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Preteens and Lice Pests

teen girl holding cell phone, scratching head, soft focus window and plant

Updated on July 17, 2020

By LiceDoctors Technician, Chelsea Lonergan

Nobody likes to find head lice in their hair...and that goes double for pre-teens and teenagers who worry about the social stigma.

As a 12 year-old, the last thing I wanted to worry about was a head full of bugs.cartoon girl with very large eyes and long black hair But I could feel them biting my scalp, and given the absolute war that broke out years before between my mom and my Rapunzel-length hair, she told me I was now old enough to handle my own lice battles. So she drove me to the local pharmacy and I picked out the deluxe “Lice Killer Value Pack” which included a deadly shampoo, not one but two blue plastic combs, and an unwavering promise that my lice would be out of my hair in just one treatment. Determined and meticulous, I read the directions front and back, making sure I knew exactly what steps I needed to follow in order to finish this thing once and for all.

The shampoo smelled like varnish and I remember being worried that I’d start with brown hair and end with platinum blonde. But I let the shampoo do its magic, thinking that my hair would maybe be dry, crispy, and reeking of chemicals, but also bug-free. I had also followed my mother’s advice about essentially stripping my room of its entire contents—bedding got thrown into giant trash bags, and hair brushes got put in boiling water. Our home was chaos, but I was determined to get rid of these things as fast as humanly possible so I could save myself from having to tell my friends at school the next day that I was suffering from a condition we usually saw only in kindergarten classrooms.

When I woke up the next day with just as many lice as the day before, I felt completely defeated. My mom walked out into the living room to find me frantically searching for home remedies.

“How about apple cider vinegar? Baking soda?” I asked my mom. She hesitated for a moment, knowing how much I was going to hate her suggestion, before saying “Try mayonnaise.”

I was an outspoken enemy of mayonnaise. grimacing woman, holding hands up to signal disgust no thank youI refused to put it anywhere near my food, and certainly wasn’t a fan of its smell. But I was desperate. So I picked out an almost full jar of some Best Foods, took a deep breath, and began slathering fistfuls of it through every strand. I kept telling myself it was conditioner, ultimately emptying the entire container onto my head. Sticking my mom’s shower cap on top of it, I tried to ignore the scent for two hours as I played video games and counted down the minutes until I could shower. Ten lather-rinse-and-repeats later, I gave up on trying to get the smell out of my hair. Let me tell you: getting dry mayo out of your hair is nearly impossible! But the bugs were gone, and none of my friends even knew of the lice saga I had lived through the day before.

As a LiceDoctor technician now, I can only hope that I can help save someone else from believing they have to douse their entire head in mayonnaise (unless, hey, you’re into that sort of thing) to clear their head lice. And if I could, I would go back in time and tell myself to put the boiling water down, stop quarantining off sections of my home, and definitely how to actually get that grease out of my hair so I didn’t have a lingering smell of aioli for a week. With so many myths and so many harsh products on the shelves, it’s more important—and accessible—than ever, for people to get the guidance they need to rid themselves and their families of lice. What’s even better, by learning what the ‘secrets’ are, you learn to not fear lice anymore. Because even if it comes back, and even if I were to get it 15 years later, I would know exactly how to handle it. And I wouldn’t be frantically searching through advice about experimental crystals or sage-burning to get rid of pests the size of sesame seeds.

LiceDoctors technicians make house calls to help you whenever it is most convenient for you and your family. Your technician will NOT subject you to that horrible mayonnaise treatment! You will be treated in the privacy of your home and you will be educated on ways to prevent lice in the future. Best of all, your tech will do the work to leave you free of lice. Call 312-765-7266 for treatment today! Treatments are covered by some insurance companies and by FSAs and HSAS.