The Nightmare: Head Lice

For years I've been checking my daughter's head for lice every time I fixed her hair. I've made her wear her hair in some kind of braided style for school daily in an attempt to minimize the risk of her getting lice. Just the thought of head lice makes my scalp itch and a chill run down my spine. I've always said I'd shave my head bald if I get lice (again - one of my worst hair memories from childhood).

My daughter came home from four weeks vacation with her dad with her head literally crawling with head lice. I didn't notice this until about four hours after she had come home and I had already spent time curled up with her hugging and kissing (I had missed her terribly). Since I noticed this late at night, right before I had to go to work I drenched her hair in olive oil and wrapped it with a plastic bag over night hoping that would kill some of the lice as well as keep them from crawling off her head. The back of her head was filled, like every single strand of hair, with lice eggs.

I asked hubby to check my head, praying he wouldn't find any on my head. But I was out of luck. He quickly found one. Since I had to leave for work I rinsed my head with water and soaked my hair with olive oil - yes, I went to work looking a hot mess. At work I actually found two more lice. Before work I rushed into the pharmacy and bought a special comb to remove lice and a product called ONCE. This is a gel that you spray onto the hair and scalp, let it sit and then rinse it off. You use it on dry hair and put the shampoo in your hair before you wet it to get the product out.

The treatment and the comb that the pharmacist suggested
Generally I'm all for natural products and I'm very careful with what I put in my or my daughter's hair, but this was an emergency. If I had found one or two head lice and no eggs I would have used all the natural lice clearing options. But, my daughter's head had a city of lice and I wanted to be sure that the city would become extinct.

Instructions on the back of the comb
The next day I came home and used the product in my hair, combed my hair through with the lice clearing comb and gave it a trim while doing it. I never thought I'd be able to use a comb like that in my hair, but I worked in very small sections, starting with a wide tooth comb, then a smaller tooth comb and last the lice clearing comb. It worked. I found around 15 dead lice in my hair. Yes, ew. This process took me about two hours.

Used this video as a guide


Then I did the same on my daughter's hair. But since she had so many eggs stuck to her hair strands the metal comb I bought didn't do. I had read that Apple Cider Vingar helps to get rid of the glue that makes the eggs stick to the strand, so I drenched her hair in ACV and went to buy another comb. I didn't think this helped one bit though, it just left our whole house stinking of ACV. But the new comb did work. Unfortunately when I combed through hair hair for the second time I found one that was still alive. So of course, I had to do another treatment and comb again.
Apparently the comb NitFree is supposed to be really good, but they didn't sell it at the pharmacy. Not sure how it would hold up in curlier hair textures though.

The second comb
In the following days I combed through her hair daily to make sure I got all the eggs and that there were no unwanted visitors crawling around. Now I spray her hair with a mix of water and tea tree oil plus lavender essential oil daily. I'm also back to making her wear a braid to school. I pray that this was the only time we have to go through this mess.

A dead one. EW!

And no, I didn't shave my head. 

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