Who said getting rid of head lice was hard? Well, to be honest, a few months ago it would have been me! But now I know it doesn’t have to be at all.
The truth is, the idea of our kids getting head lice doesn’t have to be scary. Nor does it need to be embarrassing. It is a part of childhood that is hard to avoid and very common in school-age children. In fact, over 50% of Australians* are affected by head lice over their lifetime.
And once you know the steps to navigate a head lice situation – it’s a pretty easy process.
Step 1: Know what you’re looking for.
Head lice are about the size of a sesame seed. They can vary in colour from white-brown to a red-brown. The unfortunate thing about head lice is that they won’t budge simply by brushing away, and the eggs (known as nits) must also be removed. The nits are oval in shape and the size of a pinhead (0.5 – 1 mm in length). They are yellowish or white when laid but can turn brown as they mature.
Contrary to popular belief, head lice are not winged and cannot fly, hop, or jump!
If your kids start itching their heads or experience a crawling or tickling sensation, it’s a sign that head lice may have set up shop and a head lice check may need to be undertaken. If you suspect or can confirm that your child does indeed have head lice, start treatment immediately.
Step 2: Get your supplies.
Treatment products are available from both pharmacies and supermarkets. I recommend going to a pharmacy just so you can get additional advice if necessary.
I use one product from the “KILLS” range, followed by the “REMOVES” range.
The Defence Spray is great to help keep the head lice situation at bay, and to protect hair against head lice on a daily basis (it also acts as a lovely leave in conditioner).
Step 3: Apply MOOV’s Head Lice Solution or Shampoo.
- Use on dry hair.
- Cover your child’s eyes.
- Divide hair into segments.
- Apply product behind the ears and neck first.
- Apply to remaining hair and scalp.
- Apply sufficient product to ensure hair and scalp are thoroughly wet.
- Place shower cap on head, ensuring all hair, including the ears and the nape of the neck are covered by the cap.
- If using the Solution, leave on the hair for 10 minutes. If using the Shampoo, leave on the hair for 15 minutes. If using MOOV Head Lice Sensitive, leave on hair for 20 minutes. This is great for sensitive scalps, or for younger children (6 months and over).
- Rinse out.
- If using the Solution, shampoo hair as normal after rinsing it out.
- If using the MOOV Head Lice Sensitive, I recommend a double shampoo as it can leave the hair a little oily.
Step 4: Apply MOOV Combing Conditioner And Use The Included Comb.
The MOOV Combing Conditioner and comb helps to remove the dead head lice and eggs from the hair.
It can be used alone to help detect the presence of head lice, or in conjunction with MOOV Head Lice Solution or Shampoo to treat them.
Follow these simple steps:
- Apply a generous amount of MOOV Head Lice Combing Conditioner to wet or dry hair to ensure hair is saturated.
- Massage MOOV Head Lice Combing Conditioner into hair, particularly near the scalp.
- Divide hair into segments.
Step 5: Remove the dead head lice and eggs from the hair.
Next you’ll need to get the MOOV Head Lice Removal Comb ready. This is the part where you will be removing any remaining dead head lice or nits from the hair.
If you can set your child up with an iPad or other distraction whilst you follow these steps, it will be a lot easier.
- Starting at the scalp, comb out eggs and lice using the MOOV Head Lice Removal Comb.
- Wipe combings onto a tissue as you proceed.
- Continue combing until no eggs or lice are found in combing residue.
- Rinse hair thoroughly with warm water.
- Rinse comb clean with warm water after each use.
It’s important to ensure that you always read the label and use the product only as directed. And if you are in doubt or if symptoms persist, you should consult your healthcare professional. Also, unless a doctor or pharmacist has told you to, do not use the products on infants under six months.
Step 6: Check other family members and yourself for head lice and nits.
At this time it’s best to do a thorough check of all family members and treat them too if necessary. Pets do not need to be checked as they cannot get human head lice, as the head lice live only on the human head.
Step 7: Repeat treatment
In order to ensure head lice and nits have well and truly been eradicated and break their life cycle, you need to repeat Steps 3 – 5 seven days after the first treatment, and then once again seven days after the second treatment. This is to ensure the head lice life cycle is completely broken and there are no further nits that could hatch lurking around.
Step 8: Help Protect against future infestations
Head lice do not discriminate nor are they a sign of poor hygiene. Head lice don’t care if your child’s hair was washed this morning or last week. So keeping it clean is not going to protect your child or household from head lice.
So how can you help protect your child’s hair from future outbreaks? Use the MOOV Head Lice Defence Spray. This spray acts as a leave in conditioner whilst also deterring head lice from your child’s head.
Following this simple process, head lice removal can be easy and not a daunting situation at all.