FAQ: How to fight Headlice

This is a FAQ post.  These are the most popular answers to a real question asked on The Imperfect Mum. 

Headlice. Help! Need I say more? How do I get rid of headlice?

Samantha: They don’t go away, there is always one kid that has them, and by the time you clear them from your kids heads, they are making the rounds again. Use conditioner and comb, cheapest and easiest to use. We have used all of the concoctions that are out there even the vibrating comb which is useless. Tea tree oil on the hair to prevent or hairspray.

Tiana: Eucalyptus spray on hair each day to prevent them

Samantha: Add tea tree oil into a spray bottle of water each day when you do her hair and to get them out. Use a cheap conditioner lather it on and comb them out. My kids have never had head lice cause I do the tea tree religiously but have seen people use the conditioner instead of chemicals and it gets them all out.. good luck

Rach: Nit comb and cheap conditioner. The best out of everything I tried.

Joanne: Head lice are horrible little things, and having four kids, I feel your pain! I received a pamphlet from school about them, and it said that they can hold their breath for 20 minutes (no wonder they are so hard to kill) so whatever u use, needs to be in the hair for longer than that. Having dealt with them for a number of years, the best thing I have found is a thick conditioner (put lots on and then a shower cap for half an hour) which suffocates them and then run the nit comb through until u cant find anymore eggs on it. Your r never going to get them all on the first go (the eggs) and so it is recommended to repeat process 5 to 7 days later to remove any left behind eggs that have hatched. Good luck and I hope that helped!

Amanda: A hair straightener works wonders. You run it through their hair making sure you get every bit and re treat within 5-7 days. Any longer and the eggs you missed can lay eggs again but in 5-7 days you get them before they mature.

Justine: Tie her hair back tightly (plaits, braids, whatever) and use hairspray! They can’t grip onto the hair when it’s covered in hairspray!

Simone: You need to treat 10 days after the initial treatment – this breaks the cycle. There are products at the chemist which are effective following this method. Under no circumstances should you be using heat on your child’s head as this leads to burns they are sensitive!!! You do not need to wash all linen – just put you pillow, hats, dressing gowns and soft toys in the dryer for 20 minutes. Pop brushes and hair accessories in a bag in the freezer over night. Most importantly as soon as you treat wash under the finger nails if they have been scratching they can easily re infest themselves.

Sharmayne: I heard mayo works and is great for your hair too


Kerri: Get onto them at school & get rid of the culprits for starters. When we were at primary school a nurse came each week with a ruler & checked for nits, I think it is time for that again, & whoever had them got sent home until they were gone, xo

Matt: A new recommendation from Australia’s cleaning guru, Shannon Lush, is to use orange juice (pure, not concentrated juice or “fruit drink”) in conjunction with the tried and tested “condition and comb” method. According to Lush, “Orange juice is such a toxic insecticide, the lice will die.” For parents who have concerns about using chemicals on their child’s hair this is an excellent place to start head lice treatments. You can use Shannon Lush’s treatment plan below.
While hair conditioner doesn’t kill lice, it stuns them, meaning they do not move around, and it’s difficult for them to hang on. This gives parents time to comb through the hair with a lice comb – nits appear to be stunned for about 20 minutes .You need a pure orange juice, a bottle of conditioner, a fine head-lice comb and a box of tissues. These can be purchased from your local pharmacy.

  • Simply pour orange juice over your child’s hair like shampoo and leave it on for 10 minutes
  • Run a lice comb through the hair. The juice kills the live lice and loosens the eggs so they should strip straight off the hair
  • You should make sure that the combs you use are soaked in hot water as lice die in hot water at 60C in 30 seconds
  • On the following day, apply generous amounts of conditioner to your child’s hair.
  • Brush through your child’s hair firstly using a regular brush. This will make fine combing much less stressful for your child.
  • Comb your child’s hair in sections from the scalp to the tip of the hair
  • Check the comb after each brush through to see if nits are present

You will need to repeat this process every 2 days until no live lice have been found for 10 days.

Mummy: First rinse hair with apple cider vinegar then coat in coconut oil….leave 10 mins then comb thru with nit comb…wash hair as usual…watch the lil suckers die!!!! It works – believe me please!!! After 10 years of nits we finally got them buggers sorted!!! Nits 0 : mum 1…YEY!!!!

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