Q. A couple of weeks ago someone wrote to you about persistent lice in a child’s hair, regardless of what lice treatment they used. You suggested coating the child’s hair with mayonnaise or Vaseline.
DO NOT USE Vaseline! Vaseline is not water soluble, nor does it respond to any soap or shampoo on the market.
When I was in junior high, Vaseline in girls’ hair was an initiation stunt that made parents and beauty salons despair. There was simply no way to remove it. Please don’t suggest this again.
A. It is extremely difficult to get petroleum jelly (Vaseline) out of hair. We learned this many years ago after hearing from angry parents.
A consensus eventually developed that the first step for removal is to treat with mineral (or baby) oil. The second step is to wash the mineral oil (and at least some of the Vaseline) out with Dawn dish detergent (keeping it out of eyes). The third step is regular shampoo.
Other people have reported success with Goop (mechanics’ hand cleanser), Campsuds (camping soap from Sierra Dawn), Charlie’s Soap all-purpose cleaner or greasepaint (theatrical makeup) remover.
Different lice eradication strategies can be found at PeoplesPharmacy.com. Favorites include Cetaphil cleanser that hardens overnight and suffocates lice or rinsing with Listerine to kill the critters.