View Full Version : Eek A Lice Scare!!!

April 24th, 2010, 12:41 AM
I feel quite scared for my hair right now. The tutoring center I go to is having a lice problem and I've been trying to avoid the people who are known to have it. The thing is, just by being at the center, I'm worried that I could get lice, and I don't want to use the special shampoo as that could DESTROY my hair. I'm just so scared!!!! And to top it off, this is the second time in less then two months that lice has been found in our center :( It seems like someone is picking it up from school and bringing it here :( I am just so worried. I'm glad to have this community to talk to about this, and have you all cheer me up.

April 24th, 2010, 12:49 AM
If you dig through the archives and articles (I don't have time right now to do it for you) there is a method (I think by Nightshade, but I might be wrong) for getting rid of lice with repeated oil treatments. Heavy oiling will smother lice, killing them by smothering rather than by poisoning them.

You don't need any fancy oil for this - Nightshade recommended olive oil (I think, I'm working from memory) but any heavy oil or conditioner treatment will have the same effect.

It can also help if you get a metal lice comb, and use it to carefully comb your hair in sections while it is treated with the oil and/or conditioner. The comb needs to be metal, as the plastic ones have teeth that are too flexible, so that they tend to slide around any eggs clinging to the hair rather than pulling them out.

Lice is not a huge deal. Just call it an excuse for a series of deep treatments with oil and/or conditioner, and don't stress.

April 24th, 2010, 12:53 AM
Hey there. I am a school teacher, right now a flute tutor and I come in contact with 150 children each week. Because I teach flute and I'm often stranding a little behind my students, I often SEE the lice walking around in their hair. I always inform the parents and I always get mixed reactions because people hate for other people to know. Honestly, most parents don't really know how to treat for headlice.

So far I have only ever had one bout of headlice once since I began teaching in 1994 and that's because my son had it and I was lying next to him at night telling him stories before bed so that was direct contact.

There have been studies done where they have checked classrooms for headlice and have found not even one crawling around. This is because a louse needs a food source (ie blood) so they will only stay on something alive.

So there is unlikely to be headlice hanging around your centre after the kids have gone. Having said this, backs of chairs are possible places for you to catch it if one gets left behind accidently.

Your best bet is to braid your hair and wear it tucked under so that it is not out at all and picking up anything off the backs of chairs. Also, apparently they hate tea tree oil so if that is ok to put in your hair, you could try doing that. (I'm not sure so please check it out).

As for the shampoos, I have to tell you that your hair will feel FABULOUS after using those. Really silky.

Actually the best solution for headlice is to slather on cheapo conditioner and then use the lice comb to get right through the hair, bit by bit. There really isn't any need for the chemicals unless you are not in a position to get through it all by yourself.

So many parents just use the shampoo and that's all. What that does is kill the adult louse but it doesn't deal with the hundreds of eggs waiting to hatch and this is the reason the cases come back. Parents don't realise that they need to pretty much do a treatment (ie. comb the nits out with cheap conditioner) every other day for about 2 weeks until NO MORE come out on the comb for a couple of days. It is the ONLY way to really get rid of them for good. Please note that I am referring to the conditioner method only here - if you used the nit shampoo this often it would be harmful to the child as the chemicals are quite strong.

Don't stress. Sure, it's gross and annoying but honestly, it's nothing to worry about and pretty much everyone is going to get these little guys on them at some point in their lives. Check my hair out in my siggy and be amazed that I was able to get rid of all the lice in my hair, all by myself. It just takes dedication to the task.

You'll be fine! (and stop scratching!!:eyebrows:

April 24th, 2010, 01:00 AM
Lice aren't the end of the world, and are actually surprisingly hard to get if your hair is back. If you're truly worried, wear a headscarf/bandanna tight over an updo (you can just pin your braid up against your head with a ficcare or stick if it isn't long enough for a braided bun) and I highly doubt you will catch them.

If you do, wonderful ideas have already been mentioned. The tightly spaced teeth on some metal flea combs are IDEAL for getting nits offs, if need be. Tea tree oil and neem oil (diluted to at LEAST a 1:4 ratio, NOT neat!) on your scalp can also be a good deterrent for lice to latch on, and I believe the fumes can actually burn and kill them. Don't quote me on that one, though.

