Thursday, August 31, 2006

It's that time again!

My friend KC called me up very upset yesterday. Her daughter is infested with lice. Yes, folks! School's back in and the lice are jumping head to head already. She's even further upset because her son (Devil Boy W with the fancy new haircut courtesy of Z-boy) spent the night over here on Friday and may have brought the lice here with him. I laughed and said thanks for letting me know. She couldn't understand why I wasn't more upset...

Obviously, this is a first for her. And she grew up with having lice as being a stigma. People in our parents' generation had their heads shaved and doused with lye to get rid of the little buggers. And that's a shame. It was totally NOT necessary, but people didn't know that then. Lice only infected the trashy, unclean people, right? Not true! Lice would much rather find a nice clean head to live on than a dirty one. So it's not a question of hygiene. It's just a fact of life. And unfortunately, people who are so "blessed" still feel the stigma because they're tough to get rid of. They want to ensure their survival just as much as we do, so they're sneaky. They hide in your hair. They lay eggs at your roots and glue them in so they won't fall out. And after the eggs hatch, which is when most people catch on that something's going on upstairs, the babies leave the nits behind. Those are the whitish shell casings that most people notice when looking for lice.
Lice on head Lice cycle Behind Ear Their favorite places to hang out are behind the ears and at the nape of your neck.

People believe that putting poison on their children's head is the only way to get rid of them. Not true! I am a firm believer in mayonnaise.

My son got lice when he was in daycare. I researched the methods of killing them but was aghast at all the poisons. Not on my baby! Then I found a "natural" method website and I must tell you - it works. Wash hair, apply mayonnaise and wrap the head in plastic wrap or in a plastic bag. Heat it up with a hair dryer for a few minutes and leave on for 20-40 minutes. Rinse hair and start combing (use a special nit comb for this). After you've combed out as much as you can stand, wash hair in a clarifying shampoo (one designed to wash out hair product buildup), towel dry and comb hair again. The mayonnaise suffocates the lice and the combing gets the dead bodies, eggs, and nits out of your hair. It also helps soften the "glue" that's holding the eggs onto the hair. You will need to wash towels, sheets and clothes in hot water and use a dryer on medium or high setting to kill the ones you've been spreading around. Bag up any stuffed animals you can't wash for two weeks in a plastic bag. Vacuum your house thoroughly. You can spray furniture and other things you cannot wash or vacuum with Lysol until damp.

No poison. And your hair is marvelously soft for about a week afterwards!!!

For more information, you can go to the following website.


Nikki said...

They seem to like blond hair.

I had very blond hair as a kid and would catch them every year at school.

I hated it. I never told anyone when I had them b/c they would have made fun of me.

Gah! I hated it.

Sayre said...

My son is blonde and so is my friend's daughter. I never really thought about it that way.

34quinn said...

I will never look at mayonaise the same way again either lOL LOL LOL & ewwwwwww

Sayre said...

Follow up - I did the mayonnaise head thing last night. It doesn't hurt and if there's anything there it will take care of it. I never found anything on my son or on myself. My husband washed sheets yesterday (and who am I to stop him from doing housework????) but was adamant that we were lice-free. Fine.

So this morning, I wake up early (5:30) and when I get to the kitchen, I find him wrapping his head in saran wrap. He was doing it HIS way with olive oil (which also works but is harder to wash out). He said that ever since KC called, he'd been itching like crazy. Ah - the power of suggestion!

nikki said...

good to know in case my little monster is ever infested. i had it as a kid...when i had hair down to my tushie. man it sucked!

Oh, The Joys said...


This is so COMING my way at some point isn't it?

Sayre said...

Did they cut your hair off, Nikki? The parents of one of Z's classmates did that. Poor kid - she had gorgeous hair.

Sorry, Jessica - chances are you will have to deal with it sooner or later. Z had it when he was 4. KC's kids didn't get it until they were 8 & 5. Just treat it like it's just one of those things that happens sometimes and your kids will be okay with it. Z isn't traumatized at all.