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Author Topic: does getting a perm help get rid of head lice?
Heidi
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I need help with head lice treatment;what works best?i want some of those old home remedy's please;does getting a perm help?
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Lady Moon Shadows
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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no beautician will touch your hair until the lice is gone.

if you are giving yourself a home perm--all you are likely to get is frizzy hair--

sure the chemical may kill the lice--but I seriously doubt it will help.

You need a medication such as RID lice remover or something along those lines...

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janiceff
Deck the Malls


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Hi Heidi, welcome to snopes SLC.
My mother told me that back on the farm they treated lice but cutting the hair to about 1 inch and scrubbing the head with kerosene. I prefer the commercial products in any pharmacy. I don't know about the perm thing but you'd have to do it yourself. The beauty shop will kick you out pronto if they any detect head lice.
Another suggestion - Have you dont a web search for "lice treatments"?
janice"nit-picking"ff

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Heidi
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Thank you; I have done some research and was just hoping someone would have a cure all;I have 2 girls and me that have it; I have to wait for my husband to come home and comb out my hair;i'm at the point to were i just want to cut all our hair off! Thanks again!
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Sparverius, Budgerigar of Fate
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You should be able to get some delouser at the local drugstore. Or a far-away drugstore, where they don't know you, if you're embarrassed. But don't be, it happens all the time. Been there, done that.
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Van Couver
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Same as the others said..

Get a shampoo and a thick Comb for them.

I had lice when I was about 8 years old.

And with those two things I didn't even have to cut my hair.

Which was about shoulderlong by then.

Wish I could be more detailed...but it is almost 20 years later now.

bg
Van Couver

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Terilyn, Moodist Monk
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Want to talk about embarrasing? I had head lice when I was a senior in high school! I was 18! And the thing is, I didn't know I had it for weeks-I tend to have dandruff flare up from time to time and since I'd never had lice before, I stupidly thought the itching was just bad dandruff. Needless to say, when the itching continued and I found a bug in my hair, I totally freaked out. I went immediately and bought some RID and I used it every day as regular shampoo, thinking it was a surefire way to get rid of lice. It wasn't. For some reason, either the stuff didn't work for me or I was using it wrong. So I tried soaking my head under nearly boiling hot water (didn't work), soaking my head in olive oil (didn't work), combing my hair for an hour with a special "lice" comb (didn't work), leaving conditioner in overnight (didn't work), etc...going to class every day was torture because I was so afraid someone would either notice me scratching my head or god forbid, catch it from me! It was hell!!! Finally I had to resort to letting my grandmother in on it, as much as I hated to admit I was 18 with head lice, and she went out and bought some extra strength Rid-like product, and she squirted all over my dry head and rubbed it into my hair and scalp for a good hour. It sucked. It was painful and it stunk. But when she rinsed my head, and my hair got dry, there was no more lice!!

I still cringe when I think about it though. Blug.

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moonlight
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I had it when I was about 10 or so, and I do remember there being specific instructions that came with the RID or whatever it was.

You need to use it once, to kill the living bugs, then use the nit comb, to remove the eggs. The shampoo kills the live bugs, but not the eggs. If you still have eggs in your hair, they could hatch and the cycle continues.

Then they give you a time period when you need to shampoo again (I believe it's a week or two weeks) and this kills any bugs that may have hatched from eggs left behind.

Also, I think there a special product you can use on your couches and car interiors and anywhere else that is upholstered and you may have come in contact with but cannot wash. If you don't make sure you take care of that as well, they may come back.

BTW, welcome to the board, and just so you know, NFBSK is for posting Urban Legend-related topics of an, um, adult nature.

Questions like this can be posted in the SLC or medical.

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Avril
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I was 14. It was the very beginning of high school. I may not have loved my appearance, but I had thick hair to my waist I was very proud of.

I also had lice.

I tried shampoos and combs and nothing worked. No hairdresser would touch me, so my mother got a book on haircutting. She chopped off all my hair, leaving me with a layers about four inches long all over my head. I went through the shampoo and comb cycle again a few more times, and the lice was gone.

People asked why I cut my hair. I was evasive. Only my best friend was in on my secret. It was my sophomore year before I looked normal again, with a bob that ended just below my chin.

