Best Head Lice Treatment for Long Thick Hair: Nits, US — UK 2020, Pestnile

Best Head Lice Treatment for Long Thick Hair: Nits, US & UK


What is the best head lice treatment for long thick hair? Well, there are many effective ways of dealing with head lice in your thick hair. You don’t have to shave your hair to deal with them! Here, I outline how to get rid of head lice nits fast, overnight, using super-fast approaches. This article will also provide great insights into how to remove nits from long thick hair.

Can Head Lice be Treated or Prevented?

Yes, it is possible to treat and prevent head lice and nits. Head lice and nits can be treated using many medications such as Malathion, Lindane, Ulesfia, Natroba, Vinegar and Sklice among other treatment methods.

However, these treatment substances should be used with caution especially for children, pregnant and breasting women and persons with skin allergies to avoid any potential side effects.

Regarding prevention, there are also many ways both natural and artificial that can be used to prevent and reduce the chances of catching head lice. Key among them include avoiding sharing head items such as combs, hats, and brushes.

Being vigilant and sterilizing hair objects before and after use could also reduce the chances of catching head lice.

How to Get Rid of Lice & Nits Fast

Once an adult female adult lays eggs or nits, they stick tightly to the hair shafts making it very hard to remove them from your head. Eventually, it becomes hard to comb these nits out of your hair.

However, with good knowledge, removing nits from your head once and for all would become a simple task. On how to get rid of lice and nits fast from your head, here are simple steps:

  • Get armed with information – Note that nits usually stick at the root of the hair because it provides them with warm and moist conditions they require to thrive. Nits are whitish and yellowish in color and are usually glued to your hair shaft using chitin, a kind of special glue that is hard to dissolve.
  • The right nit removal tools – the right tools to assemble include a special nit comb, preferably steel comb as opposed to plastic one is better for combing out nits. You will also need white vinegar or Apple, warm water, and a light white towel.
  • Unglue nits from your hair using vinegar – use the towel to cover your shoulders and wet your hair with warm water. Add vinegar to dissolve the glue that holds nits tightly to hair shafts for easy removal of nits from the hair upon combing.
  • Comb nits off the hair – Comb through the hair thoroughly after applying vinegar to remove lice and nits from your head.
  • Monitor treatment – Wash and shampoo your hair after using regular shampoo after combing.

How to Get Rid of Lice Permanently with Vinegar

Vinegar is very helpful in getting rid of head lice eggs or nits because it has the ability to dissolve chitin; a special glue that binds nits to your hair shafts. But to say the truth, vinegar will not remove adult head lice because it lacks the properties to kill adult head lice.

However, the acidic properties in Vinegar can only kill nymphs- the young lice which cannot lay eggs. Mixing vinegar with suffocating substances like Olive oil could get rid of lice permanently. On how to get rid of lice permanently with Vinegar mixture, follow these three simple steps:

Step 1: Mix vinegar with water in an equal amount and apply this mixture to the hair until it is wet to unglue nits. The mixture should be applied throughout the head and closer to the scalp, around the neck, and behind ears.

Step 2: Wait a few minutes and rinse the hair in water to remove the vinegar. Use a considerable amount of time to comb out all nits from the hair.

Step 3: The process is repeated for two consecutive days to remove any louse that could have survived or hatched permanently. Combing is an important process for removing lice and nits from your hair because vinegar alone cannot do so; it only loosens nits for easy combing out.

Note: It is also important to wash all nit removal tools in hot water and change clothes and wash them in hot water too, and vacuum the floor where treatment took place. Always check for any live nits in the hair and repeat the process after seven days.

Head Lice Treatment at Home Remedy

Combing is the main method used to remove head lice from your head by combing your head every morning and evening for several weeks. Sometimes, combining nit combing with home remedies could speed up the removal of lice from your hair.

Virtually all home treatments have suffocating properties and lows down lice making it easy to catch on the comb. These suffocating substance works well if instructions are correctly followed to the later.

