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If you're dealing with a head lice infestation - maybe your child got them from an outbreak at school, or you spent time volunteering abroad where head lice are a common issue - you want a prooduct that's going to be effective yet gentle. Head lice usually spread by sharing hats, combs and other hair accessories. Anyone can get head lice: it's not related to cleanliness.
Because lice can live for a period of time on bedding, stuffed animals, and clothing, you'll want to wash those items if possible. Some companies offering lice products have sprays you can also use on carpets, or solutions that can be added to the laundry for linens and other items that can't be washed and dried on high-heat settings.
Thursday, July 29th
Looking for a guaranteed one-step lice application that gives you all of the expertise of a clinic in your own home? If your answer was a resounding, "Yes, PLEASE!" you'll be thrilled with what Lice Clinics of America has to offer. All of their products are the result of years of trial-and-error in their in-person locations, ensuring that your home can be lice-free as soon as possible.
The main reason people go to their clinics is to take advantage of their proprietary OneCure technology, which uses gentle heat to kill live lice and completely dry out any nits within the hair: a genuinely one-and-done approach to getting rid of lice. No applications required after 7-10 days! Best of all, Lice Clinics of America offers this technology for home use, so no need to hope and pray that there's a clinic near you.
How does it work? A device that looks similar to a hairdryer applies warm air at a consistent temperature (NOT like a hair dryer) to each section of the hair for 30 seconds. The device indicates when it's time to move to the next section, usually taking about 35 minutes for a single individual. Once the device has been used on the whole head, the included gel and comb are used to remove dead lice and nits. The kit comes with two applicator tips for the heated-air device, and replacement tips are available for purchase from Lice Clinics of America. We absolutely love that the device is clinically proven to kill lice, super lice, and 99.2% of eggs in just one application, with no harsh chemicals or smelly leave-on products.
Customers rave about how fast, effective, and even relaxing it is to get rid of lice this way: set your child down in front of a favorite TV show, apply warm hair to their scalp and hair, and voila. Some say it even feels like going to the spa or salon for a great hair process.
We love that the OneCure device is covered by an impressive 90-day warranty. You can get a full refund of your purchase price by contacting the manufacturer's toll-free number to make your return.
If you'd prefer to go the more traditional route of applying a liquid to the hair and combing out the lice and nits, Lice Clinics of America offers that too. Their complete kit is extremely affordable and comes with 5.25 oz of gel in a unique, easy-to-use applicator and a premium metal nit comb. This kit should be enough for one person to use in the traditional two-application routine (including the one 7-10 days after the first application).
Whichever route you choose, you'll find a very effective, easy application regimen. You'll also have access to extremely knowledgeable, helpful customer service representatives who can answer all of your questions and make sure that you're using the heated-air device or application gel properly.
In the past, the idea of eliminating head lice in a single, one-hour process seemed impossible. Lice Clinics of America have made it a reality with an affordable, reusable heated-air device that is proven to work - and backed by an ironclad 90-day warranty. You won't find a better solution to getting rid of a lice infestation on the market. Lice Clinics of America is our first choice among lice products.
Head Hunters bills themselves as the "lice removal specialists" - largely because their lice product line is developed in-house at their facilities in Georgia. All of their products have been extensively tested on their clients, resulting in a salon-grade professional product line for both dealing with and preventing head lice.
The primary lice product offered by Head Hunters is WipeOut: a conditioner-based product that kills lice through a physical approach rather than chemical. What does this mean? WipeOut forces lice to stop holding their breath, oddly enough, and essentially drowns them by coating them with the conditioner. For this reason, WipeOut is especially useful for resistant strains of head lice, because they don't use chemicals or pesticides common to many store-bought products.
