Those Little Things Folk Don’t Want To Talk About

November 15, 2009

Have you been plagued by those little things nobody wants to talk about? Well, they’ve had me tearing my hair out – literally. So, I’m on a mission to wipe them out. And if you’ve ever been infested with head lice, you might to join me.

Last night I got so desperate that I almost shaved off my hair. Then I remembered that my mother said shaving your hair isn’t a great idea, as folk might think you have cancer. And I wouldn’t want to disappoint some of my neighbours by letting them think I have cancer when I don’t. Shaving for head lice doesn’t make for such juicy gossip.

So, tonight I’m going to try suffocating the little bastards. Not my neighbours – the head lice. In fact I’m doing it right now, as I type.

I read about some fab suffocation lotion but luckily I Googled first and it turns out some poor teenager was playing with a lighter whilst using it and set his head on fire.

So, I’ve taken the advice of John from Oklahoma, who suffocated the little suckers with mayo. All you do is plaster your hair with mayo, put on a shower cap, leave to set for 30 minutes then rinse with dishwasher powder.

I’ve had to improvise a little. I didn’t have a shower cap so I’ve used cling film. And I don’t want to have to go through the whole process again, so I’ve left it on quite a bit longer than 30 minutes. But I just realized we’re out of dishwasher powder, so I’m hoping something else will work, as Tesco’s closes at 10pm on a Saturday night.

Before you try this at home – wait for my update. It’s not that I don’t trust John from Oklahoma. I just don’t want you to sue me for ruining your hair. I’m past caring about my own hair. And anyway, when I was born, the doctor told my mum I had a really nice shaped head, so the bald look might suit me.

Have you been plagued with head lice before? How did you get rid of them? Or is it one of those things you don’t like talking about?

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25 Responses to “Those Little Things Folk Don’t Want To Talk About”

  1. Robin on November 15th, 2009 7:49 am

    Oh no Cath (you are so funny). I actually wrote a book about head lice, so I just went up to the front room to get it (which is very self-sacrificial of me because we are having heat waves here and our front room is closed off and very hot).

    All I said about treatment was “To kill head lice we need to use special shampoos, creams and combs” – well, it was written for 9 year-olds. But I also found “Head lice like to live in clean hair more than dirty hair. If someone has head lice, it does not mean they are dirty” – I thought that might cheer you up!

    I do remember reading about using olive oil, while I was researching the book (but that would have been too alternative for me to put in). I’m sure you have a beautifully shaped head.

    Robin’s last blog post..Ego Is Not A Dirty Word

  2. Marelisa on November 15th, 2009 11:03 am

    Hi Cath: I’ve heard that putting mayo in your hair is a great way to deep condition your hair. So hopefully you’ll end up without head lice and with luxurious, silky hair. :-)

    Marelisa’s last blog post..Energy Management: Getting More Done

  3. Kathy Dobson on November 15th, 2009 1:14 pm

    Hi Cath…
    I applaud your bravery! Head lice are no picnic. My daughter had a case of it when she was younger and it was a nightmare trying to get them out of her hair. Since the Internet was not around at the time, I just used what the drug store offered…but she has curly thick hair, so combing it through was no picnic.
    How did the mayo work? I would imagine it did a great job of smothering those little critters!

    Kathy Dobson’s last blog post..Companionship

  4. Betsy Wuebker on November 15th, 2009 1:58 pm

    Hi Cath – You ARE brave! When the kids were still in elementary school, we’d get the yearly head lice letter. Someone had it, here are the products to use, etc. etc. Luckily, we never got it, but you’re right, it’s not something people like to talk about. The letters would mention “picking the nits” out with a fine-tooth comb, and then I’d remember, “So that’s where the saying comes from.”

    Bedbugs is another thing – evidently there is a superbreed of bedbugs infesting hotel rooms, etc. A friend of mine was attacked by the little critters on a business trip and the hotel paid her compensation. I read that the finest hotels in New York City are infested, as well as private residences!

    Betsy Wuebker’s last blog post..Down to Sleep: The November Garden

  5. Mike Goad on November 15th, 2009 3:25 pm

    Oh my!

    I’ve had bad rashes on my head because of allergies and that about drove me crazy. I really hate to think about head lice! :(

    Betsy is right about the bedbugs. Our son-in-law is the training director for a pest control company in Wisconsin and, whenever he travels on business, he takes the headboard of the bed off the wall to check for bedbugs. I posted a video, Max, the bed bug dog recently where his only appearance was his hand with a bedbug on it.

    Mike Goad’s last blog post..What’s a blog?

  6. Friar on November 15th, 2009 3:54 pm

    My Mom grew up in the 40′s…she has stories of her Mom washing the lice out of her hair over the kitchen sink, using gasoline. (probably NOT recommended today)

    i”m not an expert, but doesn’t washing just kill the existing lice?

    The eggs (i.e. nits) apparently survive. So you still have to go through your hair with a fine-toothed comb to remove them…they like to cling to your hair shafts.

    And I’ve heard that you’re supposed to supposed to wash all your clothes + stuffed animals, then stuck them in garbage bags for two weeks (which is the life-cycle fo the eggs) to make sure everything’s dead.

