As a young child, I had reddish-blonde curly hair. Family members and friends gave me the nickname, “Kelley Curl.” I really loved my nickname, since I really loved my curly hair. Since my hair looked much like Shirley Temple’s, I had to watch every one of her movies. I really loved her and was sad when she passed away.
The only problem I had with my hair was contracting head lice. I just kept on getting it. Mother spent almost a fortune on various shampoos to kill the lice and then used a small tooth comb to remove the nits. Of course, she cleaned the house from top to bottom. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the problem to reoccur, since it became an epidemic at my school.
Soon, Mother discovered that the shampoo we had been using became ineffective in killing the lice and so we tried other brands. Nothing seemed to work! We did the mayonnaise treatment and olive oil, too! These homemade treatments were not as effective as we would have liked; especially me!
During this time, Harvard University was doing a study on head lice. They claimed that certain lice had become resistant to shampoo treatments. Mother sent them several bugs to see if the lice I had were resistant to regular treatments and if they could make a suggestion on how to get rid of them.
A few weeks later, Mother received a letter from the researchers at Harvard University and the bugs were resistant to over-the-counter treatments and that we would have to physically remove the bugs by the use of a small-tooth comb.
Eventually, Mother decided to use Grandma’s remedy for getting rid of head lice. Mother used kerosene on my hair. She was very careful in using it, but there was nothing she could do with it burning my scalp. It took care of the lice, but it also ruined my hair and my scalp.
Mother felt guilty over using kerosene, but she also knew it was possible for me to get head lice again. As I mentioned earlier, my school experienced an ongoing epidemic of children getting head lice. Therefore, Mother decided to purchase recommended products from overseas. One such product came from Australia. Let me tell you, it worked! I know since I had become a magnet for getting head lice. This shampoo killed the lice and their eggs seemed to easily fall off the hair shaft.
Now, I was grateful that Mother had found the perfect shampoo for eliminating head lice and nits; but my hair and scalp were ruined. My beautiful, curly hair was dry and lifeless. My scalp was constantly itching and I kept getting these sores on the back of my scalp.
I accepted my itchy scalp or scalp pruritus was a common condition, since both of my parents had to use a dandruff shampoo. Yet, scalp pruritus can be caused by a number of factors and can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Hey, I was not going to investigate and that’s because I had enough to deal with at that time!
I was a dork! I wore these horrible, bifocals during my teenage years, because I had juvenile glaucoma. I discovered to my dismay at the age of 10, that I might lose my eyesight before I turned 20. Of course, I was more worried about losing my sight than about my hair and never considered asking a medical professional about the condition of my scalp. Throughout my teenage years, I used dandruff shampoo and wore my hair in a ponytail.

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Graduate from Radford University with a degree in criminal justice and martial arts; former Miss Norfolk Teen USA; Administrator for Beautiful, Healthy, Strong Hair