View Full Version : How to deal with head lice in young children's hair without cutting?

February 24th, 2012, 03:53 AM
I just found a lot of head lice in my youngest hair he's nearly 3 is it safe when they are that young to smother the hair in olive oil and cover with a hat for 3-4 hours? to suffocate them my pharmacist said it was un- safe for children when i explained the method.

Would you do a co wash to get the oil out? if so do you put conditioner on the oiled hair and leave it on for 20 minutes or so before lathering and repeating? i have also done the same for my hair as we share the same bed. I really don't want to cut his hair its about bob length.

February 24th, 2012, 04:10 AM
Cutting hair probably still wouldn't help much, my little brother always had nits, and he had a buzz cut.

Get a nit comb/rake, sit him in the bath, slather his hair in conditioner and comb through. It would also probably work with oiling the hair.

The oil method sounds like it should be fine, as long as you supervise so he doesn't suffocate on the plastic bag, did the pharmasist explain why xe thought it unsafe. To wash out try: No Fail Method to Washing Oil out of Hair by CaityBear

Good Luck!

February 24th, 2012, 05:46 AM
Yeah, it must just be the plastic bag that is the concern, because nothing could be unsafe about the oil. You don't need the plastic, because the oil will do the suffocating, but a small oily kid does sound like a messy kid, if running around the house. Maybe just wrap his head in a dish towel? Or just keep him under supervision.

February 24th, 2012, 05:59 AM
Thank you for your replies. No it wasn't the bag it was the use of oil he said but i haven't used the bag just put a winter hat on his and my head least its winter we would look pretty stupid doing this in the summer.

I will change the bedding,pillowcases etc and wash his favourite teddy. I think my eldest so brought it in the house when ever he has a certain boy over he seems to catch them.

February 24th, 2012, 06:05 AM
have you seen the electric lice comb in Boots? it just zaps the lice dead :)

eta: wtf, I don't see how oil can be unsafe... not all pharmacists are equal... I work with them... (wait, did they want to sell you something? that might be why they told you your method was unsafe)

February 24th, 2012, 09:15 AM
Wash their hair with tomato juice.

February 24th, 2012, 09:46 AM
Seems safer to slather the kid's head in oil or conditioner than to slather it in pesticides, doesn't it?

Smear it on thick, let it sit for a few hours to smother. Detangle and nit comb the hair while all that lubricant is still in it. Then wash it out. Repeat at least weekly so you can disrupt the cycle of any that you miss.

Put stuffed animals and such away for 10 days or so to deprive any attached lice of warmth and food. Wash pillowcases and the like, and tumble dry them on a hot setting.

Headlice.org is a good resource.

February 24th, 2012, 10:20 AM
I had a lot of success with tea tree oil along with manual combing of the head, ugh it's such a pain tho. My daughter who is 7 has had it 3 times now. Good luck!!!

February 24th, 2012, 11:35 AM
Totally agree, don't see how oil would be harmful at all, it's just oil as opposed to those chemical laden knit killers!

February 24th, 2012, 11:39 AM
My sister had a HORRIBLE infestation once. Like so bad/covered the eggs made the hair sticky.

What we did (besides wash everything in hot water). was I sat down with a comb and removed each egg with my fingernails. Then went over with a robi(electric lice comb) many times to kill adults. It took hours, but they never returned. The pesticide junk didnt even help prior.

heidi w.
February 24th, 2012, 11:40 AM
Make sure to wash the bedding in hot soapy water.

Maybe add in some bleach?

Change the pillowcases often.

For the duration, you may choose to sleep elsewhere if you can. You don't want them in your hair!

heidi w.

February 24th, 2012, 02:56 PM
I have no idea about whether oil or that method is safe for children. But I can say, I pretty much almost constantly had lice when I was younger (along with my brothers - joys of being a triplet!), and what my mum did was sit us down cover or heads in conditioner (wearing a towel) and comb through all our heads with a really fine nit comb. All the treatments had stopped working on us, and it was the easiest way of her dealing with them for us. Alo the nit filled conditioner used to go in a bucket nex to us, used to be really icky, I can remember that much!

February 24th, 2012, 03:20 PM
I'm glad you posted this. I was reading that other thread about kids who were made to cut their hair short and keep it short because of a bout with lice. I kept thinking to myself- they have to be kidding! Surely this is a way to get the nits out without cutting- that seems to.. 1950's ( or earlier. )

February 25th, 2012, 02:10 AM
When my daughter gets nits, I cover her hair in conditioner and then comb through with a nit comb. I use the nitty gritty comb which is more expensive but seems to be a lot more effective than standard nit combs. I'll do this every two or three days for a week and then once a week/fortnight. Not only does ths get rid of the nits, but it leaves her with beautifully conditioned hair!

She has very fine hair and I worried that maybe I was pulling some out (even with being gentle, nit combs are just so fine!) so I tried a "chemical" method once. I was surprised to find that after sitting there for 20 minutes with smelly chemicals on her head, I still had to use the a nit comb and the chemicals had made her hair more tangled than usual so it was a lot harder to do.

I can't see why olive oil would be dangerous for a child, I mean it edible and the best ever nappy change lotion in france (oléocalcaire) has olive oil as its main ingredient. Sound more like the pharmacist wanted to sell you something.