How to use home remedies to get rid of lice or lice treatment? Head lice are a common parasitic problem, which affects small kids and teenagers mostly. They inhabit the scalp and feeds on the small amount of blood from the scalp. Children tend to lose hair and develop red and itchy scalp once, they suffer from lice infestation. The female lice lay an egg close to the hair shaft, where the temperature is perfect for them to thrive. It takes approximately 7 days for an egg to hatch. The young lice is called a nymph. Adult lives up to 2-3 weeks. The infestation of head lice is very common and it has been estimated that one in every 10 school going children suffers from this problem.
Types of Lice:
Lice are differentiated depending on which part of the body, they are found. The most common among them are head lice.
- Head Lice- Head lice feeds on the blood from the scalp and are spread through close contact, or by sharing hair care accessories. However, they don’t have a very long lifespan and can only survive for a day or two away from the host. They are not harmful and don’t cause any serious problem, except an irritating itching sensation.
- Body Lice- Unlike head lice, body lice are harmful and can be a medium for spreading serious diseases like trench fever. They attach themselves to the clothing a particular person and lay their eggs there. A typical female lice lays around 900 eggs in her lifetime. The egg takes a few weeks to develop into full grown lice. However, with advanced sanitary and hygiene standards the occurrence of body lice has significantly been reduced.
- Pubic Lice – Public lice is very rare and occurs in the pubic regions of a person. They are transmitted through sexual contact and shared cloths and bedding.
Causes of Lice Infestation:
The origin of lice is not known to human as of now. It has been found that even in ancient Egypt mummy’s had the problem of head lice.
Lice usually spread by close contact. They cannot fly, so for them to spread, it is important that a close contact with the victim is established. This contact can be established in a number of ways.
- Using same combs.
- Direct head contact among young children in the playground.
- Urban day care centers or schools, where children spend a lot of time.
- Sharing clothing, like towels, bed sheets or pillows.
- Sharing headgear, helmets, coats or any other types of personal belonging, which comes in direct contact with the body.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Lice (Lice Treatment)
Lice infestation is a cause of embarrassment, more than that of concern. There are several chemical shampoo’s available in the market, which can kill the lice. They are however not very gentle on the hair and can lead to hair fall. There are a number of natural home remedies to get rid of lice, which are not only effective, but also a good medium for treating the problem, without any serious side effects.
1.) Mouthwash and Vinegar to Get Rid of Lice
- Get hold of a few bottles of Listerine mouthwash, depending on the length of your child’s hair.
- Use the mouth wash liquid to wet the entire hair.
- Once the hair is sufficiently wet, place a shower cap on the head and tightly close it from all ends.
- You can also use a garbage bag, in case you don’t have a shower cap.
- Leave the cap on for a couple of hours.
- After a few hours when you open the cap, you will notice a lot of dead lice on the cap.
- Wash the mouthwash from the hair, with the help of plain water and wet the hair using Vinegar.
- Place the Cap once again around your child’s head and leave it there for a few hours.
- Vinegar will help to loosen the glue, from the lice eggs, which, then can be easily combed out.
- Use a mild shampoo to wash the hair after the vinegar treatment.
- Use a lice comb to comb your child’s hair to get rid of lice.
- You can spray a small amount of diluted spearmint oil in your little one’s head, to keep the lice at bay.
2.) Olive Oil and Combing to Get Rid of Lice
- This method is quite old and has been used for centuries to get rid of lice related problem. The ingredients required in this method are also very minimal. Olive oil and a lice comb.
- Apply olive oil all over your head in generous amount.
- Part the hair in small sections and use a lice comb to comb the hair, as close to the hair shaft as possible.
- Once a section is done, pin it away with the other combed sections.
- After the entire combing process is complete, wash your hair with a regular shampoo for a couple of times for the oil to disappear.
- When you are doing this process to make sure you repeat the process after two weeks, to make sure no eggs are left and the lice has not multiplied.
- Make it a point to conduct this process on all members of the family to ensure all the members are lice free.
3.) Tea Tree Oil Treatment to Get Rid of Lice
Tea tree oil is a natural essential oil, which is very effective in lice treatment. It is known to destroy almost 99% of lice infestation, when chemical cleaners have only managed to wipe out 25% of lice from the victim’s head. Tea tree oil can be used in combination with other oils or mixed with vinegar to get rid of lice.
- Take 20 ml of normal oil like coconut or olive and add approximately 10 drops of tea tree oil in it.
- Mix the oils and apply it on the head.
- Alternatively, you can combine the same amount of tea tree oil with alcohol and spray it on your child’s hair.
- In both the cases make sure your kids hair is covered tightly with a shower cap.
- Do not remove the cap before 12 hours of application.
- After 12 hours when you open the cap, you will be able to see a lot of dead lice in the cap.
- Use a regular shampoo to wash off your hair and get rid of lice.
- You can spray the tea tree and alcohol solution in your kid’s hair in moderation to keep the lice at bay.
4.) Mayonnaise or Vaseline to Get Rid of Lice
This method aims to kill the lice by suffocating them. Even though this method is a bit messy, it is highly effective and helps to kill the lice without injecting harmful chemicals in the blood stream.
- Get hold of some mayonnaise and apply it all over your head.
- Cover every inch of your head from the back of the ears to the back.
- Cover your head with a shower cap.
- If you are applying Vaseline, apply it in a similar manner.
- Keep in mind that Vaseline can only be removed by dabbing your hair with baby oil.
- After 6 hours, remove the shower cap and apply oil sufficiently and squeeze out the vaseline from the hair.
- Apply shampoo, at least a couple of times to remove all the mayonnaise and vaseline from your hair.
5.) Salt and Vinegar Solution to Get Rid of Lice
- This is one of the cheapest ways available to man, to treat head lice.
- Combine ¼ cups of salt and 1/4 cups of vinegar in a bottle.
- Shake the solution, until all the salt dissolves in the vinegar.
- Spray the solution on the hair, until the entire head is covered with the solution.
- Allow the vinegar to dry.
- Apply some olive oil to your head and cover your head with a shower cap.
- Keep the head covered for at least 6 hours.
- Wash your hair with a regular shampoo a couple of times and comb using a lice comb to get rid of the lice and the nits.
Other Useful Tips to Prevent Lice:
Lice infestation is a serious problem and can spread to the entire family, if not treated in time. The basic clue to fight this problem is to maintain a good hygiene. However, there are some preventive measures, which can be undertaken to ensure that you avoid a lice attack.
Don’t share your personal things- resist the urge to share personal belongings, like combs, towels, hair brush, cloths etc. Sharing the stuffs of a victim, will only aggravate the problem further.
Maintain Proper Hygiene – Use warm water to wash all your clothes and upholstery, every time a family member suffers from a lice attack. If possible use a disinfectant to make the wash more effective. Wash the combs and towels in warm water, after combing your kid’s hair.
Talk to Your Children – it is important you make your kids aware about the subject matter. Teach them that it is important to avoid close contact with students, who might be suffering from the problem of lice. Prevention is always better cure.
Check Your Kid’s Head at Regular Intervals- When you hear about the outbreak of lice infestation in your child’s school, use a lice comb to brush their hair regularly to get rid of lice. Use a spearmint spray, to keep the lice at bay.