HEAD LICE: If you have not already gone through it, at some point your precious little rugrats will most likely bring home some not-so-precious little rugrats. Head lice is a dreaded family reality when you have little ones. It wasn’t until my family went through an infestation and we called in a Hair Lice Rescue Team that I learned more than I ever wanted to know about them. We at RMD hope to help you comb through fact from fiction and keep you from pulling your hair out of your head
1. It’s about the eggs
The bugs are the itch inducing little moving things that look like tiny gray grains of rice, but it is the eggs that must be eliminated to end your suffering. The eggs are tiny little gray sacs. If your child has head lice, the best strategy is to get them in the shower and have them shampoo and condition, preferably leaving a white layer of conditioner in the hair. Once the conditioner is fully penetrating your child’s tresses, take a fine-toothed lice comb (easily purchased at any pharmacy) and comb through each section of their head. The key is to be methodical by sectioning hair into quadrants and attacking each quadrant, one at a time. Combing from scalp to tip, swipe the conditioner as it collects on the comb onto a piece of white paper towel and look for the bugs and eggs. Keep doing each section until no more appear.
2. No, you don’t have to burn the house down
The truth is, lice cannot survive for more than an hour off the human head, so you do not need to fumigate your house. They are not fleas and they will not live in your bedding. It is a good idea to take all hairbrushes and put them in the freezer for an hour, just to ensure you kill any straggling buggers that may be laying in waiting.
3. The comb is your secret weapon
Seriously, you can buy the kit with the special shampoo, but what you REALLY need is that special fine-toothed metal comb that comes in it. The comb is your key to freedom from the hell that is head lice. Be diligent and check, double-check and then triple-check that you get through each section of hair. Note: If you have contracted the lice yourself, it is best to have a husband, partner, or patient friend sworn to secrecy to comb through your head. It may be too hard to do on your own.
4. It’s not because you are dirty
In fact, lice prefer a clean scalp. Tell that to your friends! If there is too much oil on the head, it is harder for them to root in and lay eggs. So, dispel the myth that it has anything to do with lack of cleanliness. Any mom who has been through it knows there is no need to feel ashamed about it. It is what it is.
5. Toxic chemicals don’t really work
The shampoos that claim to kill the bugs aren’t really the most important part. It really is all about the comb and ridding the head of the eggs. Not to mention, that some of the chemicals may not be the best for your little ones.
6. Prevention is key
Believe it or not, the rise in selfie culture has given rise to the spreading of lice. When people huddle together for a selfie, it results in prime leaping territory for lice to spread from head to head. Advise your kids to keep their heads away from others if there is an outbreak. Keeping long hair in braids is also a good precautionary measure. Also, not sharing hoodies or hats is good advice. Invest in a nice rosemary spray to spritz on their heads as they head off to school as a natural lice deterrent.
7. Don’t freak out!
When the Professional Hair Fairy I found on Yelp arrived at my house, she remarked at how calm I seemed. She said most moms freak out. Little did she know, I was crawling out of my skin on the inside. After the first time, you are better prepared, but you will always remember that creepy feeling of bugs creeping around your skull. Even now as I write this, I feel an urge to scratch… I’d even wager you’ve clawed at your own mop once or twice during this read! Just remember, when and if it happens, don’t panic, this too shall pass and you’ve earned one more notch in your mama warrior belt!