To apply WipeOut, saturate the entire head of hair from roots to ends, focusing most closely on the 1-2 inches of hair from the scalp outward. Massage into the scalp and let the product sit for 20 minutes. After the time elapses, you can shampoo and condition the hair as usual if you prefer; this can help make it easier to detangle. Use the Head Hunters Pro Lice comb, which is included with every kit they sell, to comb through the hair in 1-inch sections. They recommend that you wipe the comb onto a white paper towel, to see the lice and nits you're removing. If you need more visual directions, you'll find very helpful step-by-step instructions on the Head Hunters site.
While Head Hunters doesn't specifically say that you have to reapply with WipeOut after the first go-around, the product is gentle enough to use regularly as a conditioner - so apply as often as you need to feel secure that the lice infestation has been conquered. They do recommend that you use the lice comb every other day until no more evidence of lice is spotted.
For head lice prevention, check out Head Hunters Lemon Heads product line. This consists of a shampoo, conditioner, and spray that have been proven to repel the transfer of adult lice, while repairing the hair and scalp that may have been damaged by a previous infestation. The lemon essence of all three products masks the scent left behind by head lice - a scent that tells other lice "this head is a good host!" (Gross, we know.) Also included in the formula are geraniol, rosemary, eucalyptus and mint, which are designed to provide lasting protection over the course of 24 hours.
Unfortunately, Head Hunters doesn't offer a customer satisfaction guarantee. You can return unused items within 30 days, but if you try their lice product and it doesn't work for you - or worse, it provokes a rash or some other unpleasant reaction - you'll be stuck with it. That's definitely not as customer-friendly as most of Head Hunters' competitors.
Without a good return policy, you might be wondering why Head Hunters still managed to earn a 4-star rating. The reason? Their extraordinary success stories. We found customers who said that they had spent thousands of dollars on other products, trying but failing to get rid of their family's lice infestation - but with one round of Head Hunters' lice products, they were louse-and-nit-free extremely quickly. Many customers particularly love the sweet, softly fruity smell of the WipeOut conditioner, and they rave about the effectiveness of the lice comb.
Even though Head Hunters can't compete when it comes to their customer satisfaction policy (or lack thereof), their lice application and prevention products are top-notch. We definitely recommend that you consider them if you're dealing with a lice infestation.
Since 1999, Fairy Tales has been helping parents in the epic battle against head lice with an all-natural, pesticide free formula that includes both dealing with and preventing lice. The main ingredients in the Fairy Tales product line are:
These ingredients are gentle enough to use daily, so if you want to use for several days in a row in conjunction with combing out, you can definitely do that. Customers really rave about the Terminator lice comb - especially parents who've had to do battle with lice more than once.
To apply the Lice Goodbye Mousse, the hair should first be damp and then the product massaged through from scalp to ends. Next, the hair should be combed thoroughly with the comb, and then the hair should sit for 10 minutes. You'll have to reapply and follow the instructions again. While the product instructions don't specifically say to reapply in 7-10 days, that's a safe bet with most lice products. (Note: we found different product instructions depending on which product page we looked at, so be sure to follow those that come with the product itself. Some instructions said to comb first, then let the product sit, while others said to apply-sit-comb. We also found some instructions that said to be sure to reapply at least one time, two days after the initial application.)
Fairy Tales also has the Rosemary Repel line of prevention products; use daily to discourage a re-infestation of lice, especially if your child's school, studio, or other daily environment continues to have a lice problem.
What we love about Fairy Tales are the results. From professional hairdressers to the average mom or dad, we found so many people who said that the products smell good, are gentle enough to use several days in a row, and that they've worked when brand-name, pesticide-based applications failed.
Where Fairy Tales could improve is with a strong customer return policy. We have no idea what their satisfaction guarantee is, if any - because they don't seem to put it on any of their product labels or advertising. But, given the overwhelmingly positive customer experience with their lice application and prevention products, we still think that Fairy Tales is an excellent choice for getting rid of head lice - and keeping them away.
Liceadex is part of the Q Based brand family, a company that enjoys a perfect "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau. Despite a less-than-attractive website, Liceadex is a reputable product for handling head lice.