Then, a few weeks later we read in the paper that if you get a jar or two of real mayonnaise (real being the key word here--no Miracle Whip), saturate your hair and especially your scalp in it, and tie it all up in a plastic bag, the lice will suffocate. You can then proceed with fine-toothed combing, and repeat (as you would with RID) a week or so later. The only benefits to this method are the cost and the fact that there are no harsh chemicals involved.

Anyway, it is crucial to ensure that everything treated. Wash all the sheets, spray all the upholstered furniture, and anything that can't be washed or sprayed that might be infested should be sealed in a plastic bag for a month or so (such as pillows). Vacuum the carpet and spray it, too.

Then, rent some movies and lock yourself up with a lot of cookies and ice cream.

Avril "been there, done that, and graduated high school with hair to my waist"

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Chava
The Red and the Green Stamps


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When my kids had lice I used Nix. It kills the nits as well as the eggs so you don't have to do the nit-comb part unless you have so many that they are obvious and unsightly. It only took one treatment for them.

You probably should clean or replace everything you have that can come into contact with hair. Pillows, bedding, sofa, combs and brushes, car seat backs, etc.

I think it's nearly impossible to get through grade school without catching them, at least for girls. It's only a little unusual to have them at 18. All it takes is one of those sessions in the bathroom where you borrow a comb or brush from someone.

Chava

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hautdesert
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Count me as another one who had lice for some time and didn't know it (I was about 13). Finally one day I found a bug and told my mom, who took me to the doctor. The doctor called in another, younger doctor to see my amazing case of lice. (She wasn't rude about it or anything, it was just that bad an infestation.) At that time, you had to get a prescription for the anti-louse stuff, which I believe was called Quell. Then we did the combing routine, with a special comb from the drugstore. But not all the nits would come out, and the school wouldn't let me back into class unless the nurse pronounced me nit- and louse-free. So I had to get my hair cut very, very short. But I survived it. It really is very easy to get lice, and if you have to get your hair cut it'll grow back.

(At the time, the Dr. advised throwing everything washable in the machine, but not to worry much about, say, the mattress or the couch cushions unless we saw lice on them. They didn't come back, so I guess the advice was decent.)

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Avril
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Chava:
I think it's nearly impossible to get through grade school without catching them, at least for girls. It's only a little unusual to have them at 18. All it takes is one of those sessions in the bathroom where you borrow a comb or brush from someone.

Actually, it doesn't even take that. I was fastidious about not using anyone else's comb or brush. I baby-sat some kids who had lice (the mother didn't tell me ahead of time [Furious] ). I got it from the furniture.

Avril

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Nightfall
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Needless to say, when the itching continued and I found a bug in my hair, I totally freaked out. I went immediately and bought some RID and I used it every day as regular shampoo, thinking it was a surefire way to get rid of lice. It wasn't. For some reason, either the stuff didn't work for me or I was using it wrong. -- Terilyn[/QB]
Terilyn, perhaps you were using the lice shampoo wrong. I'm not sure if you were or not, but you are supposed to let RID shampoo sit in your hair for ten minutes before you wash it out. But I can not say for certain based on your description.

Heidi, I would also suggest, in addition to RID or similar shampoo, getting one of the spray cans filled with insecticide designed to kill lice on furniture. Sometimes you'll find a kit that has both the shampoo and the insecticide in it. Perhaps once you have gone through both shampooings, get your hair permed or dyed. It might help against getting your hair reinfected.

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Morgaine La Raq Star
The "Was on Sale" Song


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No advice for getting rid of lice but I wanted to pass on something that some see as true but it's not.
There is a persistent thought pattern that blacks cannot get head lice. This is *not* true. This is the 'something you've learned' for the day.

Mor 'I hate checking heads!'-gaine

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I once worked at a group home for adolescent girls. Girls borrow EVERYTHING from each other, and all twelve of 'em got lice. Nix worked for all, but combing through a bunch of teen girls's hair, as well as stuffing all the pillows and such in the joint into plastic bags was just not my idea of fun...

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Kendra
Let It Wasabi


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Is anyone else scratching their heads just from reading this post?

I teach day care and have to do a head check every month or so on everyone and we usually find quite a few cases a year. At the begining of the school year we usually have a bit of a staff meeting devoted to detection. I've known some other teachers who have caught lice from their kids, a former co-worker had to be treated 5 times because she just couldn't get them all. (she was 22 at the time)

Having lice is nothing to be embarassed about. The like clean hair.

