Head lice are wingless parasitic insects, live on people's head and feed themselves on blood. Head lice are not life threatening but are very contagious. Sharing personal objects like hats or hairbrushes, pillows, ribbons other head accessories and clothing can be risky.
Children ages ranging 3-11are most commonly affected by head lice, but anyone with hair can get infected. You are wrong if you think personal hygiene has anything to do with getting infected with head lice.
The parasitic insect known as Pediculus humanus capitis, causes head lice. Girls and women get head lice more often than boys and men. Symptoms include irritability, frequent itching, tickling feeling in the hair and sores can develop from scratching.
Getting rid of head lice is not as easy as it may appear. Many home remedies work well for head lice to effectively remove them.
Nearly all of them depend on some method to suffocate the lice. Putting harsh chemicals on your child’s head is certainly not a good option. Use natural ingredients.
Following are 6 powerful home remedies for head lice to suffocate and smother them.
Interestingly mayonnaise does a good job of suffocating head lice. Although it may be a messy affair, it works well.
- Apply a thick layer of mayonnaise on the head of your child.
- Cover the head with a plastic shower cap.
- Keep it for 3-4 hours.
- Remove the shower cap and wash, shampoo and rinse hair.
Make sure that the shower cap is thrown away and not reused. Also make sure that the mayonnaise is not refrigerated. Buy a new jar from grocery shelves. Use it only for the purpose of head lice removal. Use one jar of suitable size at a time.
This will kill the lice but may not completely get rid of all the eggs (nits) which normally are glued to the hair shaft. A vinegar wash can get rid of some the nits. Therefore, after you rinse out the shampoo, rinse your hair again using diluted white vinegar in the equal quantity of water and vinegar.
The vinegar dissolves the bodies of dead nits. Make sure to vigorously rub the entire hair shaft from the scalp to the end. Then rinse your hair a few times with water to get rid of the odor.
A couple of applications per week along with the vinegar treatment for the nits can help you to remove head lice completely within 3-4 weeks.
2.Use Olive Oil and Vinegar
If you find mayonnaise messy then use Olive oil and Vinegar mix, which works equally well on the head lice and the nits.
Olive oil is an excellent smothering agent.
- Mix half a cup of olive oil and half cup of vinegar well.
- Massage your scalp with the mix and then...
- Apply a thick layer on the entire hair shafts from scalp to the end.
- Wear a shower cap to cover your hair
- Remove the cap and take shower after 3-4 hours.
- Shampoo and rinse your hair
In fact head lice can live without oxygen for longer time. Therefore, if you leave the applied Olive oil and vinegar treatment overnight and wash your hair the next day morning, then it gives the best results.
The first application will kill all the lice and most of the nits. Apply the treatment 2-3 times a week and within couple of weeks your head should be lice free.
3.Put Mint Mouthwash
Mint mouthwash also works well on head lice. Apply the mint mouthwash on the hair. Hold the hair with shower cap and keep it for 3-4 hours; remove the cap and throw it away. Then apply warm vinegar to the hair and put another shower cap. Keep it for one hour. Shampoo and rinse your hair.
By now you would have realized that vinegar has become an essential element to dissolve the eggs (nits) to kill them, so that the head is completely free of lice.
Head lice can’t be completely removed if the nits are left out. Nits will grow into head lice and the cycle will continue to crowd your head with lice. Therefore simultaneous killing of nits along with head lice is essential.
4.Practice Wet Combing
Head lice can be effectively treated by wet combing, using a specially designed head lice comb. Wet hair loosens lice glued to hair and the comb removes them by shearing effect.
The only problem with this method of removing head lice is that the wet hair combing can break some hair.
5.Apply Petroleum Jelly to the Hair
Petroleum jelly can suffocate and kill head lice.
- Apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly to the hair,
- Cover with a shower or swim cap.
- Leave it on overnight for the best results.
- Use baby oil or mineral oil to remove the petroleum jelly in the morning.
- Shampoo wash and rinse your hair
It is very difficult to remove petroleum jelly from the hair, you may require 2-3 repeat cycles of shampooing.
This is a week long remedy to kill head lice. Every alternate day apply a 50-50 Vinegar and water mix on the head instead of petroleum jelly.
Repeat the process every night for a week.
Itching is a big problem if you have head lice and nits. Essential oils do a good job of soothing the scalp to reduce itching.
You can use any one of the essential oils from a wide variety of choices, including tea tree oil, rosemary oil, lavender oil and thyme oil.
Mix 50 ml of olive oil with 15 to 20 drops of one of the essential oil. You can use combinations of essential oils also. We will use tea tree oil in this example
- Rub the mixture on your dry hair
- Cover your head with a plastic shower cap and leave it overnight
- Shampoo and rinse your hair in the morning.
The success will come from consistently using a well planned strategy for a week to see initial results and then continue until the head is clean of all lice and nits. This usually takes 3-4 weeks.
Since head lice is contagious, make sure that you don’t share any hair care products including combs and pillows to anyone who has lice.