This product combats lice with a one-step Lice & Nit Removal Gel. The gel uses natural ingredients rather than pesticides to kill live bugs and help loosen nits. According to the manufacturer, the gel also dries out the nits, preventing them from hatching if they don't get combed out the first time.
To apply Liceadex, you section the hair into 4-6 chunks and apply the gel from the roots to the tips of the hair. For short to shoulder-length hair, the product should be left on for 20 minutes; longer hair may require up to an hour before combing out. A 4-ounce bottle should be more than enough for one application for short/thin hair, but you may need more if you are dealing with very long or thick hair. Once the gel has soaked in for at least 20 minutes, use the included nit removal comb thoroughly and rinse well once the entire head has been combed.
As with most lice products, the company recommends that you reapply in 9-10 days, to ensure than any nits that were missed and have since hatched don't have the opportunity to lay more eggs.
Because you may need more than 4 oz. for your whole family, you'll appreciate that Liceadex is sold in a range of sizes:
Note that only the kit comes with the nit comb; if you want to order one of the larger product sizes, you'll want to include a kit to get the comb too, unless you already have one on hand from a previous lice product.
Our only concern with Liceadex is their customer satisfaction policy. While the site proudly advertises a 100% money-back guarantee, the fine print reads differently. You have to call to speak to a customer service representative within the first 7 days of application if you don't think it's working for you; without that phone call in that timeframe, you're out of luck.
Also, the exceptions specifically state that allergic reactions aren't covered as a reason for refund: "our product ingredients are listed online". In other words, you should know in advance if you're allergic to Coconut Diethanolamine, Cyclotetrasiloxane, and all of the other 17 difficult-to-pronounce ingredients before using their lice product. These exceptions would make us very hesitant to buy one of the larger product packages, even if we needed a lot of gel to to handle our whole family.
On the other hand, many customers say that Liceadex works perfectly for their family. Compliments range from "smells good and feels good on the scalp" to "works when no other product did". They also were happy with the fast shipping options: free 2-5-day shipping on all orders over $50, and same-day shipping for orders placed by 3PM Central Time.
Liceadex is an effective lice product, and the pleasant-smelling gel is easy to apply. But, compared with other companies, Q Based could be more customer-friendly with their return policy. We look forward to seeing a positive change in this regard in the future.
LiceLogic was created by a mom frustrated with a lice outbreak in her child's classroom. Working with an entomologist and a chemist, LiceLogic founder Jill Taft designed a non-toxic alternative to most commercially-produced lice products that use pesticides to kill lice and nits.
The company's main product is the LiceLogic shampoo, which consists of these ingredients:
To apply LiceLogic, massage into damp hair and scalp for 15 minutes. Comb through the hair, and then let it stand for another 15 minutes. Without first rinsing the hair, use the included nit comb to work through the hair section by section. The shampoo is gentle enough to use daily, but you absolutely need to reapply at least once 7-10 days after the first application.
Every 8-ounce bottle contains enough for up to 16 applications, depending on the thickness and length of the hair. Customers say that a little goes a long way, so you may get even more uses out of the bottle than advertised.
While LiceLogic advertises a 100% satisfaction guarantee, their actual return policy says that they only accept unopened bottles for a refund. So, if you try their shampoo and find that it doesn't help get rid of your lice problem, you'll be out at least the $25 you spent.
That's a definite possibility: while about 75% of the customer reviews we found say that LiceLogic works great and smells fantastic, the other fourth described the product as ineffective in solving their family's lice infestation. Of course, there's no one lice application that is 100% effective, but LiceLogic doesn't give you your money back if theirs doesn't work for you.
Because LiceLogic is non-toxic and pleasant-smelling, and because it works for the majority of their customers, we still give their shampoo a solid 3-star rating. But, we'd like to see the company offer a more competitive return policy more in line with the top lice products we reviewed.