Kendra (going to go check my head now)

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angel161718
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Yep, my head is itching. I had lice when I was about seven, and then again when I was fourteen. The problem then was that I would get rid of them and then they would come back over and over again. It took probably two months to figure out that some kids on my bus had them and their mother was doing nothing to get rid of them. I went through about ten bottles of the nix stuff, the special comb everything...it was painful, embarrassing, and smelly. [Frown]
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murphyl
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew!!! My head is itching and I feel all icky. I've never had lice in my life, and I'm so terrified of getting them. I bet I'm gonna have nightmares about lice tonight. I need to take a shower now!!

Sorry for the freakout. My neighbor and her kids got lice a few years ago. It was the first time I'd ever been around someone who had lice that I knew of. I wouldn't go near them! I felt really bad, but that's how paranoid about lice I am. Then, about a month ago, I was talking with a friend. She told me about all the times she had lice and it was so bad. I had nightmares that night that I had lice. I woke up and had my husband check my head. [Embarrassed] EEK!!

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Heidi
The Red and the Green Stamps


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First let me say I'm sorry for posting this on the wrong place;I'm new to this and when i noticed it was in the wrong place i tried to move it and i couldn't, so I'm sorry;Second, I'm sorry for all the itching we are all doing it here too;I've done the mayo thing with my girls today and rinsed their hair after with vinegar and did the lice comb and found dead lice and got the nits real easy;then when their heads were dry(but oily from the mayo)i did that lice comb again and only found a few nits and I did the lice comb thing again before they went to bed and found only 1 nit on each head; I however have had mayo on my head since 9 am and it is now almost 11pm;i've got my head all up in a shower cap I have to wait for my husband to get home from work to do my head; wish me luck; OH and it put noxema around my girls heads were the bites were and it stopped the itching and kept the bugs away from that area;thank you everyone!
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murphyl
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Good luck! May the force be with you! [Smile]
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Heidi
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Ya know thank you! I need the force, badly! And any other thing that will help;I'm starting to ponder the bald look for women!the hair will grow back, right?and think of the money and time i will save;yes i'm that desperate!
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Spam & Cookies-mmm
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Harvard, surprisingly, has a good site about lice.

We had headlice in our house last summer - that's 4 long haired girls. We happened to have a pesticide-resistant strain that just swam around in the Nix and Rid brands. The doctor refused to prescribe Kwell, which is a serious pesticide. Instead, he recommended the mayonnaise trick - coat every strand of hair with mayo (not low fat) and sleep on it. That worked, but we had to do it several times, and wash with dishwashing soap (we used Dawn) which cuts the greasy mayo and also seemed to kill off the bugs.

Don't let anyone talk you out of picking out the nits. The school will not let kids back into class until they are certified nit free by the health nurse. There are some pretty good metal nit combs you can get at the drug store. The ones that come with the shampoo work well, but break eventually, especially if you have more than one head to deal with. Don't bother with the round tined ones. They don't help.

We made it through this with all of our hair intact. You can too.

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taiohi wahine
The Red and the Green Stamps


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If you can't get rid of them with lice control products, try flea killer for pets. Make sure that its safe for you to put on your skin first, and check the pack.

Use it as a last resort.. it works!

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Wingman
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by taiohi wahine:
If you can't get rid of them with lice control products, try flea killer for pets. Make sure that its safe for you to put on your skin first, and check the pack.

Use it as a last resort.. it works!

I would think the last resort would involve charcoal starter & a woodburning kit! [Big Grin]

Wing "Beats wearing that unsightly collar" Man

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingman:
I would think the last resort would involve charcoal starter & a woodburning kit! [Big Grin]

Don't laugh. An old folk remedy is kerosene. I'm sure it works, but it's very dangerous.

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trash
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Oh head lice horrors-been there done that.
Flea shampoo for dogs had the same killing ingredient as most lice shampoos. Same with flea spray, don't use the spray on your hair...the furniture. The Mayo/Vinegar treatment doesn't kill the lice, it loosens the nits from your hair. The combing is still needed just to make extra sure you got it out.
If you think your kids are picking it up from school, tell the teacher every single time.
My daughter caught lice repeatedly one school year from the girl she sat next to. A change in seating solved our problem.