Always note that suffocating remedies work by stunning the lice to become slower and easier to catch through combing.

Steps in head lice treatment at home remedy:

  • Coating with a home remedy – tea tree oil or olive oil or almond oil. You may alternatively coat the lice comb and reapply the oil as required
  • Use your regular shampoo after combing your hair and rinse your hair. Always wash all the tools used to get rid of surviving lice.
  • Repeat the process for seven consecutive days followed by two weeks of thorough combing every night to get rid of lice.

Head Lice Treatment Shampoo

Common head lice treatment shampoos include coconut oil shampoo, lavender oil shampoo, olive, and tea tree oil shampoo. However, there are some restrictions especially on the age when using these shampoos for hair treatment.

Furthermore, different treatment shampoos have side effects which should be noted before the actual treatment.

What is the best head lice treatment on the market?

Well, there are several reliable head lice treatment options on the market for you that you can access this year. Below, I have listed them basing on the age group of the patient.

Head lice treatment 6-7-month-old infants

  • Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5% – This substance is used on prescription for treating head lice in infants 6 months or older. The second treatment is applied after 7 days to kill the newly hatched lice to prevent them from producing eggs.
  • Ivermectin lotion – This is recommended for treating lice in 6 months or older infants. It is ovicidal and is able to kill newly hatched lice. It is safe and effective to work even without combing the hair.

It is however inappropriate for kids with less than 15kg and pregnant women.

Head lice treatment in 1-year-old infants

  • Ivermectin lotion and Benzyl alcohol lotion – These treatments are recommended for 6 months or older infants. They are able to kill newly hatched lice. They are also safe and effective to work even without combing the hair.

It is however inappropriate for kids with less than 15kg and pregnant women. Repeating the process seven after initial treatment is recommended to get rid of any hatched lice and prevent them from laying eggs.

Head lice treatment in a 2-year-old

  • Pyrethritis or RID – It is effective and safe to use in children aged 2 years or older. However, this treatment works by killing already hatched and live nits. A second treatment with vinegar and wet combing is recommended to get rid of nits.

Head lice treatment in a 3-year-old

  • Lindane –This has no age limit and could be used for people aged three years to treat head lice. It is capable of killing lice and should be followed by combing to remove the dead lice and eggs from your hair.

Head lice treatment in a 4-year-old

  • Lindane- This has no age limit, but should not be used to people weighing over 110 Pounds, HIV positive and pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Lindane works by interfering with the nervous system of the lice to kill them. This treatment should be applied to clean and dry hair to be effective.

Head lice treatment in adults

Malathion Lotion – This treatment is recommended for adults 6 years and older, but should not be used in pregnant and breastfeeding women.

It is effective and safe if used as directed and one treatment is adequate to remove the infestation. However, the process may be repeated between 7-9 days after initial treatment.

Head Lice Treatment Guidelines

There are various treatment guidelines on head lice treatment with updated evidence-based clinical reports for parents, teachers and the general public.

These guidelines provide information on the best way to treat head lice in adults and children. They can be found in health magazines and several health websites.

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Head lice treatment in Boots

Head lice treatment is offered in boots pharmacy across the United Kingdom, Thailand, and Norway among other regions. It is also possible to obtain head lice treatment lotions from these boots for subscribers.

Boots pharmacists are also offering free advice on head lice treatment including lotions for lice treatment.

Head Lice Treatment in Japan

Tokyo family magazine – This provides an important guideline on how to treat head lice. It also has information on where to obtain a home remedy for head lice.

Information on lice and nits treatment can also be accessed from a variety of health websites.

Head Lice Treatment in the UK

NHS website has resourceful information on head lice and nits treatment. You can also obtain resourceful guidelines from a variety of health websites.

You can also obtain free head lice treatment under free NHS minor ailment scheme at some pharmacies which include Boots pharmacies.

Online health magazines are also an important source of information on head lice treatment in the UK and can be accessed through a subscription.

