7 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Head Lice

October 3, 2016
Natural remedies, which our grandma's have been using for years to get rid of head lice, are as effective as commercial treatments and don't contain harsh chemicals.

Head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) are tiny insects that measure no more than 3 millimeters and cling onto the scalp in order to suck our blood.

This infestation is known as pediculosis and can affect anyone, especially children.

The presence of head lice is quite uncomfortable since these insects secrete saliva that makes our skin itch and they reproduce quickly.

For this reason, when we see that a child is scratching their head too much there’s a high probability that it’s because of these parasites.

Head lice are spread through direct head-to-head contact. Furthermore, these parasites lay eggs, which are called nits. In a matter of 8 or 9 days, these nits will have already grown into lice.

Bearing this in mind, to get rid of head lice you must act in a timely manner so that they don’t completely invade the head. Thankfully, we are going to share with you 7 natural ways that can help you get rid of head lice.

Although there are already many products for sale to combat head lice, it’s better to avoid using products that contain aggressive substances for your skin.

Let’s move on to the natural remedies. Take note!

1. White vinegar for head lice

 White vinegar

White vinegar contains natural acids that are beneficial for the scalp and the problems that affect it.

Due to these properties, it repels lice and helps to eliminate bothersome nits that make your hair look bad.

How do you use it?

  • Warm up a little bit of white vinegar to a bearable temperature and apply it to the whole scalp and hair.
  • If the vinegar burns, remove it immediately.
  • Ideally, you should use pure white vinegar, but those with sensitive skin should dilute it with a bit of water.
  • Keep on using it every day until all the head lice are gone.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil has a pleasant aroma that helps neutralize the smell left by white vinegar as well as enhance its effects.

Thanks to its antibacterial properties it also repels lice and makes the process of removing nits that stay stuck to hair simpler.

How do you use it?

  • Rub a little coconut oil on the whole scalp, and leave it on for 15 minutes. After this, proceed to comb the hair with a wide-tooth comb.

Also read:

10 Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil

3. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil

The anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties of tea tree essential oil can also help fight against these bothersome parasites.

How do you use it?

  • Distribute 15 drops of tea tree oil across the scalp. Don’t wipe it off, but let it settle on the scalp and do its job.
  • Repeat this daily to achieve the best results.

4. Olive oil

This product is a good alternative to help loosen nits stuck in the hair, which conventional products struggle to achieve.

How do you use it?

  • Drench the hair with some extra virgin olive oil. Cover your hair with a plastic cap and leave it on for an hour.
  • After the hour has passed, take off the cap, comb the hair and remove the nits with a comb.

We recommend:

5 Olive Oil Treatments for Your Skin

5. A mix of oils

Mix of oils

When using a mix of various essential oils we can enhance the effectiveness of the products mentioned above. This will help prevent the lice from returning to the head.

The idea is to combine ingredients with antimicrobial qualities, as they create a protective barrier on the scalp.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil (15 g)
  • 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 2 drops of tea tree essential oil

How do you use these ingredients?

  • Combine all the oils in a single container and apply the mixture to the scalp, following the hair line.

6. Rue infusion

Rue has many beneficial properties for hair. Besides promoting healthy hair growth, it’s also a good alternative to remove head lice.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of rue (30 g)
  • 2 cups of water (500 ml)

How do you prepare it?

  • Let the half liter of water boil, then add the rue.
  • Cover the infusion and let it sit for 20 minutes.
  • Empty the mixture into a sieve and use the liquid to wet the affected hair.
  • Cover the hair with a shower cap and let the mixture work for an hour and a half.
  • Completely rinse the hair and complete this process every day.

7. Garlic

Chopping garlic

The sulfur compounds of garlic and its intense smell are a great repellent against these insects.

Ingredients

  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 3 table spoons of olive oil (42g)

How do you use it?

  • Crush the garlic gloves and mix them in with the olive oil until you get a thick paste.
  • Apply the paste to the whole scalp and leave it in for an hour.
  • Thoroughly rinse out the mixture from the hair, apply conditioner and then brush the hair.
  • Use this paste several times throughout the week.

You’re welcome to try any of the natural remedies that we’ve mentioned above, so that you don’t have to resort to commercial products that are armed with aggressive chemicals.

However,  you should remember that in order to obtain the best results, you will have to use these remedies frequently, as well as follow strict hygiene measures.

Toloza, A. C., Lucía, A., Zerba, E., Masuh, H., & Picollo, M. I. (2010). Eucalyptus essential oil toxicity against permethrin-resistant Pediculus humanus capitis (Phthiraptera: Pediculidae). Parasitology Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-009-1676-6

Di Campli, E., Di Bartolomeo, S., Delli Pizzi, P., Di Giulio, M., Grande, R., Nostro, A., & Cellini, L. (2012). Activity of tea tree oil and nerolidol alone or in combination against Pediculus capitis (head lice) and its eggs. Parasitology Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-012-3045-0