Most parents shudder when they see that big note on the school entry, saying that there are head lice going around and that everyone should check their children’s hair.
If you then have children with really long tightly curly hair, or even worse, dreadlocks! You can imagine how I feel about this topic.
If we load up with conditioner and patience I could probably comb through my daughters hair with that extremely fine tooth comb. But there is no way I can do the same with my son’s dreadlocks.
So I am determined to prevent that from ever happening.
How do I plan on doing that?!
I know I can never be 100% sure that my kids will never get head lice, but here is what I do to prevent it:
I spray my sons dreadlocks (he would probably say that I drench them more than spray ;)) every morning before school with a head lice prevent spray that I buy at our local pharmacy. It is called “Linicin prevent spray”. It contains castor oil and is a very mild and safe spray to use that does not contain any insecticides.
This spray lightly coats the hair, but since we use a sulfate based shampoo for his dreads this spray works well for him.(se post on washing dreads here)
If I feel that I want to give his hair some extra protection I will also put some coconut oil on the dreads.
Yes, I said coconut oil! I love coconut oil! Did you know that coconut oil actually helps to prevent and kill head lice by suffocating them? The main ingredient in the head lice prevention spray is also thick oil (castor oil) that works similarly to the coconut oil.
So since I don´t want to put anything drying om my other children’s hair, I simply use coconut oil generously to seal in moisture after we wash the hair as well as in our moisturizing sprits.
In addition you can keep the hair braided or twisted and preferably up in some kind of bun to further prevent these unwelcome creatures. The risk of getting lice is much higher if you have long hair that is swinging around, brushing against furniture and other people’s hair. You can also teach your kids not to borrow or let others use their hats or caps and if you line the winter hats with a satin lining, you make it even more difficult for the lice to hide there.
There is a myth that head lice don´t like “afro hair” but that is not true. The truth is that the risk of getting head lice is reduced quite a bit if you use oils and hair products that make the hair slippery and thus making it harder for the lice to attach their eggs. If you also keep the hair braided or twisted, you decrease the risk even further.