Head lice infestation can be one of the most annoying things to deal with, not only for the person whose head has been infested, but also for the people around. It is sneakily contagious and can cause a lot of distress, not to mention severe itching and burning.
The word lice takes me down memory lane. A good two decades ago, my mum would caution me to stay away from kids who had lice; they were ‘dirty’ according to her. Well a lice infestation does not mean someone is dirty! If you have kids, they are bound to come back from school with a few lice in their head that needs immediate attention!
Best Home Remedies for Lice:
Given below are the top effective and safe home remedies for lice in hair. They help you get rid of the lice and nits completely.
1. Mayonnaise Mask:
That’s right – mayonnaise! Rub it generously on the affected scalp, cover it with a shower cap and leave it overnight. This will smother the lice and you can shampoo the next morning to get rid of the bodies. Remember to remove the nits that may remain, by hand.
2. Petroleum Jelly Mask:
Similar to the mayo mask, rub generous amounts of petroleum jelly into the affected scalp and keep covered until the next morning. Use baby oil to remove the jelly along with the lice. Wash the hair well with shampoo to remove the jelly completely. Continue this treatment for as many nights as required.
3. Neem Oil:
Adding neem oil to your regular shampoo is also known to kill head lice. So either mix the oil with your regular shampoo or use a shampoo that has neem oil as its primary ingredient to get rid of these irritating pests.
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Apple cider vinegar, when rubbed vigorously into the infested scalp, before and after showering, is said to be an effective home remedy for lice. Keep it on for a few minutes after rubbing and towel dry the hair to remove the lice from it.
5. Hair Straightener:
Try using a hair straightener. This is also one of the best head lice home remedies. The heat from the plates will paralyse or kill the lice and they’ll just fall off the hair. This is also effective in removing nits along with the lice.
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6. Mixed Oils:
Here’s a recipe that will help you get rid of head lice.
- ¼ cup mustard oil
- 1/8 cup neem tel
- 5 drops tea tree oil
- 5 drops eucalyptus oil
- 5 drops rosemary oil
- 5 drops lavender oil
First, rinse the scalp with apple cider vinegar. Then, apply the above mentioned mixture to it, leave it overnight, and shampoo the next day.Repeat for 5 days to remove lice completely.
7. Garlic and Lemon:
Make a paste of garlic cloves and lemon juice. Apply this on the infected scalp; leave it on for half an hour and shampoo to get rid of lice and the garlicky scent.
Surprised? Well, it seems that your ever-faithful mouthwash, when warmed slightly and sprayed generously on the hair can help kill head lice. Cover the head with a shower cap and leave it overnight. Shampoo the hair next morning to wash away the lice.
9. Water and White Vinegar:
Wondering what to do with that bottle of white vinegar that you bought on a whim? Use it along with water in a 1:1 ratio on a louse-infested scalp, rinse, and wash it to get rid of lice once and for all.
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10. Oil Treatment:
Combine half a cup of olive oil with 20 drops of any essential oil. Apply this oil mixture onto the infested scalp and leave it overnight. Shampoo the hair next morning to rid your head of the nasty creatures.
11. Wet Combing:
Wet combing is the most effective and easy way to treat head lice. Coat your hair well with almond or olive oil. Then, separate the hair into sections. As you continue, keep rinsing your lice comb under running water regularly.
12. Tea Tree Oil Treatment:
Being a natural louse repellent, tea tree oil is a good way to prevent hair lice infections. Whenever there is a head lice outbreak at your child’s school, use a tea tree oil shampoo and conditioner as a preventive cure.
13. Using Electric Lice Combs:
This battery operated electric comb uses electric discharge to kill lice instantly as soon as they come in contact. Comb your hair using electric lice comb to safely remove all traces of lice from your hair.
These are some of the very effective home remedies for lice in hair to render your hair and scalp lice free. So next time, when you spot these bugs on your child’s head, try any of these top 13 tricks for treating hair lice and knock them out completely.
Other Effective Treatments to Cure Head Lice:
It is important to treat a lice infestation as soon as it is detected to prevent it from spreading from one person to another. If you or someone you know is suffering from a head full of lice, you can also try these OTC chemical treatments.
14. Treatment Using Dimeticone Lotion:
Dimeticone lotion is a silicone based insecticide. It is often used in toiletries and makeup products. The lotion should be applied twice, once in 7 days. The lotion should be left on the scalp for about 8 hours overnight and washed off with shampoo and water. This lotion is formulated to block the tubes through which the lice breathe and block the way the lice pass out water, which results in killing them.
15. Treatment Using Isopropyl Myristate and Cyclomethicone Solution:
This lotion is a physical insecticide used in the treatment of lice. It works just like Dimeticone. The application of this lotion must be left on the scalp for about 10 minutes. Then the hair must be combed with a fine toothed comb to remove lice. Then shampooing is required to remove the solution. This treatment should again be repeated after a week’s time. This procedure is advisable even for asthma patients and for children above the age of 2.
16. Benzyl Alcohol Lotion:
This lotion is formulated to block the louse’s breathing tube, resulting in asphyxiation. However this treatment does not kill nits. Two applications of this lotion are required. This lotion can be used both on infants who are 6 months of age as well as on adults. This lotion might cause eye and skin irritation, so be a little careful. Follow up with a good shampoo and use a nit comb to remove nits and dead lice from the scalp.
17. Treatment Using CAY Spray:
CAY spray contains coconut, anise and ylang ylang. It is a physical insecticide and works similar to Dimeticone. Apply the spray to the hair and scalp and leave it for about 15 minutes. Then comb your hair with a fine toothed comb to remove lice and then shampoo your hair to remove the spray. This treatment should be repeated again in 7 days. This treatment is not advisable for children younger than 2 years of age, people with any skin irritations and asthma patients.
18. Treatment Using Malathion Lotion:
Malathion is a chemical insecticide, which has been used since a long time to treat head lice problem. This lotion should be applied twice, once in 7 days. Each application of this lotion should be left on hair for about 12 hours and then washed off with shampoo and water. This lotion can be applied on children above the age of 6 years. This treatment works by paralyzing and killing the lice and eggs. This lotion is flammable, so stay away from flammable substances.
The only way to ensure that any of these treatments for lice work effectively is to stick to them! Don’t stop using even after the head is free from infestation. Also, ensure that all combs, shower caps, pillow cases, bed sheets, blankets, towels, etc., used are thoroughly sterilized in boiling water before you use them again. This will prevent the recurrence of infestation from any bugs or nits that might have stayed behind on them. Happy lice hunting!
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