My Home Remedies

Head Lice Home Remedy Comments

7 Comments for the Head Lice Home Remedy

S.

I've been using a home-made shampoo to kill all live lice which is completely natural, and safe. All of the ingridients are effective at repelling or killing live lice, but in combination they work wonders.

Salt - salt is a natural antiseptic and will help to kill the live ones.
Vinegar - vinegar loosens the glue that holds the nits onto the hair, making them easier to comb out.
Tea tree oil - The wonder from down under, tea tree oil is an antiseptic and insecticide.
Peppermint oil - This stuff is potent and kills the live bugs. It also works to repel them when used in your regular shampoo after the infestation has been removed. An added bonus, it has a wonderful cooling and soothing effect on the scalp when applied.
Dish soap - The grease-fighting action of a good-quality dish soap will help make it more difficult for the little critters to hang on, and make it easier for you to comb them out.

You can make your own shampoo out of these safe, relatively inexpensive ingriedients that effectively kill the live lice. The nits, however, will probably survive. This is where the full treatment course comes in.

The life cycle of a louse is about 30 days. The nymphs (technical term for baby lice) do not reach sexual maturity for approximately 5-10 days after hatching.

Step 1. Make a shampoo using some or all of the ingriedients above. Be careful not to exceed 5-10 drops of essential oil when preparing the mixture. Essential oils are absorbed very quickly and efficiently into the skin. Using too much may cause adverse complications. Use the dish soap as a base, making sure not to dilute it excessively, as this will make it difficult to apply and lather. DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF OR YOUR CHILDREN TO INGEST ANY OF THIS MIXTURE. DO NOT ALLOW IT TO COME INTO CONTACT WITH YOUR EYES. It really burns; trust me, I know. :)

Step 2. Comb out your hair using a specialized nit comb. I recommend using one of the high-quality 'microgrooved' combs available for this purpose. These combs are so effective that they can be used entirely on their own to remove head lice infestations, without resorting to any kind of preparation to kill the lice. Check out www.nittygritty.co.uk for more information. If you can't get one of these special combs, a normal lice comb will suffice, but you must be very diligent and pay close attention to detail. You must comb your hair at least once a day (2-3 times a day if possible would be ideal) for a period of 7-10 days. Every inch of the scalp must be carefully combed, working with small sections of hair. Be sure to work the comb through at different angles (upward, downward, left and right) to dislodge the nits. Rinse out the comb between swipes through the hair, and sterilize thoroughly before using on another person. For the remaining 7 days, continue to comb your hair, though at this point you will be looking for any evidence that the infestation remains rather than actively removing the insects, so you don't have to go all out. If you are still finding bugs after 7 - 10 days, continue the treatment for another week.

Step 3. Clean your environment. Although new research is showing that we do not need to go as 'hog wild' cleaning our homes as previously thought, a good clean will definitely help prevent re-infestation. Studies have shown that spraying pesticides all over our furniture is largely ineffective at controlling infestation, but if you still want to do it, use Lysol rather than the more expensive 'special' lice sprays. For the most part, a thorough vacuuming of the carpets, beds, couches, chairs (don't forget the car!) should be sufficient. Adult lice do not survive for much than 24 hours off the host body. Nits require warm temperatures to hatch, so it is unlikely that any nymphs will hatch from eggs that have fallen from your head, but even if they do, they will die within a few short hours unless they are able to get an immediate meal of blood.

Wash all of your laundry in hot water and dry on high heat for at least 30 minutes - this is sufficient to kill them. Adding additional chemicals is not necessary, and may even be harmful. Anything that may be contaminated by contact with an infested person (or their personal effects) and cannot be washed should be sealed up in plastic bags for at least two weeks. This does not suffocate them as is popularly thought, but rather starves them by preventing them from finding their way back to your head.

Don't go crazy - save your time and energy for removing them from your head. If you're scrubbing every nook and cranny, you're just wasting your time, given the creatures' extremely short lifespan when not in contact with the host.