    That’s what my sister had to go through when her kid caught them. What a pain in the arse!

    Friar’s last blog post..Stupid Candy Purchases

  7. Brad Shorr on November 15th, 2009 6:18 pm

    Cath, Have never had head lice, but it sounds horrid. I know it’s different for women, but I’d rather endure the social pain of a shaved head than put mayo in my hair … you could always wear a hat. Good luck whatever you do – I pray for a speedy recovery.

    Brad Shorr’s last blog post..Taking a Break from the Blog

  8. vered | blogger for hire on November 15th, 2009 6:22 pm

    Oh no, that sucks! So far never had it but constantly worried that one of the kids might catch it at school.

    vered | blogger for hire’s last blog post..Restaurant Salads Scare Me

  9. Davina on November 15th, 2009 8:10 pm

    Oh Cath, you have the most endearing way of making horrid situations sound… well, less horrid than they are. I’ve never had head lice, but we had to be careful with fleas with all the dogs we owned on the farm. I hope your process works! Keeping my fingers crossed for you. Another topic people don’t like to talk about… hemorrhoids. PS. I don’t have them… just sayin.

    Davina’s last blog post..New Lives: Stories of Rescued Dogs

  10. Tracy on November 16th, 2009 1:40 am

    Oh no! My head is itching in sympathy. I haven’t had any personal experience…yet, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time, but I’ve heard about the olive oil, too. I’ve also heard that there are people you can hire to go through your hair and pick them all out, but I’ve no idea where to find them.

    I’ll also add stress incontinence as another thing we don’t like to talk about but needs discussing. Kegel, kegel, kegel! I wish they’d taught us that in high school during the birds and bees talk.

    Tracy’s last blog post..A Grown Up Hissy Fit

  11. Dot on November 16th, 2009 1:55 am

    When we were in elementary school, my sister and I got head lice. The remedy in those days was a strong chemical shampoo, plus the combing with a fine-toothed comb mentioned by Friar. It took several tries to get rid of them.If you need a fine-toothed comb and can’t find one, they also sell them for dogs (to get the fleas out).

    Sorry you have to deal with this thing, which you might have gotten from school kids, since that’s usually where it runs around. Good luck with the mayo. If nothing else, you’ll have nicely-conditioned hair. You can wash mayo out with regular shampoo, it just might take several latherings to get it all out.

    Dot’s last blog post..Hacked!

  12. Walter on November 16th, 2009 5:52 am

    I have had those little annoying critters when I was young. Boy, I was so ashamed of my condition. Those stubborn little creatures keeps on coming back and spreads like a dandruff.

    Good thing that during that time there was a shampoo that could instantly eliminate those unwanted guest. I was lucky, but if I came to know about mayo, I could have done just as you instructed. :-)

  13. Barbara Swafford on November 16th, 2009 9:08 am

    Hi Catherine,

    I’ve never had head lice, but have heard the same thing that Friar said, about the comb and bagging up stuff in your home,

    I hope the mayo worked.

    Please do keep us posted.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Blog Yourself To A Smaller World

  14. Cath Lawson on November 16th, 2009 8:26 pm

    Thank you Robin – My hair has never been cleaner, because I can’t stop washing it and combing it thru. I have to wonder if the doctor was just being nice. He was a family friend and I was a bald baby.

    Hi Mare – I read that too. I think it’s best just to put on a little mayo to condition tho, as it’s really hard to wash it out.

    Thanks Kathy – I am having the same trouble with my daughter’s hair. It’s too early to tell if the mayo works, as you’ve still got to comb through for eggs afterwards. But I’ve definitely been less itchy since.

    LOL Betsy – I don’t know if I’m brave, or just a little nuts with all this scratching.

    I read about the super bedbugs too and it really has me leaning towards buying an old RV. At least that way you’re using your own bedding. And you can get some really good deals on Ebay.

    Hi Friar – Gasoline sounds a bit extreme. I wish they did just die by washing but the little buggers seem to cling to your scalp like leeches.

    Hi Brad – I did buy a really cool winter hat last year, so that might be a solution. It’s ok for you to say shave tho – you have quite a bit less to shave than I do.

    Hi Vered – You are lucky. I hope we get rid of it by next year, or we might wind up infesting the entire west coast of Canada and the US.

    Hi Davina – Thank you. Fleas suck. Our cat at them years ago and we got bitten to bits – had to have all our carpets cleaned. But it worked.

    Hi Tracy – That sounds like a sucky kind of job. No joke – a huge spider tried to climb on me the other night. I never thought at the time, but it was probably looking for a midnight feast.

    Luckily I haven’t had stress incontinence yet – but I agree with you on the Kegel exercises. It’s just so hard to remember to do them tho.

    LOL Dot – luckily we can get the combs in the chemist. Asking in the pet shop would be kind of embarrassing.

    It takes heaps of shampoo to get the mayo out but I did use half a bottle.

    Hi Walter – When we were younger there was definitely a huge stigma attached to having nits wasn’t there. I always caught the bloody things. Now it seems they’ve become immune to all the special shampoos tho.

