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2016 Update:  After successfully selling my homemade herbal lice repellant spray for years, I decided to turn my attention to other aspects of life, and stopped producing and selling the product.  However, this site is still an excellent resource for no-nonsense advice on the topic of safe, effective head lice removal, so I leave it here to help those who find it.

I have used amazon affiliate links to direct you to the products that I recommend and believe will help you get rid of head lice without exposing your children to harmful chemicals.  You've got this!

My name is Erica, but you can call me SuperMom. :) I have 6 children, ranging in age from 13-24. In January 2004 we experienced head lice for the very first (and only!) time. When I made the discovery, I started crying and shaking and feeling very very itchy, and then I got busy shaving my little boy's heads. Three long weeks later we had won the war, and I had learned a whole lot about head lice, where we had gone wrong in the first place, and how to effectively deal with it. Since that time I've made understanding head lice and knowing how to avoid them something of a crusade of mine. Once was enough for me! How about you?

As I look back on it, I'm surprised (and concerned) that there isn't more education about how to avoid getting head lice in the first place. It seems as though people just accept that head lice infestations will come along in life, and there is nothing you can do about it. Others (like I was) just hoped it would never happen!

The truth is that although head lice does seem quite common, there are many things you can do to lessen the chances of you or your children getting head lice. I've developed this web site in order to educate you. Feel free to read the entire site, or just jump to the parts that most interest you:

Head Lice Basics

1. Anybody can get head lice. Yes, anybody.
2. Having head lice doesn't mean you're dirty.
3. Lice don't fly or hop, they just crawl their way all over the universe looking for a hospitable noggin on which to raise a family and live the simple life.

The Old, Expensive, Dangerous, and Ineffective Way to Deal With Lice:

1. Find out your child has lice.
2. Go buy some chemical shampoo and plaster it all over your child's head, wash it off, and then naiively think that you have solved the problem.
3. Repeat in 2-3 weeks when your child amazingly got lice again. (or rather, you never really got rid of it in the first place)

The Truth about this method is that today's lice are more sophisticated than the lice of yesteryear and they are often immune to the chemical shampoos (such as RID or NIX). I have heard many accounts of families using chemical lice shampoos on their children 3 or more times, and still finding live lice!

Furthermore, chemical shampoos are dangerous pesticides that have no business being on humans. You can read more about this
here, here, and here. And if that isn't enough, you can read some stories of families with children who were adversely affected by chemical lice treatments here.

The other aspect of head lice that isn't solved by chemical shampoos is this: They don't kill the unhatched eggs. If you don't manually remove every single solitary nit off your child's head, then they still have lice. It's only a matter of time before those little lice babies hatch and start rambling all over your child's head and raising families of their own.

So, let's review the OLD WAY of trying to deal with head lice:

1. Expensive for you! (see our comparison chart)

2. Potentially dangerous for your child

3. Don't effectively kill live lice

4. Don't kill the eggs

In short, it's not an effective way to approach this problem.

The New, Superior, Simple, Cheap, and Effective Way to Deal With Lice:

1. Did you know that lice have opinions just like everybody else? They are rather particular about scents, so your first line of defense is to make your hair and head smell repulsive to lice. My very own No-Lice Hair and Body Spray has been formulated from three natural, non-toxic substances that have long been used to repel head lice and other pests. The smell is mild and pleasant to humans, but lice and other insects will tend to run away from it! My family uses this hair spray after every hair wash, and we spray each child's head every day before they head off to school or church.

2. The Robi-Comb is the other must-have item for combating lice. This is basically a metal lice comb that has a battery in it. You turn it in, it emits a little sound, and you start combing through the hair. If it hits upon any louse big enough to have hatched, the critter will get caught in the teeth of the comb, the little noise stops, and the critter gets electrocuted! The electrical level is enough to kill lice, but it's not going to hurt you or your children.

I love the Robi-Comb for so many reasons.

--It kills critters that an ordinary person would NOT see. When lice first hatch they are transparent and extremely small. We were amazed last year at the teeny weeny creatures that were executed by our Robi-Comb.

--Unlike ordinary metal combs, it doesn't even matter if you can't see the critter or get it out once you do see it. If Robi-Comb killed it, it's dead.

--You only need one for the whole family and you're set for years.

--It's so easy that even the kids can use it on themselves or each other.

3. You also need a metal egg and nit comb. This little comb has such a small space between the teeth that it will dislodge any eggs from the hair shafts. You've got to get rid of all the eggs, and the Robi-Comb does not do that. So, this is a MUST.

Here's How to Put It All Together and Keep Lice Away

Although we often think of winter as the worst time for head lice, children are vulnerable to head lice at any time of the year. Sleepovers, church activities, sports, summer camp, school, day care, and the like are common places for lice to be spread.

In order to make sure that head lice doesn't get a foothold in your life, you need to develop a habit of prevention. Here's how it goes:

First Line of Defense: Daily use of No-Lice Hair Spray to make lice head the other way! Also spray thoroughly after every hair shampoo.

Second Line of Defense: Weekly comb-through with the Robi-Comb, just in case some daring louse is checking out the real estate.

