In my 2017 Blog posts, I’m going to talk about lots of things that I have experience in. As a qualified Master Hairdresser, I will be able to give you lots of hints and tips in hair problems and solutions;
Today’s problem is all about nits. As I’ve just spent the whole of December (and the first week back in school) treating my 12 year old daughter’s massive head of thick hair for head lice, I want to clear up a common myth. Head lice is not only attracted to clean hair, it is attracted to any hair, but it most likely can gain Easy entry to dirty, smelly, unruly, tangled hair and not smoothly brushed Clean hair!
Yes, it’s easy for a lice to jump heads while close to another child, but it’s the tangled hair that it gets to grip onto! So, even boys who have a good head of hair can get them, if their hygiene is not up to scratch! Yes, people are basically being nice to avoid any embarrassment, so now you know!
So, what works? I tried the natural home remedy first which is really good, dose the hair in vinegar, leave on for twenty minutes, (whilst in the bath is really good) and then shampoo as normal. You really need to have a fine comb for the next step. Lucky you if your child has fine hair, but if your child is like mine with thick, long, flowing locks, this is going to take you about an hour to thoroughly comb through and rid the head of lice. And also, if your child has sensory issues, this is going to kill her and you as the smell isn’t great. But it is a very good home method as it is easy and inexpensive. You should also do this treatment the following week also.
Mayo-naise is also very good, but the trick here is to smother the hair in thick mayo and then fine comb the nits and lice out, it’s very messy and again, time consuming but worth it! Again, it needs to be repeated the following week.
There are many chemical products on the market for around 14 euros and my favourite is Lyclear. This works really well but I did find that I had to repeat it the following week and despite the added expense for parents, it is quite harsh on the scalp leaving it dry and flaky and itchy!
So, why did it take me so long to finally rid my daughter’s hair of lice if I had been doing all of these methods? I’m going to be very honest here, I’m nearly fifty and even with my glasses, it’s very hard to see these little critters and the nits (which are the eggs) so I wasn’t a hundred percent sure if I was getting them all. The nits can look like dry scalp! So I totally understand if busy parents can’t see these little bugs and the kids do also have to stay still for at least five minutes so that you can actually check the hair properly. And we all know how difficult that is! (The best place to check your child’s hair is in natural sunlight!) I also feel that this particular strain of lice are quite resistant to the chemical treatments that I have used. There is a theory that they have become used to the chemicals and are not been killed by them and I believe this. And the other thing is, my daughter was also catching them again by other class mates. And that is just the way school is. Kids mix and huddle. And you can’t stop that and you don’t want to either!
So, what I would say to all you nurturers out there, just pick up a bottle of vinegar in your grocery shopping for three weeks in a row and dose each of your children’s hair with vinegar, before normal washing. And simply fine comb the bad guys out. You will be surprised at what you find! But please don’t let squeamishness put you off. xxx Jean