Q. I have two daughters, ages 6 and 11. My oldest daughter brought home head lice and it was a nightmare. Over-the-counter lice shampoos did nothing.
This went on for six months until my mother-in-law suggested using old-fashioned Listerine on their hair. It kills the lice and makes it easier to comb out the nits.
Every week before they go off to school I spray their hair with Listerine. So far it is working.
A. Lice have developed resistance to the chemicals in most lice shampoos and conditioners. According to Consumer Reports (Sept. 8, 2014), combing out lice and nits (eggs) for 24 days is the surest way to overcome infestations.
Listerine contains alcohol that kills lice. Applying a dilute vinegar solution afterwards can loosen the glue that holds nits to the hair shaft and make them easier to remove.
Lice could also be smothered with coconut oil, Cetaphil cleanser or even petroleum jelly. As we have noted in our previous article, petrolatum (Vaseline) is extremely difficult to wash out of the hair, so it should be reserved as a last resort.