What's the big deal about Young Living

The Lice Epidemic of 2014 (or The Time Mama Nearly Shaved Everyone Bald-Headed and Burned the House Down)

Family photo

This is our most recent church directory picture, taken last month, while my oldest daughter was away at college.

Incidentally, I dutifully and carefully spent hours picking out dresses and fixing everyone's hair for this picture, but I didn't let them get dressed until the last 20 or so minutes before we were going to leave to head up to the church building because I knew those pale blue and white dresses were sure to get dirty if they put them on too soon.

So, as I was putting the finishing touches on the last head of hair and the time was getting close, I told everyone to go ahead and get dressed, and I warned them not to go outside, or crawl, or run, or rub up against anything, or even look at anything dirty.

I'm sure you can image the cardiac infarction I nearly suffered when I rounded the corner to get my purse and gather up the kids to make the final check of hair and shoes when I saw the 3 year old casually walking around carrying a full, open can of root beer in one hand and a wad of over-ripe strawberries in the other.

I may have shrieked.

Pigeons in Times Square may have simultaneously taken flight in slow motion.

My husband found me leaning over a mound of wadded up strawberries on the counter, pinching the bridge of my nose, and practicing Lamaze breathing. He admitted that even though the kids aren't usually allowed to have sodas, he gave the girls a can of root beer to split because he thought that would keep them out of the way while I finished getting ready. He didn't know why they had the handfuls of strawberries.

"Why are you so tense?" he asked.

I can't remember what happened after that.

But the point of this post is that I want you to look at the picture. Study it.

Then, mentally add a 19 year old girl into the picture. Make sure that in your mental image her hair is long. And thick.

Now, take note of the hair in the picture. All. The. Hair.

At this point, I would like us all to observe a moment of silence as I utter the single word I have been hoping all these 19+ years of parenting that I would somehow be fortunate enough to never encounter.


That's right. Let us pray.

We are on Day 2 of treatment, and I believe I have tried everything my trusty Facebook fans have recommended, excepting shaving everyone bald-headed and burning down the house.

Okay, those last two may have been my subconscious blurting those out in my sleep.

I'll be sure to follow this up with what remedies worked, as soon as we are rid of the little devils.

In the meantime, if you'll excuse me, I have some more nitpicking to do.

And miles to go before I sleep.

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  1. Get a Rid Nit comb and comb every single head of hair thoroughly several times a day, until there’s no signs of lice. Find out which friend your child got it from, so you don’t keep reinfecting your entire family.

  2. I have done the lice thing before and I also have several daughters with thick hair… and I never saw a single lice. But I did cut their hair shorter…. good luck!!! It’s no fun!

  3. Michelle Nettles says:

    Praying for you (and mostly your sanity) during your LICE epidemic (now I understand what the mayo and tea tree oil was for)!!

  4. Oh, I’m so sorry… We’ve had lice here too once and… well, maybe I shouldn’t tell you that part. Let me just say that follow up! A week after, two weeks after, even three or four weeks after you have gotten rid of it, check again.

    The worst offender in our house? My son with the thick mop of blonde hair! After a few days of combing through it he finally relented and let me shave him. Only to have HIM be the one they returned on and gave back to the rest of us! Oy, it was nuts!

    But we got through it like civilized people, and I know you can too. Just breathe, breathe, yes breath…

  5. The only way to get rid of it is to put the child in the tub, wash then condition their hair. With the conditioner (lots) in their hair, comb it through with a lice comb – little bit by little bit. Do this every day (or even every second day) for 2-3 weeks. While you are doing this, have their bedding and clothing they were wearing in the dryer for at least 30 min. You must do this every day. Put sheets on the couch and vacuum like your life depends on it 😉 Good luck!

  6. Momma of 4 says:

    We were told they actually cant live off of the scalp of humans and their preference to clean shafts of hair, so couches and pets are safe.
    We did Tea Tree Oil in rubbing alchohol and sprayed it on scalps every night and used the Nit comb and wiped it on a paper towel each time.
    We noticed the BIGGEST change, when we added in the hair dryer after each homemade spray treatment. They hate heat! Went from fresh bugs to just empty shells, then nothing in a hurry.
    I am SOO sorry you are going through this. We were so thankful to kick it without pestiside shampoo!

