How to Get Rid of Lice

Lice are contagious parasites found in human hair – drawing blood from the scalp area, lice can become a very heavy problem if left untreated. Each individual louse can cause soreness, itching, infection, and irritation around the afflicted region, more often affecting children than adults. They are also capable of spreading disease.

Symptoms of Head Lice

The number one symptom of head lice is an itchy scalp. If your children come home scratching their heads, you should inspect their hair immediately. This can be done by gently parting your child’s hair and revealing the scalp. If your child has lice, you should see tiny black specks scurrying about. You may also find tiny white eggs, called nits, scattered about the hair as well. More than likely your child got lice from one of their friends.

Getting Rid of Lice

With head lice, reproduction is inevitable. After confirming that lice are what you're dealing with, it's best to take a comb and gently remove any eggs. They may vary in colors of white or yellow. RID by Bayer is one of the most popular over the counter products for their elimination. Traditional shampoos will not kill lice (or their eggs) and should be substituted by products designed specifically for their removal.

  • Purchase a bottle of RID shampoo from your local market. Apply shampoo to wet hair and follow package instructions carefully.
  • Check all family members using the steps outlined above.
  • Children should be kept home from school until the lice are gone. If all goes well, the lice should be gone after 2 days max.
  • All bedding, dirty laundry, hats, and pillow cases should be washed and dried. Make sure to dry the items on max temperature, the heat from the dryer will kill off any lice caught in the material.

If using over the counter products for lice removal, be sure and read the directions very carefully. There are some lice shampoos out there that can cause very harsh stinging or irritation if used improperly, especially if it gets in the child's eyes. The lice will usually disappear completely after a day or two. Most importantly, use common sense. Keep your kid home from school the same day you find they may have a problem and don't let them return until you've made sure the problem is gone. If your child is still itching their head after a week, consider speaking with a doctor. Lice can be embarrassing for both the parents and the child, but don’t let it bother you. It can happen to anyone. This irritating problem is easily solved if treated within a reasonable amount of time. Last but not least, sterilize any hair accessories like combs or clips in alcohol.

Head Lice Home Remedies

A bottle of RID isn't always necessary. For those who don't like the harsh chemical smells of traditional lice shampoos and are in need of a faster solution to getting rid of lice, there is a natural home remedy using mayonnaise:

  1. Using a jar of mayonnaise and some latex gloves, apply thoroughly through the child's hair, paying closer attention to the area immediately surrounding the scalp.
  2. Let sit for at least 1 hour. The density of the mayonnaise will suffocate the lice. Rinse hair with warm water and shampoo or conditioner to remove the mayo.
  3. Using a fine-toothed comb, brush out any remaining lice or eggs. Check again the next day to make sure the problem has been eliminated.

The above technique works wonderfully and is a solid alternative to purchasing specialty products from the store. Again, make sure all of the child's cloth and bedding is washed and dried.