How to get rid of head lice?

Updated on September 02, 2008
L.S. asks from Jacksonville, NC
26 answers

My 4 1/2 yr old daughter caught head lice from her cousin. I used the RID solution kit on her yesterday and spent 2 hours in the bathtub pulling those brown things from her hair. Today she is still itching her head, but not nearly as much as before the treatment. Is it normal for her to still itch after using teh killing shampoo? I just want to make sure I got everything. We are leaving for vacation on thursday and I dont want he to spread it to anyone. Thanks for your help in advance.

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Summary

Consult with the doctor and get the prescription lice shampoo for your child. Wash everything they touched with hot sudsy water. Lice need a human host to live, but can survive for some time on cloth covered items...so you will need to do whatever is necessary to make sure that the rest of the family is not infected.

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S.A.

answers from Fayetteville on

It is normal for her to itch after treatment. This could be the result of eggs that hatched and were inadvertantly missed by the shampoo/comb. If it has been about 5-7 days it would be okay to re-treat. If you have access to a swimming pool, then let her swim as the chlorine will also aid in getting rid of them.

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A.R.

answers from Memphis on

My 5 yr old picked up head lice at preschool last year and it was absolutely horrible!!!! She already itches from dry scalp and it was worse withall this. When i used the RID she still itched after the treatment but like you said not as bad, after a day she stopped itching all together, just make sure to do the follow up shampoo in the 7-10 days like the box says. I know when my oldest got it when she was younger it was a bad "outbreak" year and i had to take her to the pediatician because the RID would not get rid of them and the Dr gave us Ovide (a prescription) and that killed anything moving on her head with in minutes. Hope this helps!!!!

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C.A.

answers from Wheeling on

It is normal for them to still itch for a couple of days. Their scalps are irritated from the lice and then the RID dries the scalp out. Just don't wash her hair for a couple of days now for the RID to take full effect, then remember to wash again with the RID in 7-10 days!! Good Luck!!

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T.D.

answers from Knoxville on

It could be that some are still in her hair or there is eggs. I remember my mom having to wash our hair and making me sit outside while the solution was in and combing through my hair piece by piece, when it was time to go wash my hair she washing it out with vinger. lots of vinger. then i would wash my hair with regular shampoo. that was the 1 and only time we had that problem. Along with washing hair you have to go through your house and spray every thing. all funiture!!! bed, bed sheets the works. make sure to wash all the clothes in the house as well.
Good luck,T.

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R.L.

answers from Charlotte on

You need to retreat her-- the eggs are not always killed and she could have a minor re-infestation. WHile on vacation have her wear her hair in a ponytail or braids to reduce chance of spreading.

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J.L.

answers from Jackson on

Hi! you should go on to the doctor and get the prescription lics shampoo for her. Anything she touched with her head, her bedpillows , where she sits,her clothes, etc. should be washed in hot sudsy water. if u can't was something in the washer, spray it down with lysol or lice spray,, theres lil buggers are awful, and yes if she had a lot of them, u need to take to the doc, so your trip will not be spoiled. everywhere the cousin was needs tob be treated, enjoy the vacation and if she is still itiching after the new shampoo for the lice,, use some lavender baby wash, you can use on body and hair is soothing. J.

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P.D.

answers from Hickory on

L.,
Some children have a slight reaction to the shampoo, so her head could be itching from that. However you do have to treat the whole house. There is a lice spray that you place on the couches and chairs. (all material things) Then you will have to strip ALL beds and wash them in HOT water. Place ALL of her stuffed animals in a plastic (garbage) bag and spray in the bag. Tie it up for about 14 days. then you will have to wash them. It is very hard to get rid of this unless you treat your intire home. Hope this helps. Paula

C.D.

answers from Nashville on

Hello moms,

Please be aware that using RID is very dangerous and it has harsh chemicals that could make people really sick and could give u cancer later on and it takes couple times to use RID to get rid of all of the lice. If you want to know which products is safer to get rid of lice then email at [email protected]____.com
I would be glad to give u information.

C.

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C.B.

answers from Louisville on

L.

