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10 Myths About Lice (& How to Kill Them)

10 Myths About Lice (& How to Kill Them)

One in ten school children catch head lice every year, and despite how common it is, lice remain stigmatized and clouded with myths.

Looking to get rid of head lice? Anahad O’Connor, from New York Times suggests using Cetaphil. In a study involving 133 kids with lice, the subjects treated their condition by “coating the hair with Cetaphil, combing it, then blow-drying it until it hardens and shampooing it out eight hours later.” The treatment had a 95% success rate, when it was carried out once a week for three weeks. Find more non-toxic options here.

Do you have any successful tips for treating lice? Tell us in the comments!

20 Facts About Headlice [Infographic] An infographic by the team at

Safely Eliminating Head Lice


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Megan Zehnder

Megan is an editor and producer for Care2's Healthy Living. Her main priorities are to live simply and build meaningful relationships with the people in her life. She loves to write and talk about environmental issues, healthy living, and women's rights. Beyond that, her interests change daily, but eating and cooking vegetarian food is always a favorite.


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9:19AM PDT on Jun 28, 2013

Another myth is that children of color-namely the ones with kinky hair do not get lice.Yes,they can!

4:22PM PDT on Apr 21, 2013

Many thanks...with school going children they have the habit of occurring once every two years

8:45AM PST on Mar 6, 2013

I've lived through 7 kids, 8 if you count my grandson, getting through elementary school. Lice checks are a monthly routine and head lice run rampant through the schools, especially in the younger grades. I got really good at treating their heads and we used mineral oil and shower caps. Once we took out the oil, we'd rinse with vinegar and water. My kids called it the salad treatment :) Thorough nit picking is key and I have a steel nit comb that was invaluable. When the kids went back to class, they were first thoroughly inspected for nits. The school nurse suggested mixing teatree oil into shampoo to discourage further infestation. I'm so glad all the kids are grown now! Treating for lice gets hard on the eyes.

5:09AM PST on Mar 6, 2013

Thank you Megan, for Sharing this!

11:19AM PST on Mar 5, 2013

Thank god I've never had to deal with them.

11:14AM PST on Mar 5, 2013

I've heard the neem oil and mayonnaise treatments work well, or any oil left on overnight. We got them from swimming at the public pool in our neighborhood. It happened at least twice and now I'm not really keen on the public pool. Way back then we used the poisonous stuff but I think now I'd go for these non toxic modes. Back to the pool??

8:00PM PST on Mar 2, 2013

Good on you for posting this!

8:55PM PST on Mar 1, 2013

Also added tea tree oil to the coconut oil.

8:54PM PST on Mar 1, 2013

The first myth is a myth--my daughter saw them hop when she was treating her kids. What finally worked for her was coconut oil and shower caps --left it on overnight and then thorough nit picking. Also a myth that it is safe for children to go back to school with nits--as long as there ar nits there is a chance of more infestation. Improper treatment is why we still have this problem in 2013! Also treat again 1 week after the initial treatment to get any you missed that have just hatched--it can be very hard to see if you have only a few because they move fast and they breed quickly. The other reason this is still a big problem is that people act ashamed of it and don't tell others that may be exposed--tell everyone the kids have been around--you don't know who had it first but if everyone does not treat they will keep coming back and that is no fun!

11:53AM PST on Mar 1, 2013

Lice are no fun

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