10 Most Effective Home Remedies for Head Lice That Really Work – For a mother, how scary it is to discover that her kid has got head lice? I am sure, many of you have gone through this experience already, and that’s why, I thought of sharing this article on the best home remedies for lice that give 100% result. Not only kids, even adults can get lice. Most common symptoms of head lice are excessive itching in head specially near the neck area, a ticklish feeling on the scalp, irritation behind the ears etc. You can get infected with head lice by coming in contact with an infected person while playing, during sleepovers, sharing combs etc. Good news is that you can now get rid of them with the help of below mentioned home remedies for head lice.
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It has been found that somewhere between 6-12 million head lice infestations happen among kids aged 3-11 years every year. In USA, the majority of head lice cases occur in pre school and elementary school children as well as the people they live with. Head lice don’t spread any disease, but the excessive head scratches in the victims often invite other bacterial infections. Head lice are actually tiny parasites that live on our scalp and hair shafts and feed on blood. It is a common problem among school children, however people of any ages can get head lice.
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Types of Lice
Normally there are three types of lice –
- Head lice
- Body lice/house lice
- Pubic lice
Head Lice – Head lice is grey-white in color and about 2-3 mm in length. The lifespan of female lice is about a month and during this time she produces between 7-10 eggs (nits) per day and attaches them to the hair shaft area close to the scalp or the body. The eggs are attached with a glue like, water insoluble substance which makes them difficult to remove. They become adults in 10 days.
Body Lice – Body lice is slightly larger than the head lice but looks similar. Head lice feeds on human blood but body lice lives in clothing and then transfers to the human body. The life cycle of the head lice and body lice are almost same. However a big difference is that the body lice can survive for up to 30 days when away from its human host. Body lice transmission happens mostly in communities with large populations dealing with poor personal hygiene, poverty, etc. They spread by reused mattresses as well as bed linens.
Pubic Lice – Pubic lice is also known as crab lice. They are of somewhat rounded shape with 3 pairs of legs on either sides of the body. They look different from the head lice and also body lice. The life span of female pubic lice is 3 weeks and she produces 3 eggs per day. The eggs remain attached to the base of the pubic hair shaft for 6-8 days. In adults, pubic lice can be transmitted by direct sexual contact. And children normally get pubic lice via non sexual transmission from their parents.
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Lice infestation on human body is known as pediculosis. It is very common and happens to million people worldwide. Head lice is by far the most common type of lice infestation. It is generally a very embarrassing experience specially because of the itchiness.
10 Most Effective Home Remedies for Head Lice
It is not a serious medical problem. But why suffer when you can get rid of them by using natural remedies! Check out below our best home remedies for head lice.
1. Remedies for Head Lice using Garlic
Why to use garlic
Lets start our list of best home remedies for head lice with garlic. Garlic has a strong aroma that suffocate the lice. Lice are actually not fond of strong aroma and that’s why they cannot survive the smell of garlic. Lets check out how to use garlic as home remedies for head lice.
How to use garlic
- Take 8-10 garlic cloves and grind them to make a paste. To the garlic paste, add 2-3 tsp of lime juice. Apply this paste thoroughly on the scalp and let it sit for 30-40 minutes. Rinse off with hot water and mild shampoo.
- Alternatively, make a thick paste by mixing fresh garlic juice with cooking oil, lemon juice, green tea, some shampoo and conditioner. Spread this mask all over the scalp and hair. Wear a shower cap and wait for about 30 minutes. Wash off with a mild shampoo. Repeat these home remedies for head lice once or twice in a week for couple of months to get best results.
2. Use Baby Oil to Treat Head Lice
Why to use baby oil
Baby oil is considered as one of the best home remedies for head lice. It is believed that baby oil can suffocate the lice and eventually kill them. Applying baby oil on the hair makes the hair slippery and it also becomes difficult for the eggs or the nits to stay attached to the hair shaft.
How to use baby oil
Apply generous amounts of baby oil on the scalp and hair and massage for few minutes. Cover the head with a shower cap. Do this at night and let the baby oil sit for overnight. The next day use the nit comb to remove the lice and the nits from the scalp. Use a mild shampoo to get rid of the oil from the hair. Repeat this entire process at least 2-3 times per week to kill head lice.
3. Baking Soda to Get Rid of Head Lice
Why use baking soda
Next comes baking soda on our list of home remedies for head lice. Its a very powerful ingredient to get rid of head lice. Baking soda helps to give relief from the itchiness on the scalp due to head lice. Baking soda helps in removing moisture from the scalp and thus makes it difficult for the head lice to survive there. When used in combination with other natural ingredients, baking soda works effectively to kill head lice.
