The hunt for the best lice shampoo begins once you hear someone nearby complain about a lice infestation. We don’t blame you; it does evoke terror to imagine someone living rent-free on your head. The pesky parasites multiply in seconds and drive you insane with itchiness. Thankfully we have enough tools to get rid of them, unlike olden times! The easiest solution to fight them is anti-lice treatment or shampoo. These products kill the lice and prevent reinfestation on your hair. It also smooths out your scalp and moisturizes it, so there is no scope for hair fall or damage. Here is a list of the 12 most popular shampoos we have curated after going through multiple in-depth reviews online to help you with parasite control and keep pests away from your hair.
In This Article
12 Best Head Lice Shampoos Available Right Now
1. Best Overall: Fairy Tales Lice Prevention Rosemary Repel Lice Daily Shampoo
The Fairy Tales Lice Prevention Rosemary Daily Shampoo has a gentle formula infused with natural ingredients like rosemary, citronella, and tea tree oil that effectively get rid of head lice. Rosemary has antimicrobial properties that help calm and soothe the scalp. Tea tree oil not only kills head lice but also soothes the scalp. The jojoba oil and chamomile oil in the formula hydrate and soothe the scalp. This gentle formula helps in hair cleansing and nourishes your hair while getting rid of head lice and nits. If you want to know more about this product, check out this video on YouTube of a tester’s experience.
Key Ingredients: Rosemary, Citronella, and Tea tree oil
- Natural extracts
- Strong fragrance
2. Best Pesticide-Free Formula: LiceLogic Head Lice Shampoo
This enzyme-based head lice treatment from LiceLogic is non-toxic and contains no pesticides. It is safe for kids over the age of two. The lice specialist-approved formula not only helps in lice eradication but also kills eggs and nits. It is designed with LICEZYME, a clinically tested and proven enzyme that quickly destroys lice without using harsh chemicals. The shampoo also contains peppermint oil that improves hair growth and prevents hair loss. This gentle formula is pediatrician recommended.
Key Ingredients: Proprietary enzyme blend (LICEZYME) and Peppermint oil
- Pediatrician approved
- Natural ingredients
3. Best Odor-Free Formula: Nix Lice Killing Crème Rinse
The Nix Lice Killing Crème Rinse is safe for use on children who are two months and older. The expert-recommended formula can kill lice and eggs and prevents reinfestation for up to 14 days after the initial application. Apply this gel according to the instructions given on the package and comb your hair with the help of the Nix nit comb that comes along with it. This gel is odor-free, non-staining, and leaves no residue.
Key Ingredients: Permethrin
- Easy to use
- May cause irritation
4. Best For Toddlers: Schooltime Lice and Nit Shampoo
The Schooltime Shampoo has a patented and chemical-free formula proven to eliminate resistant strains of nits and lice. It contains a proprietary blend of cocamide DEA (extracted from coconut oil), medical-grade polyethylene glycol, and other ingredients that eliminate nits and repel lice. The shampoo has a 15-minute no-drip easy application and is clinically proven to show quick results for lice control. This is a tested-hypoallergenic and tear-free product and should be used on dry hair. The brand has all the products clinically-tested to be safe.
Key Ingredients: Polyethylene glycol and Cocamide DEA (Coconut oil)
- Easy to apply
- Synthetic color-free
- Contains SLS
5. Best In Skin Friendly: ClearLice Head Lice Treatment Shampoo
This is a natural and effective one-day lice treatment from ClearLice. The pesticide-free formula is skin-friendly and safe for all ages. It contains enzymes, tea tree oil, neem, and peppermint oils that combine the power of natural enzymes to break open the shells of lice and nits. This lice treatment option that is infused with tea tree oil helps keeps the hair healthy and moisturized, while peppermint oil soothes the scalp.
