June 11

Sugar & Spice & No More Lice

The inevitable happened. One week before the end of Kindergarten, our first year in school and the first real chance for “it” to happen, it happened. My oldest daughter has some serious eczema, so when she was consistently scratching her head for weeks, I didn’t even blink. When she got a rash on the back of her neck from all the scratching, I applied her cream, kept her nails short and tried to encourage her to be hands off. But then, when my little one started scratching and wouldn’t stop, my husband said “something’s not right,” and it all clicked.

We looked (and by we, I mean he looked while I kept myself at a safe 10-feet-away distance) and sure enough, not just nits, but actual lice crawling on both of my daughters’ heads. To say I was creeped out would be the understatement of the year! Thank goodness I’d already been in touch with Jennifer at Sugar and Spice and No More Lice. I called her in a panic on a Sunday morning and she returned my panicked voicemail within 20 minutes on a weekend, no less.

As I relayed the story, she could sense my calm-voice panic and gave me a to-do list on what I could do until they could get us in at 9am the next morning. We could have cleaned the house top to bottom that day, but she suggested doing my best to stay calm, and waiting until after they took care of the situation, so that I didn’t have to do all of that work twice. She told me that lice only transfer from person to person, so it’s important to call anyone you think you or your kids have hugged since you discovered the bugs, so I sent a few emails and one awkward, but important text. As a mom who has had to deal with lice twice, she completely understood how I felt, how much I wanted to fumigate my house (bug bomb please?!) and gave me all the details on the little critters and what the treatment would entail.

I’ve never been happier to see a Monday morning.

We drove to Blaine, got some much needed coffee (hello – there is a Starbucks blocks away, with a drive-thru!), and were waiting at the door for 9am! This place is the happiest place you could go to take care of such a literally creepy problem because walking in, you’d think you were in a candy shop, not a lice clinic.

Sugar & Spice; No More Lice

They have coffee and water available, as well as a huge DVD library. The process is thorough and depending on how bad the infestation is, it can take a long time – for us it took about 5 and a half hours. My girls picked movie after movie, and they had even suggested we bring some of our own along that we knew they would sit still for (yep…still Frozen).

Sugar & Spice; No More Lice

Sugar & Spice; No More Lice

They start off going through the hair with a fine toothed, stainless steel comb (which we now own). Lice are hard to kill, but don’t take well to water, so after each comb through, they clean out the comb in water. It was both reassuring and so gross to see the bugs and nits in the water, but I’m so glad they’re there and no longer in our home!

Sugar & Spice; No More Lice

Our entire family went: both my husband and I, my two daughters and even the baby. They check everyone, because what’s the point of taking care of the kids’ hair, if it could just come back from another family member. Plus, they estimated that in about 70% of the families they see, mom has lice too. And I did have a few (eww!). I have been warning my daughter from Day 1 of Kindergarten not to share brushes, combs, hair items, etc. with her friends, but the three of us all share brushes and combs at home all the time. It never occurred to me to separate our own items, but now we all have our own!

Sugar & Spice; No More Lice

After they checked everyone and combed through the hair for a while (I’m talking an hour), they start going strand by strand on each person they found evidence of lice. Strand. By. Strand. It sounds crazy and it’s painstaking, but it’s necessary. Sugar & Spice uses non-toxic enzymes and the combing process to get rid of the bugs themselves, but you can’t kill the nits (eggs). The only way to get rid of the eggs is to literally pull each and every one off of the hair. Honestly, it made me feel very secure knowing that they did that, because the last thing I wanted was to go home and think we were rid of these buggers, only to find them again a week later.

Sugar & Spice; No More Lice

Sugar & Spice; No More Lice

And then, just to be sure they got everything, they trade places and someone new checks through your whole head to make sure nothing was missed. They do not mess around!

I think what I most appreciated was not only that they were patient with my questions, but that they were welcoming to them. They are very big on the education piece so that you can do your best to avoid dealing with the situation again.

Sugar & Spice; No More Lice

I learned more about lice than I ever cared to know, but I’m ready for the potential for it to happen again. I can preach to my kids all I want, but when they head off to school, it’s out of my hands. At least I know what to do when it happens again. They gave me some great prevention tips too:

  • Girls with long hair should be going off to school with it UP. Mornings are crazy, and it’s not uncommon for my girls to head off for the day without even having brushed their hair (that messy look is in, right?), but no more. Braids or buns are best.
  • Use a non-toxic peppermint spray. We bought the products from the store and are using it every time they walk out the door.
  • Get the stainless steel comb they have in the store. If you catch a case of lice early, you don’t need the extensive treatment my girls had. You should be combing through their hair every time they come home from being with other kids.
  • Use a peppermint-scented shampoo. They have this in their clinic, but said something similar would work. I’m wanting to simplify and have us all using the same products, so we’re using Aveda’s Rosemary-Mint shampoo and conditioner. Lice hate the smell and it helps to repel them.

Many HSAs and OSAs will cover lice treatment, so it’s worth checking out, but they also have a lot of tools to help you, as well as the expertise to walk you through the process. The over the counter treatments that you can buy will kill the lice, but not the nits, which will then hatch and there you go again, back the store to buy more over the counter treatments to kill the lice that just hatched and laid more eggs (nits). This is why going back for a quick recheck at the salon is important. In my opinion, you could try over-the-counter treatments, but this process was worth my peace of mind. Having watched them manage it, I cannot imagine having to tackle this myself. I was completely overwhelmed and getting lice messes with your head. The fact that I only had to clean the house top to bottom helped so much.

What to expect after treatment:

  • Lice cannot live longer than 24 hours after they fall off of a human head, but they suggested cleaning everything anyway because it helps you feel better psychologically. Lice can’t survive at certain degrees of heat, so I either washed and dried everything or put anything that had fabric (bedding, doll clothes, stuffed animals, etc.) in the dryer for 30 minutes.
  • Vacuum. Thankfully, unlike other similar bugs, lice don’t burrow into anything and stay on the surface of whatever object they fall on. Vacuuming will not only pick them up, but then you are unlikely to find a dead one weeks later, which could make you feel a bit panicky.
  • You will feel itchy. It’s largely psychosomatic, but the bites they leave are similar to mosquito bites and will itch for a while.
  • Call with questions! I couldn’t stop itching and worrying a couple days after and Jennifer was more than kind about answering questions, encouraging me to stop combing and searching for more and was completely understanding, having been through it herself.
  • Go back for the 7-day check. Thorough as they may be, they want you to come back for a check one week later so they can go over your whole head again, just to be sure.

I know you don’t want to think about or plan for lice, but the chances of it happening to your household are pretty good, and it’s always good to have that resource in your back pocket for when the time comes!

Sugar & Spice & No More Lice is located in Blaine, and though we live in Eagan, it was well worth the drive, plus a lot closer than I expected. You can find them on their website, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Sugar & Spice; No More Lice

{Disclosure: Twin Cities Moms Blog is more than happy to partner with Sugar & Spice for this sponsored post and recommend their services! This is your go-to resource for when lice hits your house! Sugar & Spice is run by two talented dentists that have spent their careers working in a field that requires attention to fine detail. All opinions are my own.}

Article Source: http://www.bloggymoms.com/profiles/blogs/sugar-spice-no-more-lice

Posted June 11, 2013 by Kim Kalan in category Fabulous Photo's, Stories