Monday, September 26, 2011


It may be a bit of an overreaction, but head lice freak me right out.

I've always had very thick, straight, shiny hair. Which, unfortunately for me, is a perfect environment for those disgusting little bugs.

When I was a kid, I had head lice several times. I still remember the time my mum had to take a whole day off of work and spend a whole day tugging through my hair with one of those awful nit combs. The horrible smell of those scalp burning shampoos. Not least, the constant itching.

Ugh. They're so easy to get, and such a total pain in the ass to get rid of.

Beege, like me, was born with beautiful thick hair; only hers is curly. Until recently, it was down past her bum. Thank goodness we decided to cut it to shoulder length before school started, because I got this note home from school last week:

And immediately felt itchy. And paranoid. And wouldn't let her hug me. (I know, I suck.) I've also been making my husband check my head every few nights.

I have been obsessively checking her head every day, and do her hair up in two very tight braids in the morning. She's been told not to hug anyone at school; which really, she's not supposed to do anyway. I've asked her to stop playing in the sandbox, as she inevitably ends up with a head full of sand that looks just like nits to me, and then has to endure my scraping at her scalp to make sure it really is just sand.

I've even swapped out her lovely smelling shampoo with tea tree oil shampoo and conditioner, which she says "smells like the soap in the bathroom at Ikea." I've also made up a spray of water and tea tree oil to spray her hair with every morning before school, because apparently the lice don't like the soap in the bathroom at Ikea either.

She's taking it all very well.

Considering that she doesn't actually have lice, and I'm doing all I can to prevent her catching them, perhaps the worst part about this is that it's making me feel like everything in my house is covered with bugs. Little, tiny, invisible bugs. My skin is constantly crawling.

Although, I suppose if it makes me clean my house a little more intensively, it's a good thing. Too bad my husband's not neurotic too, or I could freak him into helping me.

Now I'm just going to keep braiding, spraying and crossing my fingers that the disgusting little buggers don't find their way to my house.

Here are 5 different ways to prevent head lice:

Mix essential oils in with your shampoo so the strong smell repels the lice and makes you invisible. The most common is Tea Tree Oil. You can either mix 10 drops in with your existing shampoo or buy ready made Tea Tree shampoo at your supermarket.

Mix 10 drops Tea Tree or other essential oil into a spray bottle with water. Put your child’s hair in a tight plait and mist over before school or playtime.

Tea Tree oil mixed with gel. If your boy has a modern style, mix Tea Tree in with your gel and the lice will stay well away. Not only does the oil repel the lice, the gel makes it impossible to move around the head or attach their eggs.

Alternatively for girls, hair spray has the same effect, simulating dirty hair so the lice cannot move around or attach their eggs.

Mix a few drops of Tea Tree oil in with a leave in conditioner and make sure your child sprays this on every morning or before playtime.

Source: Live Lice Free


  1. Oh my God...too funny. The first draft blog I did for Chicago Parent was also about head lice and my own freakish fear of it. We got almost the identical letter. I think we're living parallel lives. I'll let you know when it goes live!

  2. ICK ICK ICK. I've never gotten them but have always been afraid of them. Here's to hoping y'all don't get a single one!!

  3. @Marianne - Ha! Definitely let me know when it goes live; congratulations again!

    @Rachel - thanks. Definitely one of the grosser things to worry about when you send your kids to school :P