I have three small kids so above all the roles and works I need to deal with as a mother, one constant problem I have to deal with at home is lice. I don’t use prescribed insecticides and over-the-counter pediculicide [lice eliminating] products as they contain chemicals that could harm my children’s health. Instead, I swear by the effectiveness of these natural lice exterminators — household products that double as powerful hair pests’ killers.
So, presenting the 10 most effective head lice home remedies! Trust me, they really work!
Okay, nit comb isn’t really a common household product but there’s a reason why it’s no. 1 in this list. Combing out lice and their eggs [called nits] using this fine-toothed [metallic or plastic] comb is one of the most effective methods to terminate these hair bugs. The downside is it can be time-consuming.
On the other hand, if you combine nit comb with the other lice natural remedies in this list, they’ll be two times more effective and you’ll be rid of these hair bugs in no time.
Surprised? Don’t be! Listerine does kill more than the germs inside our mouths and I can strongly vouch for that. This mouthwash’s alcohol content and antiseptic properties makes for an effective pediculicide.
- Douse your scalp and hair generously with Listerine [Listerine Original and Menthol are the best ones to use]. Cover your head with a shower or a swimming cap and let the product sit for 3-4 hours. Shampoo and condition your hair afterwards. If you’ll run a nit comb through your tresses after undergoing this treatment, you’ll really see that the head lice are either dead or on the brink of dying. Repeat every three days within the next 9-10 days to completely eliminate head lice.
3.Tea Tree Oil
- Tea Tree Oil Spray – to make tea tree oil spray; mix 10-15 drops of tea tree oil to 2 cups of water. Put in a spray bottle and it’s ready to use. Just spritz the solution to your head until you’ve covered your whole scalp area. Make sure that 2-3 inches of your hair from their roots are also wet with the solution. Cover your head with a shower cap or a towel and leave the solution on for twelve hours or overnight. Rinse off with tea tree oil-infused shampoo and conditioner. Use a nit comb to remove the dead lice and nits after washing. Do this treatment everyday for a week.
- Tea Tree Oil-Infused Shampoo and Conditioner – both products can be used every day for lice protection and prevention of re-infestation. To make, just pour 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil to one bottle of your usual shampoo and/or conditioner and mix well. You can use your tea-tree oil-infused shampoo and conditioner as part of your natural head lice treatment or even everyday to prevent them from coming back.
- Tea Tree Oil and Olive Oil/Coconut Oil – mix a teaspoon of tea tree oil for every 3 tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil. Apply to your hair, giving your scalp particular attention and leave on overnight. Rinse solution off hair and remove the dead hair pests and their eggs with nit comb. The two oil varieties are also well-known lice natural remedies.
Coconut oil works by smothering the lice living on your head. Additionally, greasy hair – which is the result you get when you use coconut oil – is a hostile ground for lice as they wouldn’t be able to move around easily and be able to lay their eggs. The good news: coconut oil makes hair more supple and shiny so, you get to reap these benefits and be lice-free at the same time. It’s a natural detangler and makes using the nit comb easier.
- Coconut Oil-Nit Comb Duo – massage coconut oil on to your scalp and hair until the whole area is covered. Leave for 2-3 hours. Then, with the use of a nit comb, sift through your hair by section to remove the lice and their nits. Rinse off afterwards.
- Coconut Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar – Wash your scalp and hair with apple cider vinegar completely first. Dry without rinsing the product off. Then, apply coconut oil to your scalp and tresses; make sure they’re completely saturated with it. Cover your head with a towel or a shower cap and leave on the solution overnight. Repeat this natural lice treatment everyday for a week.
- Olive Oil with Tea Tree Oil-Infused Shampoo/Conditioner – Apply olive oil generously to your scalp and hair. Cover your head with a shower cap or towel and leave the oil on overnight. In the morning, use your tea tree oil-infused shampoo and conditioner to rinse the oil off your hair. Then, with a nit comb, comb through your mane to tresses to remove the dead lice and nits. Repeat this every night for a week to completely eradicate these hair bugs.
Not only is garlic a natural remedy lice abhors, this kitchen staple also has antifungal properties that could eliminate fungal infections on your skin and scalp like dandruff. Just make sure you are using fresh garlic cloves, not the garlic paste products carried by supermarkets. These have already been processed, meaning, they contain preservatives that could bring more harm than good to your hair.
- Peel a lot of garlic cloves. With the use of mortar and pestle, press until the cloves reach a pasty consistency. Apply this directly to your scalp and leave on for a few hours — 3 at most. Remove the paste from your scalp using warm water. You can wash your hair if the garlic’s pungent smell bothers you. Do this every three days until the problem is completely eradicated.
- Garlic with Lemon Extract – you can also combine your garlic paste with lemon extract. For every 10 cloves of garlic, add 3 teaspoons of the lime juice. Lemons are naturally antibacterial and stringent so, their juice potently eliminates nits.