How to use baking soda
Lets check out few of the most effective home remedies for head lice using baking soda –
- Mix together baking soda and hair conditioner in 1:3 ratio. Apply this mixture on the scalp and hair. Next comb through your hair part by part and after every combing session wipe it on a paper towel to remove the adult lice, baby lice as well as the nits. Once you are done with combing all the sections of the hair, rinse off with a mild shampoo. Repeat this home remedies for head lice at least couple of times in a week for effective result.
- Alternatively, you can dust the head with baking soda and then apply some olive oil onto the scalp. Cover the head and go to sleep and let the baking soda and olive oil do the work overnight. In the morning, apply some hair conditioner on the hair and scalp. Use more baking soda and comb through the hair with a nit comb. You may have to repeat this amazing home remedies for head lice quite a few times to get rid of the lice and nits.
- Mix together a tsp baking soda and a cup of all purpose flour. Rub the mixture on your scalp gently and let it sit for ten minutes. Wash off with any mild shampoo. The flour particles along with the baking soda will help to get rid of the nits.
- Here is another very effective home remedies for head lice using baking soda. Combine together 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of vinegar and juice of half lemon in a bowl. Mix them well and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Divide your hair in small sections and spray the mixture. Once you cover your entire scalp, cover your head with a shower cap or a towel. Wait for 2 hours and then use a mild shampoo to rinse off the solution. Repeat this home remedies for head lice 2-3 times in a week for best results.
4. Treat Head Lice using Tea Tree Oil
Why to use tea tree oil
When it comes to natural lice repellent, tea tree oil scores way more than other ingredients. It is a superb natural remedy to get rid of head lice and that too with 100% result. Tea tree oil has natural insecticidal and ovicidal effects, which means it has the ability to kill the lice as well as the nits. Tea tree oil contains two major components that are responsible for its natural insecticidal properties – 1,8-cineole and terpinen-4-ol. According to researches, 1 percent tea tree oil solution can actually kill 100 percent head lice within 30 minutes.
How to use tea tree oil
- Apply a few drops of tea tree oil on the scalp and hair affected by the parasites. Leave it on overnight and in the next morning, use a fine nit comb to comb through the hair and remove the lice and the nits.
- Alternatively, you can mix together 1 tsp tea tree oil, 3 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil and some shampoo. Apply the resultant mixture all over the scalp and hair and then, wear a shower cap to cover the head. Wait for 30-35 minutes and then, wash off using warm water. While your hair is still wet, comb through using a nit comb to remove the dead lice and nits.
- Add 6-7 drops of tea tree oil in some coconut oil and massage the scalp thoroughly with the concoction. Wait for an hour and then, wash off with mild shampoo and follow up with a conditioner.
- Here is one more natural treatment to kill the head lice. Take some coconut oil and add 3-4 drops of lavender oil as well as 5-6 drops of tea tree oil. Mix well and apply this combination on the scalp and hair. Leave it on overnight and wash off with shampoo the next morning. Don’t forget to comb through the hair with a nit comb to remove the dead lice and eggs.
5. Use Vinegar to Get Rid of Head Lice
Why to use vinegar
Lets get one thing clear, vinegar will not kill the head lice. But we still suggest you to use vinegar as home remedies for head lice. Why? Well, vinegar is the result of two biochemical processes – alcoholic fermentation and acid fermentation. During acid fermentation, the micro organisms present in the air convert the alcohol into acetic acid. Normally, vinegar has acetic acid concentration of 5%, and this acetic acid will help to loosen the glue that helps the nits to stay attached to the hair shafts. You need to use a good nit comb to comb through the hair and remove the nits. However, the acetic acid cannot destroy the outer protective shell of the nits, therefore, cannot kill them.
We can use white vinegar, wine vinegar as well as apple cider vinegar to get rid of nits.
How to use vinegar
Combine equal parts of vinegar and water and apply this onto the scalp, specially in the neck area and behind the ears as well. Make sure to cover the entire scalp with this solution. Wait for few minutes and then, rinse off. Use a nit comb to comb out the nits. Repeat this process daily until you see no more nits on the scalp and hair.
6. Remedy for Head Lice using Salt
Why to use salt
After vinegar, next on our list of home remedies for head lice comes salt. Salt actually dehydrates and kills the lice. Not only the lice, salt can also kill the nits. Salt is a natural antiseptic and that is why salt is considered as one of the best home remedies for head lice.
How to use salt
- Take a spray bottle, add 1/4th cup of each salt and vinegar. Shake the bottle well. When the solution is ready, spray that all over the scalp and hair. Cover your head with a shower cap and wait for couple of hours. Wash off with shampoo. When the hair is still wet, remove the lice and the nits with a nit comb. Repeat this home remedies for head lice in every 3 days for best results.
- Wet you hair with warm water. Now in a measuring cup add 1 pound of Epsom salt and add water to make a solution. Bend over and and pour the solution over your hair. Do it carefully and avoid contact with the eyes. Massage your head slowly for 5 minutes. Now wait for another couple of minutes so that the salt water do its work against the lice. Next rinse the hair with fresh water. Use a nit comb to comb out the dead lice. Again rinse out your hair with water and dry with a towel. These are couple of best home remedies for head lice using salt.
