When it goes about getting rid of lice, there are many conventional OTC and prescription treatments to choose from. However, if you are not sure if they are completely safe and effective, or you don’t feel like putting chemicals on your child’s head, or you have tried lice shampoos and lice are back, there is a good alternative: natural remedies.

Natural remedies for head lice can be as effective as the ready made ones but they are usually safer and much cheaper. Let us take a look at some of them.

First of all, for getting rid of head lice with a home head lice treatment, you need to realize one thing: for lice removal, adult lice and their eggs, called the nits, have to be treated with different remedies.

Conventional lice products and treatments that kill adult lice and nymphs do not usually kill nits, too. And the other way round.

Basically, this means you have to select at least two different treatments and treat adult lice with one and nits with the other one.

Here is what you can do for getting rid of lice at home.

You may use any oily substance to treat adult lice and nymphs.

You may use olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower or corn oils, and even mayonnaise would work in many cases. This method of removing lice is called physical. The oils suffocate the lice, they stuff their breathing tube and cut off the air they need to live. This is why they die.

Again, this may work only for adult lice and nymphs (the baby lice). But it does not work for getting rid of nits, as they do not breathe.

Here is how you can apply the head lice oil treatment.

Cover up your entire hair and scalp with the oil. You may also want to add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to your base oil, to make it more effective, but this is entirely optional.

Tea tree oil contains terpenoides, which have natural insecticidal properties. Some studies have shown the effectiveness of tea tree oil for lice removal, however tea tree oil, especially if used pure, can have undesirable side-effects and should be used with caution.

Apply the mix of oil to the hair and scalp, cover up with a towel or put a shower cap on. Leave the oil for several hours on.

Make sure you coat the hair very well and leave the oil for at least 2 to 3 hours. Then, brush your hair with a regular brush to untangle it and brush it with the special lice comb.

This way you can remove all the lice and nymphs from the hair, both dead and live ones. Then you should wash your hair and shampoo it. Coconut shampoo is a good product to choose.

Repeat this treatment several times until there are no more adult lice in the hair. Or at least repeat it 7 days after the first treatment in order to kill all the newly hatched lice.

Now, when getting rid of lice, do not forget to get rid of nits. Otherwise you risk getting re-infested. Here is how you do it with natural remedies.

Vinegar is one of the most effective home remedies for getting rid of nits. Keep in mind that it does not work well on adult lice, though.

Vinegar dissolves the cement that glues the nits to the hair shaft. Once you get them unglued, you can easily comb them off your hair with a special lice comb.

You should add some vinegar into warm water and dip the lice comb into it, every time you make a stroke on the hair. This way you can wash off any lice or nits you comb out and put more vinegar on the hair.

As many traditional lice removal products and shampoos, these home remedies are not 100% effective for getting rid of lice and nits, but they can definitely help if used properly. And remember to repeat the treatments in order to prevent the remaining lice to lay more nits and the remaining nits from hatching.

Clive Mills, Brian V. Cleary, John J. Walsh, John F. Gilmer – Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase by Tea Tree oil – http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1211/0022357022773/abstract
Webmd.com – Tea tree oil