Before you reach for pricey pharmaceutical drugs, why not consider getting rid of head lice with home remedies?
Head lice are small parasitic insects that are uniquely adapted to living on the scalp and hairs of a human host. They cannot survive anywhere except on the human body, where they feed from the blood vessels in the scalp. In fact, most head lice die within three days without a host.
They are an equal opportunity parasite and have no respect whatsoever for status or class. Having head lice does not indicate a lack of hygiene on the part of the person infected. There are a number of ways head lice are acquired:
- From head-to-head contact with the hair of an infested person
- From sharing combs, brushes, hats or other hair accessories
- From bedding or upholstery for a brief period after it has been in contact with infested hair.
Methods for Getting Rid of Head Lice with Home Remedies
There are a number of home remedies that you can use to get rid of head lice. Whichever remedy you choose to use, it must achieve three objectives:
- Remove all the head lice eggs
- Kill all the live head lice
- Get rid of head lice in your household
Remove All the Head Lice Eggs
This step is just as important as killing any live lice that may be in the hair. Failure to remove nits (head lice eggs) just means that newly hatched head lice will re-infest the hair after treatment. Here's how to get rid of the nits:
Rinse Hair in White Vinegar
White vinegar often recommended as a remedy for head lice. While it won't kill head lice, it will help loosen the nits, making nit-picking easier. Here's how to use white vinegar to loosen lice nits:
- Shampoo the hair and condition it. This will also make it harder for the head lice to hold onto the shafts of our hair. Adding a few drops of tea tree essential oil will also aid in getting rid of the lice.
- Rinse the hair with white vinegar, leaving it wet.
- Soak a towel in some white vinegar to dampen it. Wrap the damp towel around the rinsed hair.
- Leave the towel on for thirty to sixty minutes.
Nit-pick the Hair
- Buy a good quality, fine-toothed nit comb. You can find these at most pharmacies.
- Drape a towel around the shoulders of the person infected. Comb through the hair with a regular comb.
- Next, carefully comb through using a fine-toothed nit comb. Begin each stroke at the root of the hair, working your way up the shaft to the tips of your hair.
- Wash the nit comb clean between each stroke.
- After about thirty minutes to an hour, depending on the length and thickness of your hair, rinse your hair.
- Repeat these steps again every three days for up to three weeks.
Kill the Live Head Lice
Oil-based treatments such as olive oil and regular mayonnaise may be effective in suffocating the head lice and killing them. Here's how to use either one to kill the head lice:
- Saturate the hair in either olive oil or regular mayonnaise.
- Cover the hair with a shower cap. You may also just wrap it in plastic cling foil
- Leave the cap on for at least two hours
- Nit-pick the hair once again, this time to remove the dead head lice
- Shampoo your hair thoroughly until you get rid of all the olive oil or mayonnaise
- Repeat these steps every three days for up to three weeks.
Get Rid of Head Lice in Your household
- Wash all the bedding and towels that the infected person has been in contact with
- Put the pillows in the dryer for about an hour
- Spray the dried laundry and pillows with a disinfectant such as Lysol
- Soak all the combs, hairbrushes, hair bands and other hair accessories in a bleach-and-water solution
Getting rid of head lice with home remedies can often be just as effective as using a commercial product. Consult with your health care provider to determine which one is the best option if you or a loved one have lice-infested hair.