Northwest Arkansas' Lice Secret

by Monica Whitaker

This week, one of my four kids was sent home on account of lice. After checking everyone at home, it turned out that two more of my kids also had lice...and so did I. So, this totally embarrassing thing happened to me, and now I'm putting it out there on the internet.

This week, we were notified by the school that one of our daughters had lice. They informed me that she would need to be picked up, treated, and re-checked before she could return to class. This required that I take off work, buy a chemical kit to treat, and comb out all the nits out with a cheap little kit brush. To make matters worse, when I checked my other two daughters, they also had nits and some active bugs. Yuck! The combing out of nits can take hours for my three girls who all have long, thick hair. Throw in the time to wash and dry bed sheets, pillows, etc. and treating lice can be an exhausting task.

Over the years, I've had many conversations with frustrated friends who spend several hours every day shampooing their kids and scrubbing their houses top-to-bottom only to have the lice keep coming back. I've been there too. A few years ago, I spent at least 4 weeks battling these little beasts!

This time around, I didn't have the time or patience to deal with lice. I reached out to a local service that recently opened a retail location on the border of Bentonville and Bella Vista called Nits End NWA. Nits End specializes in lice removal using NO chemicals. These ladies simply segment the hair carefully and comb out every square millimeter multiple times using nothing more than water, baking soda, conditioner, and a high-end lice comb. On the evening in question, one of the owners treated all three of my girls the same day from 5-8pm that night. They are extremely flexible have patience in abundance.

I promise you, I am in no way related to anyone who works in this industry, and I have no financial gain in telling you this. I just want to help a fellow frustrated parent who may be out there dealing with this. If you live in the Fayetteville area, there is another individual that does the service, Trudy Tolley in Fayetteville.

My girls have long hair and they took about 45 mins each. They also did lice checks on my husband and I just to be safe. After the comb out, you are scheduled a follow-up appointment for one week where they quickly re-check the hair to make sure no nits were missed. Our follow-up appointment took all of 10 mins as all three girls were lice-free. Additionally, they give you a 30-day guarantee so if the lice come back the re-treatment is no-charge. They charge $150 per child for their service.

It was expensive, but for me, it was totally worth it. After this one treatment, we're done! All gone! Also, it's all-natural.

The owners at Nits End also provided the following helpful information:

  • Relax, lice do not carry infectious diseases.
  • Your child is not dirty, lice prefer clean hair.
  • You are not alone as roughly 6-12 million people contract lice annually.
  • Lice can not jump or fly, and they can not survive long off the human scalp, they need a host.
  • There is no need to use bleach or other chemicals on your home. Lice are not a virus or germ.
  • Telling other parents decreases your risk of contracting lice again. Protect them, protect yourself.
  • Tea Tree oil does NOT kill head lice. Lice don't like the smell of it but it does nothing to kill them or the nits and only dries out a child's scalp.
  • Mayonnaise does NOT kill head lice. Mayo can be used as a smothering technique, and would need to be left on the scalp for 10-12 hours to kill any live lice as they can go for 8 hours without breathing. And smothering only kills live lice, it does nothing to the nits that will hatch in 7-10 days.
  • Since lice can hold their breath for a long time, washing linens doesn't do much. Hot dry air from your dryer for 20-30 mins is the best way to kill them on linens, stuffed animals, pillows, etc.

Monica Whitaker.  Writer for Firefly Marketing, LLC including and

Monica Whitaker, licensed K-6 teacher and writer with FamilyLifeNWA

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