Defeat Head Lice Without Chemicals

Head lice are small bugs that live on the scalp, in the hair, and live off blood. They are most often found on young school children and can be a hassle to completely destroy. If your child comes home with lice, be sure you wash all clothing, bedding, and towels on the hottest setting your washer provides. Take any stuffed animals and seal them in plastic bags for at least two weeks, and wipe down all hard surfaces with a diluted bleach solution to ensure that a reinfestation does not occur.

What are the symptoms of head lice?

  • Itching on the scalp
  • Hair loss
  • Skin discoloration

 

Can I prevent head lice?

  • The best way to avoid head lice is to avoid head to head contact.
  • Do not share hairbrushes, combs, or accessories.
  • Do not allow children to share hats, scarves and pillows.
  • Treat your grooming products regularly with a few drops of tea-tree oil.
  • Keep hair pulled back tightly in ponytails or braids.

 

How can I treat head lice?

  • The most important step to treating lice is using a fine-toothed comb to go through the hair constantly. Combing removes lice and eggs and you cannot get rid of lice until you’ve eliminated every last egg.
  • Remember, these remedies will need to be repeated continuously until all the lice and nits or eggs are eliminated.
  • Try smothering the lice in olive oil. Soak the hair and scalp in olive oil, then cover in a plastic shower cap and let sit for 12-24 hours. Lice can hold their breath for a long time and won’t be smothered if you rinse the oil out too soon. Be sure to comb the hair as you wash out the oil to remove any lice and nits.
  • Once you’ve thoroughly washed the hair, use a hair dryer to dry it. Blow dryers have been reported to kill up to 98% of nits, though they’re less effective against lice. NEVER use a hair dryer on hair treated with a chemical delouser. They may be flammable.
  • You can coat the hair in petroleum jelly or hair gel, though whether this remedy works is up for debate. It may still smother the lice if left over night. Be sure to comb out the hair when washing the next day. Likewise with mayonnaise. If neither of these appeal, you can achieve similar results by using regular hair conditioner.
  • Wash with dish soap. This helps to cut through the grease of some of the smothering methods and breaks down the glue holding the nits to the hair.
  • Cover the hair and scalp with the gentle product Cetaphil, blow dry then rinse out. Repeat every week for three weeks.

 

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