What Remedies Work Best That Kill Head Lice?

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Head lice are common with school-age children but can affect adults too. Home remedies are safe to use, and may be necessary as insecticidal head lice treatments are not safe for children under the age of 5 or for pregnant women. Combing the hair to remove nits and lice is necessary to kill the head lice that may have survived a hair treatment.

Shampoo Treatment

  • Add 3 tbsp. of olive oil, 1 tsp. of tea tree oil and 1 tsp. of eucalyptus oil into your regular shampoo. Olive oil will work to dissolve the exoskeletons of head lice while the essential oils suffocate and kill them. Apply the shampoo to your hair and cover the head with a shower cap for an hour before rinsing.

    Mayonnaise will also work to dissolve the exoskeleton of head lice, but is effective in killing the eggs as well. Apply a layer of mayonnaise to the hair and cover with a plastic shower cap. After an hour, brush the hair out with a lice comb and then follow up with a shampoo.

Hair Rinse

  • Vinegar is an effective home remedy and can be applied after a shampoo treatment. Rinse your hair with equal parts white kitchen vinegar and water. Wait 10 minutes before rinsing the hair with clean water.

    Listerine, the mouth wash, can also be used as a hair rinse that kills head lice. Saturate the hair with Listerine and apply a shower a cap for at least an hour. You will need to use a lice comb to brush the head lice out, and then you can wash the hair out with shampoo.

Cleaning the Environment

  • It is important to wash bedding, clothing and hair accessories in hot water in order to stop head lice from spreading. Wash all fabric materials in water that is at least 130 F. Dry items at high heat for at least 20 minutes.

    Soak brushes and combs in very hot water for 10 minutes.

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