By Michele Robert Poche
Share a hug, Share a ride. Share the feelings deep inside. But never share a hat or comb. Or lice could make your head their home.
Borrowed from headlice.org, this poem reminds us that the best defense is a good offense. To keep these nasty critters at bay, it’s recommended that children refrain from sharing personal items including combs, brushes, hair accessories, hats, helmets, scarves, headphones, pillows and towels. Of course, that habit is often completely up to your child.
What can you do to help ward off head lice? Before you invest in any of the potentially hazardous, chemical-laden formulas available on the shelves, consider these all-natural methods of prevention.
Because lice are attracted to clean heads, cut back on traditional shampooing and try using a DIY mixture of baking soda (1 tsp.) and water (1 cup). Follow with a conditioning rinse of apple cider vinegar (1 part) and water (4 parts).
Create your own repellent spray.
Add 3:1:1 drops of pure essential oils* (tea tree, peppermint or lavender) to a full-sized water bottle and spritz liberally on heads before school, camp, parties, sleepovers and play dates. (For easier mixing, the water can be halved with vodka.)
Coconut shampoo and/or coconut oil added to your regular shampoo is a lice deterrent. Better yet, coat the hair with a coconut mask, cover overnight with a shower cap and wash it out in the morning.
* Check with your physician before exposing your child to essential oils as adverse reactions can occur.