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My boys are both now of school age. The first year of nursery I think we escaped quite lightly, so it was a shock to the system when my boys caught head lice, not once but twice last school year. The second bout went on for quite a while till I got rid of all the blighters.
My mum has a shop which sells a lot of weird and wonderful products in the village I grew up in. I went to purchase a head lice lotion, and she suggested to me I also purchase a bottle of this head on shampoo to try on the kids. She did also point out that there is a conditioner in the range that she also sells, but as I don't normally use conditioner on the kids short hair I just got the shampoo. I realise only now what a bargain this was for me. My mum sells this stuff for only £1, however on amazon it is £5, and I can't say I have ever seen it for sale anywhere else but I haven't particularly gone searching for it either.
The shampoo is a 200ml bottle that looks quite medicinal in appearance. The log has a pharmacist cross instead of a circle in the middle of the 'o' for example, and it is predominantly labelled in green text. The bottle has a flip top which also unscrews, and has a product use by date of 24 months after opening, which is good as you might not want to use it every time you wash the kids hair and keep it in the cupboard.
Firstly, I should say this is not a headlice treatment in itself, it is just a preventative thing to use as part of a parent's arsenal in the war against headlice. It is pretty well known that head lice are not attracted to tea tree oil, so it did not surprise me to find that was one of the main ingredients. As well as this, there is eucalyptus oil and neem oil. The shampoo states it acts as an antiseptic, an antibacterial, and an anti-fungal, so it is pretty good as well for my kids as they quite often play near the fir trees in our garden then come in the house with lots of insect bites on the scalp. I feel reassured using this shampoo that these bites will not get infected as although they get told not to scratch, they often do especially in their sleep.
The shampoo is a runny liquid, which is transparent but tinged yellow in colour at the same time. The colour has faded a bit from being stood on the bathroom windowsill. The smell of this is a bit medicinal but as I use tea tree shampoo normally myself, it is a scent the boys are familiar with, and they are happy to use. The shampoo foams up surprisingly well. Not as much as my normal shampoo, but enough to get their hair thoroughly clean. I often wonder how this would fair on a girls longer hair, but I am not particularly willing to experiment on my own locks for the purpose of satisfying my curiosity.
The shampoo rinses out well. I always take extra care not to get it near their eyes or let them use this one in the shower as it would smart. It's certainly not a no more tears formula. The scent is initially left on their hair, but fades to a barely there scent.
So, do I think it is effective? It is quite hard to say as how do you measure this? Boys are less likely to get nits anyway as a lot of my childrens friends who are boys did not pick them up when my sons did. The girls in the class seemed to be where they were spreading from. I didn't use this between the October half term of the first outbreak to the February of our second outbreak and they had a good couple of months with no problem. However, when I did use it religiously several times a week, we never had another outbreak, but it was also rarer for their to be outbreaks in their class at school. Prime head lice season seems to be in the winter, so I started to use this when there was less chance.
In my opinion, head lice are an absolute pain in the bum, so anything that keeps their scalp in top condition in a germy nursery environment is a useful tool, and while I am sure we will have to deal with the problem again at some point, I will continue to use this in term time as a shampoo for the kids.
They like using it and if given a choice will ask for this one as the smell is pleasant and they don't like the thought of risking another infestation. It keeps their hair clean and in good condition. Plus, I quite like the herbal smell to it myself when I am cuddling up to them for bedtime stories. A £1 bottle has lasted us months already and it is only half empty, so I see it as a good use of my money and time in the battle against head lice.
While I can't say 100% it works, I just wanted to bring it to parents attention before the start of another school term as prevention in this situation is a million times improvement on cure.