There is NOTHING WORSE than having an itchy scalp. (ok, I can think of a few worse things, but it’s definitely “up there”) I’m not talking about dry scalp or dandruff or build up that itches, but the feeling that you’re dealing with something more…sinister. More…taboo. Yup, I’m talking lice here. The creepy crawly bugs and their eggs (nits) that mysteriously make their way onto yours or your child’s head. Something that blows my mind and something that ALL lice experts agree on is that you can only get them from SOMEBODY. My question is, okaaaay…but how did that first person get it?!
Where we began
When I first witnessed our three-year-old, Kaya, scratching her head, I wasn’t too concerned and a lice infestation was far from my mind. We bathe daily, brush her hair, and often keep her hair up when she attends her school. A lice infestation just wasn’t something that would or could happen to us. We’re SO clean! A week later, when she was still scratching her head, I knew I had to dig deeper.
I zeroed in on what looked like a speck of dirt that was moving at the front of her hairline during bath time. Keeping remarkably calm on the surface when I found it so as to not freak her out then plucked it off her head and ran/walked to my husband’s office to confirm my findings pretty much saying “ew ew ew ew ew ew ew” the entire way there.
“Dammit, that’s frickin lice” he said.
Time for Action
I proceeded to do the “Heebie Jeebies” dance and tried to shake out my “ewwwies” before walking back into the bathroom like the capable adult that I know I am. BLEGH!! Great. Time to make an embarrassing call to Kaya’s school tomorrow and start figuring out what to do next.
When I woke up the next morning, I called Kaya’s school, half expecting them to shame me or send out the all too embarrassing *School-wide Parent Email* where the news is kept anonymous but you can’t help but wonder if anyone suspects it’s *your kid* because you’ve also worked in an office before. Well, none of this happened.
Turns out, schools aren’t all that interested in knowing your kid has these nasty buggers nor alerting other parents of the infestation either. I only recently learned that this is because bites from lice don’t cause disease or illness. So, other than being gross, they’re essentially harmless. Some schools do bring in professionals to do head checks (for a nominal fee) or just let them go “unnoticed”. It isn’t required to let families know about these things and honestly, the school can’t do anything anyway. If they deep cleaned the school, it would just be an expensive waste of money. Lice only live off the human head for 48 hours, so if they deep cleaned on Friday after school, well…those remaining creepers would’ve been dead already by Sunday afternoon anyway.
At any rate, way before I knew all of this above, my head went into major research mode after that phone call to figure out this lice dilemma we faced at home. I put my pride aside and enlisted my family’s group text for ANY advice on how to deal with these or if they had ever had to deal with it. Turns out, my mom had to battle these persistent buggers with both my sister and me when we were little and it was just a back and forth nightmare. I must have blocked this memory out because I don’t remember this at all. Other than long-distance sympathies, I was on my own.
Google and Pinterest became my long lost best friend at this point. I knew I wanted something natural but HELLA effective. As I scoured blog post after blog post, (even medical blogs!!) I was thrust into an onslaught of misinformation.
Here are a few of the BIGGIES that I learned and unlearned in the course of two months. I hope my newfound knowledge helps at least ONE struggling parent who needs a bit of clarity thanks to Rachel Silverstein at Lice Ladies Dallas.
Myths about Lice
- MYTH: You only get lice if you have poor hygiene
TRUTH/DEBUNKED: Debunked! So, the good news if you ever have the unfortunate luck to get lice. These nasty critters are attracted to clean scalps! As Rachel said (and I’m paraphrasing here): Think about it. If you have the choice between two buffets, One where the floor is dirty and you got some funk in the air, or one where the floor is clean and all you can smell are those appetizing aromas. Where would YOU choose to eat? Whoooooooa. My head exploded when she said this.
At that moment, I really started asking questions because I was over here thinking how awful of a parent I was because I *let* my kid (and myself for that matter) get lice! Turns out I’m fabulous and keep the family clean clean clean! =P
- MYTH: Never use Conditioner if you have lice! Your lice comb will glide right over them and the nits and you’ll never get them out!
TRUTH/DEBUNKED: Debunked! The truth is that conditioner doesn’t have an effect at all on the bugs themselves. The nits are essentially superglued onto your hair strands and whether you use conditioner or not, unless it’s treated, it’ll probably stay there.
Bonus Debunking: If you wash your hair…that still does not get rid of lice.
- MYTH: Lice will go away on their own
TRUTH/DEBUNKED: Debunked! Ok, there’s some truth to this but it comes with some pretty heavy circumstances. Lice have a 30-day lifecycle on the human head. So if by some miracle, the lice on your head don’t lay any nits/eggs (they can lay up to 8 a day) during the 30 days…sure, lice can go away on their own. However, the likelihood is SLIM to NONE that this would happen. So, no. Lice will not just “go away” on their own.
- MYTH: Men can’t get lice
TRUTH/DEBUNKED: Debunked! However, their chances of getting infested with these nasty bugs are pretty slim, and here’s why. Dads or Men in general are less likely to get lice than Moms/Women because of the way they interact with their children. That doesn’t mean that they love them any less, but physiologically speaking, when they hug their child, they pull their kids to their chest whereas the moms usually pull their children towards their heads. Plus, moms are more likely to participate in head to head activities like taking selfies with their kids or laying in bed when tucking them in at night. Dads also, typically, have shorter hair than their female counterparts so there’s less likely a chance of the bugs using their hair as a superhighway! Lucky Dads! But also, you still can get them especially if you’re a head hugger or sport long hair, it’s just less likely.
