Any natural ways to prevent or treat headlice? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-15-2002, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Help - my daughter is in kindergarten and just brought home her first notice of a case of headlice in her classroom. So far my daughters head looks fine, but I'm wondering if anyone knows of any natural ways to try to prevent headlice or ways to treat it without the nasty shampoos they sell in the stores if she does end up with them? I heard of someone using tea tree oil to prevent them, and wondered if shampoo with tea tree oil might be worth a shot (she has long hair so I thought the oil itself might be hard).... has anyone tried this? I really hate the idea of harsh chemicals on my little ones' heads, especially since my other two kids are 3 years old and 4 months old.... and I've heard the chemical treatments don't always work the first time.

This is my first post - so hello! Hope someone can help me.
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Old 03-15-2002, 07:58 PM
 
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ARGGHHH!!!! We have just been through this, courtesy of my DD's pre-school!

It was not fun. I heard many bad things about the chemicals in those shampoos (cancer causing,etc.) Also some of the Moms at school used it and it didn't really work so they had to keep doing it! YUCK!
We used olive oil (suffocates the little buggers) Saturate the hair with it and leave it on for awhile. Wash it out really well. Then use one of those combs, specially made for "nit (the eggs) picking" Comb in sections very carefully. You need to do this combing at least once a day for a couple of weeks (not the oil, unless you see some more critters)
Wash all sheets, and linens, combs, hats. Stuffed animals that can't be washed need to be placed in an airtight plastic bag for two weeks. Vacumn everyday.

They like really clean hair, so I was told to use a little styling gel or mousse and blow dry DD's hair(apparently they hate styling products) to prevent them from coming back. I've also heard that putting a little tea tree oil in your shanpoo helps. you could also add a little to the olive oil.

Good Luck!

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Old 03-16-2002, 06:26 AM
 
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There was just a long thread about this on another forum, but I can't remember which one. Just do a search for it. There were tons of great ideas for prevention and getting rid of them.

My dd got a notice a couple weeks ago as well. We use lavender for a deterent. I think you can use Tea tree oil as well. We just put a little lavender oil behind her ears and along her hairline on her neck each morning before school. There are also tons of lavender plants on the way to school that are blooming right now so if we forget we just rub it on as we walk to school.

I'd suggest finding the other thread though, iit was full of great ideas. I need to print it in case I ever need it. I would not recommend ever using the chemical lice treatments. They are highly toxic and the lice are resistent anyway.
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Old 03-16-2002, 07:11 AM
 
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I'll second what the other two mamas said and add that I've heard coconut oil is another great one to use and your dd's hair will smell yummy afterwards too!
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Old 03-16-2002, 01:13 PM
 
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We used olive oil also to suffocate the lice. It worked very well but was a pain in the butt to wash out.
You can dab some tea tree oil on DD's scalp everyday, it's a very good lice repellent. Also, if you can, wear her hair in braids or a bun.
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Old 03-16-2002, 01:24 PM
 
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A good measure is to comb daily with a narrow toothed comb. Vigorously comb hair over a white towel or the sink or bath regularly, which will show you if there are lice there - they are difficult to spot. Look around the ears and hairlines. If you damage them by combing they can't breed. Also get pictures of the eggs and the empty shells - lots of people think their child still has them when they are looking at the empty shells, which stick to the hair and so grow away from the scalp. Live eggs will be very close to the scalp.

In the UK they used to sell a comb that somehow electrocutes the lice, it beeps when it hits one. I knew several parents who used them there, but have never heard of them out here. Maybe an internet search would find it, if anyone does, let me know!

When you work with young children you do realise how frequently they get them, and it ceases to seem so horrible. Girls get them more often because of long hair and because they often touch more, so keep long hair tied back.

The other thread was on Healthy home, I think.
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Old 03-21-2002, 06:58 PM
 
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Hi,
I am very interested in the thread you mention regarding the head lice preventatives and remedies, did anyone find it?? I'm not sure how to do that but if you find it could you post a link here?? My ds will be going to jk this Fall and I'd like to have a head's up if this ever comes out.
Thanks
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Old 03-21-2002, 07:49 PM
 
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The thread is in "Health and Healing" I found it and bumped it up for you


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Old 04-02-2002, 07:19 PM
 
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Here's a non-chemical treatment for head-lice: bathe the head with straight apple-cider vinegar. If you want a preventative herbal remedy, I can give you that too, it's rather long, so you can send me a private msg. and I'll give it to you!
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Old 04-03-2002, 01:42 AM
 
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we went thru head lice hell last summer and here is what we did. tho the public health nurse insisted tea tree doesnt kill the bugs, it did for us. my daughter had a big infestation because we homeschool so no one checked her and i didnt know what to look for. we put straight tea tree oil on her scalp. i laid her head in my lap and patiently combed it in with a lice comb one small section at a time. we left it on 15 mins then washed it out. any nits 1/4 inch away from the scalp are dead. they cannot live on bedding, stuffed animals, hats or matresses because they need a certain temperature to stay alive, so u need not bother with washing all that. they like clean hair, so using mousse and harispray can deter them, but best of all is hair sprayed with a couple teaspoons of tea tree oil in 1 L water that is shaken before u spray. good luck, i feel for u! braids help on girls, brush cuts on boys...
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Old 04-09-2002, 12:01 AM
 
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I have had success with a shampoo that is called Fairy Tales Children's Rosemary Repel Shampoo with pure Rosemary Oil. It was specifically designed for children and may help prevent headlice. It works for my children. Ask your hair stylist if they have any. I paid 8.99 + tax for a 12 fl.oz. size.
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