    Hi Barbara – It seems like you people on the West coast just don’t get them – I hope the west coast of Canada is as fortunate. Apparently, they’ve eradicated rats in Alberta, so head lice should be a cinch.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Those Little Things Folk Don’t Want To Talk About

  15. Davina on November 17th, 2009 12:35 am

    Cath, I’m shuddering at the thought of that spider wanting a midnight feast. Eeek!!!

    Davina’s last blog post..There’s An Artist In Our Midst

  16. Patricia on November 17th, 2009 7:23 pm

    My kids all had head lice while in school and they had to close the school down a week early for winter holiday to finally end the infestation.
    We used vinegar rinses on the kids hair and finally a chemical based shampoo. We washed all the bedding, clothing, everyday for 2 weeks….in hot water and tea tree oil.

    And the fine tooth comb. I had the kids rinse their heads and shower everyday when they came in the door And while they were busy I washed and dried their clothes and then combed hair with the specialty comb. It was a real work out and the lice spread to my husband. He and one daughter had an allergic reaction and were very ill.

    In college I was so poor I used mayo as my conditioner for my hair on the weekends and wrapped my head up warm too…

    I hope it works, it is such a tough get rid of item to have to experience….. one of lifes unpleasant adventures indeed.

    Patricia’s last blog post..Food and Friends

  17. cathlawson on November 17th, 2009 7:52 pm

    LOL Davina – I was thinking about your spider in Bowan at the time and wondering whether it was really after your dinner or something.

    Hi Patricia – Thanks, I’ll try the vinegar rinses and the tea tree for cleaning the beds.

    The bloody mayo hasn’t worked. I think I have also had an allergic reaction too – lumps all over my head and I’ve felt sick and headaches for over a week. I’m getting close to doing the shaving thing. I wonder if wigs are expensive?

  18. Kate Williamson on November 18th, 2009 5:36 am

    I did a talk about Head Lice and one of the things I learnt was that they really, really like clean hair.

    Was that helpful? Probably not.

    Kate Williamson’s last blog post..Wanted: Kids in pubs

  19. J.D. Meier on November 18th, 2009 6:58 am

    I never had them, but I guess I would try mayo before bald. If that didn’t work, I would raise the rent and see if they leave on their own.

    J.D. Meier’s last blog post..Balance Connection and Conviction to Reduce Anxiety and Lead Effectively

  20. Cath Lawson on November 18th, 2009 10:57 am

    Hi Kate – If I leave my hair to get dirty – maybe they’ll leave. But it’s just too itchy – I’ve been washing and combing it several times a day.

    LOL JD – I wish it was that easy. The mayo thing didn’t work. Trouble is, a lot of these tips get repeated on several internet sites and nobody has really tried them out. One site recommended putting mayo on your kids head them putting a plastic carrier bag on top – very safe.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Those Little Things Folk Don’t Want To Talk About

  21. April on November 18th, 2009 12:18 pm

    You are so funny. I have not had head lice since I was like 8 or 9. But my mom also put mayo in our hair for like an hour, then she’d use this special lice shampoo. It normally wouldn’t work the first time but she would do it twice the first day then at night for another 2-3 days. After the “treatments” my hair would be dry, so she’d use some kind of moisturizer on it, like biosilk or something.

    April’s last blog post..12 Guardian Angel Wedding Candleholder Centerpieces

  22. Hilary on November 20th, 2009 8:22 pm

    Hi Cath – the problems you’re having .. head lice as well. I know nothing I’m afraid – I’d heard tea tree oil .. but I gather they are terror tots and tricky to get rid of: I didn’t know they were attracted to clean hair as well .. let alone all those other things mentioned aabove – my fingers are touch typing now – in case anything pops out of the screen towards me!

    Good luck with their good riddance .. Hilary

  23. cathlawson on November 21st, 2009 7:58 am

    Hi April – It sounds like more than one treatment is needed then. The last couple of days I’ve combed, I’ve found nothing but eggs, so maybe it is working after all.

    Hi Hilary – Apparently they like clean hair best, which is unfortunate. I hope they can’t get through computer screens – but as you say, they’re a nightmare to get rid of.

    Tea tree is meant to be good for prevention but it doesn’t seem to work for getting rid of them.

  24. Jyoti on December 3rd, 2009 5:00 pm

    Did Mayo help? I hadn’t heard of that remedy before despite lice being a common malady with women in India! For years, we’ve found a shampoo going by the brand name Mediker quite effective. I haven’t used it in the last few years but I remember the composition mostly carrying some unpronounceable chemicals that seem to paralyse any amount of lice in 2 washes. I found a link on the Net offering to mail it outside of the country too, or you may find in an Indian product store — here it costs less than most other shampoos, so don’t pay too much for it…

    Jyoti’s last blog post..ROI with Social Media

  25. Stacey Perkins on April 19th, 2010 2:49 am

    Quite a humorous tale, of a serious subject. I am curious, first thought when I read to rinse with dishwasher powder, was most contain some sort of bleach, wonder if it color fast bleach? There may have been a new color in store if not. Wonder how the treatment worked and the final outcome.

    Stacey Perkins’s last blog post..Treating Head Lice Properly

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