Lice Remedy Articles

Almost all home remedies for lice function the same way: they rely on the process of suffocation to eliminate active lice. Unfortunately, this does nothing to remove lice eggs (nits).

With head lice, two things are happening simultaneously:

  1. Dormant eggs (nits) are waiting to hatch
  2. Active, live lice are crawling around the scalp, causing itch and irritation

Each stage requires a different method of treatment, and timing is crucial.

Most home lice remedies kill only the active lice and do nothing to eliminate the eggs themselves. What this means is that even after the messy removal of active lice, dormant eggs will likely remain and later hatch, thus prompting the same process all over again.

What works, then?

  • Is that mayonnaise in your child’s hair actually helping, or is it just a fashion statement?
  • Did you just waste $50 bathing scalps in olive oil?

Browse the articles below for everything lice remedies:

Coconut Oil Lice Treatment: Is It Effective?

Our goal as the «Head Lice Helpers» is to give you as many tools in your arsenal as possible to both prevent and treat head lice. In recent articles, we have discussed the do’s and don’ts of home remedies, identifying helpful solutions (tea tree oil) and those that are just plain dangerous (mayonnaise in a plastic bag). The Rundown On a scale of «worthless mumbo jumbo» to «hey, it really works,» coconut oil falls somewhere.
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Tea Tree Oil for Lice: Prevention vs. Treatment

Tea tree oil, also known as Melaleuca alternifolia, has played a crucial role in fighting head lice over the years and is often cited as a great home remedy. While we agree that it has some unique and valuable benefits, its efficacy as a standalone treatment has been hampered by the overuse of insecticides (e.g. Permethrin, often sold as Nix and Elimite) and many over-the-counter products over the years, causing lice to build up a.
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Olive Oil Lice Treatment Is Ineffective on Its Own

The Rundown At Hair Fairies, we love olive oil and its many uses. It is a healthy alternative to vegetable oil in cooking, great on salads, and is a staple of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. As a home remedy for lice treatment, however, it can be messy, laborious, and expensive. The Ingredients Extra Virgin Olive Oil Hair Fairies Nit-Zapping™ Clenz Shampoo Active ingredient:Extra Virgin Olive Oil Active ingredient:Cyclomethicone Other ingredients:N/A Other ingredients:Tea Tree Oil, Extracts.
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Mayonnaise Lice Treatment: Good or Bad Idea?

The Rundown Treating a head lice outbreak at home can feel like an incredibly daunting task, sending families scrambling for solutions. Online searches for home remedies yield hundreds of results, from Listerine to olive oil, all of which are more likely to lead to increased hassle and heartache than yield actual results. Of these home remedies, mayonnaise might be the worst. Before you decide to turn your child’s head into a tuna sandwich, it is.
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Listerine Lice Treatment: Why It Doesn’t Work

The Rundown First of all, don’t use Listerine as a treatment for lice. Just don’t. It may be an appealing alternative due to its price when compared to the price of lice shampoos and treatments, but that’s because it’s not a lice shampoo. To be classified as a lice treatment, products must go through extensive testing by the FDA and other regulatory agencies, submitted in clinical trials, and proven to be consistently effective. Listerine has.
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How to quickly get rid of lice — effective remedies

When a child or an adult has lice, this is an excuse for every member of the family, because pediculosis is a rapidly transmitted disease. Depending on the degree of development of the disease, you can use mechanical or folk remedies for therapy, and in more neglected forms, medicines are mandatory. It is important to know how to get rid of lice in order to protect themselves, their loved ones when necessary.

  • Features of pediculosis
  • The best remedy for lice
  • Folk remedies
  • Medications
  • Prevention

Related articles:

  • The use of tar soap from lice and its effectiveness
  • How to quickly get rid of nits on long hair at home
  • The use of chinese water from lice and nits
  • Where does a man get lice
  • What and how to treat pediculosis at home

Features of pediculosis

To quickly select a remedy for lice, you need to know what the disease is and what its types are. Pediculosis is a parasitic disease in which insect parasites (lice) are active on the human body. They belong to the category of bloodsuckers, which determines their way of eating — they drink human blood.

