There are a number of
things to keep in mind when dealing with lice. First, while they can spread,
they do not carry disease and they do not mean that you or your kids are in any
way “unclean.” Second, there are times when all you need to do is use a
lice comb to comb out the nits, nymphs, and adult lice in your child’s hair. If
your child just got back from an overnight with friends and the friend’s mom
just told you that one of the kids has lice, there is no need to panic. Chances
are good that you have caught it early enough and you can simply comb out your
child’s hair and repeat it every morning and evening for three weeks. Third,
you can combine the combing with some easy—but sometimes messy—home treatments.
Nearly all home remedies rely on some method to suffocate the lice. Using home
remedies that work may be preferable to putting harsh chemicals on your child’s
Here are some of the natural “suffocating” or “smothering”
treatments that work reliably well—remember, they work best if you follow
the instructions. And, it’s important to note that some experts believe that it
is actually the combing that does the work—the “suffocating” treatments just
stun the lice and make them slower and easier to catch on the comb.
the hair with olive or almond oil. Some people suggest coating the comb instead
of the hair—re-applying the oil as needed. You may have to try both methods to
see which works best for you. Separate the hair into small sections, and use a
hair clip to move them out of the way. Work under a good light so you can see
what you are doing. Also, rinse out the comb often under running hot water as
you go. Once you have completely combed your child’s hair, use his or her regular
shampoo, rinse, and repeat! Make sure you wash all the towels used and clean
out the lice comb—you can soak it in a 10% bleach solution or 2% Lysol solution
for 30 minutes and rinse very well. As an alternative, you can soak the combs
in vinegar for 30 minutes or boil in water for 10 minutes.
this procedure every day for a week. Then, for the next two weeks, check (by
combing) every night to make sure the lice are gone.
and mayonnaise are not recommended—they are unnecessarily messy, and both can
be difficult to wash out.
lice with essential oils.
A number of essential oils have been shown to be effective—along
with combing—in eliminating head lice. Before you use any essential oil, put a
small drop on the back of your child’s hand. It is pretty rare, but some kids
have allergic reactions to these oils—usually tea tree oil. If your child is
allergic to one, move on to the next oil on the list. The oils that have shown
2 ounces of olive oil with 15 to 20 drops of the essential oil. Apply to the
scalp using cotton balls. Leave this mixture on the scalp and hair overnight—at
least 12 hours. Comb out and shampoo, rinse, and repeat.
alternative approach is to mix the 15 to 20 drops of essential oil in 4 ounces
of rubbing alcohol. Place the mixture in a spray bottle and saturate the hair
with it. Again, leave it on for at least 12 hours.
the lice have been eliminated, the alcohol spray can be used as a preventive
Remember—combing out the hair is absolutely essential to remove