Q. My daughter had head lice several times when she was very young and her hair was long. The lice shampoos did not work at all.
Finally we used mayonnaise in her hair. We applied it from the scalp to the ends and then wrapped her head with plastic wrap. That was left on for at least two hours while she watched her favorite DVD. When we washed her hair, you could see the lice rinsing out. We did this every three days for two weeks to make sure that they were all gone.
A. Many readers report that smothering lice with mayonnaise, coconut oil, Listerine or petroleum jelly works better than lice shampoo. In many places, lice have developed resistance to the chemicals in the shampoos. Adding vinegar to the rinse can help loosen nits. All such treatments require persistence.
Getting petroleum jelly out of hair, however, is a challenge. Many parents who try this approach become frustrated with that problem. Apparently applying mineral oil before using shampoo (or Dawn dish detergent) can help dissolve the petroleum jelly and ease its removal.
Another approach that has helped some families is to coat the hair with Cetaphil cleanser (cetyl alcohol), run the blow dryer on it (it will form a hard shell) and leave it on overnight.