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Effective Lice Treatment Without Toxic Chemicals

02.05.13 Effective Lice Treatment Without Toxic Chemicals

 non toxic lice treatment

Of course every parent dreads their child coming home with lice. But the reality is, if you have school aged children, there's a good chance your child will be affected. How often have you received that letter from the school nurse notifying you that a child in your kid's classroom has lice?

It's estimated that 6-12 million people are infected with lice each year in the US, most commonly among kids ages 3-11. And even though lice can't fly, jump or hop, they sure can get around. 

It's also common for the majority of lice-infected families to panic and opt for the conventional, over-the-counter remedies like NIX or RID, both of which contain pesticides. Both of these common treatments contain permethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid (pesticide). They also contain formaledhyde, parabens, phthalates and other unnecessary chemicals. RID also advises proper ventilation while using their product and to avoid using on individuals with asthma. That's because there are loads of toxins present! And they aren't even effective!

Prescription based treatments often contain lindane. Both permethrin and lindane are readily absorbed through skin and have been linked to neurological problems. Lindane, an organophosphate pesticide (and known carcinogen)  has also been linked to ADHD. And furthermore, lindane, referred to by the EPA as "one of the most toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative pesticides ever registered," has been banned for use in farming and in pet products, but not in products used on children's heads!?

Recently, Rep. Markey (Mass) asked the FDA to ban the use of lindane in shampoos. His reasoning? "The cure is worse than the disease."

How to safely and effectively treat lice?

To get back to a happy head, we recommend using the Happyheads kits for the most effective and safest head lice treatment available. Here's why we like Happyheads products:

  • Free of pesticides, made with natural ingredients
  • Safe for all ages
  • FDA registered treatment
  • Easy to use, no messy gels or foams
  • Economical: one kit treats a family of 4!
  • Smells good and it works!

Happyheads is unique in that the shampoo contains a formula of enzymes that actually break down the exoskeleton of the lice, causing them to die very quickly. Also of importance, it is impossible for lice to develop a resistance to enzymes, unlike synthetic pesticides to which insects are rapidly developing an immunity.

We also carry both the shampoo and conditioner/combing solution individually for follow up or future treatments after purchasing the kit. You can re-use the nit picking comb if you wash in very hot water.

For preventative care (especially when word is out about a friend/classmate with lice), we recommend your child use the scootie-cootie shampoo and leave-in conditioner. Lice have difficulty laying their eggs on hair coated lightly with the conditioner and further aren't terribly thrilled about the scents of tea tree, peppermint, lavender, and lemongrass essential oils. The organic lice repellent shampoo and conditioner leave hair soft, shiny, conditioned and smelling great, just not to lice. As a prevention method, use this shampoo once/week in place of regular shampoo and better yet...pack this along for camp.

Happyheads also makes a spray repellent made from essential oils of geranium, lemongrass and peppermint essential oils that can also be used as a prevention method. Use this on head and shoulders but also on furniture, bedding and car seats for another form of prevention.

Other tips to prevent lice:

  • Never let your kids share hats, helmets, brushes, combs, hair ties, bath towels and even wigs!
  • Wear longer hair in braids or a tight bun.
  • Blow dry hair: dry heat kills lice and their eggs.
  • Avoid over-washing hair...lice prefer clean hair!
And most importantly, prevention starts with checking your child's head routinely and having the appropriate shampoo on hand in the event that lice need to be treated quickly. Catching the cycle early helps to avoid an infestation. And in the event that someone in your family does have lice -- patience is key. Arm yourself with a safe, non toxic treatment and a nit comb and you'll be ok.
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