It’s the moment every parent dreads.
Your darling, all peaches and cream, starts to itch. Usually, of course it is the perfect week for nits to arrive. You’ve plenty of free time, you don’t mind at all if it spreads to you or the rest of the family.
The bad news: this incredibly common infestation is hard to get rid of, and the claims of the many potions on the market – to kill the blighters in one fell swoop – are sadly exaggerated.
The good news: with the right application you can delouse, and if all else fails there is a seriously effective back up plan, in the shape of The Hairforce. (More on this later)
We began with the kinds of chemical solutions that promise to get rid of things Once. Ha. We did it three times over two weeks, and still fresh eggs and small bugs crawling around her ears. I then went Nitty Gritty, and started to comb.
After a further three weeks I was feeling smug – until I found another crop. At this stage, and on the advice of two expert mother / friends, I went to the experts.
Oh gosh it is like an anti-nit Valhalla. There are branches across the country but we headed to the mothership in London’s Primrose Hill.
My daughter, my son and I were invited to sit in our three massage-style chairs. Ipads were turned on. The self styled Lice Assassins, in white coats with utility belts of anti-louse weaponry and magnifying goggles set to work.
1. They section the hair, then vacuum along the scalp collecting lice and eggs (nits).
2. They use a specially designed hot air machine to dehydrate any remaining nits.
3. You then return seven days later for a check, and any final removal.
It was amazing. The cost is substantial – generally 100 for the first 90 minute clear out and 50 for the second one hour appointment. But if you think of it in terms of time and mental energy, it can look like money brilliantly spent.
DIY Nit Removal
If you can’t make it to The Hairforce (who also will do home visits), they sell a Home Assassination Kit, including a sectioning comb and a metal nit comb (18.33).
Elsewhere the Nitty Gritty comb is a very popular choice.
*Comb the hair through with conditioner, so the nits cannot easily move through the hair.
*Comb from scalp to hair tip, removing any nits from the comb
*Complete the whole process twice each session
*Repeat the whole process every three days until the scalp is clear.
Facts About Nits
–Nits look a bit like sesame seeds, and lice like tiny flies
–They breed like crazy. A female lice lays 10 eggs a day, and lives for around 30 days: that’s 300 eggs per female per month.
–A study by the National Public Health Service for Wales Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre in Cardiff found that 80% of the time lice were immune to products applied to eradicate them.
Myths About Nits
– You can kill them with teetree oil: there’s no science to back this up.
– They only like dirty hair: sadly untrue.
– My child keeps being given nits by school friends: it is far more likely you never got every last one, and the infestation has picked itself up again.