I decided to do a post on something that won’t kill you: Lice. Yes, we had our experiences last year with those itty bitty critters. I cannot remember any incident with lice when I was growing. Never got checked, ever. Lice were something we discussed at Pesach time. Nowadays, every other person with kids is trading stories…
I would like to save you some money. You see, we were told that my boys had lice, but we were not told how to treat the stuff. Or we were told (and bought) many things, many of which were marginally helpful or plain old useless. So, I will now tell you the most important piece:
Get a good lice comb!
Here’s the one I purchased. The key is the comb should be metal, and the teeth of the comb need to be close together, or else the nits will just stay put. One comb I purchased had teeth so close together it pulled out much hair. The LiceMeister comb has served me well, and I boil it and clean it and then lend it to others with nitty bitty problems.
OK, so you’ve got your comb. And comb you will: comb and comb and comb some more. And one nurse asked me if I was right-handed. Why? She noticed I had no nits on the right side of my head and just two or three on the left-side. So be sure to comb both sides of your head, too.
Your kid comes home with lice. First, you have to get rid of the live ones. Kill them with olive oil. Mayonnaise works, too. I recently learned of a great other choice: Pantene Conditioner. I was told it’s got to be Pantene.
By the way, the Nix shampoo your doctor may tell you to use, besides having all those lovely chemicals, is probably resistant to the current strain of lice. Stick to the olive oil.
Shmear the olive oil through your child’s hair. Wait a few hours. Comb, comb, comb. You should be combing out dead bugs now, not live ones. The olive oil (or mayonnaise or pantene) has suffocated them.
Your next task is the nits. This is the hard part. The old-fashioned way is to nit-pick each one out. I did comb, comb, comb, and I got them out. The thing about the nits is they have a natural glue. So they want to stay on the hair, not leave. We used white vinegar to unglue them. We also used some Rite Aid anti-nit glue that may or may not have helped. Since our own experience with lice, I’ve learned that a combination of Pantene Conditioner and baking soda can help remove the nits. And comb, comb, comb. Baby wipes to clean off the comb in between combings can help. But you can also use paper towels or napkins…no need to run out just for the baby wipes.
Feel free to share your own stories or removal formulas.