Head lice are quite common in children. However, this should not be seen as an indication of poor hygiene. About 6 to 12 million American kids are plagued with head lice annually.
Head lice are tiny insects that live on the scalp. They can also be found on eyelashes and eyebrows in some cases.
Lice infestation can affect a person of any age or gender. However, it is most common in children between the ages of 4 and 15 years.
Head lice spread through close contact with other people. It can easily spread via contact with infected hair, combs, brushes, clothing, and bedding.
Symptoms of head lice include; fervent itching of the scalp, a feeling that something is crawling on the head, tiny red bumps on scalp, neck, or shoulder, as well as tiny white specks (eggs or nits) attached to the bottom of the hair that are difficult to remove.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, in order to prevent or deal with head lice;
- Ensure you often clean places where people could rest their head in your home such as mattresses, pillows, furniture, and rugs.
- Tie your kid’s hair if their hair is long.
- You could opt for medicated shampoo to help in head lice prevention.
- If you notice your kid is scratching his/her head a lot, strive to check what it is.
- Teach your children not to share hats, headphones, combs, hair brushes, or helmets.
- If someone in your home just got treated for head lice, then wash all their clothes, beddings, and other items of theirs that can be washed.
- You could also wear a hat to protect your hair.
Below are numerous natural ways to get rid of head lice;
The sulfur compounds present in onion makes it difficult for the head lice to grow and thrive comfortably on your head. Take 4-5 onions and peel them. Grind it to form a thick paste. Extract the juice from the paste by pressing it against a sieve. Use this freshly extracted juice to massage on your head and cover it with a plastic cap. Wait for 2 hours and wash your hair with warm water using a shampoo. After your hair is dry, use a nit comb to clear the lice out from your hair.
2. Lemon Juice
Being highly acidic, lemon juice can become a nuisance for the head lice present in your head. Applying lemon juice also prevents the lice from infesting your head. All you have to do is squeeze out some fresh lemon juice and apply it to your scalp. Let it stay for at least half an hour and wash it away using vinegar thereafter. Finally, wash your hair with warm water. Do this once weekly.
Mayonnaise is a commonly used remedy for head lice. It works by suffocating the lice and killing them eventually. Take some mayonnaise and coat each strand of your hair with it. Then, use a plastic cap to cover your head and wait for 5-6 hours. Wash your hair with a shampoo thereafter. Blow dry your hair using a hot hair dryer. The hot air will kill the remaining lice. Then, take a nit comb and remove the dead lice. Do this remedy once weekly.
Neem has natural insecticidal properties which may help in killing the head lice naturally. It also moisturizes the hair and scalp to prevent excessive dryness. Take some leaves and grind them into a paste. Apply it to your scalp as well as hair and let it dry completely. Finally, wash your hair and repeat this remedy twice a week.
Vinegar has acetic acids which can be fatal for the lice. Vinegar kills them effectively and also helps in dissolving the nits that are dead. For this remedy, mix vinegar with mineral oil and apply it to the scalp. Cover your head and leave it overnight. Wash your hair the next morning with a shampoo and repeat this remedy 2-3 times in a week.
6. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has long been used to get rid of head lice naturally. Tea tree oil has insecticidal qualities which aid in killing lice effectively. It also helps in relieving itching associated with head lice. All you have to do is mix tea tree oil with your shampoo and use it regularly for a few months. Measure 3-5 drops of this oil for every ounce of the shampoo and mix it well.
7. Coconut Oil
Apart from its numerous health and skin benefits, coconut oil may also help in eliminating head lice effectively. Coconut oil works by suffocating the parasites and provides a great relief. For this remedy, take a few teaspoons of warm coconut oil and add some camphor to it. Mix well and apply it to your scalp while massaging in a gentle way. Wear a disposable cap and leave the oil on your head overnight. Wash off with a shampoo the next morning. Once the hair becomes dry, take a nit comb and remove the dead lice.
8. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol contains 70% of absolute alcohol which can kill the head lice and eradicate them from your head. Take some rubbing alcohol and pour it slowly over your head. Spread it evenly on your scalp using your fingers. Leave it to work for some minutes. Then, take some conditioner and apply it to your hair and scalp. Comb your hair gently to get rid of the lice. Finally, shampoo your hair to wash off the ingredients. Do this once every week.
9. Olive Oil
Olive oil is another readily available ingredient that could help in killing the lice by suffocating them. All you have to do is generously apply the oil to your head and the entire length of the hair and wear a plastic cap. Do this before going to the bed so the oil gets enough time to kill the lice. The next day, wash your hair with a tea tree oil based shampoo.
10. Wet Combing
Combing your hair with a comb that has fine tooth may help in removing the lice easily from your hair. Since wet hair makes it difficult for the lice to stay attached to it, the lice easily get away with the comb. Take a nit comb and comb your head from the scalp toward the end of your hair. Do this every day for 3-4 days.
Listerine contains compounds that have a strong refreshing smell. This smell is suffocating for the lice thriving on your head. Simply fill up a spray bottle with Listerine and spray it on your scalp. Spread it using your fingers and cover it using a shower cap. Wait for at least 2 hours and wash your hair with a shampoo thereafter. Now comb your hair with a fine-toothed comb. Do this remedy once weekly.
Salt has antiseptic qualities that help in killing the lice as well as its eggs effectively. Mix some salt with vinegar and fill it in a spray bottle. Apply it to your scalp and hair and cover your hair. Let it stay for 1-2 hours and, thereafter, wash away with a shampoo followed by applying a conditioner. Repeat it 2-3 times weekly.
Almonds have long been used in traditional medicine as an effective remedy for head lice. Grind some soaked almonds and mix it with lemon juice to form a paste. Then, apply the paste on your scalp and wait for at least 2 hours before washing it off. Finally, wash off using cold water. This treatment should be done once a week.
The natural compounds, present in thyme, are fatal for the lice. Take some boiling water and add fresh or dried leaves and flowers of thyme into it. Let it steep for 12-15 minutes, then, filter out the water. Rinse your hair with this water. Now comb your hair with the help of a nit comb to get rid of the lice.
Garlic has potent constituents that kill head lice. Take 8-10 cloves of garlic and crush it to make a paste. Then, add a few tablespoons of juice extracted from lemons and mix well. Apply the mixture to your scalp and let it stay for 30 minutes. Finally, wash your hair with warm water.
16. Petroleum Jelly
The thick consistency of the petroleum jelly is great for killing the lice by suffocating them. Simply apply a layer of petroleum jelly on your scalp and hair and wear a shower cap that is close fitting. Let it work overnight and wash your hair with a shampoo the following day. After your hair dries out naturally, comb it to remove the lice. Do this 1-2 times a week to eradicate the lice present.
17. Baking Soda
Baking soda attacks the respiratory system of the lice and kills them. It also soothes an itchy scalp. For this remedy, mix one part of baking soda with 3 parts of a conditioner and spread it on your scalp. Also, apply it to your hair. Comb your hair from root to ends with a fine-toothed comb. Keep wiping the comb to remove the lice that get removed from your head. Rinse your hair with a shampoo and repeat this remedy for a few days.
18. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus is one of the best natural remedies to deal with head lice. It acts as a fumigant that effectively kills the lice. Simply mix some drops of this oil with a carrier oil and apply it to your hair and scalp. Cover your head and let it stay overnight. In the morning, comb your hair to remove the dead lice. Repeat this remedy until you get rid of the lice completely.
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