I know a thing or two about head lice. I've previously written a very comprehensive post which pretty much covers everything you need to know about headlice, including photos and a video showing a headlouse walking. Raising 7 children has made me somewhat of an unreluctant expert,and I'm always more than happy to try any new product as long as it doesn't contain chemicals we know to be harmful to humans.
The active ingredient is the same in both Vamousse products - the Protective Shampoo and the Mousse Application and is Isopropyl Myristate. This is a mixture of alcohol and a fatty acid (usually derived from Nutmeg or other edible oils and fats) and dissolves the waxy cover on a headlouse. The headlouse dehydrates and dies.
The difference between the Mousse Treatment and the Protective Shampoo is the strength of the concentration, and the method of application.
I comb through my younger children's hair each Sunday with a nit comb - usually before their bath or while they're in the bath and have hair conditioner on their hair. Whenever I've discovered headlice I've then treated my children, and for this I'd use the Mousse Application Head Lice Treatment (suitable for age 2+).
The Mousse has a nice feel and is very easy to use. It smells pleasant, slightly sweet and citrusy due to the Geranoil it contains. It isn't harsh on my skin and doesn't leave any oily or greasy residue, it just left my skin soft. It won't kill tiny eggs, however it should help detach them from the hair. A fine 'nit comb' is provided and use of that a couple of times over the following week should remove them all.
Vamousse Protective Shampoo is designed to be used specifically when you don't find any live headlice, but know they are a potential problem, and should be used every day for around 2 weeks for best effect. It is a much gentler concentration and designed to kill the immature lice before they can begin to breed. By using it each day you start to kill the lice immediately your child catches them, and an infestation can't occur.
The shampoo is actually a very runny clear liquid which smells almost identical to the mousse, with no 'clinical' smell. It doesn't leave the hair greasy or oily, and as expected didn't make anyone's scalp irritated or itchy. It did leave a slight film on my hands which felt weird for a minute, and it was necessary to use conditioner on my 5 year old's hair, although I got away without with my 6 year old. My boys didn't complain any more than usual about 'soap in my eyes', so it passes that test too.
I think the Protective Shampoo is a very useful tool in certain circumstances. When the letters go out at school saying that a child in your child's class has headlice you might feel it's a good idea to protect your little one. In our case if one of our small boys catches headlice then using the Protective Shampoo will help prevent it spreading around our family and us having to treat person after person to eradicate all of the headlice completely, as has happened in the past.
We haven't had headlice here for over 10 months now, so I haven't been able to test the effectiveness of either product on actual live lice (thankfully!), but I have faith in the ingredients and the science behind them, and I am happy to use them on myself or my children.
Vamousse Protective Shampoo retails at £9.99 for 200ml. Vamousse Head Lice Treatment retails at £14.99 for 160ml. Both are available to buy at Boots, Superdrug, Ocado and all good pharmacies. For more information, including a great game your children can play to distract them while you treat their hair, please see the Vamousse website.
Vamousse have kindly offered a prize bundle worth over £25 for one of my readers. The bundle includes 1 x pack of Vamousse Head Lice Treatment, 1 x Vamousse Protective Shampoo and 1 x Turbie Twist Turban Towel (colour may vary). Entry to the giveaway is via Gleam form below. The giveaway will end at midnight on Sunday 20th September. UK entries only please.
If you haven't used Gleam before or to enter my other giveaways, please see my giveaways page.
I was provided with samples of the Vamousse products for review, which I shall keep safely until we have our next outbreak (probably the first week back at school now that I've bragged about it being 10 months), and once I've used them I will update this post with my results....