As we approach the beginning of the school year I cringe at the thought of the dreaded little creatures I now know inhabit my child’s school (as well as most other ones). Ignorance truly was bliss last year. I had no idea of the prevalence of lice in elementary schools or the likelihood that my child would be exposed to it. Perhaps growing up in a household where we never had lice and never knew anyone that had it created an unrealistic expectation.
The funny thing is that when we had lice I turned to my friends in my moments of despair. It was only then that I learned that two of my closest childhood friends had lice when they were younger. I never knew! Then again, why would I. Even now people don’t talk about having lice – unless you are new inductee to the lice infested club. Once you’re in the club a wide array of information becomes available to you. I can’t help but wonder if we’d be better off if that information was part of our daily conversation instead of when a child comes home with lice.
I’m still a little perturbed that my school district does NOT notify parents when your child has been exposed to lice. Perhaps if they did I might have looked up preventative measures and would not still itch at the least provocation! At any rate, I am determined to share what I learned and make sweet lemonade out of that nasty, moldy, disgusting batch of lemons which was my experience with lice.
My daughter already knows that her beautiful, luscious curly hair will be pulled back and smelling like peppermint every day she is in school. I don’t care that her friends might think she smells like a candy cane! We have a friend who has amazing hair. She’s only about 8 but her hair is that of legend! I aways wondered why her mother never left her hair out. As a matter of fact, I remember thinking what was the point of having such amazing hair if you never left it loose. Now I know!
On my end, I have destroyed my hair. Thankfully it is chin length and fairly thick. I still remember the first day I went into a salon after treating my own hair for lice and combing through my naturally coarse hair with the lice comb. The stylist almost fell over. She was shocked at how broken and damaged my hair was. It didn’t help that I didn’t leave myself enough time to stay for a deep conditioning treatment. I tried to explain myself, but she clearly had not had a customer who had broken off half of her hair trying to comb out lice.
If you have black hair and get lice, I’m not sure what to tell you. The only saving grace for my daughter is that she is of mixed ethnicity and her hair is more like her father’s. I was in between relaxers so I had a significant amount of new growth which was coarse hair. There are new heat treatments that will kill the lice and the nits but you still need to comb through the hair to remove the remnants and check for any missed ones.
The lice combs don’t work for my hair. I just had to decide that less hair was better than more lice. Here is an opportunity for a savvy inventor to come up with a special treatment for black hair, because we do get lice and shaving out heads is not always a viable option. If there is a treatment out there already, please let me know so I can share it.
I’m going to be visiting with a local lice treatment center in the coming weeks. I will bring back some tips for managing lice and lice prevention. Here’s hoping you have a happy August – free of creepy little critters!