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xest
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Heidi asked:
quote:
I need help with head lice treatment;what works best?i want some of those old home remedy's please;does getting a perm help?
I bet you are not black. You can ask your black friends.
But if your perm is really afro-style, perhaps it would make lousy life unbearably hard and they’ll die.

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moonlight
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by trash:
A change in seating solved our problem.

And I would hope removal of the infested girl until she got rid of her little pals.

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trash
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Common sense would hope they removed her....but no. [Furious]
Afro perms will not kill lice, they really do not care about the texture of hair very much. Shaving or cutting off your hair doesn't kill them because they like to crawl around on your scalp. Those electronic lice killing combs are a joke. The only way to be rid of them is treatment and and getting every nit off of the hair shafts.

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underwired
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I remember the whole class trooping down to the health room in elementary school to get our heads checked. It was a regular thing. There was this huge poster up on the wall of a close up of a head lice, and that kept us kids facinated while we were waiting.

In Hawaii, we call head lice "ukus" (oo-koo) If anyone in school was unfortunate to have 'em, the kids would chant "(fill in name) get da ukus"

"Barry get da ukus, Barry get da ukus" (10 points for reference--Hawaii people ought to get it. 50 points for a mainlander getting it!)

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Madwoman
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Another remedy is to use tea tree oil, as it kills the adults. Add to your shampoo, shampoo the hair, rinse and repeat. When you rinse again, the adult bugs start to fall out. Then saturate the hair with conditioner and comb through to get the eggs out (take a while this bit though). A tea tree spray repels the lice (add a few drops to a water spray and apply daily.....

Funnily enough, I was eading the "What are finger nails for" thread before coming to this one. I've often wondered what function head lice serve, myself...

Mad "Apart to make you itch just thinking about them" Woman.

(Edited because I can't spell!)

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B Hamilton
Xboxing Day


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Trash mentioned it but I will bring it up again: Dog flea and tick shampoo. I have taught in a school with a real problem with lice. I usually had 4 or more kids in my class with lice. Dog flea and tick shampoo works great and is very much cheaper than Rid, etc. Do pick off the nits and wash all sheets and pillows and dry them in the dryer.

My 5 kids and I never got lice but at least once a month, as a precaution, I used the dog shampoo and looked for nits. The dog shampoo leaves a little of the "active" ingredients in the hair to kill lice that hatch between shampoos. Nothing kills the eggs (nits) so you may have to shampoo several times if you don't get the nits out.

Bev

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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The vet told us not to use human shampoo on our dog because dogs have alkaline skin while human's is more acidic. I would assume that the precaution works in the opposite direction - don't use dog shampoo on a human.

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B Hamilton
Xboxing Day


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I don't know the pH of dog skin versus human skin but I can tell you that occassionally using the wrong pH shampoo on any skin isn't going to cause permanent harm. My grandparents used lye soap and I doubt if the pH was ever checked. Only in recent years have shampoos even been pH balanced.

Bev

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moonlight
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by B Hamilton:
I don't know the pH of dog skin versus human skin

Human skin is between 4.5 - 5.5. Dunno what a dog's skin is. But we humans are on the acidic side.
quote:
but I can tell you that occassionally using the wrong pH shampoo on any skin isn't going to cause permanent harm.

But it's probably not so good for your hair, especially if you have chemically-treated hair. Those slimy conditioners that come with hair dye are acidic rinses to balance out the pH after coloring. If you just put an alkaline substance on your hair and don't condition it back, it will probably look pretty fried.
Bringing hair to an alkaline pH is what opens up the cuticle to allow for a perm solution or hair color to be saturated into the hair. Bringing it back to the acid level closes the cuticle with the chemical inside. This is also why hair loses its dye or turns green in pool water; the chemicals in the pool are opening the hair shaft.

I'm not even sure what kind of chemicals are in RID, but after any kind of lice treatment, you should probably deep condition your hair, just for good measure.

quote:
My grandparents used lye soap and I doubt if the pH was ever checked. Only in recent years have shampoos even been pH balanced.

Well, I think that's why products are getting better and better as we progress. [Wink]

moon "beauty school dropout" light

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Urban Legends Reference Pages

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