- MYTH: Bald people can’t get lice
TRUTH/DEBUNKED: Truth! But only if you’re fully bald. There has to be a hair follicle for the bug to use as its transportation from one head to the next.
- MYTH: Nits/Eggs turn white if the louse has already hatched. It will be brown if they haven’t hatched.
TRUTH/DEBUNKED: Debunked! Nits/Eggs are actually sandy brown to begin with, yes. BUT they will look Yellow or White on Brown hair. If you see a nit/egg of any color, just play it safe and assume you are dealing with lice.
- MYTH: If your head doesn’t itch, you don’t have lice.
TRUTH/DEBUNKED: Debunked! While itching can be a sign of lice, it isn’t always. Some people are allergic to the feces or saliva that the lice drop on the scalp or the saliva irritates the bite area. This is what causes the itch. Some people DON’T itch! This is why weekly hair checks are important.
- MYTH: Head Lice can infest my home!
TRUTH/DEBUNKED: Debunked! They can only infest your head. A louse can live in bedding, a rug, clothing or fabric for a maximum of 48 hours. Lice cannot reproduce off the head. If a nit (egg) falls out of the head, it cannot reattach to the hair, and it cannot hatch unless the environment it is in is 98.6 degrees or greater.
- MYTH: Super Lice are taking over!
TRUTH/Debunked: Truth! So, the lice that my mom dealt with in the early 90s don’t exist anymore. Lice have evolved into what are now known as “super lice”. These buggers don’t respond to most over the counter medications and chemicals! And that definitely means any DIY Methods too. YIKES!
As you can tell, there was quite a BIT relearning I had to do during our hourish-long visit with Rachel and Lice Ladies Rockwall. My efforts to create my own self-treatment at home was pretty much for not. I combed Kaya’s hair for HOURS and made her begrudgingly wear a shower cap to bed on more than one occasion.
Lice Removal Methods Tried:
- DIY Lice Killer Potion – applied six times
Turns out oils will “kill” the lice, but only if they are submerged for more than 12 minutes! Let me repeat that. Lice can HOLD THEIR BREATH for 12 minutes, so swimming in a chlorinated pool won’t help, taking a hot shower won’t help much either! These things are ruthless.
We made our own oil-based concoction and I satisfactorily said that we had defeated the lice infestation after the first home treatment. I had no idea how wrong I was. While, yes, my at-home method DID clear out quite a bit of nits and adult lice, it wasn’t necessarily because of my DIY potion. The incessant combing with the lice comb for literally hours on my preschooler’s head is really what plucked these guys out of her hair. If you comb enough, you’ll get them all. But really…who has that kind of time or want to torture an already pissed off daughter or to struggle through that for yourself??
2. House Deep Cleaning – twice
Remember how I said above that deep cleaning your house isn’t really necessary with a lice infestation? Yeah. You’ll be just fine with washing yours/your kiddo’s clothes, pillowcases, and stuffed animals used in the last 48 hrs and drying on the highest heat to get rid of any lingering threats.
3. Olive Oil Soak – three times
This is simply taking a lice comb and submerging it in a cup of olive oil until the lice/nit dies.
Satisfying? Yup. Grueling? Even More So. Effective? Hardly.
4. Hot Showers – Daily
These basically just caused more itching because our skin was dried out.
5. Lice Ladies Rockwall- Once (with a follow up)
With each treatment, ALL members of the family can (and SHOULD) get checked for free. Since I booked the appointment for Kaya, I asked Rachel ahead of time if my husband and myself could just come in too. Fortunately, Neil was louse free so he didn’t need treatment when we all went. I was not so lucky.
What’s so different about Lice Ladies? The enzyme in their mousse formula aids in eating the glue that the nits are bound to the hair shaft with. It will also begin to eat the exoskeleton of any live bugs in the hair. This makes it much easier to comb EVERYTHING out of the hair. The treatment effectively rids you of both the lice AND nits! Their website says that treatment takes about one and a half hours for long hair but both my daughter and I have relatively long hair and we were outta there in about 45 minutes.
Overall, the cost of going to see a professional is MORE than worth it to do immediately after finding any traces of these lice. Treatment ranges from $90-185 per person (at the time this was written) that needs to be treated and re-treatment is about $55. This comes with a 30-day lice/nit free guarantee after you go to your follow-up.
If anyone in the Rockwall or Dallas, TX area is interested in getting checked out, the cost is $20 for a little peace of mind, FREE if one person in your household ends up getting treated or talk to/petition your children’s school to get the professionals to come to them and get checked en masse!
I am in no way being compensated by the Lice Ladies for this review, however, if you would like to try their product, throw a bit of support my way and get yourself a bit of “at home” peace of mind, check out their products on Amazon via my links below! We just got in the Prevent to spray down both mine and Kaya’s hair every day!
Products by Lice LadiesLice Ladies Prevent/Natural Daily Lice Preventative Spray/Non-Toxic homeopathic lice Repellent with Soothing Peppermint Scent / 8 oz Spray Bottle Lice Ladies EVICT/All-Natural, Non-Toxic, Fast Acting Lice Treatment Mousse/homeopathic Formula / 1 – 4 oz Foam applicator Lice Ladies Lice Treatment Pro Master Pack / 5 Product Combo/EVICT Lice Comb, EVICT, Prevent, Defend Lice Shampoo, Defend Conditioner/All-Natural, Non-Toxic, Fast Acting Lice Treatment / 5 Pack
If this write-up helped you in any way, leave a comment and let us know!
Till Next Time Family, XOXO!!
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Lice Ladies – Rockwall, TX