Home Remedies for Head Lice: What Works?
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Home Remedies for Head Lice: What Works?

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  • Hearing the news: Your child has lice

    Hearing the news: Your child has lice

    If your child just got back from an overnight with friends and a parent tells you that one of the kids has lice, there’s no need to panic. While lice can spread, they don’t carry disease, and they don’t mean that you or your child are in any way unclean.

    We pick these items based on the quality of the products, and list the pros and cons of each to help you determine which will work best for you. We partner with some of the companies that sell these products, which means Healthline may receive a portion of the revenues when you buy something using the links below.

  • Your treatment options

    Your treatment options

    To treat lice, there are times when all you need to do is use a lice comb to comb your child’s hair every morning and evening for three weeks. You can combine the combing with some easy—although sometimes messy—home treatments. From tea tree oil to simple olive oil, there are numerous home remedies. Click through the slideshow to find out what actually works!

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  • Smother the lice!

    Smother the lice!

    Nearly all home remedies rely on some method to suffocate the lice. Here are some of the natural “suffocating” or “smothering” treatments that work well if you follow the instructions.

    Some experts believe that the combing does most of the work. The “suffocating” treatments just stun the lice and make them slower and easier to catch on the comb.

  • Comb and oil treatment: Step one

    Comb and oil treatment: Step one

    Coat the hair with olive or almond oil. You should avoid Vaseline and mayonnaise. They are unnecessarily messy, and both can be difficult to wash out.

    Some people suggest coating the comb instead of the hair and re-applying the oil as needed. You may have to try both methods to see which works best for you.

    Separate the hair into small sections, using a hair clip to move them out of the way. Work under a good light so you can see what you’re doing. Rinse out the comb often under running hot water as you go. 

    Purchase NOW solutions Sweet Almond Oil and the Nit Free Lice Comb today.

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  • Comb and oil treatment: Step two

    Comb and oil treatment: Step two

    Once you have completely combed out your child’s hair, use their regular shampoo, rinse, and repeat. Make sure you wash all the towels used and clean out the lice comb.

    You can soak the comb in a 10 percent bleach solution or 2 percent Lysol solution for 30 minutes and rinse very well. Alternatively, you can soak the comb in vinegar for 30 minutes or boil it in water for 10 minutes.

    Follow this procedure every day for a week. Then, for the next two weeks, comb through your child’s hair every night to make sure the lice are gone.

    Purchase Nit Free Lice Comb at Amazon.com today.

  • Essential oil treatment

    Essential oil treatment

    Several essential oils have been shown to be effective when used along with combing. Before you use any essential oil, put a small drop on the back of your child’s hand. Although it’s rare, some children may have allergic reactions to these oils, specifically tea tree oil. If your child is allergic to one, move on to the next oil on the list.

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  • The essential oil treatment: Step one

    The essential oil treatment: Step one

    In order of most to least effective, the essential oils to try include:

    • tea tree oil
    • lavender oil
    • neem oil
    • clove oil
    • eucalyptus oil
    • aniseed oil
    • cinnamon leaf oil
    • red thyme oil
    • peppermint oil
    • nutmeg oil

    Mix 2 ounces of olive oil with 15 to 20 drops of the essential oil. Apply to the scalp using cotton balls. Leave this mixture on the scalp and hair overnight—at least 12 hours. Alternatively, mix the 15 to 20 drops of essential oil in 4 ounces of rubbing

    In order of most to least effective, the essential oils to try include:

    • tea tree oil
    • lavender oil
    • neem oil
    • clove oil
    • eucalyptus oil
    • aniseed oil
    • cinnamon leaf oil
    • red thyme oil
    • peppermint oil
    • nutmeg oil

    Mix 2 ounces of olive oil with 15 to 20 drops of the essential oil. Apply to the scalp using cotton balls. Leave this mixture on the scalp and hair overnight, or at least 12 hours. Alternatively, mix the 15 to 20 drops of essential oil in 4 ounces of rubbing alcohol. Place the mixture in a spray bottle and saturate the hair with it, leaving in for 12 hours.

    Purchase tea tree oillavender oil, neem oilclove oileucalyptus oil, aniseed oilcinnamon leaf oilred thyme oilpeppermint oil, or nutmeg oil today.

  • The essential oil treatment: Step two

    The essential oil treatment: Step two

    The following morning, comb out your child’s hair. Then shampoo, rinse, and repeat. Once the lice have been eliminated, the essential oil spray can be used as a preventive treatment. Remember, combing out the hair is absolutely essential to removing the lice. If one course of wet combing does not successfully remove the lice, you should see your doctor.

    Purchase your lice comb and spray bottles to make the essential oil spray today.

    Purchase your lice comb and spray bottles to make essential oil spray from Amazon.com today.

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