Lice reproduce, like many other parasites, very quickly, which brings to the person certain inconveniences. In addition to the aesthetic side of the question, there are painful sensations, itch, burning sensation is felt in places of bites. Even an adult is difficult to tolerate, he can comb these areas of the skin, which leads to redness and irritation. If the wound gets an infection, there may be pustular lesions of the skin (pyoderma). All this indicates the need for urgent treatment.

Pediculosis is of three types:

  1. Head. Lice settle on the head, mainly on the back of the head and temples, the hair covering of which and its temperature are favorable conditions for laying nits and reproduction. To do this, they «stick» the eggs with the larvae to the hair with a special viscous secret, which they themselves produce.
  2. The Wardrobe. These lice settle in the clothes of a man, while choosing hard-to-reach places — seams, pockets. Their favorite place of habitation and reproduction is underwear. When they need food, they crawl over to the body of a person, they drink blood, especially their bites are seen on the buttocks, neck, shoulders, abdomen.
  3. Pubic. The main habitat of pubic lice is the sexual organs, they are more rarely found in the area of ​​the armpits. A prerequisite for the life of these parasites is the presence of hair, so compliance with hygiene rules can prevent their occurrence.

Important! In some cases, there is a mixed pediculosis, from which it is not so easy to get rid! To tighten with treatment while doing this can be especially dangerous.

The best remedy for lice

The best remedy for lice is a mechanical method of removal. Combing lice can achieve good results, even within 1 day completely get rid of parasites. Our ancestors just and struggled with the disease, if not used a more radical method — haircut naked.

Today, to achieve a mechanical result, lice can be removed only at the initial stage of the disease. If parents notice a parasite on the head of a child, they can respond in time by carefully examining the entire surface, looking at the strand behind the strand. If only a few lice are found, it means they have not yet settled. In cases where a lot of lice and nits are found during the examination, it is impossible to effectively cope with them in this way.

In pharmacies, you can purchase special products for more convenient combing of lice. On long hair to detect and remove their fingers can be difficult, so these adaptations come in handy. The simplest of them — metal scallops, equipped with special small teeth.

More modern means are electronic combs, which act on parasites by electric discharges, absolutely safe for humans. They cost an order of magnitude more expensive than metal ones, but their use is more convenient, efficient and practical. Despite the abundance of drugs on pharmacy shelves, it is the combing that remains the most effective method of treatment, which allows you to get rid of parasites once and for all.

Advice! Do not neglect combing even when treating pediculosis with other folk or medicines! Stronger struggle against parasites will allow to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Folk remedies

Folk remedies for lice help get rid of them at home without resorting to medication. However, it is important to remember that in cases of severe infection, when parasites have a lot and obviously a large number of delayed nits, it is better not to risk and consult a doctor.

Some of their popular folk recipes can be unsafe, so it is important to follow the recommendations clearly and, for example, do not keep the remedy for longer than the time specified in the instructions, wishing to strengthen the effect.

Common methods in the people that help get rid of lice at home are:

  1. Kerosene. This method has been preserved since the times of the Soviet Union, when this substance was processed by the head of each child in the kindergartens, as soon as the epidemic of lice erupted. In fact, it’s not safe to poison lice with kerosene, because if you compress the compress, you get a burn. If you want to take a risk, make it simple: spread the hair and head with kerosene, wrap it with a towel and hold it for half an hour.
  2. Cranberry. Compared to the previous, this substance is absolutely safe. It is recommended to rub natural cranberry juice into the head to facilitate combing out lice and nits. Do this for a week.
  3. Vinegar. To prepare the product, stir 2 tbsp. l. vinegar in a glass of water at room temperature, lubricate the hair and head. The supposed effect — such a solution with vinegar should dissolve the «glue», which parasites attach the nits to the hair. Experts consider it dubious, but confirm that such a procedure can facilitate the process of combing out.
  4. Onions with garlic. Based on these products, you can prepare a mask that is applied to the head. Hold it for 1 hour. For cooking, you need to take onions and garlic in equal amounts and rub to the state of gruel.
  5. Paint for hair. Some fight lice with this cosmetic. In fact, dyed hair, you can accelerate the death of parasites, but this does not affect the nits. Paint for hair as a basic treatment is ineffective.

