A natural approach to lice treatment & prevention.
Written by: Linda Sessa of sessasalon
We all know that there is a stigma attached to getting lice. However, lice happens to the cleanest of us all. In fact, lice prefer clean hair. Generally when lice happens, parents will run out to the local pharmacy and grab the first treatment package they can find in hopes of getting rid of these little critters as soon as possible. What most people donʼt realize however is that these lice treatments contain pesticides! In a normal situation we would never consider putting pesticides on our childrenʼs heads. Research suggests that some of these pesticides may cause health problems including cancer. So what do you do if your family gets lice? Well
there are many ways to treat lice and nits naturally. The trick is to be prepared so that you
donʼt feel panicked and run out looking for the first unhealthy “solution” to this common problem.
As an experienced hairdresser and mother of two, I have had experience dealing with lice using natural ingredients. While it can turn your life upside down for weeks or months, the key is to not panic. If you have a few ingredients on hand, you too can take care of lice without using commercial products and pesticides. (Did you know that some of the chemicals used in these products are also used on cotton crops to control pests?)
One of the best ingredients to have on hand are essential oils, specifically thyme, rosemary and tea tree. A few drops of thyme in your shampoo will kill the lice on contact. You can also smother them with oil like olive or coconut mixed with essential oils. (Caution, never use essential oils straight from the bottle. They are highly concentrated and can cause irritation. They should always be mixed with something else, like oil or conditioner.) Some suggest mayo but I think youʼd end up smelling like tuna... no thanks.
For removing the nits, there is no real quick cure besides shaving the head. This can work for some but not all. Rinse the hair with apple cider vinegar and it will help to loosen the glue that sticks the nits to the hair shaft. Nits will not come off easy, where dandruff will move with the flick of a finger. Then start combing, section by small section over and over again, until you are sure you see no more nits. This is the hardest part but donʼt give up. Spend the time bonding and talking.
You need a special comb for nits. The teeth must be very close together. You may have to do this a few times to be sure all nits are gone. If you are too sweamish (how the hell do you spell sweemish?) for this job, call a nit-picker. Yes there are professional nit-pickers, but be
prepared, they charge a lot as well they should.
By all means, if you do decide to go with pesticidal shampoos, just use as directed which is usually once and then again 10 days later. No MORE! Exposing yourself or your child to these shampoos too many times may cause health problems later on in life.
For prevention, simply add some tea tree or rosemary essential oils to your conditioner and it will help deter the buggers.
Just remember, donʼt panic. Be prepared! Learn about lice now so you can feel a sense of control when and if they happen to you. Itʼs time to start talking about lice openly. There is no shame in getting lice regardless of how you may feel. You are not dirty! Lice happens. Be prepared!