So, you or someone you love has lice! I’m so sorry! It’s truly a pain & is very contagious, but that doesn’t mean you’re DIRTY! Nowadays, we have SUPER LICE that have built up an immunity to the chemical solutions that are available on the market. They seem to survive this & spread easily. It doesn’t take much for you to become infected. Good news: you don’t have to use harmful chemicals on your scalp to get rid of it, but it IS a tedious process!
Here’s a step-by-step process to show you how to become lice-free after infection! Keep these facts in mind:
“Eggs hatch after 5 to 10 days. Young head lice (called nymphs) are mobile & molt three times, developing into mature adults in about 3 weeks. Adults can live for about 4 weeks, but do not lay eggs until after 7 days. Head lice do not survive off a host for more than 1 or 2 days.”
1. Usually, you will see the eggs or nits after complaints about itching. They are small like dandruff, but tear-shaped and shiny. They do not brush off like dandruff, & instead have to be removed with your fingernails by dragging them off of the hair. Very rarely will you see the actual lice as they move relatively fast & are hidden in the hair. They do not jump, but get transferred through sharing items or close contact with hair that’s infected.
2. Put a solution together in a small bowl. In this video, I used approximately a tablespoon of Fractionated Coconut Oil (just enough to cover the scalp) or some other carrier oil, & about 2 drops of each of the following oils (or whichever ones you have on hand. Melaleuca is the primary suggestion, but I like to try many others to be safe!):
TerraShield (doTERRA blend)
3. Apply ALL of oil combination thoroughly to the scalp (dry hair is fine).
4. Wrap up all the hair & cover head, hair & scalp with a grocery bag that is tied tight. Push out excess air & use a rubber band to tie up loose part of bag.
5. Wait 4+ hours to kill all lice. I have found waiting only a couple of hours does make the lice lethargic, but doesn’t necessarily kill them, so I like to wait longer.
6. While waiting, take this time to wash all items that have had or may have had contact with lice in very hot water & the hottest setting of your dryer. Bedding, pillows, clothes, towels, brushes, hats, etc. If you have items you don’t want to wash such as decorative pillows, bag them up in a large trash bag, tie them tight & throw them in the garage for a week or so until you’re sure there is no more infestation. Make sure to vacuum couches & floors, & continue to wash clothes that are exposed as you continue to rid of the lice over the coming week. If you have a couch that isn’t leather, wash any removable covers, or vacuum thoroughly & spray with the oils I mentioned above.
7. After 4+ hours, I suggest washing hair thoroughly & using a good conditioner so you can easily comb through the hair with the lice comb.
8. Comb the hair section-by-section with a good quality lice comb. I DO NOT suggest using the cheap ones that come in the “chemical” lice kits at the drug store. They are not very effective & will make your job even harder! Comb through hair very thoroughly until you are sure you’ve gotten all of the lice & most of the eggs. Make sure to do this over a bathtub or sink so that the lice & eggs are contained in one area. Keep in mind that the lice will not survive more than a few days off of their host.
9. Blow-dry hair on the hottest setting. Some suggest not doing this as you could blow the lice and eggs off onto other items. Personally, I haven’t had an issue with this, so I like to do this. I feel it’s much easier to manually pick through hair when it’s dry & clean.
10. This is the tedious part! Sit down in VERY GOOD light ( I prefer natural sunlight) & pick through the hair section-by-section to identify any remaining eggs/nits. There are 2 kinds of eggs. White ones mean that the lice has already hatched. Brown ones mean that the lice is still in the egg. The eggs hatch in a 5-10 day period from the time they were laid. When you have a lice still remaining, you’ll most likely find a cluster of eggs in one area, as that’s how lice lay. If you’re only finding 1 or 2 in random areas, most likely (hopefully!) these are just a few random eggs that you previously missed. If you do find a new cluster of eggs, you can either comb out again to see if you can catch the lice that way, or do another treatment & repeat this process.
11. Stay diligent! Consider checking the scalp once or twice a day to see you find clusters of eggs or if you find eggs you may have missed. Even 2 weeks out, make sure you’re still lice free as a lone egg could have hatched in that 5-10 day time frame. After this, you should be lice-free!