Whether you have dealt with head lice before or this is your first go-around, knowing where to start can seem like a daunting task. For centuries people have used wild and creative methods to eliminate head lice. Ever seen a Pharoah or Egyptian goddess with their stylish jewels and large gold headpieces? Most likely these were ways to distract from the fact that most Egyptians had shaved heads to help ward off head lice. Notice how most Medieval Times features fur coats, jackets or vests? During this era, it was believed that head lice would prefer the warmth and comfort of animal fur and move from their human victim onto the fur pieces. It may sound crazy to us, yet there are all types of modern-day head lice remedies that seem just as strange.
Garlic is for Repelling Vampires, but What About Head Lice?
Some parents in the UK swear that adding a special mixture of ingredients, mainly garlic and lime juice to everyday shampoos will kill head lice.
THE PROBLEM: Obviously garlic in large amounts, this recipe calls for 10 cloves, produces a putrid smell. Can you imagine putting that in your hair for thirty minutes at a time? Not to mention, they suggest repeating the process every week for TWO months. Yikes. That is a recipe for an aroma disaster my friends…not a truly effective head lice remedy.
Mayonaisse or Vaseline? You Probably Have Both Laying Around Your Home
This particular home remedy is a common one. People believe that if they apply enough mayo or vaseline to the scalp, then proceed to cover it in plastic overnight that the head lice will suffocate. This could be partly true, however, incredibly ineffective and potentially dangerous.
THE PROBLEM: Depending on how young the child may be, we NEVER recommend putting plastic on your child’s head, especially overnight. This could lead to suffocating the child. Also, head lice can hold their breath for up to 8 hours. And, this method is not effective at all in killing nits, or lice eggs. So ultimately, it would need to be repeated every 7-10 days to kill head lice that were newly hatched, if it does kill them at all. Our suggestion, save the mayo for your next backyard BBQ with the neighbors.
Hair Straighteners, Hair Dryers, and Hair Trimmers, Oh My!
According to some sources, one out of four parents admits to using a hair straighter to attempt burning head lice out of their child’s scalp. The image of that is disturbing, although we do understand the desperation that parents have probably reached by that point. Others say that keeping a hot hairdryer on the scalp for an extended period of time has been their go-to when nothing else seemed to work. Others, yes about 50% of parents, admit that they have considered shaving the child’s head to finally be rid of head lice.
THE PROBLEM: First of all, beauty tools such as curling irons, hair straighteners, and hair dryers were never designed as head lice removal tools. These instruments are designed to reach up to 365 – 400 degrees! Imagine the severe damage that could be done to a child’s scalp when these devices are used improperly. Especially, if left on for significant periods attempting to burn out head lice or nits. Consider also, no child thinks of having head lice as a pleasant experience. To shave their head or chop off their hair would only add to the humiliation and harshness of their problem.
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