Woman blasts vegan neighbour who refuses to kill her daughter’s nits

  • Concerned woman noticed the little girl’s hair was ‘crawling with head lice’
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A woman has hit out at a mother who refuses to kill her daughter’s nits because of her vegan lifestyle.

The concerned parent, from Australia, wrote into 9Coach to ask for advice over how she could reason with the mother.

In the letter, which was written in 2015 but recently resurfaced online, the woman explained how the ‘delightful’ little girl is her daughter’s best friend.  

She wrote: ‘My seven-year-old daughter is best friends with the girl next door, whose family are vegan. 

‘That’s fine. We respect their choice and even make special food when little River comes to play.’ 

The concerned woman noticed her daughter’s best friend’s hair was ‘crawling with head lice’. Stock photo

During one of their play dates, the mother couldn’t help but notice that her daughter’s friend was scratching her head ‘furiously’.

On closer inspection, the parent found that the seven-year-old girl’s head was ‘crawling with head lice’. 

Although the mother describes herself as ‘pretty easy-going’, she decided to bring it up with her next door neighbour.

However, she was shocked to learn that the mother was well aware of her daughter’s head lice – but couldn’t bear to kill them.

She told the mother that her vegan lifestyle means she couldn’t kill any living thing.

Instead, the parent has taken to brushing her daughter’s hair in the garden as she hopes this will give them a better chance of survival.

Describing how her ‘jaw hit the floor’, the mother said she doesn’t want to stop the girls from playing together – but isn’t sure what else to do.

She added: ‘There’s no way “combing them into the garden” is going to work (industrial-grade pesticide barely works) and I don’t want my daughter covered in vermin.’ 


Head lice are tiny insects which live and lay their eggs in hair. Their empty egg cases which stick to hair are known as ‘nits’.

Lice, which can be treated by an over-the-counter medication, quickly multiply and can cause itching and inflammation of the scalp.

In severe cases, infections can be caused when children scratch their head with dirty fingernails or if faecal matter from the lice gets into a scratch.

All people who come in contact with the infected person should also check if they have contracted the bug because it spreads easily.

Clothing, bedding and other products need to be laundered in high heat in order to kill the bugs.

If something can’t be washed, then it needs to be either dry cleaned or sealed in a bag for two weeks to help kill off the infestation.

The comb and conditioner method is the preferred way to detect and treat head lice because it is effective, does not contribute to insecticide resistance in head lice and also presents a low risk of skin irritation.

What you’ll need:

Normal comb to detangle hair prior to using metal lice comb

Fine toothed metal lice comb (available from your local chemist or online)

Conditioner – buy a cheap brand as you will be needing a lot of it, and preferably one that is white to make spotting the lice easier

White paper towel

The website’s agony aunt Alexandra Carlton, from Sydney, was also left stumped by the dilemma – and described the vegan mother as a ‘sanctimonious twit’. 

At first, Alexandra suggested that the children play a game of ‘hairdresser’ on their next playdate – which would give the mother a chance to treat the lice.

However, she admitted that this would run the risk of upsetting her neighbour and putting a strain on their relationship.

Alternatively, Alexandra suggested she ‘call her bluff’ and tell the mother she wouldn’t let the girls play together until the nit infestation had been treated. 

That said, this would inevitably upset her daughter if the vegan parent still refuses to act.

As such, the agony aunt told the mother to tie her daughter’s hair as tight as possible when she next sees her friend again to potentially reduce the risk of picking up nits.

She also suggested spraying her hair with conditioner, tea-tree and eucalyptus oils. However, the NHS website states that there is no known head lice prevention.

Instead, they recommend regularly washing your child’s  hair to catch any lice early. 

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