I had this problem when my oldest started school. I had a baby and she got it too. I had issues about putting chemicals on them. What I did worked wonders. I put vasciline all over their head. Put a cap or wrap it in plastic wrap and let it set for a couple of hours. You will have to use dawn dish soap to get it out. It coupld take a couple of washes. It kills the lice and eggs. They can not breath and die. Good Luck!

C.

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D.S.

answers from Raleigh on

L., Good morning! I realize you treated her, but you will need to treat her again in a few days as package suggests. Did you use a lice comb and comb out any poss. nits? Lice hides behind ears. Yu need to strip the bed and wash in hot water. I you did not do this before you treated her, you need to treat her again and strip the bed and wash. You need to wash any and all clothing and stuffed animals. If you cannot wash stuffed animals, you must place them in a sealed plastic bag for 2 to 3 weeks. Basically suffication is the only way to kill these things. We got them and could not get rid of them it took weeks. However, hte best thing, althugh it sounds really strange, is to wash her hair in coca cola. The acid kills any of the bugs. Just place her in the tub, get a wash rag to cover her eyes, and tell her mom is going to be silly. Be sure to pour at nap of neck, and really under the hair, lice actually attach themselves to the underside of the hair folical. Do not rinse right away. Then wash with lice shampoo and comb out w/special lice comb.
I found this much better than the lice shampoo alone. Especially if she is still itching. I am so sorry. it was a horrible experience. I would also wash the little one's hair in the coke just in case and her bedding. I will pray for you and your family. it is not fun.
D.

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B.L.

answers from Memphis on

You have to de-lice everything in your home!! Her head, her pillow, her bed, her clothes, any place she has been. Not fun.....been there, done that!

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K.S.

answers from Huntington on

If she's still itching, she probably still has them. When my daughter got them (second week of kindergarten!), and the Rx shampoo didn't get them al (and it said don't use again for two weeks and she couldn't return to school until free of them), the doctor said to coat her hair THOROUGHLY with mayonnaise, wrap something around her head (I used a plastic grocery bag and tied it up with the handles), and leave it on for TWO full hours, then wash. It did the trick. The mayo smothers them, as well as making them lose their grip on the hair shaft. Conditions the hair too! :)

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K.K.

answers from Nashville on

she probably still has the "nits" which are eggs...headlice is hard to get rid of..but, don't feel bad, they only like "clean children"..IT IS SO WEIRD..u think "headlice" u think--"yuck!"---I will tell u--a cheap way--get a bottle of olive oil,put her in the tub, soak her head w/ the olive oil....and comb through her head...headlice hate "oily-heads"--that is so much cheaper than the name brand stuff, and works way better...but, u will still need to wash all her sheets,pillow-cases, and blankies in hot water...and use the rid spray on any furniture that she sits on. I hope this helps...I know headlice doesn't jump, they "crawl." Have fun on your vacation!!! and, no worries, u will be able to get rid of it, all children get it...from friends..K.

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M.H.

answers from Jacksonville on

You have to treat the places she lays her head, pillows, sheets, the mattress, everything. Use bleach in the laundry and hot water. A diluted bleach mixture to spray on the mattress & pillows. And don't use her combs or brushes on anyone but her. They need to be cleaned after you use them too. It's hard to get rid of the little critters if you don't treat everything at once. Good Luck.

D.B.

answers from Memphis on

I will tell you what I used on my children when we had this & it's great, no poison & does the job well. I took Tea Tree Oil & diluted it about 1/2 and 1/2 with water & just sprayed that in their hair till it was good & wet. It kills everything. Then you just comb out the nits/adults. I sprayed it on their bedding too and we never had that problem again. It smells good (IMHO) and leaves the hair soft. I just hated the poison in RID.

Some other methods using Tea Tree oil is that it can be treated by adding ten drops of tea tree oil to shampoo. The hair and scalp should be wet and lathered thoroughly. Use a fine toothed- comb before shampoo is rinsed off. Avoid direct contact with eyes when washing hair with tea tree oil. This method should be use several times along with treating the house and all of the infected bedding. Tea tree oil can be added to the wash when washing the sheets and bedding.(got this from http://naturalhealthblog.savvy-cafe.com/top-ten-uses-for-...)

