The Stuff of Real Life

…in today’s case…

LICE.

Yup.

We have just had our first encounter with the pests.

And although something inside tells me I’m “supposed” to be quiet and shy about the subject, I cannot.

Because this is the Stuff of Life that I need others talk about freely so that I can more easily navigate through it myself.

Thankfully people have and are, and Dusty and I were able to find some great solutions and ideas online to help with our newly discovered infestation, which I am ashamed to admit I was blind to recognize on my own.  It took Dusty being home sick watching our little Betsy Pollyanna scratch and scratch her little head to put two and two together.  In my complete naivety I assumed she had a reaction to the new soap we put in their bathtub-room.

Uh-uh.

Not so.

Poor girls hair was filled with nits!  And this is what we did to get rid of them, using all natural ingredients that we already had on hand in our pantry!  It seems to have worked like a charm!  And thus we are passing it on…

Here’s the process:

1– Apply Apple Cider Vinegar to hair covering all parts.  Allow to sit in hair until dry.  This helps to loosen the “glue” that keeps the nits attached to hair follicles.

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2– Apply Coconut Oil in the same manner, again, fully covering hair and head.  If your oil is solid it helps to warm it to liquid first and then pour it over the scalp.

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3– Cover hair with a plastic bag or shower cap and leave for at least 8 hours.  Apparently lice can hold their breath for up to 7, so eight should do the trick to smother them.  A great time to do this treatment is before bed to ensure the proper amount of time.

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4– Wash hair with regular shampoo.

5– Comb and comb and comb with a fine-toothed nit-comb, wiping/rinsing between swipes until the comb comes out clean.  This is admittedly a tedious process, but when embraced it is somewhat relaxing… and strangely Gratifying… not to mention a lovely (albeit ‘forced’) time of one-on-one.

The fancier comb on the left cost about $16 at our local pharmacy in Rangiora New Zealand, the one on the left was about $5 at the same location.  Dusty and I both liked the cheaper plastic one.

The fancier comb on the left cost about $16 at our local pharmacy in Rangiora New Zealand, the one on the left was about $5 at the same location. Dusty and I both liked the cheaper plastic one best.

After using this treatment for the first time, when we pulled the bag off of little Muffie’s hair there were literally dead lice that had fallen off her head into the bag… Gross!  But Gratifying!!  We combed through her hair with the finest-toothed comb we had and were able to remove many bugs, but not able to remove all the nits (lice eggs that attach themselves to hair shafts).  A trip to the pharmacy, two special lice-combs purchased, and another overnight treatment allowed me to comb out a pile of nits!  Again GROSS!!!  But GRATIFYING!!!  We repeated the process ONE MORE TIME, just to be sure, and did not pull anything else with the nit-combs.

6– Wash all bedding and stuffed animals (etc.) that may have been in close contact with the critters.  They do not like heat, so a HOT cycle is recommended.  However, if HOT is not available, COLD is next best as it is the extreme temperatures that are best for killing the buggers.

Also, if washing certain items is not feasible, that’s ok too.   These critters will die within 48 hours without ability to feed (meaning they MUST find a host to attach to within that time in order to survive).  Just bag the items for that length of time and nature should run its course.

How’s that for Real Life?

If any of you have thoughts or suggestions on how to deal with head-lice, please DO comment below… it is Super Helpful to the rest of us!

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6 thoughts on “The Stuff of Real Life

  1. love this post tic….i just wish i couldve seen some pics of the critters…oh well…they were prolly too small…i’ll just google it

    • Good point Cod… I am treating the whole family again this weekend, I’ll see if I can conjure something up for you 🙂 Or maybe I’ll just have to find a picture on the internet that I can add to the post. They’re tiny little critters… not easy to spot until you know what you’re looking for.
      Aye Yai Yai! What a silly adventure to be on! Ah well. I’m writing you at 10:55 p.m. after greasing everyone up with coconut oil and putting everyone to bed with bags on their heads. Even Dusty and I are bag-heads for the night. What a comical sight our family is right now!
      The great part about this remedy is that even if we don’t have lice, the coconut oil is an AMAZING conditioning treatment for hair that moisturizes and leaves it shiny and healthy. So I kind of feel like I’m pampering myself right now 🙂 BAM!

  2. I do recall battling the lice in the past. Mical has vast experience with them as well,after her times in Peru. She too found natural remedys.
    I used the insectacide route and was satisfied…..Lots of laundry….and isolating items in plastic bags….Memories.

  3. Ha! I LOVE that you posted this:) I wish I could have been a fly on the wall (no pun intended) to watch the “de-licing” project! Thanks for not being shy about this! 🙂

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