Important! Any folk recipes used to apply to the head and hair are strictly forbidden to use from pubic lice! It is impossible to etch them with home remedies, it can even be dangerous to health.

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On pharmacy shelves, you can find a lot of medicines against lice. They can have different dosage form:

The drugs are for external use. They contain substances that are toxic poisons for parasites, but are safe for humans by strictly following the instructions. The main groups of medicines are:

  1. Based on permethrin: Para-plus spray, Medifox shampoo, lotion, Nittifor cream, NOC shampoo.
  2. Based on malathion: Shampoos Pedilin, Parasidosis, Veda.
  3. Based on pyrethrin, sumitrin: liquid soap Anti-bit, Spray Pax spray.
  4. Based on esdepaletrin: spray A-steam, spray Spregal.

To prescribe drug therapy, you need to contact dermatologists. It is best to go for advice to those of them who specialize in skin pathologies and parasitic diseases. When lice are found in children, you need to turn to the pediatrician, and then, in his direction, to the children’s dermatologist.

Important! To choose independently a preparation on the basis of that operating component which will be the most effective, it is impossible! This requires an examination of the dermatologist.


Ways to prevent infection with lice are simple and will be useful from many parasites. The main rules are:

  1. It is necessary to avoid close communication with people living in unsanitary conditions. Even one contact with such a person can contribute to infection.
  2. Refusal of casual sexual relations will avoid possible infection with pubic lice.
  3. Use your own hairbrushes, hairpins, any other ornaments worn on the head. This applies to hats.
  4. A close inspection of the hair, especially after contact with a potentially infected person. If a child at school has an epidemic of pediculosis, it is necessary to conduct an examination every day.

Thus, lice are parasites from which it is impossible to be secured forever. No matter how stable immunity may be, one contact with an infected person may be enough. When choosing a method of treatment, you can use folk remedies, medicines, and do not forget about combing out.

15 Home Remedies for Pubic Lice

Image: CC 0 by Public Domain, derneuemann, via Pixabay

Commonly referred to as crabs, pubic lice are small insects that usually get into your pubic hair and infest. Pubic lice feed on your blood which makes the affected area itch really badly. These insects are often spread through sexual contact, although they are not technically thought of as a sexually transmitted infection.

Removing the Itchy Pubic Lice, the Natural Way

In this article, we are going to provide you with home remedies for pubic lice. Each of these remedies will come with a list of materials you are going to need. Furthermore, they are going to come with instructions on how to use them. Home remedies for pubic lice are often less expensive than more conventional treatments.

Lice are highly specialized, and usually pubic lice cannot hold on to the hair on the head. However, you can usually pick them up in the same places. If you also notice head lice, try these home remedies for head lice to get rid of them.

1. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is a good place to start when you want to get rid of pubic lice. This essential oil is good for killing these lice, thanks to what it has inside of it. These compounds include oxides, ketones, phenols, and phenolic ethers. All of these substances together present a toxic effect on these lice. You can find peppermint oil at most department stores. You can also find it at health stores for an inexpensive price.

Home Remedies for Lice: Say Goodbye for Good

Looking for natural home remedies for lice? From garlic to coconut oil, we’ve got you covered. Plus, learn how to comb out nits—the most important step.

    Written by Genevieve Howland Updated on May 24, 2019

Uh oh! Your kids just came home from school, and now they are scratching their heads like crazy. Could it be… lice?! If you prefer clean beauty products and are looking for natural home remedies for lice that are safe, you’re in the right spot!

In this post, we’ll unpack:

  • What lice is (and how it spreads)
  • What lice looks likes
  • Home remedies for lice
  • Plus, how to prevent lice

What Is Lice?

