The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word lice is “unclean” and poor hygiene. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Lice are usually contracted from contact with an infected person and are rampant in school going children. Recent reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) place lice infestation at between six to 12 million cases every year in kids aged between three to 11 years. Understandably, lice can be embarrassing as well as gross for most parents. On top of that, the irritating and itchiness that lice cause can be uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are numerous home remedies that you can employ to eradicate head lice and prevent them from becoming a menace.
6 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Head Lice and Their Eggs
There are those who swear by chemical treatments. Unfortunately, you’ll also have to deal with the ugly side effects that these chemicals expose you to. The natural remedies that you can use are easily available and are non-toxic.
This remains the surest and safest way to eradicate head lice. You need a fine-tooth comb to remove the nits (lice eggs that hatch into nymphs) one by one. Remember, regardless of all the methods you apply, combing is a must.
What you need:
- Fine-tooth comb.
- A magnifying glass.
- Clean water and soap.
- Apple cider vinegar or anti-lice hair conditioner.
Completely wet the hair of the person with the (you can mix water and apple cider vinegar). Divide the hair into small section and use the comb to brush the entire head. Be sure to comb from the scalp outwards. Use the water to clean the comb before combing the same section again. Do this about two to three times a week for about three weeks. Remember to sanitize the combs and brushes used to comb lice infested head.
Olive oil is a kitchen staple that has dozens of uses. It turns out that olive oil kills lice by blocking their breathing holes, hence suffocating them. To use olive oil, apply it generously on your kid’s hair, making sure it gets to the scalp. Cover with a shower cap to lock air in, because apparently, lice can survive without breathing for many hours. In the morning, comb the hair thoroughly to remove the nit, which will readily fall thanks to olive oil.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a known antiseptic that can help get rid of head lice. The application is the same as that of olive oil and it’s believed that tea tree oil will suffocate the lice. Many recommend that you repeat this treatment twice or thrice per week until all lice have been terminated.
Coconut oil was found to be the most effective lice killer among other oils. This natural anti-lice treatment worked for 82 percent of test subjects, according to a report published in the European Journal of Pediatrics. More studies revealed that when coconut oil was combined with anise oil and ylang ylang oil, the results were even more impressive and increased the success rate of removing head lice and their eggs. Ingredients to make a natural coconut oil lice treatment:
- Three tablespoons coconut oil.
- One tablespoon tea tree oil, anise oil, and ylang ylang oil.
- One cup of water.
- Two cups apple cider vinegar.
- Mix all the essential oils together and apply generously from the scalp to the hairs end.
- Use a fine-tooth comb to thoroughly comb your hair.
- Use a shower cap to cover the head and sit in the sun or use a hairdryer. Let it sit for at least two hours.
- Comb the hair again and wash off the mixture using running water.
- Next, mix the water and apple cider vinegar and put the mixture in a spray bottle. With the hair still wet, spray the hair until the bottle is halfway used. Massage the rest of the mixture so that every part of the hair is covered.
- Rinse thoroughly and comb once again.
- Dry the hair and apply a light coat of coconut oil.
This process will successfully remove all lice and eggs from the head.
Garlic is the oldest natural remedies for head lice. Using it is simple and involves rubbing garlic oil directly on the scalp. You can also make a garlic mask and apply it on your hair. Simply crash about 10 cloves of garlic and add three tablespoons of lemon juice to form a paste. Apply the hair mask on your hair and let it sit for 30 minutes. Rinse and comb thoroughly.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is known for treating and caring for wounds. However, it also makes for a great home remedy for killing head lice and their eggs. Plus, it doesn’t have a strong smell like that of apple cider vinegar. Mix one part food-grade hydrogen peroxide and three parts water and put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray the hair. Repeat the combing process described above.
How to Remove Head Lice from Your House
Vacuuming the house thoroughly, including furniture, floors, closets, coats, stuffed animals and any other exposed areas will terminate head lice from around the house. After a thorough vacuuming, cover everything with plastic bags to prevent the reoccurrence of these parasites. Additionally, be sure to thoroughly clean hair tools and place them in plastic bags as well. To prevent the spread of head lice, you’d want to avoid close contact with anyone who’s infected or share clothing and hair accessories.