Third Line of Defense: Visual Inspection. First off, know what you're looking for. I found that I had a misinformed idea of what lice eggs would look like. I thought they would be mainly white and easy to see. I hadn't noticed the greyish things that were so well-camouflaged on my dark-headed children! You can see what nits and lice look like here. Once you know what you're looking for, make sure you visually inspect the hair right down within an inch of the scalp as you Robi-Comb each week.

Fourth Line of Defense: If your Robi-Comb ends up killing a louse, it's time for action! You need to thoroughly Robi-Comb every person in the household, and then follow up by thoroughly going through each person's hair with the egg comb. Repeat this procedure every day for a week. After that, you can go to every-other-day, and after two weeks you could go back to once-per-week combing.

We had a situation a few months ago when I was doing random Robi-Comb checks, and I found one louse on one of my children's heads. Fortunately, I could tell that this was an immature louse and that it was not old enough to have started laying eggs (you can learn more about this here). Still, I went through every child's hair as carefully as I could, and found not one more louse or egg on anyone. I continued to comb through every day for several days and never did find one more louse nor any eggs. By doing my random head check, I managed to help prevent what could have been a miserable lice infestation!

Do you see how easy it can be to keep head lice away?

What To Do if You're Currently Dealing With a Head Lice Infestation:

If you've come here because you're already up to your noggin in head lice, let me first encourage you to take a deep breath and calm down. Let's have a little hand-holding moment: You are going to be ok. You are going to get through this. And then I will help you make sure this never happens again.

OK, ready?

First, what you need to buy:
1. Robi-Comb
2. A metal nit/egg comb
3. Head lice repellant spray

Quick things you can do:

1. If you have boys who will not mind, you can shave their heads. That's what I did when I first found head lice. If there is no hair to hide in, the lice will not be able to stick around. This is why I keep my littlest boys hair cut very short.

2. Get the Robi-Comb and start carefully combing through the hair. You need to be slow and thorough. This is not a quick run-through. Take your time, carefully separating the hair into sections, and keeping the already-checked sections away from the waiting-to-be-checked sections. Hair clips are very helpful with this. Have a paper towel on your lap to brush off the dead lice that you will find.

3. Once you have gone through and gotten rid of all the live lice, go through the same person's head in the same manner, using the metal egg comb. The eggs are attached pretty close to the head, usually within an inch. So, you don't have to comb the whole length of the hair for this part.

4. If your problem is quite extensive, you may want to do these comb-throughs on every person twice a day until you feel that you are making good headway. Otherwise, once a day comb-throughs with both the Robi-Comb and the egg comb should be sufficient. Do this every day for 7-10 days. Then reduce to every other day for a week, in case something new hatches from an egg you missed. After that, if you have still not found any more lice or eggs, you can go back to once a week head checks.

Keep using your repellant spray every day to discourage any new lice from coming along, and to hasten the retreat of any live lice you may have missed.

6. It was helpful for me to learn that head lice cannot live off of a human host for more than 24 hours or so. You do not need to wash every bit of laundry or vacuum every crack and crevice in your home on a daily basis. Basic vacuuming is good to do, but you don't need to go crazy about it. Chemical sprays that are sold to use on beds, furniture, and floors are also pesticides that leave dangerous residues in your home that your whole family will be inhaling and in direct contact with. Can you imagine the risk to babies who crawl and play on the floor, or children who sleep in pesticide-covered beds? These items are expensive and not worth the risk. Lice live on people--not in their homes!

7. Some common advice is to bag up all stuffed animals and spare bedding for a few weeks. When I was overwhelmed with our head lice infestation, I simply closed off one room at a time for a day and a half or so, letting any traveling lice die off while there were no humans to reach. I did not bag up anything, didn't vacuum all that well, and didn't wash every item of laundry we owned. By letting a few of the children bunk together in one room and closing off some others, rotating each night, I was able to drastically cut down on how much laundry and vacuuming I had to do. We need to work smarter, not harder, with our actions based on facts rather than myths.

In short, the easiest way to deal with head lice is not to let it happen at all. I cannot tell you that using repellant spray is a guarantee that you or your child won't get head lice. What I can tell you is that if you use it in conjunction with the Robi-Comb, you'll simply be so much less likely to get it, and extremely likely to catch it before it gets to be a big problem.

So What's All This About Regular Lice Products Being Dangerous??

I have been amazed at the number of people who use chemical lice shampoos and seem to have no idea that what they are putting on their children's heads are pesticides. These products carry warnings on them about disposal of pesticide products, and so forth. And yet it doesn't register what the product really is.

I'm not going to reinvent the wheel here. There is some excellent information on the ingredients used in these chemical shampoos at The National Pediculosis Association. Please, if you are in doubt about the dangers of these substances, go read more and make an educated decision.

As is true of most health risks, there are some groups of people that are more likely to experience adverse side effects from the chemicals in lice shampoos. These people are:

-Mothers or caregivers that are pregnant or breastfeeding

-Any child under the age of 2

-All people with cancers of any type

-A person who has already been treated with chemical lice shampoo during the current or a past infestation

-Any child whose home environment or bedding has been sprayed with chemical lice sprays

-Any child suffering from or receiving treatment for epilepsy, AIDS, cancer, asthma, allergies, or any other illness.

-Children currently on medication for anything

-Any person regularly exposed to chemicals such as flea bombs, monthly extermination, yard chemicals, and so on

It is very important to remember that both the person applying the chemical shampoo AND the person getting the shampoo are at risk!