Healthy Living

Alternative Treatments for Head Lice

Alternative Treatments for Head Lice

Key Takeaways

  • A special fine-toothed comb used on wet hair has been proven effective in helping remove lice.
  • If lice cannot feed off a scalp, they cannot survive even for a single day. 
  • There are natural oil products from plants which have been proven harmful to the lice and their eggs.

In case your child spends a night at a friend's house and later claims that the place had a lot of lice then you should know it is not a big deal. Though lice are spread from one person to another, they do not come with diseases and your child is just okay. In case you do not want to use clinical medication, there is an alternative method you can use as listed below: 

Wet combing

A special comb that has fine teeth is used to brush your hair when it is wet. It can help remove the lice, and it has been proven to be effective. Apart from the hair being wet, a conditioner is essential so as to make it lubricated. The head should be combed from scalp to the end more than once. The process should be done more than a week to ensure no lice remains. 

Use of smothering agents

There are a variety of products that you can employ to do away with lice. The products are capable of getting rid of the lice and the eggs that will give rise to other lice. When applied, to the hair, leave it the whole night for useful results. These are some of the products that are used:

  • Butter
  • Mayonnaise
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Olive oil
  • Vital Oils

There are natural oil products from plants which have been proven to be harmful to the lice and their eggs. Some are shown below;

  • Anise oil
  • Nerolidol
  • Tea plants oil
  • Ylang-ylang oil
  • Baby Oil

Baby oil is also another product that you can use to get rid of head lice as they are known to cause suffocation to the lice. Detergent, vinegar and baby oil is all you need.

  • The insects fall off from your head after slowly applying the baby oil and combing
  • Using soap and warm water wash your hair thoroughly
  • Apply white vinegar to the hair and use a towel to cover it overnight
  • Apply conditioner in the morning after washing the hair with shampoo.
  • The above should repeatedly be done to ensure the results obtained are positive

 

Salt

It is also possible to finish head lice with salt

  • A quarter cup of vinegar should be mixed with a quarter cup of salt
  • The solution should then be sprayed slowly on to the hair to make it wet after which a towel is tied for a least two hours
  • The hair should then be washed, and a conditioner applied
  • The above should be done for three days

 

Olive Oil

It is another product that should not be overlooked as it kills lice

  • Olive oil should be used efficiently to the hair. A towel is then tied before going to bed. Once you wake up, use a comb to remove the dead lice then wash your hair with shampoo.
  • A mixture of olive oil, air conditioner, and liquid soap can also be used. Apply the mixture on the hair and wait for about an hour after which you should wash and use conditioner. Comb it to get rid of the lice.

 

Household cleaning

If lice are not feeding on the scalp, they cannot survive even for one day. The eggs will also not be able to hatch if they are not in the conducive environment. It means that they cannot survive on a clean household. Cleaning using the following methods is highly recommended.

  • Use hot water to wash household items
  • Items used for caring your hair should thoroughly be cleaned
  • Items that are not washable should be sealed in plastic bags
  • Use vacuuming

 

Garlic:

We all know that garlic has a strong fragrance. Most of them love it. But this fragrance has the power of suffocating the lice and ultimately killing them.  Grind about 8-10 garlic gloves into a paste and add two to three spoons of lime juice to it. Mix it well. Now apply this mixture thoroughly onto the scalp. Leave it this way for about half an hour and then wash it off with hot water.

Shampoo with neem oil:

Neem oil is one type of natural insecticide. It is a very safe and effective method to get rid of lice. You can either purchase a shampoo which contains neem oil or add neem oil to the shampoo you are using. This is harmless and won’t cause damage to your hair in any way.

Hair dryers:

In a study, hot air methods proved highly effective in killing nits, but less so in eradicating live lice. An old fashioned bonnet dryer killed nearly 89% of nits but just 10% of lice, while a blow dryer using direct heat got rid of nearly 98% of nits and 55% of lice. So use a hair dryer on freshly washed hair to increase your chance of eradicating the little buggers. But never use hot air after applying a chemical lice treatment. Some may contain inflammable ingredients.

Spinosad:

This prescription lotion contains spinosad, a natural insecticide derived from the bacteria found in the soil. It was approved for children of the age above four years. Two clinical trials were conducted. Majority of the people were cured if lice in a matter of fourteendays. All you got to do is, coat the scalp and work the liquid through dry hair from roots to end. Leave it for about ten minutes, rinse and comb for nits. The common side effects areeye and skin irritation.

Benzyl alcohol lotion:

This works by stunning a louse’s breathing apparatus, causing asphyxiation (it doesn’t kill nits)

It needs to applied at least twice. There wasa clinical trial conducted for the same. About seventy to eighty percent were lice free within fourteen days.  Saturate dry hair and scalp with the lotion, wait for ten minutes and rinse out in a sink. It’s okay to shampoo afterward. Using a nit comb will help remove the dead lice and nits.

Treatment options for head lice are many, however, to find out about the best possible treatment method one shall consult with a medical expert. The best practice is called the best practice for a reason.