How to Get Rid of Lice

Affiliate links may be included in this post. Thank you for supporting Lifewhack!

How to get rid of lice

So. Your kid has lice and you probably ran to Mr. Google and pounded in, “How to get rid of lice”. You are soooo lucky you found this page because I have been through this horrible predicament three times and since three is a magic number, I finally learned how not only to rid my children of lice, but also how to prevent lice from setting up their tiny nasty little selves on my kids’ heads in the first place.

I spent hours researching lice home remedies when we were first plagued, and I came up with a combination that worked like a charm for us. I tend to be overly thorough when it comes to stuff like this, but I’m thinking overkill in the case of lice treatment isn’t such a bad thing.

First off: take a deep breath and have your girl clear your calendar for the next few hours. Get into your unflappable super-parent zone and scratch your head a few times. (You will think you have lice for the next 48 hours.) Also, please don’t panic and buy the pesticide lice treatments. They can harm your children and lice build up a resistance to these treatments, so they also may not even be effective. You really can get rid of lice naturally, and you have to get all the little eggs off of the hair strands no matter what.

Gather these supplies:

  • natural lice treatment kit (I have used 2 different brands and both were fine- This one on Amazon gets awesome reviews and I would buy this one if we had to battle lice again. The comb you use is important and this one looks good.)
  • a very bright light. I used a clip reflector light and I truly believe this was the most important part of this whole ordeal.
  • tiny scissors. I love my tiny scissors.
  • shower cap
  • mayonnaise
  • paper towels
  • large garbage bags
  • plastic comb
  • bobbi pins or plastic hair clips (if long hair)
  • lollipops

How to Get Rid of Lice:

Follow the directions on the natural lice treatment kit. You will be using their product, combing it through your child’s hair so it coats every strand, popping a shower cap on their head and letting the goop work its magic.

While your kid is sitting there doing math problems for fun, you will:

1. Strip their bed and wash their bedding on HOT and dry on HIGH.

2. Take the thousand stuffed animals that are piled on their bed and throw them into a large garbage bag. Tie this bad boy up tightly and bid it adieu for 2 weeks. If your kid has worn a hairband or hat over the past few days, toss these in the bag as well.

3. Vacuum their mattress with the little sucky-wand part, and for good measure, vacuum their rug, any soft chairs they may have, car seats, sofa cushions. Lice can fall off of their head, but they don’t fly or jump off in search of a party when they already are doing it up on a warm scalp.

HERE’S WHERE THE FUN BEGINS! 

After you have washed out the treatment, grab your teeny-tiny scissors, paper towels, and nit comb. Pop a lolli in your kid’s face and throw in a movie for them. I recommend The Croods or Wall-e. Coat the hair with conditioner and comb through with a regular comb. Use enough conditioner to just coat the hair. This makes it easier to spot the eggs, and the nit comb slides through the hair without as much pulling.

The treatment has killed the live lice, and some may smother the nits (eggies), but you’ll want to remove the nits from the hair in case they weren’t all smothered. This part took me 3 hours. 3 EVER-LOVING HOURS OF MY LIFE. Point that bright light at your kid’s head and use that nit comb and comb through the hair, one section at a time, wiping the comb off on a paper towel between passes. You may want to swish the comb around in a bowl of sudsy water, but I just used the wipe-off method.

Where to Look for Nits:

Areas to concentrate on: behind the ears and the nape of the neck. These are classic egg-laying areas. Eggs will be found invariably about 1/4 inch from the scalp. See the nit below? Exactly. They’re freaking hard to see, and they look like translucent little sesame seeds, which means: 1. You won’t be eating sesame seeds for a while, and 2. Bright light is your friend.

lice and nit

After a while of combing out the eggs, you will get tired of thinking you are finished and then finding more eggs. This is when you can turn to the mini tiny scissors. I found that it was so much easier to simply cut off the individual strands that held the nits, because those little eggs are wonderfully clingy.