Onions work the same way as garlic cloves do. And like the garlic, onions have antifungal properties, too. By using it, you’re not only dealing with your lice problem but you’re also providing a solution to your scalp and skin dilemmas like ringworm or even psoriasis.
- Onion Juice – Peel the onions [the number depends on your personal preference] and grind them using an electric mixer. Don’t add water as you do so. Then, squeeze out the juice from the grinded onions. Apply the extracted liquid to your scalp and hair with a cotton ball. Leave for about an hour before rinsing off with warm water.
Vinegar naturally has acetic acid. Acetic acid is a well-known pediculicide or lice killer. As a matter of fact, there are existing acetic acid shampoos manufactured for the sole purpose of eliminating those creepy crawlies on your head! Acetic acid doesn’t kill adult lice, though. They do kill the nymphs, the newly hatched lice, as well as remove the protective covering and loosen the hold nits have on the hair follicles making it easier for the host to comb them out.
So, why buy a commercial acetic acid shampoo when you can get the same results just by using this ever reliable condiment?
- Vinegar Choices – White vinegar – usually made of plain acetic acid diluted with water – is the least expensive option if you do try this natural lice remedy. However, make sure that it has an acetic acid concentration of at least 5%. Red wine vinegar is more expensive and has a concentration between 5-7%. Apple cider vinegar also works. Just make sure they’re the non-filtered and pasteurized variants as they tend to have the strongest concentration at 5%.
- It is important for you to remember that you have to stick to vinegars with 5-7% acetic acid concentration. Below this range and the vinegar is useless in eliminating lice and nits. Above this range and the acidity will cause skin irritation.
Many swear by the effectiveness of salt in killing lice especially the drug-resistant ones [those that have developed resistance against OTC permethrin and pyrethrin-based shampoos and meds commonly prescribed and used to eliminate lice]. Accordingly, salt possess desiccation properties that cause lice to dehydrate resulting to their deaths. I have not personally tried salt as a natural louse remedy but as a lot of people guarantee its efficacy, I included it in this lice natural remedies list.
- Homemade Saline Spray – Mix equal parts of salt and vinegar [equal parts mean you have to mix 1 cup of salt with 1 cup of vinegar and so on] and put the solution in a spray bottle. Spritz solution to your head – giving particular attention to your scalp and hair roots – until it is completely wet. Leave solution on for 2 to 3 hours after which you can wash your mane up with shampoo and conditioner. Use nit comb to get off the dead lice and remove the nits. Repeat this method every two days to completely rid your family of lice.
The mayonnaise’s viscosity makes it possible for this salad dressing staple to smother the lice camping in your tresses killing them. Like coconut and olive oils, mayonnaise also makes it hard for these hair pests to move around your scalp and lay their eggs. Additionally, the oils make it easier to comb out the nits with the use of a nit comb.
- All you have to do is apply liberal amounts of mayonnaise to the scalp and the hair making sure that the whole lice-affected area is covered. Then, cover the head with a shower cap or a towel and let the substance stay on overnight. In the morning, wash it off with warm water, shampoo and conditioner before sifting through the hair with a nit comb. Do this every day for the next 7-10 days and surely, you or your loved ones will be lice-free.
Tips for Effective Head Lice Home Treatments
- If one of your family members gets infected with lice, all of you have to undergo your chosen natural lice treatment to make sure reinfestation wouldn’t occur.
- You don’t have to necessarily quarantine your pets for lice. These bugs don’t affect animals.
- It’s not necessary that you vacuum and clean everything in your house if someone in your family comes down with lice. According to a number of experts and the CDC, theirs is little risk of infection from lice that have fallen on the floor and furniture. Just disinfect whatever items that come directly in contact with the head like:
- Pillows [wash your pillows and change your covers]
- Clothes that came in recent contact with the infected person
- Bed and everything in it [Covers, blankets, even the stuffed animals or toys that are on it]
- Combs, towels and head gears [caps and the likes]
- Wash hair combs and brushes everyday in hot water as this helps dislodge nits and lice.
- Make sure you do your chosen natural treatment for lice diligently within the recommended amount of time to eradicate these hair pests completely and prevent a recurrence of the infestation. Lice don’t hatch eggs 7-10 days from the time they’re hatched. Do your home remedies for lice within that range of time.
Though lice are practically harmless and they don’t bring in serious illnesses like ticks do, they’re still a pain to deal with. So, if you see one of your family members infected with it, deal with it right away. And when you get them, it’s not necessary to hoard whatever prescribed and OTC meds and shampoos available in the market just so you could get rid of these pesky hair bugs. Natural kills lice. The solutions to your lice dilemma are just right there inside your home.
Written by Heziel Pitogo