How To Get Rid Of Head Lice (Once And For All)

If your home has ever been hit by a nit infestation, you know how difficult it can be to get rid of the little blighters. No matter how thoroughly you treat and comb your kids' hair, the cycle of eradication and rediscovery never seems to end. Fortunately, it's not difficult to banish them for good by following a strict procedure. We asked Aussie head lice expert, Nadine Ismiel-Nash, to share her tips.

Nadine Ismiel-Nash is an Australian mum, scientist and creator of NitWits All-In-One, a pyrethroid-free head lice treatment specifically developed for kids. (Crucially, there's no need for vigorous combing or repeat treatments.)

According to Ismiel-Nash, it's a myth that head lice are notoriously difficult to eradicate from human dwellings - you just need to follow the right process and stick to it. Here are a few of her tips.

Discourage head-to-head contact at school

"More than 95 per cent of head lice infestations are picked up at school through hair-to-hair contact with someone who already has lice," Ismiel-Nash said. "While everyone loves to cuddle, wrestle, and get in close for a ‘selfie’, these are considered high-risk activities in the world of nits."

Apply treatments correctly

"It’s important to carefully follow the directions on the treatment product’s pack and to observe the recommended contact times. If hair is not completely covered with the product, the lice and/or eggs may not all be killed, hence the head lice lifecycle will continue."

Experiment with different products

"If the nits are proving difficult to eradicate, try changing to a different type of treatment. The lice may have developed a resistance to the pesticide chemicals you're using."

Practice due diligence!

"If the nits keep coming back, there may have been a re-infestation from untreated contacts. Unfortunately, you will need to treat again. It is important that all potential contacts from school, friends and family are informed so that they can check and treat their hair if required. This is the only way to eliminate all potential sources of infestation and to stop the lice from spreading from one person to another."


Comments

    All of those points are good and well, but what do you do about the parents who refuse to acknowledge that their kids could ever get headlice, and continue to spread the little pests. We treat my daughters hair every 2-3 weeks, change bedding, use a lice comb for days afterwards, and she still regularly comes home with lice.
    Schools need to be able to return to the good old days where they had the authority to send kids with lice home for health reasons and refuse to let them back to school until they were treated.

    When I was a kid I got Head Lice. My mum was away, and my Dad was a very practical man, a farmer. He sprayed my head with Mortein and handed the can to me and told me to go and spray anywhere I had been. I was lucky he didn't run me through the sheep dip.

    When my kids were young, what worked best was to slather their hair in conditioner, do a thorough comb through with a nit comb, and repeat within 7 days. Nits were completely gone in 2 weeks. Most are gone after the first combing, and any that hatch from eggs that were left after the combing are cleaned out BEFORE they can breed again (breeding cycle is about 7 days), and the third session is just to make sure.... no toxic chemicals needed, and good bonding time with the kids.

    What ever you do, before applying the "treatment", DO NOT WET THE HAIR. This triggers the lice to knuckle down and go on the defensive, which can last for hours. Apply the treatment to dry hair and you will catch them off-guard and they will be successfully poisoned.

    You can even kill them this way with plain-old everyday hair conditioner.

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