I was raised in the south and never had head lice growing up. I lived in California and my kids were clean. Head lice would my happen to my family. Boy was I ever wrong.
My kids were young at that time. My boys were three and four years old and my youngest was a year and a half. We had moved into a new apartment complex a few months prior, and the kids had found some new playmates.
Our kids woke up before the crack of dawn and would climb into bed with us. My three year old was scratching his head rather vigorously, and I couldn’t get him to stop. He said over and over, “My head’s itchy, my heads itchy.” I thought to myself, “Oh no!” I turned to my hubby and told him, “I think he may have lice.”
I had never seen lice before. I had no clue what I was looking for. I had seen in my tea tree oil remedy book an alternative to traditional head lice removal. I looked the info up in my book and discovered you have to kill the lice and the eggs in order to get rid of the head lice completely. The book had pictures of lice and the eggs so I knew what I was hunting.
I also realized that every one in the house had to be checked for lice. To my disappointment, my husband, my four year, and my darling baby girl had it as well as my three year old. I don’t know how I escaped. My husband’s theory was all the mousse and hairspray I used on a daily basis kept the critters from attaching to my hair.
I went to the drug store to look at lice removal products. I decided not treat my kids with the over the counter products offered at the drug store. The products had pesticides and I thought it would do more harm than good for my family. I did buy a nit comb because that would be needed for egg removal.
I had a co-worker that sold tea tree oil products and he told me where I could look for more info on using the oil to treat head lice. All this was before the internet, so I actually had to dig around for the information I needed.
I gathered my supplies together and started the treatments. The boys and my husband were fairly easy to treat. I got out the clippers. The boys got shaved heads and my husband had his cut really close. The husband didn’t want to be completely bald.
My daughter was another story. Her hair was curly and pretty and we didn’t want her to loose her it all. We had to treat her differently. My husband and I agreed not to cut her hair even though it would be extra work to treat her head.
The next step was to massage the tea tree oil into the head. I put about fie to six drops of the oil in my hand and massaged in the scalp. Then I placed a shower cap over their heads and let it sit for about a half hour. Then they washed the oil out with shampoo mix with about ten- fifteen drops of tea tree oil. That worked extremely well for the boys and my husband, but not so well for my baby girl.
I failed to realize that while tea tree oil is natural it can irritate the skin and cause an allergic reaction in some. It would have been wise to test the oil on a small area of the scalp before applying it to the whole head. My daughter’s eyes swelled up and her scalp became inflamed. We had to take her to the Emergency Room. She was given Benadryl and was ok afterward, but we learned a valuable lesson. For her next treatment, we used the tea tree oil and shampoo mixture, and that worked out great.
After you treat the lice, you need to remove the eggs. Use a lice comb for this. It’s a big hassle to get the kids to sit still, but it is an important step in the removal process. The boys’ heads were easier to comb because we shaved them. That was a real time saver. My husband and daughter were a little more difficult, but it was worth the effort. You should look for nits every day for two weeks to make sure get eggs that may have hatched that time frame. After two weeks, treat the head again with the oil massaged into the scalp and the shower cap over the head for a half hour. Wash the head again with the tea tree oil shampoo mixture. I would continue to check for nits everyday for about two weeks after the final treatment to insure complete removal of all lice and nits.
It is important to treat the house. If you don’t, you’ll get lice again. All pillows and stuffed animals should be placed in plastic bags and stored for at least a week. I stored mine for two weeks. All washable items, including clothing and bedding, that have touched your head should be washed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer. Make sure to vacuum all upholstery, mattresses, and floors in your house. On upholstery and mattresses, I sprayed them down with a fine mist of tea tree oil and water. I mixed ten drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle filled with water.
The last step in the process is to avoid kids that run around the neighborhood with untreated head lice. I know that may sound harsh, but some parents refuse to treat their children’s lice. I had to treat the kids two more times before I finally got totally fed up with this family. They were nice folks, but they refused to get control of the problem. I had to forbid my kids from playing with their kids. It was a hard thing to do, but I never had to treat head lice again.
I hope that you never have to go through the misfortune of dealing with head lice. If you find yourself having to nit pick, and are looking for a natural alternative to chemical lice removal, I believe you will find this information helpful.