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Head lice - treat or KBO with the Nitty Gritty?

(24 Posts)
fatfloosie Wed 22-May-13 10:06:46

I bought a Nitty Gritty when nits were first mentioned at nursery and have used it pretty much weekly ever since. DD is now in YR and had lice for the first time when we came back from a week's holiday during the Easter break - a week when I didn't use the Nitty Gritty.

So on that comb through on 14 April she had about 30 lice, of which about 10 were big ones and there were 2 big ones on me. Next day I got a few more out and since then we have continued with weeklyish comb throughs and found nothing.

Last Friday morning she was itching again so we jumped in the bath and combed quickly before school and there were about 10 lice including 3 or 4 big ones (and none on me).

Friday evening I combed her again and there were 2 big ones and some tiny things that probably weren't anything. DD's hair is so fine that you can see her scalp clearly when it's wet so I find it hard to believe I could have missed two big ones that morning and am presuming she picked these up at school.

Combed us both again last night and found nothing.

So, my gut feeling is that I'm fine with the Nitty Gritty and she is just constantly being reinfected at school. However, I have this nagging worry that the Nitty Gritty is just keeping them at bay rather than getting rid of them (and therefore DD has low-level lice all the time) and I now have DP wanting me to treat her as he doesn't think the Nitty Gritty is working.

Any advice gratefully received. I have never found any eggs/nits, only lice

EasterHoliday Wed 22-May-13 10:08:21

Maybe you're not getting the eggs and that's why a couple of weeks later they're hatching and you've got new ones, rather than reinfestation? that's the rationale behind always having to treat twice iwth the shampoos. I'd definitely treat (twice)

fatfloosie Wed 22-May-13 10:28:26

It's not a couple of weeks though EasterHoliday, it's five weeks. Could that still be the same infestation?

PassTheTwiglets Wed 22-May-13 12:52:22

I don't mean to sound patronising but do you know what eggs look like? I think you're missing the eggs and that it is the same infestation - it seems impossible to have all those lice without finding any eggs. Usually it's the other way around - lods of eggs and just a handful of lice. Are you using lots of conditioner on the hair when combing and wiping after each stroke? If you wipe onto plain white kitchen towel the eggs look like tiny dots made with a brown biro.

Chopstheduck Wed 22-May-13 12:54:56

tbh I found the nitty gritty pretty useless. I bought a bottle of Full marks, and the comb in that was better, and got rid of them straight away. I tried to hold off too, using the nitty gritty, but it simply didn't work. It will pull out the lice but miss the tiny eggs.

PassTheTwiglets Wed 22-May-13 12:56:33

Nitty Gritty does get rid of the eggs if used properly! I'll often see maybe just 2 or 3 eggs on DD's hair but when I use the Nitty Gritty I'll get dozens of them out!

If you must use a lotion, use Hedrin - this is the only one that lice can't become resistant to as it works in a completely different way to all the others.

fatfloosie Wed 22-May-13 13:53:17

Thanks for the replies.

PassTheTwiglets Be as patronising as you like! I'm new to this nits malarkey and just need some help.

I think I'm being pretty thorough with the comb. Loads of conditioner on. Leave for a few minutes. Pin hair up and then do in sections from the bottom upwards. Is that the best way to do it?

I've never seen any eggs in her hair and I just rinse the comb in a jug after each stroke (the lice all seem to drop to the bottom for counting purposes!), I don't wipe it. I will try wiping on kitchen roll and see if I see some eggs then. I'm partly trying to avoid treating because simply cannot afford it, but I could probably stretch to some kitchen roll!

If I was missing the eggs, wouldn't she have got lice again from the original infestation before the end of April and not halfway through May? Or am I misunderstanding the lifecycle?

fatfloosie Wed 22-May-13 14:16:19

Oh dear just reread and I do sound like I'm in denial! I'm taking it on board that it could be the same infestation. Honestly, I am!

ArtexMonkey Wed 22-May-13 14:22:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArtexMonkey Wed 22-May-13 14:24:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FreckledLeopard Wed 22-May-13 14:28:26

I would wipe with kitchen roll after each comb, then you'll see all the eggs. They're really obvious and if there are adult lice, there are sure to be eggs.

I don't bother using any treatment as such, since I've not found anything that actually works, so I just comb regularly. Tea tree oil, though, does seem to be quite helpful and apparently acts as a louse deterrent....though it costs a small fortune so I tend to add a capful to the conditioner when combing through.

emblon Wed 22-May-13 20:41:07

This thread is making me all itchy blush.
Nitty gritty has always worked well for us. I use it with Tesco tea tree and mint conditioner which is cheap - absolutely plaster the stuff on, comb through and wipe each time with kitchen roll to check for nits/lice.

pointythings Wed 22-May-13 20:51:56

Apart from weekly check with Nitty Gritty and conditioner, we follow this routine when we have infestations:

Day 1: Hedrin. Use the lotion, not the mousse. Do comb it through so that everything is coated, but you don't need to do a full nit comb.