Like I said, I just used 1/2 and 1/2 in a spray bottle and it worked. We never had an episode again. If I got a notice from the school that lice was present, I would just spray them & their bedding down for good measure.

Best of luck. This makes you feel so dirty although lice love clean heads. In fact it makes me itch just talking about it.

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K.M.

answers from Fayetteville on

One more thought to add to list. We went through this 6 months ago. Yes wash everything in hot water and I went as far as each morning washing her bedding again. Get the srpay and spray the stuff you can't wash including her seat area in the car too. I ran our hairbrushes through the dishwasher by themselves. As far as her head- put mayo on her head and then cover it with a plastic bag for 30 minutes and then wash out with cool water. It cools the itch and it smothers any possibly remaining live ones. We did this a couple times a day for a a couple days and it helped. I also had her siblings put oil in there hair to prevent them from picking anything up.

Best of luck-

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I.N.

answers from Raleigh on

Kids are great at getting lice before vacation, aren't they?

If you want to be sure you got them all, you need to repeat the treatment next week. And don't forget to treat everyone else in your house and all the bedding and soft furniture. Lice are easily spread, especially among siblings. Her scalp might be itchy from the shampoo itself. It's pretty drying to the skin. I use tea tree oil on my kids' hair when they have dry scalp itch. Just keep checking for lice to make sure they didn't linger and are causing it. Good luck!

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V.C.

answers from Wheeling on

Yes, she'll still itch for a few days. It's like a bug bite. It itches til it's healed (it's actually a tiny, intense 'pain' that makes us feel the 'itch' sensation from a bite). Lice aren't hard to get rid of, but it does take strategy. Wash all her bedding in warm/hot water and dry them in the dryer on high heat, if possible. Put everything that might have lice on it (stuffed toys, etc) in garbage bags for 2 weeks sealed up. Spray the mattress/pillows with a 'bug spray' made for lice and scabies as soon as everyone's out of bed and leave the house if possible (it is a pesticide, after all, and you don't want to breathe it).

I think everyone in the household should actually shampoo with the RID. Does it not say so on the bottle? If anyone else has caught the lice, it won't manifest as itching for a few days til the eggs (nits) hatch and they start feeding, so you may be infestated and not know it yet.

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C.F.

answers from Lexington on

Sounds like everyone is giving great advice. A couple comments. Don't forget cleaning the car and carseat as well. And the biggest thing to do is comb comb comb with one of those lice combs. Sometimes the shampoo has no effect. i used the vasoline method as well as mayonaise on a different day. Sounds odd, but it works! But I was also vigilant with the comb.

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E.M.

answers from Louisville on

yes its normal but you are supposed to do the treatment again in a few days until then use tee tree shampoo and that helps loosen the nits and use the comb each bath. emilies lice were gone really fast when i did it this way

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L.C.

answers from Nashville on

did you treat your whole home? All family members have to be checked if one has it. You also have to change your bedding, vacuum the mattress, bag all stuffed animals (for at least two weeks) or toss them into the dryer on hot heat, do a flea treatment on your carpets and vacuum your hardwood and tile flooring, and get all your laundry that her clothing has come into contact with , to be sure they are absolutely out of your home. THEN- yes, for a day or two after, you still have the itch from the bites like you do with mosquitos. The skin has to heal before they completely go away. Do an additional lice check on everyone at about 2 wks as the eggs take that long to hatch out again. No a fun process, but an effective one.
good luck!
L.

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K.D.

answers from Raleigh on

I've heard that Cholesterol (the name of a conditioner) can kill lice if you put it on and leave it on overnight. You cover your hair with a shower cap. Then you rinse it out the next day and definitely use a Lice comb to get all dead buggies and eggs out. Btw, do not use RID twice. It is a pesticide and some people have run into problems with using it twice on their child. To play it safe, I would not use it at all next time.

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V.R.

answers from Lexington on

Hi L.,
Some Lice have become immune to some of the RID products, so it is possible that you still have a problem.

A natural and very effective method of getting rid of the problem without chemicals is:

Step 1
Saturate hair completely with Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise, Best Real Mayonnaise, or Kraft Real Mayonnaise. Be sure to work the mayonnaise in the hair and roots well. Hair MUST be extremely greasy from the mayonnaise to prevent lice from breathing.

