Disclaimer :: This article is not from a medical professional, and suggestions are based on the author’s opinion and personal experience. Consult your child’s pediatrician for best lice removal treatments.
Can we all just agree having lice or getting rid of lice on your kid is the worst? Growing up I had lice often, and then my daughter got lice at three months old. So, I have experienced lice as a child and as a mother, as well as with chemical and non-chemical removal options.
Since my daughter was so young when she got lice, I researched non-chemical options since most chemical products aren’t recommended for babies. My mom used non-chemical products on me when I was child.
Here are some chemical and non-chemical ways to get rid of the little buggers, plus best practices whenever a family member gets lice:
Nix is approved for babies two months and older. This will continue to kill live lice after treatment, but it will need to be reapplied on day nine as it doesn’t kill eggs. If lice are still prevalent after a full course, call your child’s pediatrician.
For children two years and older, A–200, Pronto, R&C, RID, Triple X are all great. Be aware that those products contain pyrethroid extracts from the chrysanthemum flower and should not be used by anyone allergic to chrysanthemums or ragweed. Also know these products don’t kill eggs and will have to be reapplied after a week or so.
It’s uncommon for little babies to get lice. However, older siblings or family members can bring it into the house.
If that happens, I find using olive oil works well to suffocate the lice. (Side note: olive oil also works great for general cradle cap/dandruff issues.) Apply the olive oil like shampoo, and let it sit on the hair for five minutes. Then use a red RID lice comb and take baby to the sink. It’s easier to comb the hair over the sink, because you can use your thumb to pop the lice and then just wash it down the drain, and you can see the lice easily if they’re still alive and moving. Keep combing until baby gets too fussy or you’re just not finding many anymore.
Wash out the olive oil with shampoo but don’t use conditioner. Soak the hair in white vinegar and use a blow dryer on low to dry the hair. Vinegar and heat will help kill the eggs that are still there. Baby won’t smell great for a while as you will be doing this every day for a week or two until the lice and eggs are completely gone.
Other non-chemical options include using eucalyptus or tea tree essential oils.
Lice Removal Best Practices
- Clean ALL the bedding (pillows included), hair accessories, brushes, clothing, jackets, and backpacks in HOT water and dry in HIGH heat.
- Always wear light colored clothing when combing a child’s hair so you can see any lice that may have jumped onto you.
- Wear a shower cap over your own head so the lice can’t jump into your hair.
- Use a long toothed lice comb followed by a “nit comb” to pull out baby lice and eggs. These usually come in a box with lice shampoo but can also be found sold on their own in most stores or online.
- Don’t combine medicines and don’t use the same medicine more than two or three times if it’s not working as it can cause a resistance.
- Always consult your child’s pediatrician.
Outsource the Job
If lice grosses you out and you don’t feel up to the task of removing them, several companies offer lice-removal services. They will treat your kiddo as well as your house. Companies include Hair Fairies, Lice Doctors, Lice Clinics of America, The Lice Place, Lice Lifters, and Nit Picky.