Turns out stars really are like us—right down to the nitty-gritty of parenting. Last week, Jennifer Garner joked to Jimmy Fallon that she and husband Ben Affleck weren’t invited to George Clooney’s wedding because he didn’t want “Licey” there. No, the family didn’t have head lice during the magical weekend Clooney said, I do, but Jen admits the first time she met Clooney her hair was slicked back in a lice treatment that smelled like “rosemary and sulfur.” Yep, even celebs aren’t immune to this pesky health problem. “We all got lice,” she said, itching her head just recalling the fiasco.
Thankfully, my son Jack has never had lice, but I’ve received the dreaded letter stating that there’s a case of head lice in his classroom. And like, Jen, I itched and squirmed just reading it. After panicking a little bit, I calmed down, put a movie on for my kid, and checked his head with a flashlight, fine tooth comb, and magnifying glass. Jack has sandy blonde hair which is the same color as the bugs, so that made it extra hard for me to detect anything. Luckily his daycare brought in professionals to check the children and my son’s head was declared clean—phew! I also took him to a local kiddy salon that specializes in checking kids’ heads for lice. Again, he was clean. But because lice are sneaky, I still wanted to find a way to combat them and protect my kid—and me from an outbreak.
After some research, I found that lice don’t like clean hair or the scent of rosemary. Further digging introduced me to a variety of products that repel lice from brands like Fairy Tales, a line of non-toxic treatments, including shampoo and leave-in conditioner, infused with rosemary that promises to repel lice. Promise or not, the fact that I was able to do something in my power to prevent lice from entering my home made me feel good‚ even if it didn’t work. But, I guess it did, because 7 years into parenting, my kid, KNOCK ON WOOD—BANG-BANG-BANG has never had lice.
The good news is that the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that kids with lice shouldn’t have to leave school if they have lice. Because here’s the thing: Lice are a nuisance, but they’re NOT dangerous. They don’t carry disease. Our society associates lice with filth and that is false. However, if your kid comes home with the dreaded letter — and they will at some point in their school career — you need to be diligent and do your best to make sure your kid’s head didn’t become a breading ground for the little critters.