Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What's the Best Shampoo For Getting Rid of Head Lice?

When my family was staying in the Middle East, my daughters had no problems with head lice or “kuto.” A head louse (lice, plural) is a six-legged parasite that feeds on blood in the human head. Lice do not jump or fly, but crawl only. They do not carry any disease, but they suck blood and cause itchiness. Here’s a photo showing the life cycle of head lice.

life cycle of head lice
The life cycle of head lice. Image taken from http://health.vic.gov.au/headlice/

When we came back to the Philipines, I was taken by surprise one day when I saw my daughters
having plenty of nits, lice eggs or “lisa” on their hair. I have totally forgotten about the prevalence of head lice among kids in the Philippines. They must have gotten their head lice from a cousin with whom they sleep often since coming to the Philippines. No wonder they have been scratching their heads often.

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Update 2/24/2017: If you're in a hurry to know the ultimate solution to getting rid of head lice, jump to this post.
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Treating Head Lice

Immediately, we bought a nit comb or “suyod” to get rid of as much head lice as we can. But it was impossible to take away all of them in one sitting. Besides, there are many nits on their hair. I remember as a child that nits have to be taken away by hand. This is the hard part for me, because I and my eyes are not good at taking away the nits. My children complain when I pull their hair together with the nits. He he.

Anyway, aside from doing the above, I had to ask what is the best shampoo for getting rid of head lice. We asked and bought from the pharmacy whatever they have. So far, we’ve tried Kwell, Antilisa, Oilganics and Licealiz already. Though the head lice of my kids have been under control, we’ve not yet gotten rid of them totally.
head lice shampoo
Head lice shampoo available in the Philippines

So, which product is the best head lice shampoo?

Among the four products, I think Kwell is the strongest or most effective, but my kids don’t like its irritating scent and feel on their scalp. Its main ingredient is permethrin, which is a chemical ingredient that I’ve seen as component in dog lice shampoo. My kids use it once a week as indicated in the package. They used it for two to three weeks, I think, but then the lice still came back anyway.

Licealiz is also a product that uses a chemical ingredient – pyrethrin, but this formulation is less irritating because of its added conditioning formula. The kids like this better than Kwell. The product package says use it twice a week until the lice are gone and then once a week for prevention.

The last two, Antilisa and Oilganics, are 100% herbal treatment shampoos. Antilisa has neem oil, while Oilganics has quassinoid. Antilisa can be used twice a week as the commercial says, while Oilganics can be used everyday up to 15 days.

Why do the head lice appear again? Most likely we don’t use the shampoo and the nit comb as often as we should to totally get rid of all of them. I read in this article that for some it’s actually possible to get rid of the head lice with just using the nit comb, but you have to do it morning and evening for three weeks. And if using head lice shampoo, this article says to use it twice seven days apart. The first application kills all lice and the second kills those that hatched from the eggs. Also, it’s best to combine shampoo treatment with nit combing.

As of now, my girls still have some head lice, but not that much. Do you have any suggestion for treating head lice? Any shampoo that we have not yet tried? Or perhaps any regimen that worked for you? Please share it in the comments below. It might just be what my kids need. Thank you.

25 comments:

Michi said...

I experienced this when I was 8 yrs old and my aunt doesn’t want to stop until she removed all the lice in my head. Spell stiff neck. As if she can removed everything in one sitting. hehehe! Shampoo is the only option I know or cut the hair short.

Mommy Anna said...

My cousin told me Licealiz is effective daw talaga for three days mawawala na

Pam G said...

Back when I was a kid, I remember my mother patiently used the suyod to remove the nits from my and my siblings hair. Yes it hurt, but that was the only way to get rid of them then. I read that tea tree oil and olive oil are effective. Oh, and don’t forget to wash the towels you used after the first treatment!

Chin chin said...

Thanks for the tips, Pam.

Elizabeth O. said...

Normally, kids get lice from other kids, try asking them if their playmates have it too. Just make sure that they take a bath once or twice a day and that they shampoo their hair really well.

JessDC said...

Having a lice is really a dilemma! Can’t avoid having this especially if you are living with the kids. I tried using 3 products on the list except for Kwell. So far Licealiz is the best.

Chin chin said...

You’re the second who commented that Licealiz works. Thanks for the comment.

Mommy Maye said...

Had problem with lice too when I was young. I didn’t used any shampoo back then. I patiently use suyod after taking a bath and the lice gone naman, hehe.

Chin chin said...

So, it’s true that by just using the suyod you can get rid of lice. Good to know. But maybe the population of lice you had was manageable.

Shelly said...

Try Licealiz. Worked on my daughter. Just be patient coz you need to leave it on for at least 10 mins before you rinse it. Use it also for maintenance to make sure na di na bumalik.

Mark said...

I remember my sibling also use Licealiz when she had problems like this. I guess it’s really effective kasi hindi na bumalik hanggang ngayon.

Dominique Goh said...

My eldest had head lice once and it was awlful as it affected the whole family too and we had to use special medicated shampoo to get rid of it onto of cutting all the hair very short.

Chin chin said...

It is awful. I also sometimes get some lice on my head, but I can easily get rid of them using a fine-toothed comb. I also have cut my girl’s hair shorter at one time.

Melgie said...

I tried some products before but totally forgot the name. This is sounds like great product. Thanks!

Melissa said...

I remember when I got lice back when I was a kid. I kept playing around the village kasi. Hehe. How I wish we had these shampoos. My parents tried something organic on my hair + I only used the comb. It took me a while before I got them out.

Allan said...

I had head lice too when I was around 8. I got it from my cousins where I spent my summer vacation that time.
On my observation, having lice is a part of growing up.

Chin chin said...

I think it’s easier for boys to get rid of head lice since most have short hair. I also can’t believe that my son have it, just found out about 2 weeks ago. He got it from his sisters who sometimes sleep in his bed.

Gil Camporazo said...

I would recommend this shampoo for my granddaughter who has a prevalent lice on her head. Her grandmother took always a time every night to comb her hair with fine-slit comb intended for removing nits. It is too dirty to look at the removed nits and lice from her head.

Sarah Tan said...

I remember having this when I was around 7 or 8. I had to endure getting my hair combed with a very fine comb. Not a good experience.

Chin chin said...

Using fine-toothed comb is indeed painful sometimes. But I like to use it when my head is real itchy.

Theresa said...

I remember when I was young. I do not know those things. My grandma would just use a little drop of gas on my head which is kinda scary because I was thinking I would burn.

Chin chin said...

I also remember my mom using gas and gugo/coconut oil on my hair because of head lice. After that actually, I don’t remember having lice any more. I don’t recommend it though because I have very faint memory of that.

Khim said...

I remember using that when I was still a kid. Hahaha those days! Sabi pa nga nila pag hindi daw nakukuha yung kuto, ililipad ako. Lol

Chin chin said...

Funny, I still say that sometimes, though it’s not true. He He he

Vera said...

Oh this used to be a recurring problem for me specially since I had very thick long hair. I remember how hard it was to get rid off, and it took a lot of help too! When I was a teenager already, the slightest itch would send me off buying the special shampoo because i wouldn’t be caught dead with those on my head! Hehe