But yeah, headcovering is a solid bet, as is just wearing your hair VERY contained and not rubbing against the backs of chairs :)

April 24th, 2010, 01:11 AM
If you wash your hair with your own methods and hot water after exposure, you should be okay. Neem oil would probably kill lice without using a de - louse shampoo, but it does have a pungent odor. :o

April 24th, 2010, 01:53 AM
thank you all for the fast responce ;) Now I know to stay away from all the fabric chairs and whatnot and to just be a little more careful. I guess this gives me an excuse to try my first braid :D

April 24th, 2010, 02:01 AM
I caught lice once myself - tee tree oil works very well, though my hair also got chopped because of it :(

April 24th, 2010, 02:24 AM
Sorry to come back in here, and I truely do not want to offend anyone who has made suggestions :o , but I just wanted to point out that unfortunately washing hair normally and using hot water will not actually kill the lice or their eggs (I'm not sure if this is what was meant, or if it was meant that the oil would kill them). Whilst my previous suggestion of tea tree oil is good, I also need to add that simply putting some oil on the head/hair will not actually deal with any eggs which are already there - it just might kill the live lice and deter a louse from heading your way in the first place. If any eggs are left, they will hatch in a couple of weeks, they'll grow, hit maturity, mate and then the eggs will be laid again, only this time it's not all coming from one louse, it's coming from hundreds. This is how it gets out of control.

The only way to get rid of them is to remove them one by one. The eggs "stick" to the hair with a kind of "glue" that comes from the adult louse and even scraping at them with your fingernail will not get them loose. You have to use the comb. (this is also a way to tell if it's dandruff or an egg - dandruff will fall away easily, an egg will not move and has a bumpy feel to it.

The nits (eggs) are normally situated about 1 cm up the hair shaft from your scalp and look like a tiny teardrop. What makes them difficult to see is that they seem to camouflage to your hair colour which is why they are missed in the first place. My daughter is honey blonde, my son is chocolate brown and I am strawberry blonde so this is how I know. Often you'll catch a flash of something and go looking and "lo and behold" there is one. Eggs are mostly laid near the nape of the neck and around the side of the head which makes self diagnosis very difficult.

Finally, if you find eggs, get rid of them but don't find a live louce, it's still in there and will keep laying eggs. Once, try as I might I could NOT find the host louse and the next day after changing the sheets for the second time I found it dead in my daughter's bed. It had somehow got between the sheet and the mattress protector and had died as it didn't have a food source. If you catch it early there will only be a one or a couple of live adult lice, if you leave it there can be many (like my son had - gross). Fully grown adults are about 2 - 3mm long so we are talking about something sizable here - not something you can't see with the naked eye. The immature ones are much smaller and more transparent so they are tricky to see.

Honestly you would be unlucky to get them, and if you do it's no big deal as long as you just get that nit comb out. It's almost therapeutic (that's the only way I can look at it having gone through it several times with my daughters waist long hair that TANGLES so easily - doh!)

April 24th, 2010, 05:11 AM
SMOTHER EM WITH NEEM OIL! I had resistant lice I caught on hols and wearing neem oil on my hair for 4 hours killed them plus neem oil kills the eggs too which is your biggest problem. Lice are easy to kill, you also need to destroy eggs so that no new lice hatch from eggs and start over the cycle, but neem somehow mutates the eggs so they dont hatch, you can google it..... On the even more plus side neem oil is excellent for hair, it stinks but I have found it to be the best oil for shine and split ends.
Happy neeeeeeeming....

April 24th, 2010, 05:27 AM
I've never had lice but I heard there are hair tonics which kill them at once and their eggs.
And I saw on the TV that after washing hair you put a lot of conditioner on your scalp and comb it out with a small toothed comb. But I don't think that can help with the eggs.
I live in Middle-Eastern Europe but lice is not that common here. I know only one time when lice was found in the village I live in.

April 24th, 2010, 05:37 AM
Just a few days ago I remember reading pages of info here on this board on how to kill lice. One poster had success with using mayonaise! check back a few pages of postings and see if you can find it.

Hope you find something that works for you!

April 24th, 2010, 05:55 AM
I'm surprised nobody has said so (maybe it's said in another thread) but henna is also a good bet.

I was surprisingly prone to lice when I was in highschool (later discovered it was not my fault, but a friend that didn't even know she had them, and I kept on getting them again and again... duh), and all the shampoo and getting the eggs out manually was something terrible both for me and my hair. Once I just hennaed, trying to at least help a bit all the damage... and they were all gone. Sure, the eggs didn't came out, but they died (when they're dead, it's way easier to take them out, they just slid like a tricky bit of dandruff).
I think the idea is the same than with the deep oil/conditioner treatments: to smother them and then brush/comb them out; but I also think that there's something in henna that actually kills them without damaging the hair (this method worked for me: I started hennaing often, and no more lice at all). So if you had been thinking of dying your hair, you can give it a try. Or maybe amla and/or cassia would also work. This I don't know, but may be worth a try.