As gross as it sounds, lice is a parasite that feeds on human blood, and believe it or not, there are actually three different types of lice: head lice, body lice, and pubic lice. Head lice—what we’ll be talking about here—is also known as pediculosis capitis. (source)

Though the term lice is broadly used, head lice is different than the other two forms of lice, so take heart in knowing that just because you or your child has head lice does not mean that you have body lice or fleas. And fortunately, head lice don’t carry diseases. Phew! (source)

How Do You Get Lice?

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t get lice from being dirty.

Lice actually thrive in clean hair, because they can stick to the clean hair better. (source)

So where the heck do they come from?

Lice is contracted from head-to-head contact with an infected individual.

So in school age children, this could look like touching heads to tell a secret, hugging, bumping heads, or smiling cheek-to-cheek.

Though it is possible to transmit lice from sharing hats, combs, clothing, and barrettes, it’s not the most likely method of transmission. In fact, in one study found there were zero lice on school carpets, even though there were over 14,000 (!!) lice on the children’s heads. (source)

Get free updates based on your toddler’s birth date! – Free Updates on Toddler [In-article]

How Common Is Lice?

For this reason, lice is most common in young kids. They are in close quarters at school or daycare, and they are likely to be close enough for head-to-head contact.

Once someone in your home is affected, it may spread quickly through other head-to-head activities include hugging, sleeping in the same bed, or cuddling.

Girls also tend to get lice more often than boys because girls, on average, tend to have longer hair.

What Does Lice Look Like?

There are three stages of lice:

1. Nit

This is the egg, which the female louse “glues” to the hair, about 4 mm up from the scalp. The egg remains in hair for about eight or nine days before hatching into the nymph. (source)

The above image depicts nits; notice that the eggs are all attached about the same distance from the scalp. (source)

2. Nymph

Once hatched, the louse is referred to as a nymph; you may even see the empty egg/shell casing left behind. It takes a baby louse about 10 days to mature into an adult capable of reproducing. (source)

The image above illustrates the difference between the nits, nymphs, and adults. The nymph is directly in the center. (source)

3. Adult louse

The adults, which are about the size of a sesame seed, have six legs and are tan/white in color. (source)

The image above shows just how small the adult lice really are; those black lines are the teeth of a comb! (source)

Signs of Lice

Are you itchy just reading this? (Me too!) Creepy-crawly feelings aside, how do you know if you have lice?

Below are the most common symptoms of lice:

  • Tickling sensations on the head
  • Problems sleeping (lice feed more at night, so itchiness may be more severe at night)
  • Persistent itching of the scalp
  • Sores on the head
  • Bumps on the neck
  • Visible nits attached to the hair shaft

Nits vs. dandruff: how to spot the difference

Not sure if you have nits or dandruff? Try this quick test: brush your hair. Nits are usually stuck on and don’t brush right off, whereas dandruff can be brushed off.

What to Do If You Get Lice

If you or your children have lice, the number one rule is don’t panic! Remember lice do not carry dangerous diseases and there are many natural options. Lice is much more of an inconvenience than anything else. You got this, mama!

That being said, lice do spread easily so it’s important to act swiftly.

  • Treat infected people immediately (more on that below).
  • Treat your home shortly thereafter (we’ll cover that too).
  • If applicable, alert your child’s school or daycare immediately, so that other parents can catch lice early in their kids. Don’t be embarrassed to make this call. As mentioned above, lice are not an indication of dirtiness.

Conventional Lice Treatment

While it’s super easy to head over to the drugstore and pick up a lice treatment, I have some not-so-great news: Traditional lice treatments (both OTC and prescription) are loaded with chemicals and pesticides. In fact, there are some downright scary pesticides in those shampoos and rinses such as pyrethrum extract and permethrin.

