Another term, another note from school. Head lice are a constant challenge for parents to keep on top of. So we are always looking for a different product to add to our tool kit. In this post we review 100% natural, aromatherapy-based, Puressentials Anti-Lice Lotion, which we used when tackling a recent case of lice in the family.
When my 8-year old was in nursery, we got head lice five times in two years. So by the time we were in school, we had a routine and plenty of tactics for prevention. This meant proudly getting to Year 3 without one single case, simply by conducting weekly checks, introducing some gentle facts to the girls on how they’re spread and insisting they wear their hair in plaits for school.
However, we got caught out before Christmas. I went down with an ear and sinus infection plus had to manage work and the pressures of festive organisation, so our usual checking routine was somewhat disrupted. And that’s all it took.
We prefer the combing method to tackle an infestation, breaking the lice life cycle, so pretty much got on top if it that way. However, my eldest is still coming home with adult lice means there’s likely other undetected cases at the school (this is not finger-pointing, we no doubt helped the spread by not spotted our girls’ issue immediately! It happens). So we wanted to use a product that was natural plus easy to use. That’s when we found Puressentiel’s range, as it’s gentle but effective and good value for money.
Pureessentiel’s Anti-lice Lotion, available at Boots, is a 100% aromatherapy-based natural formula with plant oils mechnically obstruct the respiratory openings of lice and larvae. Some lice have developed resistance to over-the-counter treatments containing Dimeticone. Other treatments take hours to work, so is it worth the risk using and finding your efforts have been wasted? It only takes one fertile female louse, plus 6-7 days for the infestation to start-up again. It’s so easy to use, you leave it on for 10 minutes, then wash out with your usual shampoo and completing our comb-through. A second application is required 3 days later which with my eldest’s hair possibly means buying a second 100ml pack but at £12.99 this is much more affordable than some other treatments. It’s on special offer in Lloyds Pharmacy at £6.49 at the moment too!
My youngest, my husband and myself are all pretty sensitive to harsh treatments, so the essential oils in Puressentiel help relieve our scalp irritation. They also give the lotion a very pleasant fragrance plus lavender and geranium are also known to help relaxation, which is ideal for these potentially stressful combing sessions.
Our typical head lice action plan
After using the treatment, comb the hair entirely. We suggest first using your usual brush or wide tooth comb to get knots out before using the special head lice comb (do make sure you disinfect the comb before and after). You may also want to use Puressentiel’s Lice Repellent which offers protection up to 24 hours.
Day 4 repeat and comb.
Repeat above doing another complete comb-through. This means if the kids are picking up fresh lice from their buddies, you get them out quickly. The female louse lays between 4-6 eggs a day for 16 days before dying.
Days 9 and 13 comb through
We carry on combing for two weeks after initial treatment. This ensures we are really breaking the lice life cycle, in case during all the stress we haven’t picked up all the lice or eggs. Eggs hatch after 6-7 days, female nymphs can mature and mate then start laying 10 days after hatching. So combing out nymphs before they mature is the best tactic.
Day 17 and weekly detection comb
We whip out the comb Sunday bathtimes for a routine check. If carried out consistently the kids don’t think anything of it plus reminds us all to take preventative measures, especially if a friend or class mates has had a case.
Dos and don’t
Don’t panic, lice are annoying but if treated quickly don’t pose any major health threats.
Do tell your family and friends when you’ve had a case. Firstly help smash the taboo, it’s still an uncomfortable topic and secondly it means parents and carers can pay particular attention to protection if they haven’t had a case of lice.
Don’t ignore any regular scratching, it’s worth a check with a comb at that point.
Do check any ‘facts’ you hear from people. Lice can’t jump or fly, they live on any type of hair whether clean or dirty.
Don’t forget to wash bed linen and give the house a quick vacuum. Head lice generally don’t survive more than 24 hours off the head but this just makes sure there’s no lurkers.
Do use a special comb for treatment and checking: they are not usually spotted with the naked eye, a comb is recommended for checking. Remember that not everyone is allergic to the lice saliva (my eldest wasn’t even scratching her head but had quite a few when we checked).