Another method I remember is hot vinegar... Put it on, wrap with saran wrap or a shower cap, a towel, and stand in the sun for hours. It worked just as the oil and conditioner... but it is far more damaging to the hair, for sure.

April 24th, 2010, 05:56 AM
We just found this (am I allowed to plug this as a product?) Nitty Gritty


This found far more lice than any other lice comb we've ever used: it's amazing and I'd recommend it to anybody

April 24th, 2010, 08:02 AM
All I have to say is I quit a job because of lice. I was working in daycare, so lots of hugging and cuddling...I couldn't deal!

April 24th, 2010, 08:07 AM
Nitty Gritty comb is the best. I use it on the kids.
oils or a deep conditioner combed through slowly and gently gives minimal damage :thumbsup:

April 24th, 2010, 08:15 AM

I found this, it has good natural preventative info. And I don't honestly know if this is true but when my brothers brought it home when we were kids the only one in the house that didn't get it was Dad and he used Selsun Blue medicated shampoo. This happened more than once so the family legend is that if a kid brings home lice everyone else should be washing with Selsun Blue. But this is definately not a scientific study lol.

akka naeda
April 24th, 2010, 08:41 AM
The nitty gritty comb that Rach and Merlin recommend is good, unless you have coarse hair like I do in which case it will just rip the hair out because the individual strands are too thick for the comb. Be warned - fine tooth combs themselves can do plenty of damage, it's not just the chemical shampoos.

I have had to deal with lice frequently over the past 6 years because my daughter's class seemed to have an almost permanent infestation. Chemical treatments are fine occasionally, they won't trash your hair if you just use them a couple of times. Most importantly you must comb the hair twice a day and more frequently if you have the time.

Jules diamond
April 25th, 2010, 04:27 AM
Tea tree oil! Tea tree oil! Tee tree oil! I just got over a case of lice and this saved me. ><

April 26th, 2010, 02:32 PM
Eek! I've never had lice thank God but my cousin did. My family was so so careful to make sure my sister and I never shared brushes with friends (unless, like now, I know that friend so well that I'm positive I'll never get lice from her). I guess we were lucky.

I'll second the metal nit combs; I've heard they work wonders.

April 26th, 2010, 02:50 PM
I'm fairly certain I heard about this here:

Cetaphil Cleanser (Nuvo Lotion) Cures Head Lice


April 26th, 2010, 04:51 PM
I killed mine by covering my head with petroleum jelly and leaving on for two days- they were smothered to death. I agree with the oiling idea.

Squeak toy
April 26th, 2010, 06:11 PM
I am a pediatric nurse so I can help here. While we do recomend the over the counter shampoos they are harsh and the pesticide is not needed. You can safely get rid of lice.
There are three steps:
1- smother the living lice
2 - remove the eggs
3. prevent reinfestation
1. apply whole (not fat free) mayo and leave in overnight.
2. in the moring you need to start to remove the eggs. use a metal tooth comb to remove them all. comb 2x per day. what you are trying to do is remove them all before any more hatch and lay their own eggs. You can repeat the mayo if you see and more live lice and start the process over but if you do a really good comb job on day 1 you may be done totally. (I suggest help in combing)
3. the morning you remove the mayo wash all of your bedding and vaccum the rugs. wash anything your head was on such as clothes, hats, scarfs and vaccum the sofa where you sit. If you can not wash something such as a pillow or stuffed animal then put it in a tied bag for 2 weeks. in the spot that you comb lay a sheet spread all the way out under your chair and wash it after each combing.

Like it has been said before keeping your hair tightly secured will prevent this problem in the first place.

April 26th, 2010, 06:17 PM
This thread is bringing back a lot of childhood memories. LOL

The mayo treatment does work if you do it often enough and make sure to comb often.

I have noticed clove oil repelling ticks and fleas so I would say it may help repel lice as well. We live in Tennessee so there are a lot of ticks running around. Hubby gets them from hunting, they will not stay on me and my son though. I use a homemade clove bud oil body wash/shampoo on us. I use this on my pom-poo to repel ticks/fleas as well.

April 26th, 2010, 08:47 PM
so tea tree oil it is if I ever get lice. That and a deep moisture treatment. Seems like that's the plan. I don't have to worry anymore!!! (If I get lice)