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Nits nightmare – which treatments work best


We’d avoided nits for over 10 years and then they struck.

My eldest went for a sleepover with several friends. A week later she was scratching her head quite a lot. I didn’t see anything on my first couple of inspections but then found a couple of lice. Two days later my other children were itching and scratching. 🙁

I hotfooted it to the local chemist. Most treatments recommended needed to be left in for 8-12 hours. I opted for Full Marks. It was one of the quick ones.

We waited until Friday night as during the rest of the week we didn’t have time to apply and thoroughly rinse out a really greasy treatment before bed (times three children and two adults).

I let school know the next day so other parents could check their children for nits and lice.

The first attempt – Full Marks

Friday evening was spent with a bottle of wine and Full Marks solution as we treated the whole family.

This was a five minute treatment, which said no second one was required.

It took us ages to get it through the girls’ dry hair. We poured on loads and whilst it immediately made the top of their hair hugely greasy, it was really difficult to spread through to the ends. We had to shampoo and rinse multiple times to get rid of the residue and followed up with plenty of combing.

A couple of days later there were more lice.

The second attempt – Boots own brand for nits

Again this appealed as it said it worked in 15 minutes. It also had the advantage of being cheaper than the well-known brands. This [Boots Pharmaceuticals Head Lice Solution] too was very greasy and was tough to get through the whole hair. We had to shampoo and rinse their hair twice as it remained greasy. We then combed through their damp hair thoroughly to remove the lice and nits (eggs). Lots came out.

A few days later they were itching once again.

The third attempt – Hedrin


We used Hedrin Treat & Go. Again, this was greasy. We left it to dry (though it never felt properly dry) and all went to bed with it in. It required a number of shampoo and rinses. We did lots of combing.

We repeated a week later. A day or so after the second treatment, I was horrified to find more nits and then a couple of days after that some lice.

The fourth attempt – Lyclear

Lyclear is a one go treatment. We applied to dry hair and left for 15 minutes. We then combed through the hair with the comb provided before rinsing. Success!!!

Follow up – Vamousse and a comb for nits (Nitty Gritty)

Since writing this post the girls have got nits several more times. Most recently we’ve been using Vamousse, which has been the most effective at clearing them. I had a lot of recommendations for the Nitty Gritty comb from people reading this post. I invested in one and it is really efficient at getting them out. We use it routinely after baths.

Follow up 2 – NitWits All-In-One

After several more effective treatments with Vamousse, it seemed the lice were becoming resistant. We tried out NitWits, which worked very well, quickly and had a very convenient easy spray applicator. Also no laborious combing is required with this treatment. A comb is still provided though so you can ensure dead critters are all removed after if you choose to. Massive thumbs up.



After finally getting rid, we now use Vosene Kids 3 in 1 conditioning shampoo. It has tea tree oil and lemon eucalyptus, which are a big lice deterrent. We follow up with the leave in Vosene Kids Conditioning Defence Spray, which as well as being a repellent has the bonus of detangling the hair.  


About Author

I’m Fran: wife, mother-of-three and freelance publicist. My love for communicating and writing mirrors my passion for trying to be the best mum I can be. I love good food & wine, Italian culture and football and have a keen interest in personal finance. I also blog over on Epsom & Ewell Families and Habyts, and write sporadically for a number of other sites.


  1. We use coconut oil it’s cheaper and smells lovely bonus shiny tangle free hair.

    Cover hair root to tip, leave for about 3 hours, comb through with a nit comb. Lice should be dead and eggs should just slide off as the oil suffocates them. Rinse hair thoroughly with normal shampoo. For us it usually takes 3 washes.

    To keep them away a drop of tea tree oil behind the ears.

    • Hi Zoe,

      Thanks for this brilliant advice! Will certainly be doing this going forward as the solutions are so expensive and don’t seem to work very well. Any particular coconut oil brand you’d recommend?

      Fran x

  2. Get a nitty gritty comb, they’re about £10 from boots. Use it every third day, after washing hair but leaving conditioner in, until all lice and eggs clear. No nasty leave in stuff that never works and costs a fortune when doing 5 heads. Also then use it once a week to check. It’s time consuming but it works. I wish all parents were like you though and treated their kids hair when they find them no matter how they decide to do it just get rid of horrible things. Xx

  3. CarolineCollom on

    Nitty Gritty comb – no chemicals, lotions or potions, works every time! Just shampoo as normal, put conditioner on (to make hair slippery) then comb out thoroughly. Rinse hair – done

  4. We wash their hair with normal shampoo + 10 drops of tea tree oil, leave in for two minutes and then wash out. Then, you guessed it, comb with a nitty gritty!

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