Have you had to figure out how to get rid of lice as a matter of urgency? Lice are perhaps one of the most embarrassing parasites you can have. You find yourself itching in public and trying to remove invisible creatures from the head since they find a good refuge in one’s hair.
The discomfort that comes with lice infestation is too much for anybody to live with even if it is for a single day. It is, therefore, important to learn ways of how you can get rid of lice fast before you have to contend with the unpleasant experience of hosting the parasites.
Table of contents
- 1 What are lice and what causes them?
- 2 Symptoms associated with Head Lice
- 3 Home remedies for lice
- 4 Home remedies for head lice and how to use them
- 5 How long does it take to get rid of lice?
- 6 Preventing recurrence of lice infestation
- 7 Sources and References
Over time, it has become tough to get rid of lice using over the counter solutions. This resistance of lice to pesticides is attributable to their evolution. Consequently, people have opted to try home remedies for the disease.
What are lice and what causes them?
Head lice are six-legged parasites living on the human head. They are nearly invisible due to their small size. Head lice suck blood from the scalp. Despite their small size, they can cause you discomfort beyond imagination. It is not easy to get rid of lice fast as these parasites are very hardy.
As a matter of fact, chlorine used in swimming pools does not kill them.
Also, it is possible for them to remain submerged in water for up to six hours without dying. Head lice are very contagious and are easily passed from one person to another. They do not fly, but they can crawl using their legs. These are ways in which head lice are spread:
- Sharing personal items with someone who has been infected, for example, combs
- Touching your head against a person with the head lice
- Using a fabric item from an infected person
Symptoms associated with Head Lice
Since it is very hard to see a louse, you have to be aware of the symptoms that are associated with infestation from the blood suckers. These are:
- A feeling of something crawling on the head
- The scalp itches a lot
- Ceaseless scratching of the scalp which makes the scalp turn red
- Lymph nodes at the back of the head become swollen
- Irritation behind ears
- Dandruff comes off the head as a result of the unceasing scratching
Home remedies for lice
Lice are a source of unimaginable discomfort. They make one embarrassed. For those who have been affected by lice, they know it is imperative to get rid of lice permanently. As it was earlier mentioned, lice have become resistant to many over-the-counter remedies leaving people with no other option but to seek home remedies for head lice. Some of these home remedies are easy to find as they may be in your kitchen or bedroom and, therefore, there is no need to buy them.
Home remedies for head lice and how to use them
We are going to exhaustively look at how to get rid of lice naturally by the use of cheap home remedies that will not leave toxic residues in your head. All of them have the potential to provide permanent relief from lice.
Vinegar is an excellent solution for the home treatment of head lice. It contains acetic acid, which is poisonous to lice. Vinegar also dissolves the eggs (known as nits) of the lice making it easy even to kill future generations of the lice. We’ll now take you through the process of how to get rid of lice with vinegar.
- Mix vinegar with mineral oil in equal ratio and apply it to the head
- Massage the head thoroughly so that the vinegar reaches all parts of the scalp
- Protect the head using a shower cap and leave it overnight
- Shampoo the head in the morning
There is also an alternative way of how to get rid of lice with vinegar:
- Mix vinegar with water in an equal ratio
- Shampoo your hair
- Apply the vinegar solution to the freshly shampooed hair
- Rinse the vinegar with clean water after 10 minutes
Repeat the two procedures for three times a week, and you will have completely gotten rid of lice with vinegar in less than two months.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar is used in the same way as in the procedure for using vinegar. The only difference between ACV and the regular white vinegar is that ACV is a stronger anti-microbe. However, before you can use ACV, ensure that you are not allergic to it. To check this, apply a single drop of ACV on any part of your skin. You are supposed to feel a burning sensation that will go away after a few seconds. If the burning sensation does not stop, then you could be allergic to ACV, and you should consider an alternative remedy.
Despite not being backed by scientific studies to show that hair gel can exterminate lice, anecdotal evidence has found hair gel to be significantly useful as a home remedy for head lice. Theoretically, it is believed that hair gel suffocates lice to death.
- Apply hair gel to your hair and focus more on the roots
- Cover the hair with a shower cap until the next morning. Shampoo the hair after you have woken up
- Comb the hair to get rid of nits
- Continue until you have your head is free of lice
Tea tree oil
Anecdotally, there is enough evidence to show that tea tree oil is an effective home remedy for lice. Furthermore, tea tree oil has antiseptic properties. The oil thus protects your scalp from getting infected as a result of scraping your head when scratching. Two methods in which you can get rid of lice using tea tree oil will be discussed briefly.
- Mix 20 drops of the oil in about 50 ml of olive oil. Mix thoroughly
- Use cotton balls to apply the mixture to your scalp
- Cover the hair with a shower cap until morning
- Mix 20 drops of tea tree oil in about 100 ml or rubbing alcohol. Mix thoroughly
- Apply the mixture to your head using a spray bottle
- Cover the hair with a shower cap overnight.
