Home Remedies and Natural Cures

Head Lice Home Remedy

Signs and Symptoms of Head Lice

Head lice are wingless insects that live on the human scalp and feed off of human blood. They are different from fleas (which often infect pets) in that they spend their entire life on a host. Related species of lice can also infect other parts of the body. For example, body lice often live on clothing, while pubic lice mainly live on hair in the pubic regions. An infestation of lice is also often referred to as pediculosis.

Head lice develop in the following phases:

  • Head Lice Eggs (Nits): These are firmly attached to the hair shaft, and are difficult to see (they can easily be mistaken for dandruff). They are oval shaped and usually yellow to white.
  • Nymphs: After about a week, a nit will hatch into nymphs which are young head lice. At this stage they begin feeding on blood from the scalp.
  • Adults: After 7 days, a nymph matures into an adult, which is about the size of a sesame seed with a greyish-white color. The adult lifespan is about 30 days.

The most common symptom of lice infestation is frequent itching, which occurs as a result of a lice's saliva entering holes in the scalp when they feed. Note that excessive scratching of the head can result in sores, which may become infected, so it is best to get treatment as quickly as possible. Although a louse bites into the skin to feed, the reaction to the bite is difficult to see between the hairs. However, bites can often be seen on the neck of individuals with long hair.

Causes of Head Lice

Head lice are usually spread through direct head-to-head contact with an infested person, but they can also be spread by sharing combs or towels. Children are often the most affected by head lice, particularly those between the ages of 3 and 10. Additionally, females often get head lice more than males, possibly due to having longer hair. Pets are typically not affected by human head lice.

Home Remedies and Natural Treatments for Head Lice

Use Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

Shampoos containing a small amount (5%) of Tea Tree Oil are often very effective at getting rid of head lice. An excellent shampoo is Nature's Gate - Tea Tree Calming Shampoo.

Vinegar

A quick home remedy for head lice is to create a rinse using an equal part of water mixed with an equal part of kitchen vinegar. One-half cup usually does the trick. After you've created this mixture, do the following:

  • Take a shower and leave shampoo in your hair for 5 to 10 minutes. Tea Tree Oil shampoos (described above) work well.
  • Rinse the shampoo.
  • Apply the vinegar rinse to your hair and rub it into your whole scalp.
  • Leave the rinse in your hair for about 2 minutes, then rinse it out.
  • Repeat this twice per day (morning and evening) until the head lice disappear.

The active ingredients in the shampoo kill head lice as well as penetrate into the eggs that they hatch. The vinegar then helps to dissolve the dead lice and wash their remains away.

Eliminate Head Lice with a Nit Comb

Although shampooing is quite effective at getting rid of head lice, many nits usually remain firmly attached to hair strands. Therefore, after shampooing and drying your hair, it is good to invest in a quality nit comb to remove the pesky nits. A recommended nit-comb is the Nit Free Terminator Lice Comb from NitBusters. A natural peppermint oil repellent such as Nit Free Mint Spray can also help to loosen nits before using the nit comb.

Shaving your Head to Remove Head Lice

One of the easiest and most effective ways to get rid of head lice is to simply shave your head, although many women would prefer alternative methods. Note that a short haircut usually isn't sufficient, since head lice typically cling to hair only a quarter-inch from the scalp.

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Comments

  1. on said:

    my name is Kathleen lake. i have head lice. i like the tip you gave. i will try beer in my hair to see if that will get the lice out of my head...

  2. on said:

    Why aren't the public schools checking their students heads on a regular basis for this problem just like they did years ago? They used to get the public health nurses in with rubber gloves on and tooth picks in hand. Just what is wrong with the school system in this day and age?? Too lazy to do anything about this very serious problem! I know it is not the child's fault but this problem lays with the parents not checking their childrens heads more often like two or three times a week and letting the school know if their child has this problem...

  3. on said:

    My daughter has very thick,coarse hair. A couple of years ago, she got headlice which lasted for months, no matter what I did. I even soaked her hair all night in Nix/RID and used the netting comb the next day to wash it out but to no avail. Finally on someone's advice, I used a hot straightener to burn the heck out of lice and their eggs. That was the last time she had lice.

  4. on said:

    After dealing with lice one too many times....we use head and shoulders as our regular shampoo. If there is a lice problem at school, we leave it on for longer. I got rid of lice on my own head that way. Study the life cycle....and keep in mind that the eggs keep hatching so treatment should continue until all eggs have hatched,emerged and have been killed before they can reproduce.

  5. on said:

    My daughter picked some up when we visited a very expensive riding hotel. Olive oil works great. Pour on as much as possible (until dripping), wrap the head in a plastic bag, cover with a shower cap, and sit down, and wait. Excellent conditioner. Smells like a pricey salad :)) Works like a charm.

  6. on said:

    i lost my hair and im having bald head totally 70percent i lost my hair and im getting marriage with in 1year so wat is the solution for me

  7. on said:

    Rid! Rinse, then pour vinegar and leave in, massage,
    then rinse, Shampoo, condition, comb w/nit comb, A LONG time in sections.. REMOVE NITS!! Keep hair damp while combing with a spray bottle loaded w/vinegar. Gel hair and braid then spray with hairspray. Spray All that can't be washed with rid spray. Wash EVERYTHING else, stuffed animals and such- put in bags & seal for @ least 2 weeks.
    Wash hair, comdition well & Nit comb Every day for what feels like eternity! DO ALL OF THIS AGAIN 7-10 Days later!!!!! Must do this again!! If you missed only 1 nit ... Your problems will start all over again!!!! Vacuum, Mop, Sweep- clean all hair stuff. Spray your car!

  8. on said:

    USE LICE-R-Gone, by Safe Solutions. AWESOME stuff.

  9. on said:

    My daughter has had head lice since the beginning of the school year, it is now the end! We have use, NYDA, Nix, Equate, tea tree oil & R&C. I am so very upset by this. Its seems as if this is a mystery because they just show up out of no where after I check her hair! every time I think shes clear, they come back. I am soaking her hair on Gel every night for 12 days to see if this will work. So upsetting for her and I, this is not ok!!! I don't understand why they wont go away

  10. on said:

    I picked up head lice from my granddaughter when she started school (a first for us both) we both used tee tree oil lice shampoo and it damaged our hair so bad. The only positive thing that helped after was to put in olive oil and comb hair out with lice comb....I have been colouring my hair and after the tea tree was used on my hair it is broken and colour doesn't take it is dull. It has been 3 months now my granddaughters hair is also only now starting to show result s of improvement


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