  7. Kim Fuller says:

    My sister had lice when she was in grade school. SEVERAL TIMES! My poor mom went thru her waist length hair every night with the rid shampoo and little comb. Finally she tried something a little unorthodox. Flea shampoo. It worked wonders. She would do it once a week and let it sit for a little bit and then rinse out. My sister never had lice again. But, be forewarned. If you leave it in too long, it can cause the scalp to tingle. But with those nasty buggers, I’d try anything to get rid of them, even if it is dog shampoo. Lol!

  8. Kristi E says:

    Eek it freaks me out to even thing about it but what worked for my. Family is the Paul Mitchell tea tree special shampoo with mint in it. Scrub, comb, rinse, dry, then flat iron. With that method the hair was the easy part it was the washing everything else and trying not to have nightmares that was the hard part but they were all gone the next day.

  9. We just did the TTO treatment. 20 or so drops of TTO to the bloc of shampoo that you are washing their hair with. Leave it on for an hour. I used dr Bronners as shampoo so there were no ingredients that may counteract the TTO working at its best.
    After an hour, runs it out really well and do lots of conditioner. Use the nit comb while the conditioner is in their hair. The conditioner actually stuns them for 30ish mins. Then blow dry the hair and then straighten it with the flat iron on the hottest setting. Pull out each nit you find (it took me about 90 mins to flat iron my daughter’s hair in tiny 1/2″ sections).
    Lice do not like animals (animals have their own breed of lice), they cannot survive for more than three hours off of a human source. So washing everything each day really isn’t necessary unless they are laying around in bed all day. Lice don’t jump, they crawl from one head to the next. So keep hair in tight braids until the epidemic has passed. And check hair every day the first week, and then every other day for the following two weeks.
    Good luck!!!

  10. For those that do not have lice, keep their hair full of hair product and braided back. Also wash with coconut base shampoo or use coconut oil on their head. Lice do not like dirty hair and hate coconut. If hair is pulled back, it is hard for them to transfer to a new person.

    The short time my daughter attended elementary, there was an episode weekly. Doing these things, she never brought any home.

  11. I feel your pain. We have been there and done that and we use fairy tale hair care everyday on our children. We have not had an issue since, it is Wonderful!!!!

  12. Rebecca says:

    When I was a teen, my mom, sisters and I all got headlice. We don’t cut our hair, so we all had really, really long, thick hair (knee length). We used Nix, Rid, flea shampoo and every home remedy we could find (including washing our hair with kerosene–not recommended lol). We had it for 6 whole months. My mom was about ready to shave our heads!! My dad finally talked to a pharmacist and he told him to try the robi comb. It’s an electric comb that you comb thru your hair daily and it has a very small current of electricity. It kills all the live lice. You keep using it daily for a couple weeks, I think. Then when the eggs hatch, it kills them before they are able to lay more eggs. It worked wonderfully. I think they sell them at Walmart.

  13. The mayo worked for us. Lots of waist length hair on my girls, and thick at that. I coated heads with mayo, only Dukes because it has more fat than others. I put shower caps on the heads and left for 4 hours. Killed all the lice and then combed out the nits. First time ever we did not have reoccurrence.

  14. We’re dealing with it too. My oldest girl came home with it from the LAST day of school. Why couldn’t school have ended a week sooner?! Fortunately she’s the only one we found any on, but of course I wanted to treat the whole house. I used Lice Md (because it’s “non toxic”) on the kids and hubby, but since I’m pregnant my midwife advised me against anything but home remedies. I used a mayo treatment for myself. We’ve been following up with coconut oil and daily nit checks and so far it looks good, but you can bet there will be at least one more treatment before we all go away to camp this weekend. Good luck!!

  15. Advice from a mom of 9? Just break down and use the kwelada shampoo and comb your girls hair into tiny braids every morning. Lots n lots. I have 6 girls. With long. Uncut hair. Plus my own. I never got them. Neither did hubby and I shaved my sons. It was a lot of work. I was pregnant with our twins. We had 3 girls and 2 boys when we found my daughter brought them home. Moved in the middle of it and tried natural stuff for four months and they came back. Finally my hubby washed my daughters hair with the special shampoo four times. They were gone for good. Because of the constant hair washing her hair dried out and was awful for a few years. Wish we had just gotten the shampoo in the beginning. Could’ve saved a lot of stress! Hopefully you get rid of it soon!!

