Head Lice Home Remedy:

Home Remedies for Head Lice

Head lice are a common occurrence for children in daycares and schools. Lice can affect anyone of any age, though: lice don't discriminate based on race or gender.

Head lice is caught more often by people with long hair, because the live lice are able to cling tightly with claw-like legs. Anyone with any type or length of hair can contract them, though, and they're known to be quite difficult to get rid of.

Fortunately lice can be gotten rid of in a variety of simple ways, but there is usually a lot of work involved.

If there are live lice in your or your children's hair, you'll often see evidence of this by looking at the base of the neck and behind the ears. The areas will be a little red and irritated looking, and if the infestation is bad you'll often see a fast glimpse of something running away from the light when you move the hair.

Lice infested hair also has "nits" in it. These are tiny little round or egg-shaped objects which are attached to individual strands of hair about a half inch from the scalp. These nits are the lice eggs, and they hatch about every 7-10 days.

There are a variety of over-the-counter and prescription shampoos and medicines which can be bought to deal with head lice, but they contain chemicals which are extremely harsh and can be dangerous to use on your skin. These shampoos usually just kill live lice without actually killing the eggs.

Thankfully, alternative home remedies abound, and there are reported levels of success and failure with each one. Here are the ones that have been the most successful for most people:

1. Listerine mouth wash. Saturate the infested hair with regular old-fashioned listerine, and leave it on for at least 10 minutes. Then wash it out and comb the hair with a nit comb.

2. Vinegar. Saturating the hair with vinegar will loosen the glue which keeps the nits attached to the hair shafts. Leave this in for 10 minutes to 1 hour, then wash, rinse and comb with a nit comb.

3. Tea Tree and other oils. Many believe the nits and lice cannot survive when covered in oil, because it blocks their breathing passages. Tea tree oil is especially useful, because the lice are repelled by the smell. Another excellent remedy is to use Skin-So-Soft by Avon. This is also a well-known bug repellent, and is said to kill lice.
Tea tree oil or Skin So Soft are quite useful as preventatives for recurring head lice problems too. Using shampoos which have tea tree oil in them doesn't always work, though, because there's not enough tea tree. Many people simply add a few drops of pure tea tree oil to their shampoo bottles. Alternatively you can do a tea tree or Skin So Soft application once a week to keep lice away.

4. Mayonnaise. Regular cheap mayonnaise has both vinegar and oil in it. The vinegar helps loosen the glue which holds nits to the hair strands, and the oil is thought to smother the nits and live lice so they're unable to breathe. Coat the hair and scalp fully, then wrap it in a plastic bag or shower cap. Press out excess air from beneath the bag, then point a blow dryer at the head for at least 10 minutes. Lice and nits are unable to survive above certain temperatures, so the blow dryer creates a warmer environment they can't survive in. Leave the bag in place for 3-4 hours, then remove, wash, and rinse the hair, then comb with a nit comb.

Once you've removed a head lice infestation in your family, be sure to treat all other family members too. Then wash all bed clothing, pillows, stuffed toys, and everything else washable. Spray down your carpets, furniture and car upholstery with Lysol, and run the sweeper on the carpets every other day for at least two weeks to be sure there are no residual lice or eggs that can be picked back up by the hair.

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