The Blessing of Head Lice

evil eye.jpgFor the last two months, we have been battling the plague of lice. First Ella. Then Zoe. Then Ella and Zoe. Then Zoe again. Now Ella. We’ve tried the Lice Lady‘s Pantene method and the Cetaphil Method. We’ve used the gucci of nit combs, the LiceMeister, and we’ve bagged and laundered and frozen and heated everything that has come within three feet of their heads. Several times. Every time I think we’ve finally got it licked, someone starts scratching again. Today, against my better judgement, we treated them both with Nix. I plan to subject the girls to the nit comb every other night this winter vacation, and re-poison them again in ten days. My girls have fine, tangly hair that is hard to comb out with an afro pick, so working my way through each hair with a comb whose tines are apparently glued shut with crazyglue is, in a word, maddening. And boy have I gotten mad.

This past year, one of my closest friends lost her ten year old son to cancer. Another local family lost their daughter to suicide after she was bullied by her high school classmates. One of my husband’s good friends has been out of work for over a year. Shitty things are going on in my backyard and even shittier things are going on around the world. The worst thing that has happened to us, bli ayin hara, are a few persistent cases of head lice. Something that, with appropriate tenacity, I can make all better.
So for the next ten nights, as I sit with a nit comb in hand, struggling to pass a camel through the eye of a needle, I’m going to count my blessings. One nit at a time.
And for those of you who were expecting a Christmas post, sorry, I have nothing new to say on the subject that either I or someone else hasn’t already said. Here’s a piece I wrote a few years ago about how we handle it. And here’s a piece Marjorie Ingall wrote this year that’s even better.
Seasons Greetings to all. May you too be blessed with head lice, and nothing more, in the coming year.
Comments read comments(12)
post a comment
Frume Sarah

posted December 24, 2010 at 3:32 pm

We had a nasty, persistent case this year as well. Called in the professionals to help because I couldn’t get the critters myself.
But in the end, you are right. It’s just lice.

report abuse


posted December 24, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I’ve heard that tea tree oil is helpful with lice…you can get it and add it to your shampoo. It’s more preventative but work a try.
And you are right, its important to remember that lice can be dealt with and fixed.

report abuse


posted December 25, 2010 at 11:32 am

What a great perspective. :-)

report abuse


posted December 25, 2010 at 6:43 pm

If you put coconut oil in their hair, it will comb really easily with even the tightest lice comb.

report abuse


posted December 25, 2010 at 6:53 pm

brianna’s family (3 girls) all had it several times. the mother took them to the hair salon and they colored their hair. plus, they were diligent re washing the linens/toys/etc…

report abuse


posted December 25, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Aw, thanks for the shout-out, Amy.
And I know what you mean about counting the blessings with every nit. Beautifully said.
(And from the sublime to the ridiculous: for what it’s worth, I can talk you thru the Cetaphil treatment — it is a HUGE pain in the butt to do it thoroughly, as described on the Nuvo web site, with complete hair-saturation, thorough blow-trying and repeating for three weeks straight — but if you DO, it absolutely does work.)

report abuse

sarah Buttenwieser

posted December 27, 2010 at 10:50 pm

one nit at a time. i’m going to remember that as we deal with the pinworms (here, one kid–maybe that’ll be all? fingers crossed).
perspective is… humbling. almost always.
hoping for an end to the plague on your house & that you get to hold onto this being as bad as it gets.

report abuse


posted December 30, 2010 at 9:29 am

My daughter always using hairspray and after a few months she complained that her scalp became itchy…i think its the head lice attacking her hair. I think its the kind of hair spray or hair spray can attract head lice? Is there any head lice treatment My daughter always using hairspray and after a few months she complained that her scalp became itchy…i think its the head lice attacking her hair. I think its the kind of hair spray or hair spray can attract head lice treatment?

report abuse


posted January 2, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I loved this post – I have shared these thoughts many times over the past several months. After my mother landed in the ICU (she is ok now, thank goodness), my toddler breaking her leg the day before #2 was due to be born didn’t seem like such a big deal… Thank goodness for small problems that help us keep everything in perspective.
Hope the lice are gone!

report abuse


posted January 4, 2011 at 3:43 am

i kept getting head lice in high school, and the solution that finally worked was warming coconut oil in the microwave, stirring in some tea tree oil, and saturating my head. we wrapped it up and i slept that way. the coconut oil smothers the lice and the tea tree oil dissolves the glue that adheres the nits to hair.
also, lots of careful vacuuming of mattress and boxsprings, bagging up of stuffed animals, and hot laundering of bedding (but i’m sure you’re doing that already.)
good luck!

report abuse


posted January 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm

I found plain vinegar works very well because it dissolves the nit glue. Just saturate hair and brush out. (Read it in Take Charge of Your Child’s health by George Wootan M.D.) It also seem to prevent reinfestation for about six month. hope this helps

report abuse

Catherine Bitzer

posted June 29, 2015 at 8:17 pm

On the web identify the lice as well as just do start the head lice removal process? Steps for treatment are listed to your medicine program. Head lice removal from your hair is endless. Lice Removal, 100 Church Street Decatur, GA 30031 (770)-645-4548

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

Teaching the Four Questions to young children
One of the greatest privileges of being a kindergarten teacher in a Jewish day school is having the opportunity to teach children to recite the four questions. Unlike almost anything else I teach them about Jewish ritual, this is "real work." ...

posted 7:36:03am Apr. 01, 2012 | read full post »

Guess what's Kosher for Passover (this will change your life.)
I'm not exaggerating. The bane of my Passover existence has been pareve baking. I cook a lot more meat during the holiday than I do the rest of the year, which means a lot more pareve desserts. Which has, up until now, usually meant margarine ...

posted 5:02:27pm Mar. 22, 2012 | read full post »

Why I love the New American Haggadah (and it's not just because I got to have a martini with Nathan Englander.)
I'm not a haggadah junkie. I know many Jews whose shelves are overflowing with numerous versions of the Haggadah - from the traditional Maxwell House to the not-so-traditional Santa Cruz - and whose seders are an amalgam of commentaries, poems, ...

posted 9:25:37pm Mar. 14, 2012 | read full post »

Best Hamentashen Ever, even better. And, a Purim opera.
This time of year, I'm always excited when I look at my google analytics and see that people have landed at my blog by searching for "hamentashen recipe". I love the idea of people all over the world making my great-grandmother's fabulous ...

posted 7:13:38pm Mar. 05, 2012 | read full post »

Edible Purim baskets. And, introducing...the cookie fairies!
My very favorite Jewish holiday tradition, bar non, is the mitzvah of mishloach manot - preparing and delivering gifts of homemade goodies to friends and neighbors on Purim day. This is a mitzvah which embodies so much of why Judaism is ...

posted 8:16:28am Feb. 26, 2012 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.