Your head is itching uncontrollably and you fear the worst-case scenario: you have lice. Upon further investigation, you discover that you have, in fact, been invaded by these parasites.
Lice are small parasites that attach themselves to human hair and feed off of blood. Though lice can affect any part of the body that is covered with hair, the most common spot these parasites take up residence is on the head. That’s because this part of the body usually has the most hair. An infestation of head lice is medically referred to as Pediculosis capitals.
Head lice are extremely contagious. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 12 million people are affected by head lice every year in the United States.
Though it is believed that people who do not exercise proper hygiene are the most at risk for head lice, anyone can get them. They are particularly common among school children, though they can easily spread through office spaces, and any other public location, such as movie theaters, public transportation, and libraries.
If you have head lice, there’s no doubt that you are going to want to eradicate those nasty pests as quickly as possible. Here’s a look at home remedies that are proven to offer effective results.
1. Oil from coconuts
Coconut oil is has been found to be an effective home remedy for removing head lice. It is a highly viscous substance, which means that it can easily suffocate and smother the parasites. Coconut oil also has excellent antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which can effectively kill lice. Using coconut oil to remove head lice will also offer great benefits for your hair and scalp, as it’s highly moisturizing. In fact, your hair may look lusher after using this home remedy to remove head lice. For the best results, apply coconut oil directly to the head, working it into the scalp and throughout the strands of your hair. Comb through your hair with a fine-tooth comb and wash it out. Repeat the process until the head lice have been completely removed.
2. Tea tree oil works, too
Another effective home remedy for treating head lice is tea tree oil. This oil contains two important ingredients: cineole and terpinene. Both ingredients are natural insecticides, which means that they have the ability to kill all types of bugs and insects, including parasitic head lice. In addition to smothering and killing the pests, tea tree oil also lubricates the hair, making it more difficult for lice to attach to it. To use this home remedy, apply a few drops of tea tree oil to an all-natural shampoo. Wet your hair, apply the shampoo, and work up a lather, allowing the suds to sit in place for up to 30 minutes. Comb through your hair and rinse the shampoo out.
3. Garlic can work, too
Garlic isn’t just for cooking; it’s also a great home remedy for head lice. It has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties, which can help keep lice. Garlic is also one of the most effective treatments for bacteria that are resistant to drugs. Plus, the strong fragrance that garlic emits alone can kill off those obnoxious parasites. To use garlic for a head lice remedy, grind 10 gloves into a paste and mix together with a few tablespoons of lime juice. Liberally apply the mixture to your scalp and through your hair. Let it sit for 30 minutes, rinse clean, and run a fine-tooth comb through your hair.
4. Baby oil
The viscosity of baby oil can be an effective way to kill head lice and rid your hair of them. It also moisturizes the scalp and conditions the hair. To use baby oil for a lice home remedy, apply a few drops to your scalp and hair. Comb your hair with a fine-tooth comb to help the suffocated lice fall out of your hair. To remove the baby oil, wash your hair with laundry detergent and the hottest water you can stand. This will help to rid your hair of any residue left behind by the oil. Lastly, wash your hair with regular shampoo.
5. Olive oil could do the trick
All types of oil are highly viscous, which means that they have the ability to suffocate and kill off head lice. This includes olive oil. Plus, olive oil also has properties that make it act as an insecticide, which makes it even more effective for killing lice. To use olive oil to treat head lice, apply a generous amount to your head. Work it into your scalp and hair. Leave the oil on and wrap your hair in a towel or put on a shower cap, leaving in place for 30 minutes. Comb through your hair with a fine-tooth comb to remove the dead parasites. Wash your hair with your normal shampoo to remove residue left behind.
6. Lavender oil can offer results
Not only is lavender oil an effective way to remove head lice, but it also has a very pleasant smell. Like the other oils mentioned, lavender oil also acts as an insecticide and will kill off those pesky parasites. The soothing properties of lavender oil will also help to soothe any pain, discomfort, or itchiness that you might be feeling. Mix a few drops of lavender oil into your regular shampoo. Wet your hair and work up a lather with the oil-infused shampoo. Allow it to sit in place for several minutes and rinse thoroughly. Again, use a fine-tooth comb to remove the dead bugs.
7. Pyrethrins may be helpful
An ingredient used in many manufactured lice products, pyrethrins on its own is an effective way to rid your head of lice. It is derived from the chrysanthemum, so it’s all-natural, and this flower is known for its ability to repel pests. Pyrethrins are highly effective because it actually attacks the nervous system of lice, thereby killing them off. Don’t worry; it’s completely safe for humans. Do note that there are some forms of lice that have developed an immunity to pyrethrins, so if this option doesn’t work, try another home remedy until you see results.
8. Give vodka a try
Vodka makes a great adult drink and can add flavor to many dishes, but that isn’t all it can do; vodka can also be used as a way to combat lice. The secret to vodka is that it is a very powerful antiseptic, so much so that it has actually been used to treat wounds. The strong smell of vodka combined with its antiseptic properties makes it an effective remedy for head lice. Apply a generous amount to your head, work it into your scalp, comb through the strands of hair, and rinse out it. The lice should be gone in no time!
9. Permethrin lotion is an option
Another agent found in many manufactured lice treatments, permethrin lotion on its own can prove to be an effective way to remove lice from your hair. A synthetic form of pyrethrins, permethrin lotion also works by attacking the nervous system of these pests. However, it is important to note that as with pyrethrins, some lice have become resistant to permethrin, so if you don’t have successful results, move onto the next home remedy.
10. Sanitize all hair tools
Not only is getting rid of the lice in your hair important, but it’s just as important to get rid of any lice that might be taking up residence in other locations. The tools you use on your hair are a very popular hideout for these pests. This includes combs, brushes, clips, hair bands, and so on. Make sure that you completely sanitize these items to prevent contracting head lice again, and avoid spreading it to other people. Boil all items in water that is no less than 130 degrees F, water and soap.