It’s what will send every parent running for the hills—those little buggers called lice. With 3 kids, the oldest being 14, apparently it’s a miracle that we just recently experienced the horror of lice for the first time. As I was hit with the reality of finding lice on one of my kids first thing on a Monday morning—yes, that’s when it happened—I immediately called my friend who I knew had gone through the devastating diagnosis with her kids.
I frantically moved into military mode, running to the drugstore to pick up everything my friend told me to get (who am I kidding, I grabbed everything on the lice shelf). Then, I called the school nurse who informed me that in this day and age, the chemical treatments you buy at the drugstore only get about 50% of the bugs. She suggested, instead, a non-chemical treatment of dousing the head in olive oil and wrapping it in saran wrap for at least six hours.
Yes ma’am, Sergeant! My husband and I immediately did this and started praying that it wouldn’t spread to our other two kids or us. Then, I set about stripping every bed in the house, which was followed by loads and loads of towels and clothes. Wash, fold, repeat—all week long. I was exhausted!
I was the laundress and my husband was head delouser, pun intended. Every day for a week, he combed (using lice combs you buy at the drugstore) our three blind lice children and both of us, morning and night. Did I tell you we went into military mode?
I talked to many other moms throughout the week and just about everyone had been through it. I heard about all the tips (more on that below) and I heard about mobile lice extinguishers that will come debug your heads and your home, and also nit-pickers that you go see who will comb through the hair and delouse. Oh, and I heard these places serve wine. Perfect, a parent needs wine when having to deal with a lice infestation in their home.
On Day 6, overwhelmed, worried and fed up, I finally decided to seek professional help. A quick Google search pulled up Lousted! I loved what I read on their website about the non-chemical, 99% surefire treatment that uses a high heating device like a blowdryer to dehydrate the lice, nits and eggs. I was sold and signed us all up to be checked.
The two owners of Lousted, Jessica and Michelle, are moms who went through the lice scare themselves, heard about the device that was developed at the University of Utah, and knew that Austin needed a saving grace like this. They tell me that most of their appointments are same-day appointments or next-day visits.
For a $185 flat fee, you will be treated to the full-service delousing “spa” treatment: the hot air blow-out, a comb through and then an oil treatment that you leave in. For adults, in the afternoon and evening, you’re even offered a glass of wine or beer. Seriously, I might just book a lice spa treatment for fun!
The kids didn’t mind the combing process because Lousted had ipads for them to be entertained with and offered them a bottle of water. They hadn’t seen this royal treatment at home. Four out of five of us were completely clean after a lice comb-through. However, the original host was still active and needed the blow-out. Now, we are thankful that our heads and our home are lice-free, thanks to Lousted.
To make sure our “environment” wasn’t going to reinfect us, we conveniently left town to visit relatives for the weekend. Lice can’t live without a host for more than 24-48 hours. So, us vacating the house for 2 days assured us that those little buggers wouldn’t jump out and get us again.
Hopefully, there won’t be a next time, but if there is, we’re heading straight to Lousted to get de-bugged right away. It’s worth the $185 treatment fee to extinguish the lice, lice baby. They also send the treated person home with their own branded hair oil, which is a combination of grapeseed oil and dimethicone. The combination is non-toxic—dimethicone is used in hair shine products and conditioners and kills lice.
And, now that we are about to be upon “camp season,” this is especially timely. Summer overnight camps are hyper-aware of lice and how it can affect a whole cacophony of campers in record time. Some camps even hire the Lousted ladies to be at camp on opening day to check campers.
What you need to know as a parent with a kid heading off to camp soon is that Loused has Camp Kits, which include a full-sized preventative shampoo and leave-in conditioner to take to camp, a lice comb and free head check upon return from camp. Brilliant! All of my kiddos will be enjoying the time-honored tradition of summer camp this year and I will surely be on the lice lookout.
Lousted owner Michelle said, “Lice can really put you over the edge. Lice is like the great equalizer; it’s in every school.” Be ready if your family is under attack and seek the help of the Loused professionals next time.
LOUSTED Lice Information and At-Home Guide
- Lice live about 30 days – eggs (nits) hatch on day 6-7 and begin laying eggs about day 16.
- Lice cannot live off of the head for more than 2-3 days.
- Lice do not jump or fly; they only crawl very fast.
- A nit cannot hatch once it is pulled off of the head.
- The human head is the louse’s only natural habitat.
- Bedding (sheets, pillowcases and anything that has been in contact with the sleeper) needs to be put in the dryer at the hottest setting for 40 minutes.
- All brushes and hair accessories can be put into the freezer for 2 days.
- Favorite stuff animals or similar items should be dried on the hottest setting for 40 minutes. Alternatively, they can go on a “vacation” for 3 days.
- Couches that have been heavily frequented should be vacuumed.
- Clothes worn in the last 3 days should be dried or set aside for a few days.
- Headrests should be vacuumed or rolled with a lint roller.
- Car seats, backpacks and bath towels should be dried or set aside.
What to do after leaving Lousted?
- Have your child change into a clean shirt.
- Keep the oil on the hair for 1 hour after treatment, and then shampoo.
- You may want to inform people you have been around so they can check themselves for lice.
- One week after treatment, put the provided oil on the scalp for 1 hour and then wash out.
- Keep a lice comb for each person in the shower. While showering, run the comb through the hair 1-2x a week to dislodge any bugs.
- Using shampoo and conditioner with tea tree oil will help deter lice.
- Keep the hair braided, in a bun or tied up at school, sleepovers and camps.
- Have your child bring his/her own pillow to sleepovers. It helps if the pillow is clearly marked or in an unusual color so it doesn’t get mixed up.
- Avoid head-to-head contact.
www.lousted.com / 512-715-4824 (ITCH)
By Marika Flatt