For the next week, vacuum all the soft stuff that your kid’s head touches. Change their pillow case each morning. Place them under the light and check for little eggs. Cut them out and throw them in the trash.

Here’s what I did one week after the initial treatment, and I honestly don’t know if this is necessary or not. I read so many things about getting rid of lice, and thought I’d throw this step in the mix just to be safe. Plus, it makes your hair smell like a sammich! Grab a container of full-fat mayo and coat your kid’s hair in it. Cover in plastic wrap or a shower cap and leave it on for 4 hours. Shampoo it out and check for nits again. The mayo supposedly smothers any lice that may have hatched over the past week.

Say a little lice-banishing prayer and buy yourself a pretty bauble. You totally deserve a pretty bauble.

Recipe for lice prevention spray:

2 cups distilled water

10 drops rosemary essential oil

10-15 drops tea tree oil

Spray in their hair daily, as well as inside hats and on brushes.

Or you can buy this pre-made lice prevention spray that smells quite lovely:

If you follow my directions, let me know how they worked for you. Or! If you’ve used a method that worked really well for you, let me know in the comments. Oh, also: you’re welcome for not making you look at a photo of enlarged lice in this post.

10 Comments

  1. 07/14/2014 / 5:13 pm

    LOVE the idea of prevention spray! I will often tie up my daughter’s hair out of paranoia because my step daughter went through several bouts.
    Mayonnaise really loosens the eggs but if we were to get it again I would try olive oil. I heard it works too and I hate mayo although cutting the strands is a great idea from you (love the Croods and Wall-e).

    • 07/14/2014 / 9:54 pm

      Strand-cutting was the difference between me having a total breakdown and being able to go through with this whole thang. I forgot about olive oil! That would smell much better.

    • 07/14/2014 / 9:57 pm

      Sorry. I was scratching my head the whole time I wrote this- it’s impossible.

  2. Kathryn
    07/17/2014 / 2:29 am

    We battled lice from October of last year through spring of this year. We started with the typical treatments (Nix, etc) and out of desperation, moved onto LiceFree spray. I did the quarantining of the stuffed animals- for months during the winter, along with nuking them in the hot dryer.. I lost track of how many loads I consistently ran on hot. We discovered that the girls were trading them back and forth essentially-between each other and kids at school that they sat by. Insanity!!! I was thorough, every time, and paranoia sets in quickly. I tell you, I threw away a ton of hair clips and ties without a tear because of the thought of chancing getting lice again. I definitely recommend LiceFree spray- you spray it on, and it has to dry- it was the only thing that worked for us. It appears similar to the product you showed from Amazon, so you don’t stress about pesicides that aren’t helping anyway. Now, whenever the song “Another One Bites the Dust” comes on from Queen, my kids think of lice, and getting rid of them.. I second the bright light- it’s crucial, and checking and rechecking for the nits. {shudder}….

    • 07/22/2014 / 7:58 am

      I can’t believe you had to go through that for so long. I definitely would have lost it.

      It’s crazy how the kids just pass them back and forth, completely oblivious. I picture these little bugs screaming, “wheeeee!” As they jump from head to head. Thanks for another good product recommendation!

  3. 07/17/2014 / 9:23 am

    Honestly, just the idea of having to vacuum everything for a week and also washing all the linens makes me want to cry. I would be tempted to shave heads and put all our belongings out on the curb.

    • 07/22/2014 / 8:00 am

      My neighbor’s boys actually got their heads shaved when lice showed up- I guess it’s a bit more feasible to do that when you have boy-children. If I had to shave off Fen’s long red hair, it would be one of those pathetic movie moments where I’m bawling and shaving and drinking vodka. What?

    • 07/22/2014 / 8:01 am

      Oh I’ve heard of those thingies! So you had good luck with it- I think at one point I even tried flat ironing. I forgot about adding the heat element into the situation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *