I have to admit that when I first had head lice (the only time I have had it) I was 15 and on holidays in another state with my Dad. I totally flipped out and had him wash my hair for me as I wouldn’t touch it! As a Mother I now see that head lice and nits are an extremely common buy liquid arimidex australia and treatable condition. Thankfully there are now also some fantastic natural treatment options to help us help our children without a chemical cocktail. Head lice are not a big risk to our little ones but there is “the potential for overzealous treatment to cause harm” (Dr Cameron Webb, University of Sydney). Have a read of our tips below and you will see that treating lice can be achieved naturally with a straightforward, natural and effective treatment method.
I have been advocating the use of organic and natural personal care products for over a decade now -and I also concern that there may be potential harm in repeated use of harsh chemical lice treatments. The effects of chemical exposure are especially worrying for children as they produce less skin oils, making them more vulnerable to synthetic chemical penetration. Science is putting big question marks over how these chemical exposures affect cancer risks and illness in later life, so it just doesn’t seem worth any risk to use harsh chemicals when great natural headline treatment alternatives exist.
Head lice is a common time for parents to feel flustered and unsure about their resolve to avoid chemicals. We all want to do the right thing and get rid of the pests quickly and thoroughly. Rest assured that there are definitely effective natural head lice treatments available that are free from parabens, artificial colours, fragrances, preservatives and benzoates.
Busting a few head lice myths
- Head lice are a sign of poor hygiene: this is false as lice don’t have a preference for a hair type
- The only way to get rid of head lice is to use a chemical cocktail: this is false as there are great natural head lice treatment options available that are reliable and effective
- Head lice jump from head to head: this is false as head lice require close personal contact to be spread
- Adults don’t get head lice: this is false and adults do need to be thoroughly checked for lice
- Pets spread lice: this is false as lice cannot be transmitted to pets
Symptoms of head lice
- Tickling sensation at the scalp
- Itching or red marks at the scalp, hairline or neck
Checking for head lice
We recommend using a sturdy lice comb, like the Larry Lice Comb made by Eco Kid or any of the other version readily available at your local pharmacy. The lice themselves are very thin, small creatures about the size of a sesame seed. Their eggs look almost like a hair folice, and attach close to the scalp. I always thought that nits were lice eggs, but they are actually better described as egg shells; they are what is left when the head lice have hatched and the nits or ‘egg shells’ stick to the hair.
Simply wash and clean the hair and then my method is to part it straight down the middle and then work in sections from the top of the hairline one side and then the next. There seems to be a preference for lice to exist at the crown of the head, but essentially it doesn’t matter where the lice find their homes, it matters only that you search for them in a methodical way so that no patch of scalp is missed.
My preference is to have a piece of paper or paper towel at the side and to run a lice comb through sections of hair and then wipe them on the paper towel, even if I can’t see evidence of lice and nits. At times nits can be so translucent that they are first noticed when their bulk is removed from the comb. If you do find evidence of lice of nits, don’t despair. Hop to the next step and think of it like a great time to play a ‘day at the spa’ with your little one. Lighten the mood for the children – I think protecting them from anxiety over lice has almost as much benefit as protecting them from chemical exposure!
Treating head lice naturally
We have been selling Eco Kid products for some years now and receive only great reports back about it. Eco Kid natural head lice treatment is certified organic by the USDA, NOP and ACO as well as being TGA approved (Therapeutic Goods Administration) as a medicine to aid in the management and control of head lice infestation. Eco Kid is a world first certified organic head lice range that includes an easy to use ‘lice bomb’ to control and treat lice infestations from the home as well as a range of other complementary products such as shampoo and conditioner. The ‘lice bomb’ may sound fierce but it’s ingredients rely on the efficiency of nature, using olive and neem oils, sweet orange and coconut oil as well as tea tree and clove. Of course as with any product we recommend a patch test and awareness that even natural ingredients can cause reactions in some people.
If you are on a strict budget, we also believe that smothering the hair in a thick (1-2cm) layer of conditioner will also assist in their removal. The conditioner restricts lice movement so that you can comb them out and with persistent treatment eradicate them manually or mechanically. If you have tea tree oil in your home add a few drops of that to a mix of conditioner before applying it, which may act as a deterrent to the lice. You can read more about the ‘conditioner and comb’ method here on the NSW Govt Health site and it is a very effective and frequently recommended treatment method which will also avoid exposure to harsh chemicals.
Preventing future outbreaks
Try tying long hair back and plait it to avoid contact opportunities from loose hair and strays, and talk to your little ones about hygiene to discourage them from sharing hairbrushes. Even though lice rarely survive any lengthy duration away from the humans scalp, I don’t like to provide them any opportunities. Likewise talk to your kids about not wearing someone else’s hat.
Finding lice early and treating regularly is an important process to ensure that you completely address the infestation and get it under control easily. The most important part of any treatment and prevention plan is to re-treat in 7 days if using a lice treatment bomb. If using the conditioner and comb method, we strongly recommend treating every day if possible, for 10 days. We have used a combination of lice bomb and conditioner in our experience, treating every second day with conditioner and comb after the first bomb and then with a second bomb at 7 days and a final condition treatment at 9 days.
Most parents do find this an unpleasant experience but this too will pass and you are absolutely not alone in this common childhood health matter.
Best wishes to you in the trenches of parenting..