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Lice! & treating it holistically

One of the horrors of being a parent, is a lice infestation! Seriously, I know that it is really not that big of a deal, it is not life-threatening, and will not really truly harm any of us. But, how horribly gross is it to see little buggies crawling around your child's head!

I thought I had dodged that parenting bullet, at seven and nine, neither of my girls had gotten lice, even though it had been in their classrooms many of times.

No such luck! In the middle of our huge move from Virginia to Montana, driving six days across the country with two dogs (one ancient and crippled and the other a giant farm dog!), two farm/barn cats, and two kids, I see that my youngest is itching her head a lot. I feared lice, but wasn't seeing anything when I looked. By the time we got to Montana, I was sure it must be lice. After much research and hitting the stores for supplies, when I started to treat her head with the lice comb and conditioner, I was horrified to see how much lice was in her head. My other daughter had it as well, and I just had to assume we had all gotten it. Just thinking about it had me itching wildly! So, I definitely did go over board in our treatments. What I did was the following, below. However, I have heard from many reliable sources, that you can just simply use conditioner and comb out every day for two weeks. I hope you don't have to deal with this too, but if you do, at least you have some guidance here.

Holistic lice treatment:

  1. Shampoo with natural lice repellent shampoo, in which I added ~40-50 drops extra tea tree oil or lavender oil, or 1/2 and 1/2 of both. I used Babo, but there are others on Amazon you can find with a search of natural lice repellent shampoos.

  2. Slather hair in conditioner and comb through thoroughly with lice nit comb, in 1 inch sections combing in all different directions wiping the comb on a tissue after each combing, and also dipping the comb in a bowl of soapy water and rinsing it under the tap with very hot water; clipping the rest of the hair up and away. I wore magnifying/reading glasses, +3.25, to be able to see the nits and lice better. Rinse the head with a half vinegar half water mixture when done.

  3. Cover the head/scalp with a mixture of coconut oil, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus, and lavender essential oils; approximately 10 drops of each essential oil. Tie the hair in a trash bag and cover with a shower cap for several hours, or overnight. Next, follow the comb out instructions above then shampoo.

  4. Another option is to shampoo the hair with the lice repellent plus tea tree oil shampoo, and put a plastic grocery bag and shower cap on top and let it sit for a couple hours and then repeat the conditioner and comb out.

  5. Wash bedding, at minimum pillowcases, daily. Do not allow kids or anyone to share pillows, hats, coats, or brushes. Put all stuffed animals in trash bags in quarantine for two weeks. Because the daily bedding washing is such a pain, especially when the entire household has been infested, I found shortcuts in placing sheets over top of pillowcases and then changing them out.

  6. Use the hairdryer to dry hair on a very hot setting, blowing the air close to the scalp. The hot heat kills the lice.

  7. Soak all hair brushes, combs, and ponytail holders/hair clips in vinegar water plus tea tree oil.

  8. Make a spray with lavender, peppermint, and tea tree oil to spray on the pillowcases and your child's hair/scalp for off treatment times. I used a little bit of conditioner spray that I had added in tea tree oil, lavender oil, and water.

  9. Nit comb out every day for two weeks, because the nits/eggs life cycle is 7 to 10 days, and if one is missed, there can be a re-infestation.

  10. Wine or other alcohol is definitely recommended for the parent! :) I prefer organic French wine!

Good luck!! This was a huge pain for me given that I was in the middle of a big move across country, but it is a pain for anyone at any time.

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