Healthy Living

Holistic Treatment to Head Lice

Head Lice

Holistic Treatment to Head Lice

Key Takeaways

  • Pyrethrins/Pyrethrum
  • Ivermectin
  • 5% benzyl alcohol lotion 
  • Olive oil
  • Hair styling gel

Head lice, also known as nits, are minute, tiny, wingless insects that feed on human blood. They are not deadly. However, the can negatively affect your child’s life. Therefore, head lice should not be left untreated. Several holistic treatment options are existent. They include:

Pyrethrins/Pyrethrum

Pyrethrum comes from chrysanthemum flowers that produce natural insecticides known as pyrethrins. This toxin is an active ingredient in medicinal products like A-200, RID, as well as Pronto. Pyrethrins attack the live louse’s nervous system. This mechanism incapacitates the louse, making it hard for the louse to survive or live.

Ivermectin

Ivermectin lotion is extracted from certain bacteria found in the soil. The lotion suffocates and kills head lice and it can be used as a treatment option for kids who are over six months old. It also kills lice eggs. Clinical research shows that ivermectin can completely remove head lice within the first two weeks of treatment.

5% Benzyl Alcohol Lotion

This prescription lotion was first introduced in 2009. The lotion works by incapacitating the louse's breathing apparatus. This leads to asphyxiation, but it does not actually kill nits. You should make at least two applications. This lotion should only be prescribed for kids who are 6+ months old. Potential side effects include eye and skin irritation.

How to apply benzyl alcohol lotion:

Start by preparing a towel for your hair and eyes. Apply the lotion to dry hair and scalp, and then leave it for about 10 minutes for the chemical to take effect. Rinse your hair and scalp in a sink afterwards.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is an excellent smothering agent. Lice will suffocate and die when their breathing holes are sealed. However, you should apply olive oil overnight under a shower cap since head lice can survive without breathing for more than one hour. Make sure to comb your hair after applying olive oil to completely remove nits.

How to use olive oil

Begin by applying the oil to dry hair. Then wait for ten minutes. Add some water to form a lather, and then rinse. You can then comb your hair for nits. This should be repeated within 7-10 days.

Hair Styling Gel

You can also use a hair styling gel (also known as petroleum jelly) such as Vaseline to kill head lice. Research shows that applying a hair styling gel actually kills head lice. However, you should apply thick gel to suffocate and clog lice breathing holes.

Here is the approach: start by coating the hair with the gel. Next, cover it all night using a shower cap. Remember to wash it out the following morning. Finally, comb for nits. This should be repeated a week later.

Hair Dryers

Exposing your hair to a sturdy, hot-air can effectively kill head lice. This method involves the use of a hair dryer on your kid’s washed hair. However, never use hot hair after applying other chemical lice treatments. If you do, and the chemical contains flammable ingredients, your kid’s hair might end up being burnt.

Nitpicking and Combing

This is an effective way to remove head lice. However, it must be done in conjunction with other holistic treatments like hair dryers, hair styling gels, olive oil, etc. The treatment involves combing the hair section by section using a special comb (preferably one that is made of metal) to remove head lice and nits. After a comb-through, you can use a bright light to spot and pick out any remaining stray.

Head lice can be disturbing and hard to treat. However, with the above holistic treatments, you can completely eliminate them. These treatments options are natural with minimal side effects.