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How to Really Get Rid of Lice

Getting lice at least once in elementary school has almost become a rite of passage. As many as 12 million American school children get them each year. It’s become more common as of late because there’s more talk about it on social media and now we have Resistant Lice in over 25 US states.

nit comb

I live in Virginia, which is one of those states, along with nearby Maryland, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee. What does it mean to be Resistant? Resistant Lice basically means the lice have become resistant to current over-the-counter treatments. They become this way by treating and killing the adult nymphs, but leaving behind the tiny nits or eggs on the scalp. The nits develop gene mutations and become resistant or desensitized to the pyrethroids, the pesticide commonly used to kill lice. These pesticides only kill the nymphs, not the eggs, and only have an efficacy rate of 25-30%!
The leading lice shampoo contains a potent pesticide called LINDANE, which has been known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, liver damage and many other health issues. LINDANE has been banned in 18 countries and severely restricted in 10 others.

There’s some good news here about lice though. They don’t spread disease. They don’t hop or fly and you can only get them by direct contact. You may get lice when someone brushes or scratches their head (falling adult lice), by sharing hats, brushes, or hair accessories. They do affect girls more than boys because girls typically have longer and more hair.

Common Myths about Lice:

  • You don’t need a pharmaceutical to kill them.
  • They don’t fly or hop.
  • It doesn’t matter if your hair is clean or dirty; they have no preference.
  • They’re gross, but no one has ever died from getting lice.
  • They can live under water for several hours, so immersing your head and swimming under water in chlorine won’t kill them.

The nit or egg takes 8-9 days to hatch. It’s white and looks like dandruff. They hatch into nymphs, which can have a white or dark brown color. An adult louse grows for 9-12 days and can live for 30 days on a host and hatch 6 eggs per day! (Are you scratching your head yet?)

Lice will die in 1-2 days if they fall off the scalp (where they feed). The best place to look for them is the top of the head, the base of the neck and behind the ears. Constant scratching of one’s head is a clue as well. Scratching the bites can actually cause infection, but lice alone don’t cause infection.

Ways to Prevent Lice:

  • Watch for signs of scratching the scalp
  • Don’t share hats, brushes, hair accessories.
  • Wash sheets in hot water, high heat drying
  • If nice clothes are compromised, place in a sealed bag for 2 weeks to kill lice.
  • Vacuum daily and wash bath rugs, where you brush your hair

Treating Lice:

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First, get a good stainless steel nit comb on Amazon.

Initial Approach:

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Say you were at a playdate or another classmate has lice and you are worried about exposure. You can try this Defense Spray (for 3+ years):


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Daily Shampoo Concentrate:


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I know they’re gross, but with these tips, you can mitigate the spread of these tricky critters. These methods have an 82.5% cure rate, versus the 25-30% rate using a dangerous pesticide on your child’s head.

These essential oils can be found online or if you would like help ordering, please feel free to send me an email at unlockbetterhealth@gmail.com.

Source: Vintage Remedies, Aromatherapy course