The other weekend I was sitting on the train with my family (something we rarely get to do) after a trip into the city to buy a tea pot (I am sure another blog will surface about tea when I get around to it). Anyway…it was a pleasant morning, and I was thinking about the ‘cook up’ I had planned for the rest of the day so that I can survive the working week.
It was then that I noticed something move against the scalp of my 5 year old’s head, and it was then that the focus of the rest of my afternoon was redesigned for me.
Head lice….eeeerrrrrgggghhhhh. Just thinking about them makes the hairs on the back of my neck creep and gives me the urge to scratch an itch that suddenly appears on my scalp. Even if someone else tells you that their child has nits, suddenly you start to feel your own scalp feeling itchy. Heck…mine is feeling itchy right now as I write.
This was my first ever experience with head lice. I guess I have gotten off pretty lightly prior to this. I have wondered in the past what they actually look like, as I have never actually seen them, but after much discussion with a girlfriend who’s children have had head lice, I was pretty certain most of my previous run ins were just my brain being CONVINCED I had them and all of the associated itching that you feel propelled to do. No lice/nits comb came up with any evidence though.
But this time, as I gazed down, I could see two small dark insects crawling about Jasmine’s scalp. Without wanting to alarm Jasmine (who was having a wonderful time on the train), or repulse the rest of the passengers into a subconscious scalp itching frenzy, I mentioned to Tom that “we need to get the SPECIAL comb onto someone’s hair when we get home”.
Sadly, I must say, Tom isn’t great when you try to spell something out to him. His brain just doesn’t work that way. It’s not that he can’t spell, but if I say I have I C E C R E A M in the fridge (because I don’t want the kids to know), he gets all flustered with me. Maybe it’s because his first language isn’t English, or maybe he can’t see the word you are spelling and needs me to say it. Anyway….after three attempts at trying to convey the message that could eloquently be phrased as “Jasmine has f&@king head lice in her hair” I gave up and sat in silence, prayed that the train trip would end soon, and tried not to itch.
One thing that concerns me about conventional head lice treatments sold in the pharmacy or supermarket is that the ingredients sound like you are attempting chemical warfare on a your youngster’s scalp. I just don’t feel like I want to go there.
First things first I smothered the hair in conditioner and used the lice comb. This stuns the head lice (of which I found two), and removes some of the eggs.
So I turned to my aromatherapy books and oils. I have a myriad of aromatherapy books, and I recall seeing a head lice treatment in there somewhere, and sure enough, there are a myriad of recipes you can choose. The treatment I chose came from Aromatherapy Blends for Life by Judith White (which is no longer in print).
- Eucalyptus – 2 drops
- Thyme – 2 drops
- Tea tree – 1 drop
- Lime – 2 drops
- Lemon – 1 drop
- 40mls of Jojoba massage base oil – this oil is wonderful as it doesn’t go rancid, and is beautiful for warming and using for facials or hair treatments
What you will need
- Vapouriser – us this to heat your massage base oil, and add your essential oils to it. Yes, you can do this with massage base oils, it heats them just slightly
- Basting brush – from the kitchen – I prefer the natural bristle instead of silicone
What to do
- Heat the oil in the vapouriser
- Add the essential oils
- Baste onto the hair, making sure you get the roots and all sections of the hair
- Leave in your hair for 20 mins or more – I got Jasmine to do some colouring – if you wish wrap a towel around the hair to stop oil from being spread around your walls/furniture
- Wash out the oil and shampoo – you might need to shampoo a few times, as the hair will be oily
Jasmine was terrified of what I was about to do to her, with a vapouriser and candle blazing, and a basting brush poised to attack her head (or maybe it was the ‘die nits die’ look I had in my eyes) but when I started to apply the oil to her hair, she relaxed back and really enjoyed it. We had a nice mother/daughter time together, giving her a deluxe hair treatment, and it smelt divine. So, all in all, it was rather pleasant and the end of the day, and no nasty chemicals – just natural ones.
The following week, I repeated the treatment. This time we both looked forward to it. There weren’t any lice in Jasmine’s hair, but a few random nits attached to the hair shaft that I perhaps missed in my first treatment (they hadn’t grown in size, so I suspect round 1 killed them). Today I checked again, and her hair is clear. It’s been three weeks since the second treatment, so I am pretty happy with the results.