Nits. The one-word granted to strike fear into mums everywhere … and have them immediately scratching their heads.
Horrible little buggers that they are, these lice not only infest the hair of your kids, yourself and other family members, but can hang around on brushes, combs, hair accessories, hats, headphones, clothes, pillows and bedsheets for up to 24 hours. They can even live on eyebrows and eyelashes, feasting on human blood several times a day. Ew.
And it’s bloody hard to get rid of them.
As the mother of two children who possess gorgeous long thick manes, whilst their barnets may be the envy of their peers, their thatches are the bane of mine.
One in four primary school-age children get nits. I should know, I’ve have struggled for the last eight years with them. My daughter is the one who has suffered the most, but short of shaving her hair off, I’ve been at a loss of what to do.
I’ve even used a nit nurse!
While they’re not dangerous, these tiny wingless insects ARE annoying determined little sods and no longer do I think we’ve got rid of them, they crop up on another family member.
We’ve tried everything – plaits in order to try and avoid transmission, expensive medicated creams and lotions promising to destroy the little critters, combing conditioner through every other hour and applying coconut oil with various oils (tea tree, neem, eucalyptus, lavender, aniseed etc) that are meant to stun and kill them.
I even brought in a proper ‘Nit Nurse’ to help rid our family of these parasites, but all to no avail. Even just writing about it now is making my head itch!
An adult louse is tan or greyish white in colour and about the size of a small sesame seed. They move fast, so it’s generally easier to see their eggs than the lice themselves, unless you’re fondly looking at the fruit of your loins – or brushing their hair – when you see one dart across the scalp.
Head lice cannot jump, swim or fly. They walk – or in our case, strut – from one head to another by close, prolonged head contact, and there can be more than one little louse at any time laying its eggs, little oval blobs, on hair strands and close to the scalp. They can be mistaken by dandruff on first glance – but not what you’ve already being initiated into the Nit Club and their nasty little life cycles. If you see, you KNOW.
These blobs are the nits, and if they are white or clear, it means the lice have hatched and just the egg remains. Lice eggs hatch within 1 to 2 weeks after they're laid, so if you spot yellow, tan, or brown nits, it means the lice haven't hatched yet – so get ready to exterminate.
Treat, comb, rinse, repeat
Obviously spotting nits is a giveaway, but the most common clue is the incessant itching. Cue instant dread and belly flips at the next few weeks’ schedule of monotony:
Treat, comb, rinse, sit her on the stool, comb, pick/pull nits of each strand, more treatment, bed. And repeat, and repeat, and repeat, and repeat, and repeat for eternity.
But after trying EVERTHING there’s a new nit-buster in town…
Natural Australian skincare brand MooGoo has listened to its loyal customer base, which has been asking for a natural nit treatment for years, and has just launched its Head Lice & Eggs Destroyer Kit.
And it works. Ye Gads, the bloody thing works!
The trick is to run the lice by applying the Nick Off Nits Cream to dry and detangled hair, from root to tip, ensuring every strand is covered. Cover the scalp with the cute ‘cow’ shower cap and let it work its magic.
Then section the hair with a comb, ensuring to comb through at least five times from root to tip using MooGoo’s Lice Trap Comb, wiping the trapped lice and nits on a tissue at the end of each comb through.
Gross, but at least you see the proof it’s working. Then rinse hair under running water (not a bath!) and blow dry the hair so the dryer blasts any sticklers or ones you may have missed.
Melody Livingstone, CEO of MooGoo, gives her tips to keep the nits at bay:
- Make sure you clean the comb under hot running water and remove all traces. We advise the treatment is repeated as often as required, at least once every day for nine to ten days.
- Also wash hats, hair accessories, brushes, clothes and bedding
“Treating nits isn’t anybody’s favourite job, but our kit makes it as fun, easy and safe as possible for both children and adults, she says. “We don’t use insecticides as it doesn’t fit into our ingredient philosophy.
“Instead, we developed a unique delivery system for essential oils that helps them penetrate into the lice more effectively, and this means we need a much smaller amount.
“Children are much more sensitive to strong smells than most adults, so we’ve made sure it smells nice. We also don’t use silicones like dimethicone for environmental reasons as they don’t break down in the water system.”
Huzzah. I’ve been doing this for more than two weeks now and can safely say our household is currently nit free. And long may it continue to be!
MooGoo is an entire range of natural and gentle products, designed for babies and people with sensitive, easily irritated skin. MooGoo started out in CEO Craig Jones’s home, when he was searching for something to help his mother, who suffers from dermatitis and psoriasis. As the only cream that had worked for his mum was a cream used on dairy cows, he decided to come up with his own version and whipped up a natural cream in his kitchen. His 'Udder Cream' cleared up his mother's skin condition and he was inundated with friends and family wanting it too. MooGoo now sells an eczema every one minute and 45 seconds. The rest is history! For more information visit moogoo.com.au