Key Ingredients: Peppermint oil, Tea tree oil, and Neem
- Safe for kids
- Refreshing scent
- Not tested on animals
- May cause itching and hair fall
6. Best Affordable Option: RID Lice Killing Shampoo
The Rid Lice Killing Shampoo is formulated with a powerful combination of piperonyl butoxide and pyrethrum extracted from chrysanthemum plants that help in nit and lice removal. Piperonyl butoxide prolongs the efficacy of the product, and pyrethrins paralyze and kill the lice. This medicated shampoo should be used on dry hair for maximum effects. It is suitable for kids and adults and should not be left on the scalp for more than 10 minutes. The package also includes two RID lice combs. According to the reviewers online, the kit is extremely effective and the lice comb effortlessly helps pull out the dead lice after using the shampoo.
Key Ingredients: Pyrethrum and Piperonyl butoxide
- Easy to apply
- No chemical residue
- Comes with a comb
- May cause allergic reactions
- May dry the scalp
7. Best Vegan Formula: Babo Botanicals Lice Repel Shampoo
The Babo Botanicals Lice Repel Shampoo is the best non-irritating formula to get rid of head lice, nits, and eggs. This powerful herbal blend is rich in vitamins and antioxidants that purify, smoothen, and soften the hair and promote scalp health. This dermatologist-tested shampoo is infused with plant-based rosemary, tea tree, thyme, and mint oils that repel lice and reduce allergic reactions. Rosemary oil stimulates circulation and has antioxidant properties, tea tree oil helps prevent infections and head lice, mint helps with dandruff and other scalp issues, and organic calendula flower extract soothes the scalp. This clinically proven formula helps repel head lice when used consistently.
Key Ingredients: Rosemary oil, Mint oil, and Tea tree oil
- Clinically tested
- Suitable for sensitive skin
- Unpleasant scent
8. Best Non-Drying Formula: SoCozy Kids Boo! Lice Scaring Shampoo
This lice treatment formula by SoCozy Kids is infused with natural and powerful lice repellents like tea tree and peppermint oils. It also contains rosemary extract that stimulates hair growth and smooths it, and keratin that strengthens the hair. The formula helps you get rid of lice without drying your hair out. It conditions the hair and makes it soft. This product is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, formaldehyde, synthetic colors or dyes, propylene glycol, and gluten.
Key Ingredient: Rosemary extract, Tea tree oil, Peppermint oil, and Keratin
- Pleasant scent
- Synthetic color-free
- Propylene glycol-free
9. Best Non Toxic Option: Licefreee Everyday Shampoo
This everyday shampoo is gentle and safe for children over 6 months. It not only gets rid of lice and nits but also prevents reinfestation. The formula is infused with tea tree oil that acts as a lice repellent and soothes the scalp. Use this homeopathic head lice shampoo daily for 7-10 days for the best results. This non-toxic lice shampoo is highly effective!
Key Ingredients: Tea tree oil
- Smells great
10. Best Safe For Kids: Lice Shield Shampoo &Conditioner In 1
This 2-in-1 product contains a blend of four essential natural oils– rosemary, cedar, lemongrass, citronella, and geraniol oils. This powerful blend repels lice and deeply moisturizes and nourishes the scalp to keep it healthy. The tangle-free formula helps tame messy hair. This shampoo is a safe therapeutic option for kids and adults and gentle enough for daily use.
Key Ingredients: Rosemary oil, Citronella oil, Lemongrass oil, and Geraniol oil
- Safe for kids
- 2-in-1 formula
- Strong fragrance
The Vamousse Lice Defense Daily Shampoo is a powerful yet gentle solution for preventing lice infestations. It is infused with the natural power of eucalyptus that provides a refreshing and invigorating scent while also working to repel lice and other unwanted pests. The shampoo is easy to use and can be used daily as part of a regular hair care routine. The unique formula is a great choice for families with children in school or for anyone looking to prevent lice infestations. According to the reviews online, the product has proven efficacy in getting rid of lice while adding shine to the hair.
- Powerful ingredients
- Effective for the whole family
- Gentle on hair
- No prescription needed
- Strong smell
- Can cause irritation in some
12. Best Long-Lasting Results: Zap Lice Killing Shampoo
The ZAP Lice Killing Shampoo is formulated with pyrethrum extract, a non-toxic plant-based ingredient that kills lice, and piperonyl butoxide that prolongs the effect of pyrethrum. It comes with a fine-toothed comb designed for nit removal from the hair. It does not damage your hair or cause dryness and can also be used to get rid of lice infestation on the body.
