Getting Rid of Lice

Worried about lice? Here are tips and suggestions from member of Park Slope Parents who have had their fair share of lice battles with their little ones. 

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Important Message from Park Slope Parents (PSP): Just a reminder, PSP member posts are not checked for accuracy. The content is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. is not intended to, and does not, provide medical advice diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on the PSP groups or on the website.


Looking for neighborhood "Nit Pickers" or the famous Ditmas/ Boro Park "Lice Ladies"? Park Slope Parents has a list of recommendations of local lice consultants HERE.


In this article:

Useful Resources to Spot, Treat & Manage Head Lice

Parent Tips


Useful Resouces: 


National Pediculosis Orgranization

(did you know that pediculosis is the fancy word for headlice!?)

The National Pediculosis Orgranization says that "vigilant screening of children for head lice and nits plays a pivotal role in pediculosis management. Early detection offers the best opportunity to manually remove head lice and nits without pesticide exposure. This directive is consistent with traditional preventive medical and communicable disease control methods.

HERE are their Tips for removal.


American Academy of Dermatology

Tips for Preventing Headlice


Center for Disease Control

Information is available HERE from the CDC


Parent Tips: 


From a Seasoned Parent:

"Having been through lice many times with my family when my kids were younger, as well as having outbreaks at schools and at my own summer program twice [...] Lice are very happy to stay on one person's head until that head gets over-populated, and then they want to jump onto a new host's head.  Once we discovered one of the "lice ladies" in Borough Park, we never had trouble getting rid of lice again quickly not to return (though we had struggled for many years before that.)  Their advice is to not use any chemicals or kits from the pharmacy, but to buy a Nisska comb, and use Pantene or some other thick conditioner and comb out the person's head a few times.  Fortunately my husband was very good at this.  Other than perhaps washing the person's pillow case and bedding, we found you didn't need to wash anything else out, especially if you catch a case before the lice are looking for a new host.


It's not always easy to spot:

"I would like to chime in that it’s not always so easy to tell whether your kid has lice. The buggers (and there may be only one on his/her head) can be extremely elusive, and the nits can look like dandruff, sweater fuzz, etc.  A pediatrician AND dermatologist missed a case of lice in our family.   However there is one sure-fire (and free!) way to find out if your kid has lice – get the metal, very fine tooth lice comb from Neergard, wet your kid’s hair, put a large handful of conditioner in it, and comb it through. The way the lice ladies do it is that they rub the combed-out conditioner onto a white paper towel, and you can see very clearly whether there are nits or bugs – but you have to do the whole head methodically. Gross out alert:  You can actually see tiny bugs inside the eggs with a magnifying glass, if you’re not sure.  I think you can be pretty sure, by combing the hair out this way, of whether there are lice or not."


Itchy head? Have an expert take a look:

"2 hints: if your kid persistently complains of an itchy head, even if you don't see anything, have your pediatrician or someone experienced like a school nurse check their heads. Or just treat them.  There are a couple of prescription products, my favourite being Ovide, which not only kill the bugs, but also the nits, making one-treatment eradication a beautiful reality. This can eliminate hours and $$$$ of nitpicking and otc products and obsessive checking and rechecking."


Worried about how to clean up after lice?

"Adult lice cannot live off ofthe human body, so head to head contact is the main way kids catch them. In cleaning your environment you are seeking to remove hairs with attached nits that may get on to another person's head. As nits on detached human hairs can only remain viable for about an hour, it is not necessary to go overboard with the cleaning -- vaccuum areas where human hair may be transferred within an hour or so to another person's head eg back of sofa, armchair, rugs the kids lie on, and launder clothes and bedclothes per usual routine; things you're not sure about or can't launder or vacuum, keep them away from people for about 24 hrs to be sure that any adherent hairs carrying nits will be cold enough that the nits are nonviable."


One parent shares information she found on the web:

"Let me start off by saying that after reading everything written on them and trying every remedy from the hippie dippy to DDT, I now have THE tried and true, easy, surefire solution. This method removes all lice and nits and it is kind of fun to do. You need a really good lice comb. Check out a metal lice comb at Colonial Medical (search for "metal lice comb").  It needs to have round tongs that have no air between them. Do not use the lice combs you get free in the Rid box, they are useless. You need a roll of paper towels and a bottle of Pantene conditioner.

First squeeze a ton of conditioner all over your child's barely damp head. Rub it around so no lice can escape the goo. Then start combing. Make sure that you are combing from the scalp and do it over and over. You will be combing out great gobs of conditioner and wiping on the paper towels. The Pantene is good because it is white and you see everything that is coming off the hair. It also has enough body that no lice can get away. You will see the nits and the occasional louse, you will also see sand, glitter, pieces of old sandwich and stickers (a child's life spread out before you on that paper towel). Keep doing it until you have a full, thorough pass of the head that comes up with nothing. Do it again the next day and if you come up liceless you are home free. It is as easy as that. Last summer on vacation I had 4 children with lice and in a little over an hour they were free and their hair smelled great! Then take all bedding and towels, wash and dry them hot. If you can wash and dry the stuffies that is great, if things can't be washed put them in a sealed garbage bag for two weeks to do the trick.

These are things that I tried; olive oil and baking soda, tea tree oil and tea tree oil shampoo, all of the over the counter treatments, a heavy duty perscription treatment, vigilant lice checks that took HOURS. The Pantene and thorough combing really, really works.

Courage, lice are nothing like bed bugs, they can be dealt with easily enough, or you can call the wonderful Lice Lady."


Home Remedies:

"If you want to try at home, my understanding is that olive oil is the way to go.  I just found this link:"


"Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Shampoo repels lice so use it!"


Further reading from around the web:

"My daughter is in kindergarten and I found out yesterday that they were dealing with a head lice problem in her classroom. With this being my first time dealing with lice, I immediately starting doing some research [and] this page also had some good information."