A few weeks in to the new year and just over a week into the new term at school, a familiar letter came home in my daughter's school bag. A case of headlice had been found in her class...
The now familiar letter meant getting out the nit comb and checking her hair for eggs. It's not a fun task for either of us, but it is something that has become a regular occurrence since she started school almost eighteen months ago. I believe we've had to treat an average of every two months in that time.
The cost certainly adds up and I also worry about the chemicals that are in the products used to treat head lice. Generally, we try to use only natural, eco friendly toiletries and skin care, yet when it comes to keeping my children's hair nit free, I hadn't realised there was a natural, chemical free treatment that would be just as effective while being gentle on my daughters delicate scalp.
Laboratoire Puressentiel is a family-owned company specialising in the design of aromatherapy and plant-based organic products, using essential oils and natural active ingredients. They are a company that fit in with our family's eco friendly lifestyle and included in their wide variety of heath and well being product ranges are Anti-Lice products. Puressentiel are committed to respecting nature by adopting an eco-responsible attitude, from the harvesting of the raw materials to the manufacturing of each of its products.
Just after the most recent 'nit letter', We were asked to test out Puressentiel Anti-lice complete treatment lotion and comb. I was intrigued to how see such a plant based treatment would work.
In the box we found a 100ml bottle of lotion with an applicator tip and an orange handled good quality lice comb.
The instructions for use are printed on the sustainably sourced cardboard packaging in both French and English.
The first thing we noticed when opening the bottle was the gentle coconut fragrance, a huge contrast to the chemical smells we were used to. The oil based lotion was easy to apply to Elizabeth's dry hair section by section and she was very pleased that it only had to be left to work for ten minutes, just enough time to read one of her favourite stories, the Singing Mermaid!
We shampood it out and she sat nicely while I used the lice comb to comb each section through, before drying as usual. There were just a few lice and eggs found when combing through so it looks like we caught it early this time.
I was worried that the oily lotion would leave her hair greasy but it is as soft and shiny as ever and smells lovely!
Rather than using harsh chemicals to kill the lice, headlice treatments such Puressentiel coat the lice in oil, so they suffocate and dehydrate, they are then removed using the sturdy lice comb that is included with the kit.
The treatment will need to be repeated in three days but we still have around half a bottle left which should be plenty.
Overall I'm really pleased with the product and will certainly be using it in the future. Puressentiel anti-lice complete treatment lotion and comb is available at Boots, Lloyds Chemist and Amazon with an RRP of £12.99 (although currently half price at Lloyds Chemist online and in store.) The lotions is suitable for adults and children aged over three and one 100ml bottle will treat two to three short to mid length heads of hair.
You can find out more on the Puressentiel Website, and keep up to date with news and offers over on the Puressentiel Facebook and Twitter pages.
Just writing this has made my head start to itch so I'm going to leave you with a few Head Lice facts...
Does my child have lice?Itchiness and scratching of the head are often the first signs of head lice.
What should I look for?
Lice and nits near the scalp, particularly behind the ears and near the nape of the neck, along the hairline.
What does a louse look like?
A head louse is a small insect, visible to the naked eye, about the size of a sesame seed (2 to 3 mm), which lives on the scalp and feeds on human blood. It has six legs armed with pincers used to cling to the hair, they move very quickly, which explains why it is so hard to catch them.
The life cycle of a louse
The life cycle of a louse lasts approximately 50 days. Female lice lay 5 to 10 eggs (nits) per day. After a week, the egg hatches and the embryo becomes a larva, which will reach adulthood in 2 weeks. The adult lice live for about 30 days on a person’s head. The lice multiply rapidly, so you must act quickly.
Are lice a sign of poor hygiene?Do not feel that you are responsible if your child has head lice; it has nothing to do with your family’s hygiene habits. Cleanliness has nothing to do with lice, which are very resistant to water and soap. Taking time off school is not necessary.
How did my child catch lice?
The back-to-school period is an ideal time for lice to spread due to close contact between children. The transmission of the lice occurs directly through contact between two children (touching hair). Indirect transmission is possible if items such as combs and brushes are shared. Remember: lice cannot fly, jump or survive longer than 4 to 36 hours away from the scalp.
This post was written in collaboration with Pureessentiel.