Call me crazy but the idea of tiny bugs crawling all over my head is enough to make me want to scream. And yet we as parents are dealing with this sort of thing on a fairly regular basis. While the issue isn’t as prominent as your kids get older, most younger children will be exposed to head lice at some point. I had lice as a kid and many of my friends had to deal with the issues of head lice as well. There are a few things to remember about lice.
The first thing you need to be aware of is that even the neatest and cleanest children can become a victim of head lice. This is not just something that comes from dirty people or dirty places. You also need to understand that cleanliness will help you avoid the issue. So when it comes to prepping and the possibility of being held up for weeks or maybe even months at a time, you need to be prepared for the possibility that someone in your clan could get lice. Knowing this is the possibility you also need to know the best ways to treat the ailment and the best way to remove the problem all together. So lets take a few moments and examine the best way to get rid of head lice.
As many of you readers are aware I love essential oils. This is yet another lace in time when your essential oils will come in handy. The basic protocol for removing head lice is to kill the eggs, also called nits, and to kill the parasite itself. This can be accomplished with apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, and tea tree oil. The ingredients are simple and most of you will already have these items in your home.
Apple cider vinegar is a great multi-use product that should be in every prepper’s stash. This product will dissolve the saliva of the lice and therefore help you remove the nits that are on the base of the hair. The coconut oil is used to smother the lice. This oil is so thick that it will actually inhibit oxygen from getting to the parasite and thus it will kill them. The tea tree oil is a little special. Tea tree oil has been used for many years to treat a number of skin issues. It has remarkable properties that help soothe irritated skin plus it is a natural bacteria fighter. Keep in mind that the tea tree oil is used because it coats the hair follicles and makes them, in the eyes of the lice, dirty.
Lice prefer to set up shop in hair that is clean. That is why so many mothers that are neat freaks, like myself, are mortified when their child turns up with head lice. The tea tree oil can be substituted if you prefer with another essential oil such as lavender, thyme, eucalyptus, or even nutmeg. The idea is to coat the hair and make it unsustainable for the lice.
So now that you understand all the basic ingredients that you are going to need, you now need to know how much and how long this will take. I would suggest that you do this on a day when you have little going on, as you will be wearing a shower cap for the majority of the day. You could also opt to do this at night while you are sleeping but I would suggest that you cover your pillow and ask your significant other to vacate the bed.
The first step in the process is to completely soak your hair in the apple cider vinegar. Once you have done so you will need to allow your hair to air dry. This will take some time, especially if you are like me and have long, thick hair. The reasoning behind this is that the vinegar will dissolve the glue like saliva of the lice and make it easier to remove the nits from the base of the hair.
The second step in this process is to mix together approximately 1 cup of coconut oil and 10-15 drops of your preferred essential oil, although I would strongly suggest tea tree oil. After you mix this together you will need to slather this all over your hair. You will need to really work the mixture through your hair and into your scalp. Do not be stingy. In fact I would suggest that you apply this as heavily as possibly. If you run out just make more. Keep in mind that you should not apply the tea tree oil directly to your scalp. Always mix it with the coconut oil.
The next step in the process is to cover your head with a glorious shower cap. If you are feeling adventurous you could always warm the coconut oil with the hair dryer since this will really help the oil to penetrate your hair. However this is not mandated. You will cover your head with the cap and you need to keep it covered for a minimum of 6 hours. The longer you are covered the more likely you are to kill these little invaders.
Step four is the fun part. This is the part where you get to use your nit comb. Hopefully by this time your lice have died and the nits are much softer. You will use the nit comb to comb every hair on your head. You need to be thorough with this step. As you remove the nits you also need to flush them down the toilet. If you allow them to sit in the trash can they could hatch and infest you and your home once again.
The final step in the process is the common sense section. This is the time when you wash your hair and yourself and attempt to restore some dignity to your life. You will also need to wash all the clothing and bedding that you have used in the past 48 hours. When lice fall from your head they can live for up to 48 hours without a host. You also need to wash the children’s stuffed animals and any other blankets or towels that might have been used. This would also be a good time to thoroughly vacuum and dust the home.
Follow these simple steps with these simple ingredients and you will be able to stop the infestation of lice in your home and in your hair. Have you ever had a lice invasion in your home? How did you treat it?