Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Salad for Your Hair!

So, those neat products I talked about in the last post sound great, but what to do if it's not near payday and you really can't/don't want to shell out $30 for a fancy comb? White vinegar and olive oil, my friends. Personally, I'd start with the olive oil treatment because picking someone' s hair while there's lots moving around just gives me the willies.

Start by working a good measure of olive oil into the hair all the way down to the scalp. While you don't want rivers of the oil running off the victim's head, you do want enough to smother any little bugs. And it needs to be all the way down to the scalp to make sure you've got maximum coverage. Now, slip on a cheap-o plastic shower cap, or swimming cap, and let it sit for at about 6 /12 hours. Lice can go into a form of hibernation that will let them survive without air for 5 to 6 hours.

You can probably try combing the hair out with a lice comb at this point. I honestly never thought to try it because I just assumed the combs wouldn't get the eggs. Both of my girls have very fine hair and the lice combs weren't getting anything out while their hair was dry. However, after dealing with the LiceMD, I'm wondering if the oil would help the combs pick up the eggs. If anyone's unfortunate enough to need to do this a) you have all my sympathy and b) let me know how well it works if you trying combing it out with the oil in.

Next you need to wash and dry the hair. Regardless of what you've probably read online about washing oil out of hair, olive oil is a component in several shampoos and lathers up really, really well. Washing it out isn't all that difficult.

Vinegar helps dissolve the cement (lice spit) that's holding the eggs attached to the hair shafts. I would saturate the girls' hair with it and then leave it on for about an hour to work it's magic. Then wash and blow dry.

Finally, you'll need to go to work picking out the eggs that might be left behind. Work in really good light and with small sections of hair at a time. A pair of magnifying, or reading, glasses really help. Also, I used clips to hold hair out of my way.

Wash the bedding and toss pillows, stuffies, etc... into the dryer on high heat for at least 15 minutes. Clothes that have been worn need to be washed as well. Anything that's been taken on and off over the head, even if they only had it on for a few minutes, needs to get washed. (Monkey Girl got really tired of hearing, "Okay, now go put it in the wash.")

Combs, brushes, and clips can go into hot, soapy water for at least 10 minutes. If there are hair scrunchies or other accessories that can't be soaked in water, bag them and toss 'em in the freeze for a couple of days.

The most important part of this process is the actual nitpicking. It's not easy, for you or your child, but it's also not something you can skimp on. Unfortunately. All of the tricks in both of these posts help make the picking easier, but it's still the main thing you'll have to do. Try to stay upbeat for your child's sake, take breaks now and then, and well, hugging each other always good.

Good luck!

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