How To Get Rid Of Head Lice – Symptoms and Prevention

Head lice affect about 6-12 million of children every year. Although it is more common in small children, adults may also acquire it. These 2-3 mm six-legged parasites live on the human head, adheres to the hair shaft and feeds on human blood. Although these tiny parasites do not spread any disease, but bite the scalp and suck blood resulting results in an uncontrollable itch with the desire to scratch and ultimately leading to soreness and irritation. Lots of scratching may also cause infection. It is essential to eliminate head lice completely, but getting rid of them is a time taking and frustrating job. Head lice crawl very fast and also reproduce quickly. Their eggs get latched with a glue like substance to the base of the shafts and are known as nits. In just a few days the nits grow into lice and increasing the number of head lice.

Head lice infestation is not due to poor hair care. It  spread on head to head contact. It also spreads on sharing the contaminated hair brush, towels, bed or clothing of the infected person.

What Are The Symptoms Of Head Lice Infestation?

If you find yourself or your child scratching scalp uncontrollably, examine the scalp to look for tiny bugs, nits and nymphs. Also, there may be red bumps on the scalp.

Detecting head lice is very. Examine the hairs, especially the neckline and behind the ears. A mature lice crawls  fast and may be difficult to locate but nits attached to the hair shafts are easily seen. You may also see a dermatologist if you have any doubt.

How To Get Rid Of Head Lice

Your doctor may prescribe Permethrin lotion that is safe to use, but kills only the mature lice and not the egg. Also, it is not for use on the children below 2 years of age. If you are allergic to ragweed better avoid it. There are also other medicated shampoos and lotions for lice that are available over the counter only on prescription. But these convections medications may be dangerous if misused or overused. They contain pesticides and insecticides and are toxic and may cause skin rashes or asthma or other side effects They are dangerous if they get into the eyes and so it is advised to wash your eyes immediately.

Home remedies to get rid of head lice are the safest option. They may take time but the results are obvious.


Top 10 Natural Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Head Lice

1. Combing And Nit Picks 

This should always be the first step. You will have to give an everyday session of combing and nit picking even along with the home remedies discussed below.

What To Do

For this you will have to purchase special lice picking fine toothed comb to remove mature lice. Nit picking sessions remove the nits before they hatch.

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2. Vinegar

Vinegar is rich in acetic acid that is toxic for the lice and dissolves the nits.

What To Do

Mix vinegar and mineral oil in equal amounts and apply it to your hairs and scalp. After 10 minutes, rinse it off head plain water. Repeat this every alternate day for a few to get rid of lice.

Note:- You can also use apple cider vinegar to get rid of head lice.

3. Baking Soda

Baking soda cuts the exoskeleton of the lice.

What To Do

Mix baking soda with water to make a paste. Rub the paste on your scalp and also apply it to your hairs. After 10 minutes, wash it off with water.

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4. Mayonnaise

Myonnaise contain lots of fat that is high viscosity. When applied to the scalp and hair it suffocates the lice.

What To Do

Apply mayonnaise all over your scalp and cover the head with a shower cap. Leave it overnight. In the morning wash your hair with an anti-lice shampoo. Repeat this once in a week.

5. Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the best home remedies for lice. They cause them to suffocate and slows their crawling. Thus, They can very easily be combed out. Apply either almond oil or olive oil liberally all over your scalp and hair. Leave it for an hour and then comb them out or pick them out. This is followed by shampooing your hair. This can be repeated every day for a week or two.

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6. Neem Oil

Neem oil is a natural insecticide. Its smell suffocates the lice and kills them. Add 5-6 teaspoons of neem oil to your shampoo and have a head bath.

7. Sesame Seed Oil

Being anti-fungal, antibacterial and a natural insecticide you can also use sesame oil to get rid of lice. Below, is a DIY home remedy to get rid of lice where sesame oil is an important ingredient.

Take 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, a few drops of tea tree oil, one tablespoon of neem oil, a few drops of eucalyptus oil, and a few drops of lavender and rosemary essential oil.

Now rinse off your hair with apple cider vinegar and then pat it dry with a towel. Now apply this oil mixture on your scalp and hair thoroughly. Wear a shower cap and leave it overnight. This is followed by combing your hair in the morning and then shampooing. Repeat this daily for a week or if needed for 2 weeks.

You can also check out:- 10 Simple Home Remedies For Fleas 

8. Hair Dryer

Studies show that hair dryer can kill lice and nits. So you can use this method just after having a hair wash to get rid of lice. When you dry your hairs better first divide your hairs into sections. Start with scalp and then slowly move the dryer towards the tips of your hairs. Do not use hair dryer for more than 60 seconds for each section of hair.

9. Garlic

The smell of garlic is so pungent that it suffocates the lice and ultimately kills them. Take 9-10 cloves of garlic and crush them. Mix them with 2 tablespoons of lime juice and a teaspoon of coconut oil to it. Apply the mixture over the scalp and hair. Quantity may differ according to the density and length of the hair. After a half hour comb your hair. This is followed by shampooing and again combing your hair. Continue this treatment for a month or two.

You can also check out:- Home Remedies To Control Aphids

10. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree essential oil is a powerful insecticide and it also kills the nits. Mix a teaspoon of tea tree oil with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and apply the mixture to your scalp and hair. Cover your scalp and hairs with a shower cap and leave it for half an hour. This is followed by rinsing off your hairs with lukewarm water and then combing your hair. Repeat this daily for a few days and then on alternate days for a month.

Try any of the above-mentioned natural home remedies for lice infestation and do tell us how effective you found them to get rid of lice problem. It is always advised that the other family members and close friends should also be checked for the lice infestation. Make sure to wash the clothings, pillows, bed sheets, towels, other clothing and comb used by the infected person in the machine and then dries using hot air cycles. This will kill the eggs and head lice. Also make sure to vacuum furnitures and floors to remove the infected hairs. You don’t need to invest much time as lice cannot survive for long in absence of human hair.

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