Stop Head Lice From Coming Back - Simple Ways To Repel, Avoid, & Prevent Head Lice and Nits
Did you finally rid your family of head lice, and you want to keep them from coming back? Have you received a note from school about an outbreak, and now you're trying to avoid the epidemic?
Head lice and nits are a huge problem for most families with young children. While anyone can get infected, younger children tend to be less inhibited about personal space and sharing clothing—allowing lice to be easily passed from child to child.
The child then brings them home, and before you know it, the whole family is infected.
Anyone who has had to deal with getting rid of head lice will know that it takes time and effort to remove them all effectively.
The big problem is that even when you have ensured that you and your children are free of nits and lice, a child can instantly be reinfected by another child at preschool or school. All you need is one pregnant louse to find its way onto your child's hair, and you have to start the whole messy business all over again.
While there is no definite, proven method of repelling or preventing lice, there are parents who swear by their techniques.
Here are some great ideas to try...
Tie Hair Back
It is a common misconception that lice can jump from head to head, like fleas. In reality, lice can only crawl quite slowly, and they don't have wings to fly. Often a louse moves to another head by direct hair-to-hair contact.
Tying back longer hair will lessen the risk of it accidentally brushing against anyone else's hair or picking up a loose louse that has dropped off someone else's head.
Beware of Hats and Brushes
Lice don't live very long without a host, but they can be present for a short time in brushes, hats, and anything else that has come in contact with the hair.
Be careful about allowing family members to share hats or brushes, or anything that might easily pick up lice, while anyone in the family has head lice or nits.
Tea Tree Oil
Many parents I have talked to agree that head lice seem to absolutely hate the smell of tea tree oil.
You can purchase special tea tree oil shampoos and conditioners, or add tea tree oil to your hair products.
Alternatively, simply add a couple of drops to a spray bottle, shake, and spray onto your children's hair before they leave for school or anywhere else where they will be in contact with other children.
Be careful to avoid spraying in or near eyes, as tea tree oil can sting.
I have tried this method, and we have managed to avoid head lice through a couple of epidemics.
Rinsing with vinegar will loosen the glue that attaches nits to hair. The acidity and smell will also deter lice from your hair. Be careful when using on young children, though, as the smell of vinegar is very strong and can be quite irritating.
Similarly to tea tree oil, coconut oil appears to have a scent that lice avoid.
Use it in the same way as the tea tree oil.
There are also many coconut hair products available, however parents advise that you should make sure that you use real coconut oil, or products containing real coconut oil.
Personally, I love coconut oil but find the smell a little overwhelming. Hopefully lice feel the same way!
Hairspray and Gel
I haven't personally tried hairspray or gel on my children's hair as a preventative method; however, a lot parents have said that simply using styling products has deterred head lice from choosing their kids' hair. It's well worth a try, as most of us already have these products handy anyway.
This might sound bizarre, but one mother told me how she killed all the lice in her daughter's hair by rinsing with regular, sugar-free mouthwash, and then leaving it in the hair under a shower cap for two hours.
She now regularly sprays her children's hair with mouthwash during head lice epidemics at school. She says the scent repels new lice.
My guess is that it's not only the scent that they dislike. Head lice also seem to avoid products that contain alcohol, and a lot of mouthwashes use alcohol as a base.
Treating Head Lice
Head lice are very common.
If, despite all your best efforts, your child still gets infected, here is a very cheap, effective and chemical-free way to get rid of nits and head lice.
Remember, head lice are spread very easily, and an infection has nothing to do with your hygiene or cleanliness. Really, they are just an annoying pest that affect countless families.
Hopefully one of the above methods of repelling and preventing head lice will work for you.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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© 2014 Suzie Armstrong