  16. I tried everything too last year when our family of ten experienced this pestilence. Now I know why it is considered a plague! It was disastrous, we were quarantined for nearly three months.

    Now the good news: after trying everything else, we did the Lice Killer treatment. I was totally skeptical, and it wasn’t cheap, but nothing else was working. They overnighted it to us, and within one day of application all the lice were killed. We spent a couple more days washing and cleaning everything, but within a few days it was all over. If it ever happens again (Lord, have mercy), I will go immediately to that.

    Like Killer is a natural combination of oils that kill the lice, nits, and are also good for your hair! (I am not a representative. Just a happy customer.)


    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Their customer service is good too.

  17. Uggg! This is one of my biggest fears!!!

    I had a friend who recently went through this. Whatever she did, no matter what she tried, the lice LAUGHED at her, gave the proverbial “finger” and kept on.
    She got the most heavy-duty anti-dandruff shampoo possible. Apparently, lice HATE the active ingredients in anti-dandruff shampoo. (The pyrithione zinc?)

    She said they were jumping/falling OFF the heads into the bathtubs, they hated it so much.

    Best wishes during this, er, crisis.

  18. In Florida, it’s been an epidemic for some time. We have gone through crazy battles with it many times. In 2000, with three kids in school and a baby at home, I read “Head Lice to Dead Lice.” That was the knowledge I needed!

    That book and coconut oil. Just sayin’. Miracle worker and makes your hair absolutely Pantene-beautiful. 😉

  19. Another quicker way is Quit Nits at Walgreens. Now that I only have two kids, I could probably manage it, but with 5 it would have been more difficult financially (single mom stuff ya know). I know someone who recently used it on her family and it was easy as could be. NO nitpicking and they remained lice-free.

  20. Jennifer says:

    There is a line of products called Fairy Tales. When my daughter got lice from a sleepover this was the only product that worked. We even tried RX products. Two treatments with this and no more bugs!

  21. Mary OConnor says:

    Comb out with conditioner and flat iron on highest setting. The iron will kill nits and lice. We had three girls with waist lenght hair and my friends daughter who all got them one year. It worked great. No chemicals:) Does take a long time to flat iron it from top to tip in small sections. Be through. Good Luck

  22. I.Feel.Your.Pain.

    We had this in our family once – years and years and years ago, and still the mere mention of the “L” word makes every single one of my children’s eyes glaze over in terror. It was not fun. We did, however, live through it. I am praying for you all right now.

  23. Awww, all those girls would look so cute in pixie cuts 😉

  24. Kristin says:

    I used a product called Clearlice. It is all natural, amazing and worth every penny. We got lice from my foster daughter’s home visit. I had 4 heads of long hair and 3 heads of short hair. The directions need to be followed exactly, but they were gone in one treatment and have never returned. I had two exhausting days of cleaning rooms and washing or heat treating everything that couldn’t be closed off. Every room in the house that we didn’t absolutely need was off limits after I had cleaned it for 2 days to allow any lice to die. I combed through heads each day for a week, but we only found lice, nits, eggs the first day. The Clearlice family pack comes with a spray for furniture and a shampoo that repels lice that you use after going through the treatment. It smells minty so it is not offensive to people and you can rejoin society quickly. One family pack was enough for us with extra if another foster child ever reintroduces it again.

  25. I remember reading about a battle that Kimberly of Raising Olives had with lice about a year ago: http://raisingolives.com/oils/treating-lice-naturally-with-essential-oils/ .

  26. mommaofmany says:

    We had this problem this past year. I combed our girls hair (4 of them all long and thick) for 16 hours + a day for a week (most nights I would only get 4 hours of sleep before I was up at it again). I was exhausted and my back was broke. I became a cranky mama. I researched online and found that really nothing worked except combing, combing and more combing. I discovered several lice removal services – some salons, some that would come to your home. My husband finally relented, and we drove 3 1/2 hours (one-way) to a woman’s home. She had learned to remove lice from her mother who does this professionally for many NYC schools. One trip, the whole family checked, problem solved. They guarantee all lice/nits are removed. Her and her husband use a special lice comb from Germany, which they give you. A follow-up check was included, but because the trip was so long we didn’t go back. No worries. They got all the lice and nits removed on the first visit. I would totally recommend this to anyone. It was worth every penny!!! I just wish we had gone the first day we found them!


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