7. Listerine Treatment for Head Lice
Why to use Listerine
Here comes another very effective home remedies for head lice. Now what makes Listerine so effective against lice? Listerine contains about 27% of alcohol. It also contains natural oils like thyme oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil and wintergreen oil. Lice cannot stand alcohol and the oils also suffocate them. So this is why Listerine is considered as a home remedies for head lice.
How to use Listerine
Wet your hair and scalp with generous amount of Listerine. Avoid your ears and eyes. Cover your head with a shower cap. Let it sit for 2 hours and then wash it off with fresh water. Use a lice comb or a nit comb to remove the dead lice and the eggs. Repeat this treatment once in a week until you see positive results.
8. Use Coconut Oil as Lice Treatment at Home
Why to use coconut oil
We know that coconut oil is a great ingredient for our hair. It is also one of the great home remedies for head lice. According to a study published in Pediatrics and Child Health newspaper in 2004, scientists have revealed that along with ylang ylang oil and anise oil, coconut oil is also a great remedy for head lice. The fat content in coconut oil suffocate the lice and makes it difficult for them to stay attached on the hair follicles. Not only one of the best home remedies for head lice, coconut oil can actually help in preventing lice infestation in future.
How to use coconut oil
- Apply a generous amount of coconut oil on the hair and scalp. Gently massage the scalp with fingertips. Cover you head with a shower cap and let it sit for 1-2 hours. Remove the shower cap and use a nit comb to get rid of the lice and eggs from the scalp. Finally use a mild shampoo to wash the hair thoroughly.
- Alternatively, you can use a combination of coconut oil and garlic as home remedies for head lice. Take 8-10 garlic cloves and crush them and mix them with 2-3 tsp of virgin coconut oil. Use this mixture to coat your hair thoroughly. Let it stay for 30-40 minutes. Comb out the dead lice and the eggs with a nit comb and finally wash off with a shampoo and conditioner.
- Combine together 2 tbsp coconut oil and 3-5 drops of tea tree oil. Apply this mixture all over the hair and scalp and wear a shower cap to cover the head. Use a hair dryer to blow your hair over the cap and keep doing it for 4-6 minutes. This will make sure that the lice get suffocated. Leave it like this overnight. In the next morning, wash off your hair with shampoo. Once again wear a shower cap and wait for 30-35 minutes. With a nit comb, get rid of the eggs and the dead lice. Once again shampoo your hair and follow up with a conditioner. You need to repeat these home remedies for head lice regularly to treat the head lice completely.
9. Apply Mayonnaise to Get Rid of Head Lice
Why to use mayonnaise
Mayonnaise normally contains oil, vinegar or lemon juice as well as egg yolk. Normally mayonnaise is about 70%-85% fat. We have already seen that oils help to get rid of head lice by suffocating them. Mayonnaise also contains lot of oil. So, it can be used to treat lice. The viscosity properties of oil play a vital role in suffocating the adult head lice. Below, you will find out how to use mayonnaise as home remedies for head lice.
How to use Mayonnaise
Apply a generous amount of mayonnaise on the hair and scalp. Pay more attention towards the scalp, the neck area and behind the ears. Cover your head with a shower cap. You have to leave it on for 8 hours. So, I would suggest you to use this Mayonnaise treatment overnight. Next morning, wash off with shampoo as well as use a nit comb to get rid of the lice and eggs while the hair is still wet.
Word of caution : Since mayonnaise contains a lot of oil, so you might need several washes to remove it from hair. And, mayonnaise will not kill the nits.
10. Neem Oil Treatment to Kill Lice
Why to use neem oil
We are going to put an end to this list of most effective home remedies for head lice with neem oil. Neem oil is considered as one of the best home remedies for head lice, and lets check out why. Neem oil is obtained from neem tree and it has a pungent odor. Lice cannot survive on strong odor and get suffocated. Also, neem oil contains ingredients, known as ‘azadirachtin’ which plays a vital role in lice treatment using neem oil. Azadirachtin is an organic tetranortriterpenoid molecule similar to an insect molting hormone, which also helps to get rid of lice by disrupting their life cycle.
How to use neem oil
Apply undiluted neem oil all over the scalp and hair and use a nit comb to comb out the dead lice as well as the nits. Now, cover your head with a shower cap and go to sleep. This is actually an overnight treatment for head lice. Repeat this procedure every night for up to two weeks to get rid of head lice effectively.
These were a list of 10 most effective home remedies for head lice. These are all safe, natural and 100% effective. So, next time, you spot lice on your child’s head, instead of getting shiver down the spine, try any of these home remedies for head lice and experience the result yourself 🙂