Key Ingredients: Piperonyl butoxideand Pyrethrin
- Easy to use
- Pleasant scent
- One nit comb included
- Works well on various hair types
These are some of the best lice shampoo brands that provide safe formulas for kids and adults. However, before you pick any of them, consider a few crucial points.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Lice Shampoo
- Check The Ingredients
Check for ingredients like tea tree oil, peppermint, lemongrass, rosemary, and lavender extracts. They do not harm the scalp but are deadly for the lice. You may also look for ingredients like natural enzymes, coconut, jojoba, and argan oils that help suffocate the lice. Dimethicone is a safe silicone that suffocates and kills head lice.
- Treatment Duration
Anti-lice shampoos are medicated, and that is why most of them should be used at intervals of a few days. They contain strong chemicals, and you will see immediate results. However, there are a few gentle and mild professional-grade lice shampoos that are suitable for daily use. They usually contain herbal ingredients that kill and prevent lice infestation. If you do not want to expose your hair and scalp to chemicals, you can choose mild shampoos. You can also opt for clinically-tested and dermatologist-tested that are comparatively safe to use.
It is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for shampoo application. Some shampoos work best on dry hair and some on wet hair.
How To Apply Lice Shampoo
- Massage the hair and scalp with the lice shampoo.
- Leave it on for the prescribed time.
- Rinse your hair and scalp thoroughly with water.
- Comb wet hair with a lice comb to remove nits and lice.
- Repeat the steps after 7-9 days for the best results.
Now that you know how to use a lice shampoo, you also need to be aware of the precautions to take. Scroll down to the next section to find out what they are.
Precautions To Follow When Using A Lice Shampoo
- Close or cover your eyes with a towel while applying the shampoo.
- Do not use it on the eyebrows and eyelashes.
- Do not use a lice shampoo on the pubic area unless it is meant for pubic lice.
- Never leave the shampoo on your hair for an extended period as it might irritate the scalp.
If head lice are driving you crazy, you need to invest in the best lice shampoos that will offer relief from this condition. The Fairy Tales Lice Prevention Rosemary Repel Lice Daily Shampoo has anti-microbial properties for soothing irritated scalps, and the LiceLogic Head Lice Shampoo is a gentle formula for tackling lice and improving hair growth. For a powerful natural formula, try the SoCozy Kids Boo! Lice Scaring Shampoo, which also conditions and softens the hair. The shampoos reviewed in the curated list are safe, chemical-free, and do not damage your scalp or hair while getting rid of a lice infestation. Go through the labels for instructions and check the treatment duration before you use them. The shampoos are devoid of any synthetic chemicals, and they are enriched with natural extracts. Most of them include a nit comb that can remove the nits manually right after washing your hair. We recommend you not leave the shampoo on your scalp for a prolonged period to avoid any irritation. Also, ensure to patch test the product to avoid potential allergic reactions or opt for allergy-tested products.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does head lice shampoo kill lice eggs?
Not all shampoos can kill lice eggs. They kill only live lice but not unhatched eggs. Hence, check the label to see if the formula can also tacklelice eggs.
What is the incubation period of the head lice?
Head lice eggs take 8–9 days to hatch.
How long can lice live?
Adult lice can live up to 30 days on a person’s head. They feed on blood, and without a blood meal, they can die within one to two days.
Can you use lice shampoo two days in a row?
Gentle lice shampoos can be used daily. However, it is best to check the usage instructions on the package as overuse may lead to itching, irritation, and scalp dryness.
Will lice shampoo affect hair color?
Yes, it is possible that a lice shampoo will fade your hair color. However, usually, a small amount does not have much impact on the color.
Can we use anti-lice shampoos during pregnancy?
Yes, you have lice in your head, you can safely use an anti-lice shampoo even during pregnancy.
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