LICE! It’s the “other” dreaded four letter word. It always sends people running away like no body’s business and leaves you wanting to itch ALL.OVER. There are few things I dislike more than lice. Why, because I have treated it more time than I can count. Like last fall for example, 7 girls with long gorgeous dark hair all that the same time. Yes, nightmares do come true.
Needless to say I treated more than what I consider my fair share of lice, though I have yet to get them. (I have a theory about that by the way.)* I’m also happy to say my household has been lice free for almost a year. YIPPIE!! Do the happy dance…
Next time you hear that your child has been exposed to/has lice please do me a huge favor. Consider not using over the counter treatments.
In my opinion, if something is so strong that you can only use it once every 2 plus weeks, you shouldn’t be using it. That stuff can burn your hands, your head, your eyes… If you do accidentally swallow it you are supposed to contact poison control immediately.
There are so many things that the medical world will tell you about treating lice that I am sorry to say that I bought into for years. I used the shampoo like whole bottles of it on one girl’s head. I used the spray, the gel and whatever else they might throw at you but no more.
I am so thankful for friends and research that showed me that those things aren’t necessary.
If you are a “naturally minded” person or on your way to being one then you may already have almost all you need to treat lice at home.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to lice:
- Lice can live for up tp 30 days.
- Nits (the eggs) are affixed to the hair shaft with a “glue” making them difficult to pull off.
- Once a louse (singular for lice) it will not start laying eggs until it is 1o days old.
- Lice actually prefer clean heads.
- Lice suck your blood, they can’t live off of the host (person) for more than a day or so.
- Take a deep breath, you can do this!
Call me a bit of an extremest but this is what has helped my home stay lice free.
Herbs and Essential Oils to Treat and Prevent Lice
- Blue Tansy
- Tea Tree Oil
10 Tips to Get Rid of Lice Naturally
1. Make A Hair Mask
Mix a cup of coconut oil with the some or all of the essential oils listed above. Lightly coat the entire head with the oil. Leave on for at least 8 hours to suffocate the lice. Lice can hold their breaths for that long. Who would have thought. I generally do this at night and cover each head with a shower cap before they go to bed. Wash the hair in the morning. One of my readers Denise suggested washing the hair out with a grease cutting dish soap. I personally don’t mind leaving the hair a bit greasy for a few days till the treatment is done.
2. Make a Herbal Lice Spray
Lice hate this spray! Not only does it kill the nits but it helps keep them away as well. This lice spray over at Modern Alternative Mama is great for spraying on heads that have lice or have/will be exposed to them. It is made from apple cider vinegar and herbs/essential oils.
3. Get a Good Comb
Those cheapo plastic combs you find in boxes traditional lice shampoo are worthless. Most metal combs I’ve used including flea combs (I was desperate) don’t to a bit of good. A lice or two may come out but that does nothing for the nits. The Nit Free Terminator Comb (affiliate link) is the only comb I have found that actually removes most of the nits. It is worth the higher price. This comb’s teeth are closer together and have tiny grooves running down them that pull out the nits. I still go through with my hands to be sure I have gotten all the lice and nits.
4. Carefully Hand Pick Out The Nits and Lice
Say what? Have you eve heard of the expression “Nit Picking”? I used it for years before I realized that it truly meant. Divide hair into sections and clip. Leave a tiny section down. Plus nits from hair with the tips of your finger nails. Place the nit between your thumb nails, pressing together. If you hear a pop the nit is still alive, if you don’t it is get an empty shell.
Heat is a sure way to kill lice. After taking a shower blow dry the hair before combing out the lice and nits. You can also run a flat iron through your hair. This kills the lice, helps loosen the glue on the nits or “fries” them. All brushes, hair things and combs used need to be placed in hot water for 20 minutes. You can add rubbing alcohol if desired.
6. No Sharing
Sharing is one of the easiest ways to spread lice. When you you have lice it is very important not to share combs, brushes, anything cloth for your hair, hats, cloths or beds. I’ll had lice spread like wild fire because of this one thing.
Divide the hair into sections and meticulously comb through the hair. Keep a bowl of hot water by you so you can dip the comb in to kill any live lice. This can take a couple hours to do to a through job.
7. Add Essential Oils to Your Shampoo
I also add a couple essential oils from the list above to everyone’s shampoo as a treatment and preventative.
8. Dry, Dry, Dry
It’s important to have bedding and clothing that has been used dried in a dryer on for 20-30 minutes every day. Some people will tell you to wash everything in hot water and dry it but really only drying it is needed.
If you have some things that can’t be dried put them in your freezer for two days. The lice will be dead.
10. Bag It Up
If you can’t dry something and you don’t have room in your freezer bag everything up for a week. This works great for extra blankets, stuffed animals and things like that.
*When I was reading around some sites suggested that blood type can have some effect but there is little evidence. I wonder if there is something in some people’s body chemistry that repels lice. I’ve been frequently exposed to lice since I was little and have never gotten them even when I wasn’t following all of these preventive measures. Really, who knows!
Here are some tips from readers!
How about you? What are your best tips on treating lice naturally?