Hi, I'm Rachel.

I work with parents and teachers of children aged 0-14 around New Zealand.

Blog: Lice Lessons

Blog: Lice Lessons

Head lice! Nits! Every parents (and teachers) nightmare! You want to get rid of the little blighters asap but some of the pesticides found in some lice shampoos are pretty toxic, pre-schoolers don’t sit still for constant combing and due to resistance, are sometimes ineffective. 

If you are keen to try a natural way to treat and even prevent head lice and nits, there is a safe and effective treatment to help you ditch the itch. But first, let’s bust some myths:

- Catching head lice is not associated with poor hygiene. Anyone can get them! Lice do not care whether hair is clean or dirty.

- Head lice don’t have wings, so can’t jump or fly (or swim!). They are normally transferred by direct contact from head to head. Direct head-to-head contact, such as kids putting their heads together while playing is the most common way for lice to spread. Head lice are not able to survive off the scalp for long, so while it’s possible to catch them from clothing or hats, it’s extremely unlikely.

- Children with shorter hair are just as likely to catch head lice as those with long hair. Lice thrive in hair, period, specifically on the blood they get through the scalp.

 - Lice cannot be transmitted from pets, and pets cannot get them from people so don’t worry about your pets passing it on.

- Itching is not always a sign of head lice infestation as only 30% of people suffer from itching caused by head lice. There can be other causes of itchy scalp, such as seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff) or dry skin. Some children who have head lice may not experience itching at all.

- Whilst wet-combing has been shown to be the most effective method for removing all eggs and lice, it is time consuming, and your little one may not be willing to sit still for long. Treatment with essential oils helps to cut down on combing time.

Totally Balmy has a Head Lice & Nit Shampoo Bar that can be used as a preventative or reactive measure to kill lice.

Using the bar is as easy as rubbing on to wet hair to form a good lather, leaving for a few minutes, rinsing and conditioning as normal. Then use a nit comb to get rid of the stunned/dead lice.

Containing olive, coconut, castor and neem oil (which lice hate the smell of!), shea butter, lye, water, essential oils of tea-tree and eucalyptus, these bars last for 35 washes and have even been shown to be effective in treating dandruff.

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