Step 4. Repeat the shampoo recipe as above for 2 weeks, applying it every 2 days. Use as a normal shampoo, and leave on for at least 5 minutes in the shower. As the mixture only kills the live lice, the strategy here is to kill off each new crop of lice before they reach maturity and have time to lay their eggs. Again, diligence is the key. Wash thoroughly. Massage the mixture deeply into your scalp. Comb your hair! Manual removal is the key component of any lice removal program. IF YOU DO NOT COMB YOUR HAIR CAREFULLY AND OFTEN, NOTHING ELSE YOU DO TO GET RID OF THEM WILL WORK.

Step 5. After each treatment, change bedding and re-vacuum all surfaces that might have been in contact with the infested person. The course of this treatment should last no longer than 2 weeks. In many cases, infestations can be removed succesfully in as little as 3 days to a week, depending on the commitment and diligence of the individuals involved.

One of the most important things to remember is this: your house doesn't have lice, -you- do. Your head is this creatures' complete biome, and it cannot exist for very long anywhere else without you. Head lice are very specific to the scalp and do not live anywhere else on the body, nor can they be carried by animals. Reinfestations commonly occur because of re-exposure to another infested indivdual, or incomplete removal of the bugs in the first place. Although the environment can cause reinfestation, with proper cleaning, it is rare. Concentrate on your head because that is where they live and breed.

Step 6. Since lice are a social disease, it is usually impossible to keep everyone affected isolated. Eventually your kids will have to go back to school and all it takes is that one missed nit on someone's head to start things all over again. When an outbreak of lice occurs and many people around you have been infested, it's a good idea to continue to use small amounts of the essential oils in your regular shampoo for about a month following the outbreak. Dandruff shampoos with zinc as their active ingredient have been reported effective at repelling lice, as well as taking zinc vitamin supplements. Follow package directions carefully when taking nutritional supplements.

The great thing about these lice un-friendly ingredients is that they are safe and non-toxic when used topically. Concentrated essential oils are powerful chemicals, albeit natural ones, and should be treated with respect and care. Used in moderation, they will do their job effectively.

7 comments | Post a comment

Jen

I agree.. don't waste money on shampoos... they never work.

The best thing is to buy a nit comb and use it every night!

Look at the vid at www.killnits.com and see how ugly these things are.

Anonymous

There are no ratio amounts so you have to guess how much of everything to put together. I went REALLY strong with the oils and the solution killed about 98% of the lice and nymphs in my daughter's hair. It helps to loosen the nits, however, keep a spray bottle of water handy because once the hair starts to dry -- you're done getting them off easily... Just a suggestion.

Cynthia

iam a mother of 2 boys and 3 girls only one of my daughters was sent home today because of lice, I have changed all beddings and have treated her hair with an OTC shampoo. Her hair looks clean of lice and their eggs. Please does anyone have any other suggestions on how to make sure they are completely gone? And how can I make sure my other kids don't get it?

Annie

I am a Nurse for 15 years, and
I would be very cautious to use these ingredients without knowing the proper ratios. If too much of one ingredient is used, it can be harmful, even toxic to your childs delicate head.

I went through this with my daughter, and tried mayonnaise and oils, and after about 2 weeks, they spread to myself and my husband and my other daughter.

I tried to save money and wound up spending much more in the end.

There are some good natural treatments online that I found. The one that worked for me was called Clearlice.

I chose them from some of the other ones, because i watched their video that actually showed head lice dying with their shampoo. Very convincing.

But we have not had another infestation since that first treatment.

I found them at www.clearlice.com

God Bless

Steph

Hi guys, this is the author. Since everyone seems to've been a bit confused about the recipe, let me try to make it a little clearer.

When I made this mixture myself, I wasn't too concerned with the ratios of anything except the essential oils, because none of the rest of it is harmful to a human. It doesn't really matter how much salt, vinegar or dish soap you use - it's not going to hurt you. What has the potential to hurt you if mis-used is the essential oils.

