kill the buggers (head lice, I mean)

Nothing whatsoever to do with writing, but this blog is much more searchable than my other one, and this post has something to do with science, of the garden variety.

I’m incensed at how many people don’t know how to cheaply get rid of head lice, and how many parents still persist with stupid chemical treatments that don’t work, and how many mothers still wash bedding and everything.

Here’s the way to get rid of head lice and keep them away:

Having done the head-lice thing many, many times with three kids, don’t waste your money on insecticidal shampoos that stink and have a 50% chance of not working at all (head lice are becoming resistant). Don’t bother washing blankets. The head lice aren’t on the blankets in the first place.

Do the following instead:

For bad infestations, line up kids in bathroom and lather their hair with olive oil. Wait ten minutes, comb with lice comb. Put kids in shower. Shampoo hair (twice, to get oil out and make sure they don’t look like premature grease-haired teenagers). After that, make sure everyone in the house uses a goopy conditioner about 2-3 times a week.


The conditioner on its own will kill a mild infestation (it does so by sealing up their breathing pores, hence they can’t become resistant to it)


4 comments on “kill the buggers (head lice, I mean)

  1. First, I wouldnt suggest using just any shampoo when washing your child’s infected hair. Lice like sweet smelling shampoos and conditioners and on top of that they like clean hair so I would not wash your childs hair everyday. Two to three times a day is more than enough. I would reccomend using Fairy Tales Hair Care Rosemary Repel Shampoo and Conditioner, Lice do not like the Rosemary smell. Ive replaced my old shampoos and conditioners with the Rosemary Line because it works. My children have been exposed to lice from other children and they do not get infected. This company also has a product called Lice Goodbye, it gets rid of Lice and their eggs or nits. It works and it is safe for you to use it again and again!! 🙂 Using Mayo or olive oil will only drown the lice but it most likely will not kill the eggs or nits since they are in a protective shell. You need to use something that will break down into the shell of the eggs and into the skeletal system of the lice. Lice Goodbye does just that. I did my research on many products and have used many. This by far is the best!!

    • It’s funny. There’s always the yes/no shampoo debate and frankly I don’t think it makes any difference whatsoever. It’s what you’re comfortable with. So if you’re the no shampoo type, then go ahead, and don’t use shampoo. Any kind of lice treatment that works mechanically (in othe words: that suffocates the lice) is based on an ingredient that is either an oil or some other goopy substance that’s much thicker than water. That’s all you need. You could probably use strawberry jam if you wanted. The principle is to clog up the insects’ breathing pores. Using oil won’t kill the nits, but a second treatment three days later will kill the baby lice. Hence the advice to keep using a conditioner regularly. You just need to keep suffocating them regularly. In my experience, with three kids, I never got rebounds once you were onto the problem. That was not the case with chemicals, which often simply don’t do anything, as lice have become resistant.

  2. I kept lice out of my house with the cheapest no frills conditioner, didn’t worry about its scent. Made the hair too slippery to cling to, is what I said to the kid.

    He believes they didn’t like him because he had white blond hair where there’s no camouflage for the little blighters.

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