Seven Natural Ways to Get Rid of Lice and Nits

Natural substances such as tea tree are helpful allies in the removal of lice and nits.
Seven Natural Ways to Get Rid of Lice and Nits
Maricela Jiménez López

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Maricela Jiménez López.

Last update: 11 June, 2022

Getting rid of lice and nits is no easy task. Head lice are parasites that live on people’s heads and feed on the blood of their host. Nits, their eggs, are usually in a person’s neck and behind their ears.

In addition to being very unpleasant, they cause all sorts of discomforts such as tingling, severe itching, and even small lesions on the scalp — which are the result of scratching. They lead to sleeping problems also, because these bloodsuckers are more active in the dark.

Children are usually the most affected by this problem, due to the ease of infection in places like daycares or schools. Thereof the importance of parents to be aware of the symptoms to detect them before they spread and affect classmates and other members of the family.

Essential oils are a good remedy against lice and nits.

Remedies to get rid of lice and nits

Currently, there are many treatments that can kill these parasites and their eggs. However, many of the products in the market are packed with chemicals that can cause irritation to the scalp so they’re too aggressive for children.

Luckily, there are natural alternatives that can help treat this type of bloodsucker infestation. Would you like to find out more about them?

1. Eucalyptus leaves

You can take advantage of the antiseptic properties of eucalyptus for this purpose. To do so, mix eucalyptus leaves and add the juice of a lemon. Lemon has antiseptic, insecticidal and repellent properties (due to its strong acid and aroma it invites these parasites to look for another home).

To make it, place a handful of eucalyptus leaves in water and let it boil for 5 minutes. Let’s it steep and apply it to the hair with a gentle massage when it cools down. Allow it to act 30 minutes.

After this time, run a lice comb through your hair, strand by strand. Finally, wash your hair as you usually do. You must repeat it several times a week for at least 15 days to get rid of lice and nits completely.

Eucalyptus and its essential oil.

2. Rosemary

Rosemary is an aromatic plant that brings many benefits to the health of our hair because of its vitamin and mineral content. It strengthens hair, slows down its loss and helps keep it free of pests such as lice. It works as a lice repellent due to its aroma that’s unbearable for them.

To make it, add a handful of rosemary leaves to a pot of water and let it boil for 5 minutes. Let it steep and when it cools down you’ll have a fragrant infusion to rinse your hair before you run the lice comb through it.

We recommend Uses of rosemary oil that you may not know

3. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains a high concentration of acids, which makes it a strong ally in the elimination of lice and nits. Make a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water, apply on dry hair, and let it act 10 minutes. After this time, run the lice comb through your hair thoroughly and then wash it as usual.

4. Coconut oil to get rid of lice and nits

Coconut oil to get rid of lice and nits

The natural fatty acids in coconut oil are toxic to lice. When you apply coconut oil to your hair the lice and nits cannot cling. This is because they cannot grab onto the hair.

Thus, you can put an end to them and their cycle. An advantage of coconut oil is it nourishes the hair and makes it look soft and silky.

5. Tea tree oil

This essential oil is characterized by its antiseptic, antiviral and fungicidal action. It decreases the irritation of the scalp and brings relief to the itching caused by lice bites. It’s commonly used as a repellent.

There are several ways:

  • First of all, dilute it in water
  • Then, add a few drops of tree oil to your usual shampoo
  • Finally, apply a couple of drops directly on the scalp behind your ears and neck

6. Get rid of lice and nits with garlic

Garlic is a substance that alters the means for the survival of lice due to its sulfur compounds. And if you add lime to it you end up with an ideal mixture that can eliminate lice and nits.

Use three or four cloves of garlic, depending on the length of your hair, and a few drops of lime juice. Then, grind this mixture until you have a paste.

Apply the paste on the hair with a massage and cover the head with a hat. Let it act throughout the night.

In the morning, rinse your hair with hot water and wash it as usual. Then, run a lice comb through it. You must repeat this process weekly until you get rid of lice and nits completely.

Final note

Even though these remedies are popularly used and their use is highly recommended, it’s always best to use products specially designed for eliminating lice.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Padilla-Santamaría, F. (2016). Pediculosis. Revista Cadena de Cerebros.

  • Carreño. (2017). La higiene personal. Scielo.

  • Hernández Contreras, N., Chang Camero, Y., Santana Suárez, Y., & Machado Martínez, E. (2010). Usodeliberado de diversos productos para el control de Pediculus capitis ( De Geer , 1778 ), por padres o tutores de niños de escuelas primarias. Rev Cubana Med Trop.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.