Step 2
Wrap hair as tightly as possible with Saran Wrap or Handi-Wrap (or a shower cap), then wrap with a towel.

Step 3
Allow to remain on head for at least one hour. Two hours will guarantee all the lice are dead. (in really heavy infestations, I have had families leave the wrapped hair over night) During this time take all pillow cases, towels, blankets, sheets and clothes that have come into contact with any lice-infested hair and run them through the washing machine and dryer.

Step 4
Shampoo hair thoroughly. Rinse hair with Heinz White Vinegar, then rinse clean with water. Comb hair with a nit comb if desired. No nits should survive this treatment if done properly.Congratulations! You're done! There's no need to repeat the treatment in seven days as with medicated shampoos. Don't worry about any lice that may have escaped during the treatment. Lice die within 12 to 24 hours without a human head to feed on and, contrary to popular belief, they cannot jump nor will they transfer to your pets.

TeaTree shampoos (available thru health food stores and sometimes at salons) will help prevent future infestations.

You may also want to vacuum and or spray down any upholstered furniture and bag up your daughter's stuffed animals etc. Soak headbands, combs, brushes and hats in a Rid solution or bag them in a tightly sealed trash bag for 12-24 hours. Lice need a human host to live, but can survive for some time on cloth covered items...so you will need to do whatever is necessary to make sure that the rest of the family is not infected.

Hope this is helpful!
V. R

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C.B.

answers from Knoxville on

I know what you are going through! My 4 year old went throught his as well after starting preschool. Please keep checking her. I thought we had gotten them all too but they are extremely difficult to deal with and we would still find one or two as long as two months later! Remeber to wash her sheets, clothes and everything else with hot water. Put her stuffed animals and other stuff like that in sealed plastic bags for teo months. It takes a lot of work. Also, please do some reading on the ingredients in RID. They are very toxic and these products are banned in other countries. You can take a natural approach since there are non toxic varieties available. The best thing we did was use Melaleuca oil and products in them. Melaleuca oil kils lice on contact and also helps disolve the eggs yet it is completely non toxic. There is a spray made from Melaleuca oil that you can spray on your furniture, bedding and carpet. Just stay away from the storeboaught stuff. You can read a report at www.rmbarry.com. To learn more about the products with Melalruca oil in them go to www.melaleuca.com and if you want to know more about shopping for the products, contact me at ###-###-####. Don't let your guard down- they are very hard to gwet rid of. On a side note, you might find yourself scratching your head for no reason!! And from now on, when she scratches her head, you will find yourself looking through her hair...HA.
C.

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M.W.

answers from Huntington on

It is important that after you use the shampoo, you use a special nit comb, and THOROUGHLY comb through every strand of hair with it. if this step is skipped, often the nits (eggs) hatch and reinfest the head, even if the shampoo says it kills the nits too. It is also a good idea to repeat the process in one week, to make sure you got 'em all.
They spread so easily, killing every single one, even the nits, and avoiding contact with any possible sources of reinfestation is important. I know 4 yo's, usually don't use hair spray, but loading on the hair spray will make it harder for the louse to lay its eggs on the hair shaft, so try doing that before letting her play with her cousin again.
I'm sure you know, but your daughter should be reminded frequently not to share hairbrushes, combs, hats, headphones, hairbands, etc. even shirts, sweaters, dresses, blouses, or anything that goes over the head.
M.

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P.L.

answers from Greensboro on

Hi L.!
Uh! Head lice! We went through this last year with both our girls. And thier cousins. It seemed once one of them got treated they would get it again from the others...it seemed like a never ending battle!! We did the shampoos, scrubbing the house down you name it! Then we discovered one of those combs! Battery-opperated. "Robi Comb" It seems to electricute the eggs AND the bugs. It's neat really. It takes a few combings two times a day to make sure they are all gone. You may think the shampoo kills it all, but not the eggs, they'll keep hatching then you gotta get MORE shampoo! It's best to buy the comb. We got it at Walmart (Pharmacy section), they also sell it at CVS. It's a wee expensive, but after the price you'll pay for the shampoos, it's worth it. We swear by the comb..Good luck!

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