November 17th, 2010

Got Lice?

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Photo used under Creative Commons from Randen Pederson

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

Photo used under Creative Commons from Sunil Basu

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:

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.

12 Responses to “Got Lice?”

  1. I use Jolis Cheveux by LTC, and so far so good, no lice!!!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Groovy Green Livin, Groovy Green Livin. Groovy Green Livin said: Posted: Got Lice? Natural ways to combat the little buggers. […]

  3. I dealt with lice 2 years ago with my youngest daughter. Not fun! We used the Nuvo method which uses cetaphil cleanser. Here is the webiste:
    I’m itching already just thinking about it. Thanks for the tea tree oil tip!

  4. Thanks for the link Kristina-I will check out their products!

  5. Thanks Nicole. I just took a quick look at the site Some of the products do contain a few organic ingredients-but most are not organic. Overall, the ingredients appear to be pretty non-toxic. Hope it keeps on working!

  6. […] Got Lice? | Groovy Green Livin […]

  7. […] Got Lice? | Groovy Green Livin […]

  8. Yikes!! Now I’m itching. Thanks for the heads up about Fairy Tales, it was always my go to product when the dum dum dum “lice notice” came home from school. Now I’ll be using tea tree oil from now on!!

    BTW, a friend of mine’s sister recently became unemployed and started her own business as a …nitpicker!!! She discreetly goes from home to home picking out those dreaded nits!

  9. I have been itching ever since a notice came home from school! Nitpicker is certainly an interesting job. I have heard of summer camps having one on staff to help with lice control. I know that I will be calling a nitpicker the day lice come home. Maybe your sister’s friend will be the lucky one to get the call!

  10. We got the call during summer last year. We did a simple, but not quite organic treatment.
    First, soak the hair in the yellow listerine and cover the head with a shower cap. After about 40 minutes (lice can hold their breath for up to 20 minutes..ICK), the alive lice should be dead.
    Then warm up a little white vinegar and spray the hair and comb out the sections. The alcohol in the listerine kills the lice and the vinegar loosens the nit glue. We were very successful with this!

  11. I am still digesting that they can hold their breath for up to 20 minutes-unbelievable! Yellow listerine-never heard that one before. Thank you so much for sharing this interesting recipe for lice removal. It is always nice to hear from someone who has had success. If and when lice come our way I will be well armed with ideas for combat. Thanks again!

  12. […] happened. Remember, I said it was inevitable? Last week was a doozy:  all 5 of us had head lice. I am happy to report that we are now lice free […]

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About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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