Head Lice The Frustration Over Effective Remedies
Caution: The multiple graphics are displayed only to give a guide in helping the viewer understand what to look for….when suspecting head lice.
Parents have become so frustrated with repeated treatment of lice and the attempts to combat an infestation of nits that they are willing to go to such extremes…out of desperation…to rid their child of these pesky vermints…Some parents have even gone to such lengths as to cut their child’s hair short, often leading to a traumatized child.
Head Lice Home Treatments:
Don’t resort to these drastic measures when there are other natural and proven hair home treatments available at a fraction of the cost and work more effectively, without damaging your child’s natural hair follicles in the long run.
Hair follicles are tender at a child’s tender age…Don’t resort to extreme chemicles to be absorded into the the bloodstream though the skin….perhaps leading to premature baldness or premature gray hair.
|Natural Lice Head Treatments|
|Hairspray ~ Preventing Lice:If you encounter an outbreak of lice at your child’s school, the first step to prevent head lice from being attracted to a head of hair, is to spray a thick coat of strong spelling, super hold hairspray on the hair before leaving the house (costs less then the commercialized lice products on the market). The spray will create a barrier to penetrate the scalp. The lice will also be repulsed by the smell of the hair spray. Coach your child to douse their hair again, if necessary, midday….as a precaution and as a refresher.|
|Vegetable Shortening and Vinegar|
|Suspected symptoms for lice–If you do happen to come down with head lice…saturate the hair with a thick coat of vegetable shortening applied to the hair and roots (use lard, shortening, rather than oil for a more suffocating effect). Make it good and thick. Put a shower cap on, or wrap the head with plastic wrap, above the eyes, nose and mouth, and let sit for two hours. Afterward shampoo hair thoroughly. (Read below about using your regular shampoo.)|
|The oils in the vegetable shortening suffocate head lice and prevent oxygen from getting to the eggs. It will also condition the hair and makes a great moisturizer. Rinse hair with (AVC) vinegar, catch the vinegar in a bucket then reapply (see note below), eventually rinse with clear water. Comb hair with a nit comb to remove the dead eggs. Repeat one week later. Note: AVC (apple cider vinegar) will not destroy the natural pH balance to hair as with white vinegar, which is much harsher on hair follicles. (See notes below if you are having difficulty removing the lard from the hair)|
|Plastic Trash Bags|
|Quarantine your child’s favorite stuffed animal. What a great way to teach a child about hibernation. Place all comforters, quilts and stuffed animals in plastic trash bags, tie shut, and store in the garage for two weeks. Lice cannot survive without a human host. The eggs take one week to hatch, so after two weeks all the lice should be dead and your child’s “favorite pet” will then be ‘starved’ for lots of love just like an animal comes out of hibernation and starved for food. (But please instruct your child about the difference.)|
|Use Vinegar for Head Lice|
|(Apple Cider Vinegar): Adult lice lay eggs, called nits, which stick like ‘glue’ to the hair shafts. After treating hair with a vegetable shortening (see above), or any of the remedies listed below, rinse hair thoroughly (over a ‘catch’ bucket) with AVC then reapply several times. The AVC dissolves the “glue,” allowing you to comb the nits from hair easily with a nit comb. (Careful with AVC, too much use and it will strip the ‘natural’ oils from hair creating dry and damaged hair—do not prolong use—use in moderation)|
|Baby Oil and Dawn|
|Saturate hair with Johnson’s Baby Oil (only trusted oil, besides olive oil) and cover with a shower cap (or wrap the head with plastic wrap—avoiding the eyes, nose and mouth) and let sit for two hours. The lice drown in the baby oil. Wash the baby oil from hair with Dawn Dishwashing liquid. Repeat one week later.|
|Mayonnaise for Head Lice and AVC|
|Saturate hair completely with a thick coat of mayonnaise (a cheap brand will contain plenty of thick oils), working the mayonnaise in the hair and roots well. Wrap hair with plastic wrap (above the eyes, nose and mouth) or put a shower cap on. Let set for two hours. Shampoo hair thoroughly. The strong fatty oil in the mayonnaise will suffocate and kill head lice and nits. Besides, the mayonnaise is also an excellent hair conditioner. Rinse hair with AVC (apple cider vinegar) repeatedly, then rinse clean with water and comb hair with a nit comb. Repeat one week later.|
