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Lice can quickly become a nuisance when left unnoticed. With all the constant itching and irritation, your child will have a tough time relaxing and doing daily activities at home or at school in peace. Spending a lot of time outdoors and with other kids affected with head lice can have your child contract this itchy problem. If you see nits on your child’s scalp, that’s the ultimate sign. Here’s everything you need to know about natural remedies to get rid of head lice.
What Are Head Lice?
Head lice are insects that live in human hair. They cannot fly or jump but can run at a rate of 9 inches per minute. They are usually passed on by direct head-to-head contact with another person. They can be found mainly at the back of the head or behind the ears, while sometimes appearing on the eyelashes or eyebrows.
Symptoms of Head Lice Infestation
Your child’s head and hair may have been infested by lice if he exhibits the following symptoms:
- Constant itching
- Irritability or having trouble sleeping
- Swollen lymph nodes or glands
- Sores due to scratching
- A tickling sensation on the head
Why Parents Prefer Home Remedies to Treat Their Child’s Head Lice Problem
Although you could go to the doctor and get prescriptions for OTC medications, treating head lice with these is usually avoided by many parents because of the list of side effects they come with. Home remedies for head lice usually consist of more natural ways and products to treat head lice and maintain the health of the scalp. Plus, if your child has a case of ragweed or chrysanthemum allergy, then you should definitely avoid OTC drugs and prescription medications for eliminating head lice.
15 Effective Home Remedies to Get Rid of Head Lice
Here are 15 effective home remedies for lice in babies and kids. Try these out, and we’re sure your child will be free of this itchy problem.
Use distilled vinegar and gently apply it on your child’s hair. Leave it on for a while and rinse his hair thoroughly with plain water. You can even use apple cider vinegar for this treatment. We also recommend using coconut oil while combing his hair, once you’re done rinsing to extract the dead lice and nits.
2. Olive Oil
Apply olive oil to your child’s scalp till it looks saturated. The olive oil leaves no room to breathe for the lice and their eggs, and suffocates them to death. After 15-20 minutes, comb out the dead lice and apply shampoo to remove the excess oil and rinse. Repeat this process a few times till you see no more lice or red bumps on your child’s hair and scalp. Make sure you wash his clothes carefully after every session.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of the best home remedies for head lice and eggs in children. Simply pour tea tree oil into a spray bottle and mix it with water. Spray it on your child’s scalp and cover his head with a towel for a while. Remove the towel and rinse thoroughly. Repeat twice a week for best results. You may add some tea tree oil in your kid’s shampoo or add it to olive oil for combing out the nits naturally.
Lice hate garlic, so it’s something you can kill them with! Simply add 8-10 cloves of garlic to lime juice by grinding them into a paste. Mix them together and apply the mixture on your child’s scalp. Let it stay on for 30 minutes, after which you can rinse his scalp with warm water.
5. Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly stops roaming lice in their tracks and acts as a deterrent. Apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly onto your child’s scalp and hold it in place with a towel or shower cap before he goes to bed at night. When he wakes up in the morning, use baby oil and a nit comb to comb away the nits and remove dead lice.
6. Hair Dryers
A quick and surefire way to pick lice out of your child’s scalp is to use a hairdryer. Be certain to do this outside the house as it prevents the lice from transferring to things and people indoors. Avoid trying this on young toddlers since hot air is not a good idea for their scalp.
7. Onion Juice
Make some onion juice at home and leave it on your baby’s scalp for about 3 to 4 hours. Wipe off the dead lice and nits with a nit comb and rinse the hair thoroughly with shampoo. Repeat this every 3-4 days for best results.
8. Mashed Apples
This method may be very messy but it is highly effective. You can apply mashed apples on your kid’s scalp and leave it on for a few hours to eliminate lice and nits. The trick is to cover the hair completely with it and wash it off thoroughly after an hour.
Save a dash of mayonnaise for your child’s lice treatment next time! It comes in handy and smothers the lice to death. Apply mayonnaise thoroughly onto your child’s scalp and leave it on for the night. Your child can wear a shower cap to keep the mayonnaise in place. Shampoo and rinse the next morning and comb out the dead lice and nits.
10. Coconut Oil
Take some coconut oil and apply it generously to your child’s scalp. Leave it intact with a shower cap for two hours and use a nit comb afterwards to remove dead lice and eggs. Shampoo and rinse the hair with a conditioner and apply it again once the hair is dry. Leave it on with a shower cap when your child goes to bed and let it stay on overnight. Use the nit comb again, rinse and dry, and repeat this treatment twice a week for effective results.
11. Neem Oil
Add a few drops of neem oil to your child’s regular shampoo and rinse his hair thoroughly during bath times. Use a nit comb and comb carefully through different sections of the hair to remove dead lice. The neem oil-infused shampoo must be used regularly to remove lice infestation from occurring on the scalp.
12. Benzyl Alcohol
If your child is over six months of age, you can apply benzyl alcohol solution on his scalp and rinse it off with plain water to kill and remove dead lice. Repeat this after a week to kill the remaining lice that hatch out from eggs laid on the scalp. Make sure to comb with a nit comb as well after rinsing.
13. Eucalyptus Oil
If the lice are resistant to chemical treatment, try adding 15 to 20 drops of eucalyptus oil with olive oil and apply it on the scalp of your child. Leave it on overnight with a shower cap and comb in the morning to remove the dead lice. Make sure to rinse the scalp after combing and dry hair.
14. Salt and Vinegar Mixture
You can render your child’s scalp lice-free with a mixture of salt and vinegar. Salt is an antiseptic while vinegar prevents nits from latching on to hair strands. Insert the concoction into a spray bottle and spray on the hair and scalp to make your child’s head lice-free. Follow up with a rinse to make the process complete.
15. Baking Soda
Kill lice by stopping their respiratory systems with a mixture of 1-part baking soda and 3-parts hair conditioner. Apply the mixture on your child’s hair and comb through it after dividing it into sections. Use a soft tissue to wipe off the comb and remove the nits, baby lice, and adult lice. Rinse with an anti-lice shampoo once you’re done and make sure to repeat this a few times in the upcoming days for completely removing the lice.
Try out these simple but effective home remedies, and you’ll see your child’s hair and scalp completely free of pesky lice infestations. Make sure to follow through with the remedies two to three times a week for best results. However, some of these can be done every day as well.