Tea tree oil contains terpinol and is related to turpentine, which is also organically derived from some species of coniferous trees. It is a powerful insecticide and antiseptic. It's the heavy-weight in this mix.

Peppermint oil is similar to tea tree oil in its action, but its odor is also thought to repel lice even after it has been rinsed away.

As I said in the main article, for an average adult human, no more than 10 drops COMBINED of BOTH oils should be put onto your scalp at once.

I was infested from an unknown source and didn't discover the little buggers for a while - my head was a little bit itchy, but I thought it was just dry scalp. We don't have any young children and I wasn't in close contact with anyone that I (thought) had lice. I think I may have contracted it from the public transit system, as I was taking the bus quite often at that time. Anyway, by the time I actually checked my scalp, there were a lot of them. I did a lot of research and found that all of these ingredients were being listed seperately all over the place as effective, so I thought, why not combine them?

When I made the first shampoo preparation, I used the full 10 drops (5 each of tea tree and peppermint) then later when I saw that I was pulling less and less of them out of my hair, I dropped it down to 8 drops (4 each of peppermint and tea tree). Don't bother buying commercial tea tree or peppermint oil shampoos - the amount of oil in them is so small that they will likely not help. In small amounts, tea tree works well to get rid of dandruff or any other dermal scalp problems you might have, but to harness the full insecticidal effect of it, you need to use drops of the pure essential oil, which is not very expensive and is nowadays very common, being available in almost all health food stores. I bought a small bottle - maybe 300 mls - for 10 bucks Canadian, I've had it for over a year, and I've still got half the bottle left. It's worth laying down a few bucks for.

So now for the recipe. This is going to be for the MAXIMUM STRENGTH shampoo. An ADULT should only need to use the treatment at this strength once or twice before decreasing the amount of essential oil. A CHILD should also use this shampoo with a decreased amount of essential oil (6 drops total - 3 each of peppermint and tea tree).

This makes enough for 1 or 2 applications, depending on the length and thickness of hair being treated.

1/2 Cup dish soap (Dawn or other similar off-brand product)
1 tablespoon table salt
3 tablespoons white vinegar
5 (3 for a child) drops peppermint essential oil
5 drops (3 for a child) tea tree oil

Before using essential oils, be sure that the people being treated are not allergic. Do a spot test on a small patch of skin with a 50-50 diluted mix (1 drop oil, 1 drop water) at the inner elbow or inside of the wrist. Apply 1 drop. Wait five minutes. Wipe off. Wait 24 hours. Make sure there has been no adverse skin reaction. Mix, apply to hair and massage very thoroughly into the scalp. Pay special attention to places where lice like to hide, such as behid the ears and at the nape of the neck. Allow to sit at least 5 minutes. Rinse, condition as usual if desired.

As an aside, this is much easier to use and much more effective than the mayonnaise treatments being touted. The thing in mayonnaise that makes it work is the vinegar, which dissolves the nit glue, and the fatty content of the mayonnaise acts like a conditioner to help lubricate the hair while you comb through it. Since there is vinegar in this mix it will accomplish the same thing. If you want to have the added benefit of a lubricant to ease combing, after you've used this shampoo, apply your favorite conditioner but don't rinse it out. Get out the shower, comb out your hair, then get back in and rinse it away.

I would also like to add that it has been almost a year since I wrote the original article, and in that time I've come across another natural and safe substance that will help to control not only lice infestations, but many other household pests as well including ticks, cockroaches, fleas, ants and mites. It is called diatomaceous earth and it is safe to use in the home, in direct contact with the skin of humans and animals, and is even safe to eat! For more information on this safe and natural pest control product, check out: wolfcreekranch1 at tripod.

Debbi

I try the mixture on my hair and my entire family my three granddaughters and daughter had lice so bad their hair had too be cut.I did the cleaning and threw away all bedding too rid of them as well as vacum the house. the mixture was great we no longer have the lice or the eggs.Thank You so much from a family of five

Anonymous

If i were to use this remedy, will it Dry out the hair? Bring Lose to thickness of hair? make me lose hair?

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