Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Head Itches

Two months ago, my daughter came home from school, her carefully braided hair undone and unruly. When I asked what had happened, she explained that the school nurse had been checking her and her classmates for "bugs." Relieved that there were none to be found, I promptly forgot about the incident and carried on my merry way.

Fast forward two months. K has an itchy head. I checked her scalp several times but saw nothing. I chalked it up to the chlorine. We have been in the pool nearly every day since school got out and all those pool chemicals really dry out your skin. But when my husband got out the flashlight and began digging around during bedtime stories, he saw something more than just dry skin.

Creepy Crawlies. Bugs. Lice.

I FREAKED OUT. I know it's common and it happens to 90% of children at some point in their lives,  but I couldn't help but feel I did something wrong. K started getting teary eyed and I knew I needed to calm down before she freaked out too. So I did what any scared Mom would do....I ran to my friend Kelly's house who, as a first grade teacher, had battled head lice herself not two months prior. Not only did she have an extra bottle of lice killing shampoo AND a nit comb, she made me a margarita and helped me look for eggs (which are the same color as K's hair!) long in to the night. Yeah. She's awesome.

We bagged K's bedding and all of her stuffed animals to suffocate each and every critter that may reside inside them. I washed everyone's bedding and pillows in hot water and dried them on the highest setting. I shaved my son's head. And as anti-chemical as I am, I bleached what I could bleach and used a lice killing spray on our car seats, mattresses, couches, curtains and carpets to kill every last one of those suckers. I am taking NO chances. This is not something I want to go through again!

Of course I didn't use all those chemicals without guilt. I cringe to think of us sleeping on mattresses that I sprayed with pesticides. Using stuff like that is just SO unlike me. I always try to go natural first. But lice....lice may be my limit. I want it gone. It's okay if my homeade shower cleaner doesn't work the first time but if my homemade lice killer failed I'd be really, really upset.

K sitting for her daily head check. The head lamp casts a blue light which really makes the eggs stand out.
To soothe my green ego, I did break out my favorite aromatherapy book and mix up a "lice repellant" spray. To one cup of water I added four drops each of eucalyptus, geranium and lavender. It is to be used after showering, sort of like a leave-in conditioning spray and it is supposed to keep the bugs from settling on your noggin in the first place. I made a bottle for K and one for me too. It smells pretty good and will hopefully repel any and all creepy crawlies!

How about you? Have you had to deal with head lice? How did you treat it? Were you successful with any natural remedies?



  1. Lol you certainly did freak out!! A friend who is a primary school teacher swears by nit combing her hair each night in the bath, use conditioner to make it slide better and just comb her hair. With our primary school I found the nits were ever-present as some parents are not as vigilent as you, and it's fairly inevitable she'll get them again but hopefully by combing the eggs out you can prevent them hatching. Good luck x

  2. I have. My daughter caught it in 8th grade from her little cousin. I used tea tree shampoo and it killed 95% of the lice and then the lice stuff and that was it. I myself only used the tea tree shampoo and it killed it all for me.