If you don’t feel like applying a commercial head lice treatment to your infested child, you’ll want to use natural head lice treatments. There are plenty of them and they can be very effective at killing lice.

But more importantly, home remedies can also act as head lice repellents.

This has to do with the acidity level of our skin (measured by the pH). Many of the treatments that have traditionally been used to kill lice and nits can help change a bit the pH of the scalp and thus act as a repellent.

The most commonly used home remedies for this purpose of repelling lice are the following:

  • Vinegar: vinegar contains acetic acid (at a concentration of about 5%). As we know, vinegar is not effective in the treatment of adult lice but it helps to loosen the nits, making it much easier to remove them.

    As far as adult lice are concerned, vinegar creates an acidic environment that can contribute to repel them because lice are not comfortable in acidic environments. Thus vinegar can come in handy as a repellent.

  • Lemon juice: lemon juice sounds like grandma’s remedy, and it actually works the same way as vinegar to help keeping head lice away.

    You can make a mixture with water and lemon juice and apply it after washing your hair with a regular shampoo (not a lice shampoo).

    Once applied, cover the head with a latex cap or a towel and leave it for 2 hours. You can repeat the treatment twice per week to make sure you keep lice away.

Warning: whether you apply vinegar, lemon juice or anything that is acidic, always make sure to cover either the child’s face with a washcloth, especially the eyes.

  • Coconut oil: in India coconut oil is very commonly used as a prevention measure. It can be used as often as you like, there is absolutely no side-effects, it makes you feel very good and it makes head lice feel very bad. Of course it is not a lice treatment but a prevention measure, as it will act as a repellent.
  • Quassia amara lotion: the quassia is a tree of tropical origin with insecticidal properties. In Chile you can get the bark of the tree and it is commonly used as an insecticide to treat head lice. You can put 20 grams of the bark with 250cc alcohol (96 °) and leave it from 24 to 48 hours. Then it is applied as a lotion and massage each day, ensuring it penetrates the hair. This is another good head lice repellent.

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