Parasites. We hate them don’t we? And if they’re nesting on our children’s hair we hate them even more! But as most moms have found out, you can’t run away from head lice, and, with them, nits. If you have a kid in kindergarten or preschool you’ve most likely dealt with this problem already.
You may have even had the misfortune of having to deal with it a couple of times. And it’s never easy. Kids are not that cooperative when you ask them to sit straight while you comb their hair for hours on end. Usually someone else in the family gets them soon after, and before you know it you’ve got an infestation on your hands. And these little pesky creatures are resilient! It’s a pretty stressful to have to deal with. But, as I’ve said – it has to be done.
There are many ways of dealing with head lice and nits, and moms are discovering new ones all the time so you might have come across some weird remedies, such as ‘the hair straightener technique’ while looking for advice on the subject. So, to help you out we’ll break down the life cycle of head lice and their eggs, called nits, and then give you the best tips to get rid of them.
A lot of people aren’t familiar with some head lice facts that might help them deal with the infestation and avoid re-infestation, like these:
1. Female head lice lay eggs (nits) in sacs which stick to individual hairs.
2. A baby head louse then hatches seven to ten days later.
3. Ten to fourteen days later, the baby head louse is ready to have babies of its own.
4. From the time when the egg is laid until the live insect dies is about 33 to 35 days.
These facts are important to know because they show that a second treatment and constant combing out sessions are necessary in order to prevent having eggs left in the hair. So, if you don’t get rid of all the nits, they will hatch, and you’ll be at it all over again.
While there are many products available in stores that can help you kill head lice (shampoos, electric combs etc.) the best way to get rid of nits and dead pests is combing them out and dipping them in hot water. You’ll need two treatments, a week or so apart, and lots of combing to get it all out. Make sure that the infestation isn’t resilient to whatever shampoo you’re using. When combing out after washing the hair, look to see whether the lice are in fact dead or at least inactive. If you’re catching several of them moving after you’ve used the shampoo it probably means it’s not working, and any other similar shampoo won’t work either.
What’s recommended when it comes to combing out the little pests and their eggs is using a low cost simple conditioner and putting a generous amount of it on the hair.
Leave it in for five minutes and don’t wash it out. Comb the hair with the regular hair brush the first time, and then continue with the disinfected nit comb. It might be smart to separate the hair into sections and carefully go through each one at a time. After you’re done, rinse out the left over conditioner and disinfect the nit comb again (at water temperature of 60 C or higher).