|While you are in the washing frenzies, using lice-killing shampoos, laundering clothes and bed linens (use bleach when washing linens in the wash cycle and high heat in the dryer)…try adding ½ a cup of bleach to a sink full of water and soak all combs, brushes, barrettes, and hair clips in the solution, let them soak for at least an hour… then rinse thoroughly with hot water. Don’t forget razors, tweezers or any other ‘equipment’ used in or around hair.|
|Wet the hair and scalp with an antiseptic mouthwash, cover with a shower cap and wait two hours. Make sure the mouthwash is a strong antiseptic so it will kill the lice and prevent further infestation. A cheap brand will work just as well as long as it has strong antiseptic properties.|
|Also a great antiseptic…To clean brushes and combs (particularly a nit comb), soak the items in Lysol, then rinse them with hot water. Lysol works the same way as the bleach and mouthwash mentioned above. Note: Lysol tends to be harsher on hair then other hair home treatments. It can be used but will dry the hair.|
|Tree Tea Oil for Head Lice|
|To avoid getting lice and preventing lice, shampoo hair regularly with tea tree shampoo. Tea tree oil, from the Melaleuca tree, is a natural ‘louse’ repellent. Tea tree contains antiseptic properties.|
|Olive Oil for Head Lice and AVC|
|Saturate hair with olive oil (the best of the best hair oil) and cover with a shower cap (or wrap the hair in plastic wrap—avoiding the eyes, nose and mouth) and let set for two hours to kill head lice and make removing nits easier. Follow by rinsing with AVC and comb out the nits with a nit comb.|
Symptoms for lice ~ Strange Facts:
- Medicated lice shampoos may cause serious side effects in children and should never be used without a doctor’s supervision.
- Most people resort to a lice shampoo containing the pesticide pyrethrin (derived from chrysanthemums) or permethrin (a synthetic form of pyrethrin). Recent Harvard studies indicate that lice are becoming pyrethrin resistant. These lice are becoming more resilient to the commercialized medicated products on the market today. That is why it is very important to become familiar with natural hair home treatments.
- The medical term for a lice infestation is pediculosis.
- The word louse, the singular form of the word lice, is slang for “a bad person.”
- The word nitwit originated from the false idea that head lice infest only poor, uneducated children. Not so!! Don’t be humiliated, frustrated or embarrassed if your child comes down with lice. Lice have become more resilient to the commercialized medicated products on the market. According to data from Harvard researches, there are ‘superlice at large in the land.’ This gives more reason to experiment further into natural home hair remedies.
- The term nit-picking originated from the tedious act of having to pick every nit from the head of a person infested with lice. This is a great time to teach your children about why apes and monkeys ‘groom’ themselves.
- The expression “going over it with a fine-tooth comb” stems from combing the hair of a lice-infested person with a fine-tooth comb to get rid of all the nits, dead or alive.
- Lice burrow into the scalp to feed on human blood. A chemical in their saliva stops blood from clotting. This chemical causes the persistent itching effect.
- Female lice lay up to ten eggs a day. In a week the eggs hatch…in two weeks, with proper treatment…they can be disposed of.—Learn and know your home hair remedies.
Note: To remove excess oil (especially petroleum jelly) from the hair…but only to be used on a short time basis for it will strip the natural oils, pH, of the hair, use the following as a rinse:
- Cornmeal or cornstarch (dry shampoo, best choice for natural alternative, however you may spend days with greasy hair)
- Dawn dish detergent (best, fastest alternative, but will dry hair)
- Goop hand cleaner—this is an extreme but if necessary, use—will dry out hair.
- Wisk laundry detergent—also an extreme due to stripping the hair of the natural oils.
*Whichever you use—be careful not to get detergent into eyes.
*Many shampoos on the market today interfere with the effectiveness of the hair lice remedies. The only shampoo found so far to combat hair lice with medicated ingredients or hair home treatments was Prell. Remember, according to Harvard research studies, you are now dealing with ‘superlice’, which are adapting to commercialized remedies…but yet so far…have not adapted to natural hair remedies at home….
Kali S. Winters
Articles of Interest
More Hair Home Treatments
Hair Remedies for Dry Hair
Sulfite Free Shampoo ~ Soapwort
Discover Combs for Curly Hair
Herbal Hair Shampoo Recipe
Hair and Mayonnaise
Tips for Healthy Hair
Back To: Main Articles