Sometimes people don’t want to use pesticide shampoos for treating head lice. Vaseline might be an alternative if you are a pregnant or breast feeding woman or if you have to treat kids for head lice. Let us take a look at the pros and cons of using Vaseline.
Vaseline is also called petroleum jelly. It is made of petroleum, thus it is safe to use for people with plant allergy. Does Vaseline kill lice? Yes it does, although it is no miracle remedy. It works as a suffocant, which means that it does not kill head lice by its chemical composition, but it rather kills by suffocating them. It gets stuffed into the head lice’s breathing tubes and as they cannot breathe, they die.
Petroleum jelly should be applied to dry hair. You should wet the hair of the treated person well with it. Make sure to cover up all the scalp, too. Vaseline takes a long time to work. After you have applied it to the hair and scalp, you should put a shower cap on to cut off the air. Leave Vaseline on the hair for at least 8 hours. You may leave it on for the night, but if you are applying it on children, you might not want to let them sleep with a plastic wrap on their hair, as it can be hazardous.
Now, here comes the hardest part of the treatment, and these are the cons of such home remedy. Vaseline is sticky. It makes your hair feel extremely oily and it is very hard to remove. Dish soap is generally recommended for speeding the removal of Vaseline. You should be aware of the fact that dish soaps, though generally mild, are not intended for a concentrated application to the skin and may pose, at a minimum, a severe eye irritation risk.
So, you the dish soap sparingly and try to wash it off ASAP. Once you are done with washing Vaseline off your hair and scalp, you should proceed with combing out your hair. There might be some dead or live head lice left on your hair. Get a special head lice comb and get to work.
Comb the hair lock by lock. If you’ve got long hair to comb, you may braid each combed lock to prevent the clean hair from mixing up with the hair that has not been combed yet. Dip the comb into water or wipe it on a white cloth to remove any lice from it. This way you can see if any head lice remained on your hair.
Another thing to know about Vaseline for head lice is that this product does not kill nits. Nits are the head lice eggs. Lice lay their eggs on the hair close to the scalp. It takes 7 to 10 days for the nits to hatch. This is why another Vaseline treatment is needed to get rid of head lice completely. And to remove nits, you can use vinegar.
Even though such treatment is messy and it takes a long time to work, Vaseline can offer a safer alternative to pesticides. You can use this treatment on younger kids, too. It works well enough on long and on short hair, but it is certainly easier to remove from shorter hair.