As parents, we’ve all been there. Your child comes home from school and you notice that he is vigorously itching his scalp or you receive an email from the school informing you that there’s a lice outbreak in your daughter’s classroom. You rush her to the bathroom so you can check her scalp, and yup, you see that the little guys have clearly made a home in her hair.
While you may feel completely alone, remember that lice is a common issue. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are about 6 to 12 million cases each year in the United States among children ages 3 to 11.
What’s next? You cancel that birthday party, reschedule that playdate, and do everything in your power to get rid of the lice fast!
While your first instinct may be to buy the first lice treatment that you see at your local drugstore, don’t! While these products may kill the lice, you are also exposing your child to harmful toxins and chemicals that could harm them. For example, neurotoxins such as Malathion, a common ingredient in over-the-counter lice treatments is actually an insecticide that is also used for mosquito control. It works by interfering with chemical reactions in the nervous system, whether of an insect or a person, and is easily absorbed into the skin and into your child’s circulatory system. The risks and potential side effects of exposure to neurotoxins include asthma, seizures, lethargy, slurred speech and skin rashes. It’s simply NOT worth it when there are other ways to eliminate lice quickly and effectively.
So, how do you get rid of the lice?
It’s simple, all you need is a good fine metal comb and some ingredients that you can find around your kitchen - or you can opt for a natural formula made of essential oils that have been shown to be effective in treating lice, like Isabella’s Clearly LICE.
Here are 4 easy steps to help get rid of lice fast:
1. Suffocate the Lice
Soak your child’s head in olive oil or coconut oil. Cover with a shower cap for at least 2 hours (or preferably overnight). When ready, remove the shower cap, and separate the hair into small sections, then use a metal nit comb to carefully remove the lice and eggs. Rinse the hair well with shampoo. Repeat this process a few times until you see that there are no more lice or nits.
Note: while the oils can help suffocate the lice, they may not necessarily kill them. You can use a natural formula of essential oils like Isabella’s Clearly LICE on your child’s scalp to speed up the process and not have to repeat as many times.
2. Get Rid of Nits (Lice eggs)
After the oil treatment, soak the hair in distilled vinegar (you can also use apple cider vinegar). While vinegar does not help in suffocating adult lice, it does prevent the nits (eggs) from latching on to the hair strands. Combined with careful combing, using the fine metal comb, it’s an excellent and simple method for removing the nits.
Note: You can skip this step if you use Isabella’s Clearly LICE, as it also works for removing the nits (eggs) from the hair.
3. Deter Lice from Coming Back
Petroleum jelly is a good natural option for deterring lice. The thick texture stops roaming lice on their tracks and keeps them away from the scalp and hair. Simply apply a very thin layer of petroleum jelly on your child’s scalp and leave in until the next wash. If you find that this is too greasy, you can make a quick blend of essential oils by mixing tea tree oil, lavender, eucalyptus or red thyme oil with a carrier oil and applying to your child’s scalp daily.
If you are using Isabella’s Clearly LICE, which already includes all these essential oils and more, simply add a couple of drops to your child’s scalp each morning as a lice repellent.
4. Clean, Clean, Clean
While head lice can’t survive for that long outside of their human host, you don’t want to risk the lice returning to your child’s head or latching on to someone else’s. Make sure to clean or wash anything that has been in close contact with the person who has lice (clothes, hats, pillowcases, sheets, hair brushes and combs). If an item cannot be washed (such as stuffed animals), place items into an air tight plastic bag and leave for 2 weeks. Otherwise wash items in hot water and place in the dryer to dry. Also, make sure to vacuum floors and furniture where the lice may have fallen.
While this process may require a little patience, it is important to remember that by using natural products, you are taking care of yourself and your child’s health and avoiding dangerous chemicals that may potentially harm you both. With a little work, you will get through it!
About Isabella’s Clearly
Isabella’s Clearly is an all natural beauty and health company, making the best non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty free products that you can trust. Our ingredients are ethically sourced for our carefully curated formulas that are handcrafted in small batches in the U.S. and sold worldwide. Our mission is to provide you with natural products that you love in order to help you achieve a healthy lifestyle.