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Dr. TJ Gold Explains the Facts of Lice


They are associated with disease and uncleanliness but lice hop on to the tidiest and healthiest among us. Rest assured, they do NOT carry disease. And they are a fact of life for kids in the city.

In New York City, parents pay up to $500 to have lice combed out of their kid’s hair. But Tribeca Pediatrics’ Dr. TJ Gold explains that lice-removal does not have to involve a “professional” or big bucks.

“I combed out my own daughters hair when her class was infested. The best way to approach lice-removal is to do a manual extraction plus a thorough conditioner comb-out once a day, for about a week. This will give you the best results without or before resorting to harsh chemicals. The expensive nit-picking ladies do exactly what parents can do and you won’t have to spend hundreds per kid. Outsourcing the lice-removal can be a convenient option, sure, but you still have to follow-up their strategy, which involves continued combing for days after they have gone.”

Here’s how you do the lice comb-out:

1. Buy a metal, fine toothed lice comb, not a cheap plastic one. (The German brands are best.) And some Pantene conditioner (it’s thick, white and traps the lice in its gloop). 

2. Before starting, brush and comb out your child’s tangles to avoid the inevitable tears!

3. Glob  the conditioner all over your kids head for maximum coverage. 

4. Comb methodically, catching excess Pantene in paper towels, until you’ve thoroughly covered every section of hair.

Do this for a few to several days or more. You’ll know when to stop, when you see no more lice.

Obviously, check in with us if you have more questions, but it’s good to know that you’re not alone with these icky critters. And that sometimes your obsessive, parental nit-picking is just what the doctor ordered.

Ceridwen Morris is the co-author of From The Hips: A Comprehensive, Open-Minded, Totally Honest, Uncensored Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Becoming a Parent. She teaches childbirth and newborn care classes at Tribeca Parenting.