Health + Beauty


Lice is just a fact of elementary school life. There are always outbreaks in classes and getting it doesn’t mean that you, your children, or your house are “unkempt” as a friend of mine declared the other night. For those of us who don’t believe in putting chemicals on our children’s heads, here is the remedy as summed up by my friend Mariko:

1.  A high quality metal comb (I highly recommend Nisska, which is hard to find but if you google search, you can find:
2.  Gallons of Pantene conditioner
3.  Thoroughly comb through a damp head covered with gobs of Pantene, small section by small section (add a sprinkling of baking powder if you are highly motivated). I comb through kids hair with a regular comb first to get out initial tangles and not to pollute brush, before going in with lice comb.
4.  Wipe each comb through on a paper towel (closely survey results):look for actual critters and eggs
5.  Repeat for 14 days (as often as you can in that time period,in the beginning, 2x daily, 1x daily after first week)
6.  Wash all bedding, hats, towels, jackets, clothing. Put stuffed animals in dryer for 20 minutes or bag for 2 weeks.


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Comments (9)


  1. Posted by: Kelly

    You say that you don’t believe in putting chemicals on your child’s head but then recommend Pantene, which only has one natural ingredient: water.

    Is there a specific reason Pantene is listed? Or would a natural conditioner work just as well? What about olive oil?

  2. Posted by: Natalie Gandelsman

    I did this, but it took 4 hours just to get through one 6 year old’s head of not too thick hair!

  3. Posted by: Pilar

    It could be any conditioner that’s white. To your point, I started with an all-natural one but found that Pantene, although not natural, but also not the nepalm that the lice shampoo is, makes things go a lot more smoothly. But thanks for the list of ingredients in Pantene and for catching me in an inconsistency! That was super helpful. The idea is that you need a conditioner that’s white so that it not only traps critters but you can see critters when you wipe them on a paper towel. Just trying to help out here.


  4. Posted by: summer

    although i have yet to experience a lice break out with my three children (hard and loud knock on wood) i do have a wonderful and natural possible remedy or cure: partout by agnes baddoo. it smells so yummy and can be used for more than just a itchy, pesky insect arsenal. you can google agnes baddoo partout or here’s a link for a quicker ref:

    you’re welcome. 😉

  5. Posted by: Mary Beth

    We just went through this, and I highly recommend calling in a professional service and/or looking into the Lousebuster–which kills the lice and their eggs, no chemicals (it’s all hot air). NPR recently did a story on it.

  6. Pingback: monday: best of last week | The Misadventures of Kelly and Kelly

  7. Posted by: carrie

    I second the use of both the pantene conditioner and the nisska comb. Last May, my 2 year old daughter and I came down with lice (one week before our movers were due to come and move our stuff across the country, and I was 7 months pregnant!). We learned about a service out in Kensington (the lice lady) that combed through hair for a fee (it was a lot of money but worth it in our panic to get this eradicated before our big move). She taught us how to rid ourselves of the lice and nits by using these exact materials– even showed us how to wipe the comb on a white paper towel after each brushing to look for the bugs/nits. Very educational–

  8. Posted by: Tori

    There is anther way to go –

    From a friend of mine – who is also a nanny. She comes from El Salvador and this is what they do there to combat lice outbreaks.

    Put shampoo (tea tree oil shampoo is good, but you can use anything) in the affected hair as normal. Take a handful of SAND, yes Sand, and rub it all over your scalp, mixing it with the shampoo and scrubbing vigorously. Rinse. This will get rid of the critters. You might have to repeat it a few times, but it totally works! She swears by it.

  9. Posted by: Tori

    I forgot to say comb the sand and shampoo through the hair before rinsing.

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