Day 2 - morning. Wash out the Hedrin. Start with the nastiest, cheapest, oil-strippingest shampoo you can find, slather on in great handfuls on dry hair, then rinse. Wash repeatedly until hair is normally clean. (three lots of shampoo, usually)

Day 2 - evening. Saturate hair in vinegar. You will need to cover your DC's eyes with a wet cloth because the fumes sting. Leave vinegar on for 10-15 minutes. The acid dissolves the glue that binds the eggs to the hair. You can now wash the hair as normally and wash away the eggs.

Day 7 - Hedrin. This time do comb through very thoroughly. You should find nothing at all. If this is the case, go back to weekly checking.

This method has never failed us, and any reinfestations have always been really obvious, i.e. adult lice instead of babies.

PastSellByDate Thu 23-May-13 04:25:01

Just to add in some areas head lice are resistant to standard 'shampoos'/ head lice treatments.

The best bet is cheap conditioner & lots of it (so adults can't grip) and a comb (NIT FREE NITTY GRITTY COMB is very effective we've found).

If Head lice are seen (let's not worry about whether you can or can't see eggs). Method we've found works is this:

Roll of white or fairly undecorated kitchen towel to hand (so you can see the blighters) - loo roll will work but you'll go through tons.

Comb through well conditioned hair (with conditioner still in - DO NOT RINSE OFF CONDITIONER BEFORE COMBING - Do that afterwards).

Wipe comb on kitchen towel.

If lice recovered Day 1.

Comb daily for 3-4 days until no more lice observed (if still observed, keep combing).

Comb every other day 1 week until no more lice observed.

Comb every 3rd day for two more weeks.

Return to once a week comb through.

Gross - but this routine seems to work.

NB: If you discover head lice - change bedding & bed clothes immediately. Sometimes an idea to do a quick hoover around bed (use attachment to get down between matress and frame). If there are animals your child sleeps with - may be an idea to give them a wash as well.

Oh and do report it at school. I know it's embarrassing but forewarned is forearmed and if people just automatically report it - it does help catch these things early.

PastSellByDate Thu 23-May-13 04:26:36


By animals I meant stuffed animals - but thinking about it may not hurt to rinse the dog/ cat as well.

Sparklymommy Thu 23-May-13 07:37:43

pointythings do you use normal chip vinegar? I seem to remember my dad using vinegar on our hair as a routine as a kid. He used to was our hair and then use a capful of vinegar before rinsing. He used to swear it kept us nit free! Perhaps he was onto something...

PassTheTwiglets Thu 23-May-13 10:32:44

I would definitely wipe on kitchen towel, rather than rinsing the comb. A quick dunk may not get the eggs off and you will definitely see them on the kitchen towel.

My guess is that it's been the same infestation all along and that some eggs were missed. It only takes one egg to be missed and you're back to square one sad

If it makes you feel any better - wait til you get threadworms, then you won't give nits a second thought grin

squiddle Thu 23-May-13 12:58:27

My lovely pharmacist told me that you couldn't eradicate them once and for all because they will keep being reinfected from other kids in the class - he said basically keep them under control. I comb three-times weekly (sometimes daily) when I know she or her best friend have had them and at least once a week otherwise. DD is currently clear, but I know it won't be long.

pointythings Thu 23-May-13 18:44:34

sparkly chip vinegar is malt vinegar - far too pricy for heads, we use white vinegar which is even cheaper grin. But chip vinegar will work just as well, it's the acetic acid which does the dissolving and that's the same in all vinegars. You could use raspberry vinegar too and make your children taste lovely... Your dad was definitely on to something.

squiddle your pharmacist is wrong, it is possible to keep your DCs nit free for long periods of time, though infection is always likely because some parents just won't do the work. I tie their hair back and spray them with cheap hair spray, it isn't infallible but seems to reduce the frequency. Our longest nit free period has been 2 full years, and if I'm honest, every time we've had infestations it has been because I've got complacent about checking. Won't happen again, I can tell you that!

Ruprekt Thu 23-May-13 20:59:11

WE are currently in the midst of an infestation!

DS1, DS2 and I have them. AGAIN. angry

Am sick of them. Need DH back so he can search through my head.

I put the stuff on tonight but want to do the overnight one so I can make sure they are dead!!!

Am going to do pointythings method. Looks good.

jinglebitch Thu 23-May-13 23:30:08

try the bug buster website- very clear explanations, and you can buy a set of 4 different sized combs for £7 ish. They worked for us where the Nitty Gritty failed. (I was determined to get rid without resorting to treatment to) Will try to do link but am on phone.

jinglebitch Thu 23-May-13 23:31:32

[[ bug buster]]

jinglebitch Thu 23-May-13 23:32:50

sorry, try again here?

run4it Thu 23-May-13 23:34:18

I used nitty gritty with loads of cheap conditioner. I do it daily until I don't find any adults (there always seem to be a couple) and then twice a week until they're gone. I comb and comb and comb each time until I've been through the head three times without any lice.

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