If you're looking for an entire-home solution to lice, Clearlice offers a wider range of products that just about any other company. From environmental sprays to gallon-size bottles of lice-killing shampoo, you'll find it here.
Clearlice gets rid of lice and nits by breaking open their exoskeletons and leaving them unprotected. According to their instructions, this means that you only have to do one application because "the life cycle is broken". They also offer a preventative line of sprays and shampoos, to try and discourage new lice from taking up residence on a newly-cleaned head of hair.
Clearlice has a nice visual depiction of how to use their products - you just won't find it on the individual product "How" tab. Instead, go to the About Us dropdown at the top of the page and then go to the Instructions link. If you decide to use Clearlice, be prepared for a much lengthier application process, compared with other products. You'll need to lather the hair completely with shampoo, let it soak under the included shower cap for 40 minutes, rinse the hair and the cap - and then do it all over again with a 20-minute soaking time instead of 40. You'll then need to use the Clearlice conditioner, let that sit for 5 minutes - and then yes, you'll need to do the combing you'd expect with any lice product protocol.
If you need to return the product, you have 30 days from when it was shipped to request a refund. You will need to return all used and unused bottles, seal the comb in a plastic bag, and pay for the return shipping costs. You also need a return authorization number prior to shipping the products back. Note: orders of 3 or more gallons are not eligible for a refund.
Clearlice enjoys a strong reputation, with an "A+" rating at the Better Business Bureau at the time of our most recent review. And, like most lice products, it works for about 75% of users - with a good return policy for those that don't get relief after using it.
However, a concern expressed by several customers is the lack of detailed ingredients: one said that she used the laundry additive, only to find out that the ingredients list on the bottle was different from what was shown online. This customer had a severe allergy to one of the ingredients that wasn't listed on the website and wouldn't have ordered the laundry additive if she had known beforehand. We'd definitely like to see a more comprehensive list of ingredients for each of their lice application and prevention products.
Also, many customers say that the ingredients in the lice shampoo are irritating, both to the skin and when breathing while the product is applied. Some said that their children broke out in a rash, and others say that the conditioner is hot almost to the point of feeling like it burns.
Finally, many said that the product doesn't stretch very far - that they had to spend hundreds of dollars to get enough to cover the members of their family. Add that to the extended application time and the lack of a comprehensive ingredients list, and you may find that Clearlice still has you scratching your head - literally and figuratively.
What about dealing with the hair itself? Prepare yourself for a lengthy process. First, you'll need to select a lice product to apply to the hair; while some people may swear by home remedies like mayonnaise or olive oil, those approaches haven't been shown to be effective enough to guarantee that you won't still have nits that hatch later on. Commercially-produced lice products are a much more trustworthy approach. You'll apply the product thoroughly according to the package directions, using a lice comb to help remove live lice and nits - the white specks that at first glance look like dandruff but are firmly attached to the hair shaft.
Recheck the hair 8-12 hours after the product is applied: if you still see active lice, the product may not be working. If this happens, you should talk with your health care provider, who may recommend a different lice product.
If the product you applied does seem to be working - in other words, no live lice are spotted when you check later - you'll still want to comb through the hair with a nit comb every 2-3 days. Why? Those nits in the hair can sometimes hatch days later. For that reason, it's also typically recommended that you reapply the lice product 9-10 days after the first application, so that any newly-hatched lice (from nits that didn't get combed out) are killed before they can lay eggs in the hair. This helps prevent self-reinfestation.
With respect to prevention, some lice product lines have a spray that can be used to help discourage lice from taking up residence in the first place; especially for girls with long hair, many moms swear by pulling their kids' hair back in tight braids before school and spraying with these prevention products, which often use tea tree oil or other natural ingredients.
When deciding which lice product to use in your family, you might feel overwhelmed by the number of choices. Here are some helpful criteria to keep in mind as you narrow down your options to the right lice product for your situation:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Lice Products on the market today. We hope this information helps you get lice-free quickly, with as little hassle as possible!
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