In the morning:
- Shampoo the hair several times and rinse the hair exhaustively after each application of the shampoo
- Subdivide hair into small sections
- Use a nit comb to thoroughly brush every section
You should be able to get rid of lice after a few applications of the tea tree oil treatment. Do not use this oil in case you have a wound on your scalp or if you are allergic to the oil. It is possible to tell if you are allergic to tea tree oil if you continue to experience an unabating stinging sensation after application.
For this treatment, you can use either neem oil or coconut oil. Coconut oil has lauric acid which is an anti-microbe agent. Lauric acid prevents secondary infections that could develop as a result of injury due to the incessant scratching. Also, coconut oil is rich in saturated fatty acids. These fatty acids kill lice through suffocation. Furthermore, coconut oil is easy to apply on hair owing to its lubricating nature.
On the other hand, neem oil alters the life of lice. The azadiractin in neem kills nits (the eggs from lice) thereby preventing the reproduction of more lice. Neem oil also has antiseptic properties since it contains triterpenoids. Follow this procedure routinely while using either neem or coconut oil as home remedies for head lice:
- Heat up neem oil or melt coconut oil. The aim of doing this is to make the oil achieve a lukewarm temperature
- Use tolerant amounts of the chosen oil to massage both the hair and the scalp. Soak up the hair and the scalp for up to 30 minutes
- Group the hair into simple sections that can be easily managed. Comb these sections using a nit comb to get rid of nits
Mayonnaise works in the same way as hair gel. Both kill lice by suffocation. The only difference between the two is that it is harder to remove mayonnaise from hair compared to hair gel.
- Cover all your hair with mayonnaise
- Cover the head completely and tightly with a shower cap after which you wrap a towel on top. Doing this will create an air-tight environment inside the head and will also prevent mayonnaise from dripping
- Leave this overnight or for about six hours
- Wash the hair with shampoo. Take time to wash the mayonnaise completely
- Use a hair dryer to dry the hair
- Use a nit comb after you have separated hair into manageable sections
- Repeat twice every week for two months
Through research, modern hair dryers have been found to get rid of head lice. Numerically, it is believed that a hair dryer kills up to 55% of live lice and kills about 98% off nits. This, therefore, implies that regular use of a hair dryer is a solution to how to get rid of lice fast.
- Segment you hair into small sections
- Dry the segments thoroughly using a hair dryer. Do this by moving from the scalp to the tip of the hair
- Do not overdo it. In fact, do not spend more than one minute in one section as the intense could damage your hair
Lemon juice is very acidic. It is this acidic environment that discourages head lice. The lemon juice is used together with garlic. This home remedy for lice could achieve unbelievable results if used well. In fact, it is said to be one of the best home remedies for lice treatment.
- Crush about four large garlic cloves to obtain a fine paste. Use a mortar and pestle
- Add few drops of lemon juice to the paste and mix thoroughly
- Use the paste to massage the scalp. Use a thick towel to cover the head for half an hour
- Shampoo the hair and then comb it using a nit comb
- Repeat this twice daily for five days
Alcohol is another recommendable home remedy for lice treatment. Rubbing alcohol on the scalp kills head lice since alcohol is a powerful disinfectant.
- Pour some alcohol on the scalp. Massage the scalp gently while spreading the alcohol
- Leave for a few minutes
- After about five minutes, apply some hair conditioner. The conditioner will end the burning sensation that was there when alcohol was applied
- Comb the hair with a nit comb to get rid of the dead lice.
- Shampoo the hair and then dry it with the help of a hair dryer
- Repeat this twice daily, and you will have removed all head lice after seven days
Onions could be the cheapest home remedy you could have to get rid of lice. Onions are known to contain sulfur. It is this sulfur that is poisonous to lice.
- Blend six onions to form a fine paste
- Sieve the paste to obtain a juice of the onions
- Massage your head with this juice. Leave your head covered for two hours using a shower cap
- After the two hours have lapsed, shampoo the hair
- Use a hair dryer to blow-dry the hair so that your hair is left completely dry
- Comb the hair with a nit comb to remove dead lice
- Repeat twice daily for three days. After the three days, repeat the routine once a month for two months
How long does it take to get rid of lice?
Infestation by lice is a nightmare for many people who have had to grapple with the discomfort and embarrassment that lice bring forth. You always ask yourself, “how long does it take to get rid of lice?”. There is no definite time period it would take to get rid of lice. The duration of the lice treatment is dependent on the method you choose.
Preventing recurrence of lice infestation
These measures will help you stay away from lice if you have never been affected. Also, the measures will prevent recurrence of head lice if you have successfully treated lice before.
- Avoid sharing personal items
- Maintain hygiene
- Keep hair tied when outdoors
- Use fine combs to comb hair
- Blow dry hair regularly
- Wash clothes from infected people with hot water or with enzyme-based detergents. If possible, destroy them by burning and replace them
If you have been affected by lice or you know someone going through the nasty ordeal, try these home remedies for lice treatment. If you follow the procedures described, you will surely succeed in getting rid of lice naturally. Do not forget to observe the precautionary measures as these will help you to stay away from lice.