 1st round.

at this point, you and your kids are fit to be in public, but be considerate. wear a hat or scarf, no lounging on other people's couches etc... lice freagin sucks, and i know plenty of people who get it from parents sending their kids places before they should.

repeat the comb through every day or two for A LONG TIME. sometimes i still find nits for weeks. i know SO MANY people who get it again the next month.

you never got rid of it. denial dosen't work.

lice are retched creatures. i have become the expert at school for fining lice on the kids. you wanna know why? l look like the lice are there and i am GOING to find them. i think a lot of times people are so sad to deal with them that they look and are like, "no it's okay, i looked. we're good."

you pretty much have to be obsessed to get rid of them.

by the way, all the chemicals do is kill the LIVE lice. they don't do anything for the nits. you still have to pick. plus, they are neurotoxins and are extremly yucky even for adults, especially for kids. i recomend skipping them.

good luck to anyone out there. it is a sucky thing to deal with.

another tip: haircuts don't get rid of lice (niether does dying it btw) but cuting hair does make it a lot easier. less hair is less hair. my kids all got their hair cut last time cause i have 4 kids. thats a lot of hair.

mara
Pynki's Avatar Pynki 02:56 PM 08-27-2006
vinegar loosens the nits from the hair follicle. Rinsing the hair with vinegar letting sit like conditioner and rinsing it out should help with getting the knits off of the hair shaft. If you get one of those ultra dandy $12.00 nit combs. LIKE SEEN HERE you can dip the comb in vinegar or rubbiung alcohol to kill he nits and clear the comb.
plantmama's Avatar plantmama 04:23 PM 08-27-2006
My sister used mayonaise and plastic wrap or a shower cap the last time she has lice and it worked. My mom who has worked around children her whole life swears the only way to get them out completely is to pick through and physically remove ALL the eggs. It's time consuming, but you can't kill the eggs with oil treatments.
My mom is somewhat of an expert at identifying and removing lice eggs
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 04:33 PM 08-27-2006
Can your mother come over and pick nits out of my kids' hair? I'm not quite sure exactly what I'm looking for and I can't seem to get DS to hold still long enough anyway.
rabrog's Avatar rabrog 09:58 PM 08-27-2006
If you can stand it, a good friend had recurring lice with her 2yo and used mayonnaise, wrapped DDs head in plastic wrap and left it on there for a couple of hours. She washed it out and combed out the lice (they were dead). She repeated this twice and killed all the nits, lice, everything. She said she used a lot of mayo to coat her DDs hair but it worked.

Also get a VERY fine tooth comb to get the nits out.

HTH!
Jenn
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 10:06 PM 08-27-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabrog
If you can stand it, a good friend had recurring lice with her 2yo and used mayonnaise, wrapped DDs head in plastic wrap and left it on there for a couple of hours. She washed it out and combed out the lice (they were dead). She repeated this twice and killed all the nits, lice, everything. She said she used a lot of mayo to coat her DDs hair but it worked.

Also get a VERY fine tooth comb to get the nits out.

HTH!
Jenn
I've been doing this. Repeatedly. Only I found that coconut oil smells much better than mayo when it's been sitting on your head for a few hours.

The problem appears to be that we're missing some nits somewhere and getting re-infected.


I wonder if the problem is in DS' bed- he sleeps on a crib mattress on the floor and often ends up on the carpet during the night. I can't exactly change the carpet every night.
rabrog's Avatar rabrog 03:09 AM 08-28-2006
The mayo is thick enough to kill the nits - I wonder if maybe the oil isn't thick enough to suffocate the little buggers?

Jenn
Metasequoia's Avatar Metasequoia 10:59 AM 08-28-2006
Doesn't mayo have vinegar? Maybe that's the key?
MangoMamma's Avatar MangoMamma 08:50 AM 09-05-2006
I'm new to this lice thing. My dd 5 and I have it and can't get rid of it. Should I be vacuuming the couch and washing the linens every day as well as the combing every day? We've used tea tree oil in shampoo and slept with margarine in our hair and yet they are still there.
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 11:11 AM 09-05-2006
What have you done so far MangoMamma? Do you get rid of it and then get it back, or are you having trouble getting rid of it in the first place?
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