Tips for How to Deal With Head Lice

I was holding off doing this post because well — quite frankly I was not sure if I was even going to write it at all because it means showing you pictures of what I now look like and talking about something that has had my skin crawling all week long.

Last week was my birthday. I turned 39 and was having a pretty good day when my youngest boy, Trace came home from school with a note that someone in his class had a case of lice.

Okay, so this wasn’t unusual. I mean it’s pretty common practice to get these kinds of letters sent home. We know the teachers and health unit check the kids all the time.  What I wasn’t prepared for the note attached to the first note which stated it was MY KID who was the one who had lice!

Lice are gross!  I don’t care that the experts say they are harmless and more of an annoyance.  They are GROSS!  I don’t know about you but the idea of having bugs crawling around in my hair isn’t exactly what I would call a good time.

So there I was celebrating my birthday and now panicking because my kid has been detected as having lice.  And, oh boy did he have it!

We immediately went into the house and I shaved Trace’s hair. He’s a boy so it’s no big deal giving him a crew cut. In fact, he looks quite cute with it. Plus shorter hair makes dealing with the lice and nits easier.

Trace had almost 20 bugs (lice) on his scalp and over two dozen nits which I combed out after treating him with the Lice Shampoo I got which works really great. Of course, he screamed and hated it.

Being that Trace has a sensory disorder, putting scissors or even a razor anywhere near him is a big no-no. He hadn’t even let me run a brush through his hair and he was five years old. So, I knew this was NOT going to be fun.

“Trace please let mommy shave your hair off.” I begged him.

“No!” he screamed. 

“Why not? Honey it will make getting rid of the bugs so much easier.”

“It’s gonna hurt.” His little face stared at me with fear. 

Great! I had no idea what to do. I had to get rid of the bug and his hair was longer than it should be anyway. He was due for a haircut, which usually ended in both of us crying because of having to hold him down while I snip off his blonde strands.

Trace sat squirming in his chair with lice in his hair on the verge of tears while I tried to figure out what to do. I glanced at the razor next to me on the counter, and can you guess what I did? Yep, you got it!

I grabbed the razor and before I could even think about it, I ran it down the center of my head.

“Mommy!” Trace shouted looking at me. 

“See it doesn’t hurt,” I told him. 

Trace pondered what I had done. If MOMMY could shave her head then maybe he could too. For the next fifteen minutes, I let him guide the razor over his beautiful blonde locks with my help and we got rid of most of the dead bugs, which only left combing out any nits to be found.

Now, I know what you are thinking. Why on earth would you shave your head Jodi?

There are certain things I can handle in this life. Bugs are not one of them. You can put a snake around my neck and let its slithering tongue kiss my cheek. You can place a rat on my shoulder and I won’t scream. But put a bug anywhere near me, and I’m clawing the roof shrieking like a banshee gone wild.

That wasn’t the reason though I sat there with the middle of my head shaved. I’m a mother and as a mother you want your child to be happy. I didn’t want Trace being afraid of the razor. What better way to prove to him that it didn’t hurt than for mommy to show him.

Me with my head shaved.

It’s only hair and it will grow back. I got rid of the lice easily and now it’s much easier to do my hair. In all honesty, though, I only shaved it for my son. His comfort meant more to me than the way I look. Even if that look makes me resemble a short balding fat man.

Now I have to wait for my hair to grow, and this won’t ever be a birthday I forget. Aside from the haircuts, we had to bag all the stuffed animals, wash the bedding, vacuum the furniture. Getting rid of lice is downright nasty.

Tip: If you notice your child has head lice and you have no lice shampoo on hand. Use vaseline mixed with tea tree oil. The vaseline slows lice down so they can’t run and the tea tree oil poisons them slowly.

It’s been a week since my birthday and I’m still itchy even though all the bugs are gone. Trace knows now not to share hats or anything at school with the other kids to help prevent the spread of lice, and I pray he never gets it again.

Have you ever had to deal with lice?


  1. mariam October 28, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Hi jodi ! Omg! I can't believe you shaved ur head! I have lice for over 3 months now and I have long black thick hair and I would never ever even think of cutting my hair! You r so brave! I'm 30 years old and I have no idea where I caught lice from ! I mean I don't have any kids and I live alone! Having lice is so annoying and gross as u said but its not something you should be ashamed of! Its so normal and comman to have lice. I use lice shampoo once a week I comb my hair daily with the nit comb but it doesn't seem to work ! I still have lice and nits and when I say nits I mean 100s and 100s of nits! Wish me luck and please share any lice solutions u have other than shaving my head off ;p

    1. Jodi Shaw - Site Author October 28, 2012 at 10:22 pm

      Use tea tree oil and for your hair I'd smother it with vasaline! It suffocates them as they die, then use the treatment like two days later to wash your hair. Then keep using the tea tree oil and totally go through the house by putting everything in garbage bags or washing in hot water. And I'm not brave lol I'm scared of BUGS! lol πŸ˜›

    2. mariam October 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      Lol thanks jodi ! I'm gonna try tea tree oil ! Hope it works!

    3. Jodi Shaw - Site Author October 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      I hope it does too and hope it relieves some of your stress!

  2. pam October 23, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I've dealt with lice a few times in my parenthood career, but never had lice myself. That is a huge shock, because my kids are always right on top of me, or in bed with me. Hope they are gone and maybe you'll grow to love your new look.


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