Head Lice are common among elementary and preschool-age children. But regardless of your age, you might get infested with lice. These can be seen behind the ears, on the hair strands, scalp, and back of the neck.
Lice spread through the sharing of personal items such as hairbrushes, hats, clothing and coming in close contact with another person. Lice cannot fly or jump but they can walk slowly without your notice and start living in your head by feeding on dead cells and blood, laying eggs and multiplying over time.
With lice infestation, being around with people becomes irritating. It makes social life horrible. Since lice infestation can spread, you have to be proactive if you find one in any of your family member’s head. Also, people often complain about recurring lice. You have to extinguish lice and their eggs completely to avoid this problem. Lice infestation causes increased scratching in the head, inflammation, and dry skin with oozing sticky fluid that becomes visible on the fingertips after scratching.
There are various ointments, soaps, and lotions available for killing head lice. But these can be harsh, especially on children. They can cause skin irritation and dryness. To avoid this, you can use natural herbal remedies.
Here are various natural ways to get rid of lice in one day.
Tea Tree Oil
Using Tea Tree Oil for killing head lice is a great home remedy for children. It inherently has ovicidal and insecticidal effects, which helps to kill eggs of lice. With dilution, it works mildly on the scalp without affecting the hair follicles. Studies show that applying Tea Tree essential oil kills every single louse on the head. It delivers a mortality rate of 100 percent.
- Take a few drops of tea tree essential oil in your hand and apply it on your scalp before going to bed
- Spread a towel on the pillow to avoid oil spill
- Comb your hair in the morning to remove all the dead eggs and lice
Mayonnaise is made by combing egg whites with lemon juice and vinegar. It has a gooey texture to it. Applying mayonnaise on your head might seem weird but it works! It suffocates the lice and restricts their movement. Lice are slow-moving insects. Mayonnaise stops the legs of lice and keeps them stuck until they die and go into the drain when you take a morning shower.
- Take 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and apply all over the scalp.
- Wear a shower cap before going to bed and leave it overnight.
- Shampoo your hair in the morning to get rid of dead lice bodies.
Note: This remedy works at killing lice but it is not effective in destroying eggs.
Listerine works at killing lice because it contains thymol, methyl salicylate, and eucalyptus. Thymol suffocates the lice and kills them within minutes and eucalyptus dissolves the eggs. The methyl salicylate acts as a catalyst to paralyze the muscles and cut down the oxygen absorption in the body of lice.
- Add a 5 to 10 drops of Listerine on your scalp and thoroughly douse
- Wear a shower cap to cover it. Make sure Listerine does not come in contact with your eyes, ears or face
- Leave it for 2 hours, remove the shower cap and comb your hair to remove dead lice and eggs
- Rinse with a good shampoo
Olive oil works great on adult lice but is not effective on the nits. However, it can unglue the nits from the roots of the hairs. Using additional treatment with vinegar later would foolproof the process. Olive oil blocks the spiracles of lice and cuts the supply of oxygen into their body. An additional benefit of using olive oil is it leaves your hair shiny and smooth after the treatment.
- Apply 1 ½ Tbs of olive oil to your hair and scalp
- Wear a shower cap and go to bed. Leave it on overnight
- In the morning, comb and wash your head with warm water to remove dead lice and eggs.
Coconut oil forces lice to move out of their hideouts as it suffocates them. While using this remedy wearing a shower cap is essential as lice could run out of your head and find a new host- new family member. Leaving the copious amount of warm coconut oil on the scalp for long hours is an excellent remedy to kill the lice and untangle the eggs.
- In a pan, warm 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
- Apply this oil to your head and massage for a few minutes
- Cover your head with a shower cap
- Leave it for 2 to 3 hours and then using a nit comb thoroughly comb your hair to remove dead lice and eggs.
- Shampoo to rinse your hair
Vinegar is effective in killing eggs and nymphs but is less effective against adult lice. Before using vinegar, thoroughly comb your hair to get rid of big lice for the treatment to be a success. The main reason why vinegar works are because it has acetic acid. It loosens the bond between the hair and nits. This helps to wash them off easily while rinsing your hair.
- Dilute the White vinegar or Apple Cider vinegar with water by mixing 1 part water to 1 part vinegar.
- Abundantly apply the diluted vinegar to your scalp on all areas
- Leave it for 20 minutes and if required wrap your head in a towel
- With a nit comb, comb your hair to remove dead lice and eggs
- Rinse the hair and scalp with water thoroughly
Neem oil is a natural insecticide. It has a light green appearance and a pungent odor. The key ingredient in the neem oil is azadirachtin, which is a tetranortriterpenoid, which disrupts the life cycle of insects. There are also organic steroids in the oil, which suffocate lice.
- Add 2 to 5 drops of neem oil to your shampoo
- Apply it to your scalp and rinse it.
- Using a nit comb, comb different sections of the hair to remove lice.
Benzyl Alcohol induces an asphyxiating effect on the lice. It is a pediculicide approved by FDA as safe for children above 6 months of age. It is effective in killing adult lice on the scalp. One downside of using alcohol on your head is it produces a burning sensation and if there are any scratches, you could shriek. Excess use of benzyl alcohol can damage your hair follicles. Also, do not use alcohol near the fire. To avoid the side effects, you can simply dip a comb with benzyl alcohol and comb your hair to remove lice.
Baby oil contains mineral oil and essential oils. It restricts the air passage in lice and suffocates them. The slippery nature of baby oil removes eggs from the shafts and eliminates their stickiness.
- Apply a generous amount of baby oil on your scalp and massage for a few minutes
- Wear a shower cap and leave it overnight.
- In the morning, comb your hair with a nit comb and remove dead lice and eggs
- Rinse your hair with dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent.
Note: Ensure not to put detergent in your ears, mouth, and eyes. Kids can use tea tree oil or neem-based shampoo instead of harsh detergent.
This remedy will eliminate all the lice in your head. But repeat this 3 to 4 times in a month to ensure that these blood-sucking parasites don’t come back.
Applying a good amount of petroleum jelly makes your scalp uninhabitable and suffocates every louse to death. In terms of mortality rate, petroleum jelly is one among the highest. It is suitable for everyone including pregnant women and children.
- Apply lots of petroleum jelly on your scalp to cover every area and leave it overnight
- In the morning, apply baby oil and comb your hair gently to remove the lice.
- Using shampoos wash your hair and completely remove the jelly.
- Check your head routinely, once every week to detect lice and eggs.
- Advice your kids to not exchange their hats
- Do not use the same airbrush between your family members
- Do not share headbands, helmets, hoodies, scarves, and coats
- If lice detected among one of your kids, make them sleep separately
- Use essential oils at home, aromatherapy, head massages, etc
- Use shampoo with essential oils such as lavender, menthol, tea tree oil, citronella, lemongrass, and rosemary oil
- Spray peppermint on clothes, pillows and hair accessories
- Use a scarf where your head can possibly come in contact with public seats, in airplane and movie theatre
- Tie your hair to lower the chance of getting an infestation
- Vacuum clean caps and pillow
- Do not miss showering after spending a long day outdoors.
- Parents have to check their kids personally for lice even though there might be a school nurse assigned to it.