Things I would rather be doing besides picking through hair and looking for nits:
reading a book
taking a nap
knitting my poncho, baby hats, blanket
crocheting my baby sweater
going to Disney World
But alas, I have found myself focused on the hair of my, not one, but two children this week. Lolly’s hair: WHY SO MUCH? WHY SO BROWN?
After a lot of research and trial and error, here is what I do NOT recommend:
Panicking. Absolutely do not panic. You will be able to figure this out. It’s going to be ok.
Cetaphil treatment. It takes hours and hours and hours, and guess what, the only live bug I missed while applying the cetaphil, was still alive after it was all over. This technique also removes no nits, so you have to wait for them to hatch and do it all again. Sounds fun? I think not.
Nix alone. I only use nix as a final step precaution. I learned this time through that the live lice are fast and climb side to side, not just up and down the hair shaft. I took a break from Phoebe’s hair and when I got back, the live lice had crawled into the section I had already finished checking! Just for kicks I give them the shampoo treatment after I think I have extracted all the live bugs, so that no more new eggs are being laid. I’ve heard our lice are immune to it though, so it probably does nothing. Also, it doesn’t kill eggs.
Here is what TO DO:
I usually don my headlamp (see Chapter 1) and comb through the entire scalp piece by piece (I have found it is more effective when the hair is wet), and extract each bug and nit manually. This is the only way to rest at night. This was manageable with one kid, and that kid being Phoebe. However, when BOTH came down with it during the school year (we have VERY LIMITED hours to nit pick), I needed a new strategy.
Night 1: Pick through both, do the best I could . 4.5 hours.
Night 2: Pick through both, this time recruit a friend for simultaneous nit-picking. 2 hours.
3 days later: Nisska/Conditioner Technique:
This technique only took 1 hour and 15 minutes per kid. I could handle doing this as my first resort next time. I was a bit skeptical at first, but sure enough, you can totally see the nit in that conditioner when the comb gets one…and it seems more painless and less time-consuming. A week after combing through both kids heads twice, I found a small amount of nits on each girl.
Sources: Nisska Comb (superior. worth every penny)
Conditioner Concoction. I don’t know that I needed the baking soda this time because I was pretty sure no nits had hatched, but I used it anyway.
I know this will not be the last time I do this. They have been washing minimally with tea tree shampoo and using the lice shield spray (NOT very vigilantly). I think I may start blow-drying their hair because the lice appear in the heat, and then maybe it will force me to check in with their heads more often…I have been doing it about once a month since Chapter 1.
One thing’s for sure, I will be checking a few weeks before my due date, so that that is not welcoming us home from the hospital too.