  • One study from France found that pesticide-laden shampoos increase children’s risk for leukemia.
  • And another UK study found that traditional lice treatments increase the risk for brain tumors. (source)

And most (99.6 percent) lice are “super lice,” which means all of those pesticide-laden shampoos don’t have any effect on them. (source) Toxic chemicals without any real louse-killing benefit? No thanks.

Natural Home Remedies for Lice

Luckily, there are plenty of natural home remedies for lice that are very effective. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics says:

“The ideal treatment of lice should be safe, free of toxic chemicals, readily available without a prescription, easy to use, effective and inexpensive.”

1. Combing (aka the surest way to get rid of lice)

Combing the lice and nits out one by one with a fine-tooth comb is the most effective home remedies for lice, and it should be done regardless of any other method you choose. The other methods simply serve to make the combing process easier.

What you need to comb out nits:

  • A fine-toothed lice comb (Skip the plastic combs, and use a metal one instead. They will hold up better. This one has two sides: one for long hair and one for short hair)
  • A magnifying glass, if your comb doesn’t have one
  • A bowl of clean, soapy water
  • Natural detangler spray, or diluted apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle
  • Paper towels
  • Clips to hold back your child’s hair in sections

How to comb out nits:

  1. Spray detangler or apple cider vinegar all over your child’s hair. (You could also use some fractionated coconut oil in a spray bottle.)
  2. Brush the entire head once over. Use a regular wide-toothed comb for this step.
  3. Part your child’s hair into sections. Clip it and secure.
  4. Starting at the scalp, use the lice comb and comb the first section of hair. Pull the comb from the scalp to the ends. You may notice lice and eggs.
  5. Dip the comb into your bowl of water and/or wipe it on the paper towel.
  6. Repeat each section a few times. Comb each section until you comb through the strands and no lice appear on the comb.
  7. To keep the combed hair separate from the uncombed hair, twist and secure clean hair in a mini bun close to the head. Use a clean clip to secure the combed hair.
  8. Repeat this process for each section of hair.
  9. When you’re finished combing, wash the hair.
  10. Clean your tools in hot, soapy water.
  11. Wash any clothes or towels that were used or worn during this process.
  12. Vacuum the area where you were combing.
  13. Repeat every two to three days until cleared.
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Note: This process can take up to three hours, especially if your child has long or curly hair. Before beginning the comb-out process, make sure your child has had a snack, had a potty break, and is ready to sit for a bit. Many mamas take advantage of a little screen time here, but you could also try playing an audio book. If weather permits, some parents also prefer to do this on a back porch or stoop to minimize cleanup.

2. Suffocate the lice with oil

A 2010 study from Brazil found that coconut oil was more effective in killing lice than most OTC medications. (source) To suffocate the lice with coconut oil, you must let the oil sit on your hair overnight, then comb your hair.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Rinse your hair and let dry.
  2. Apply coconut oil, so that all of the hair is saturated.
  3. Apply a plastic shower cap.
  4. Leave the shower cap on for at least eight hours. (If you choose to do this overnight, throw an extra towel over the pillowcase to prevent staining the pillowcase.)
  5. Follow the comb-out method listed above.

3. Try garlic

Fun fact: Garlic is one of the oldest home remedies for lice. It has been used since the 600s AD! (source)

Simply rub garlic oil on the scalp to help kill any live lice. For extreme cases, you can try a garlic hair mask, which is more potent than the oil.

To make a garlic hair mask:

  1. Mash ten cloves of garlic.
  2. Add three tablespoons of lemon or lime juice to create a paste.
  3. Apply this as a hair mask, and let rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse, then follow the comb-out method listed above.

4. Soak with hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide has been used for decades for wound care, but hydrogen peroxide is also a staple in many naturally-minded cleaning closets. Many mamas find that this method is much easier for kids to deal with because it is does not have as strong of a smell as the ACV. As a bonus, this spray will help clean any scabs or scraps on the scalp that occur due to excess itching.

To make a hydrogen peroxide spray:

  • Mix of 1 part food-grade hydrogen peroxide and 3 parts water.
  • Use this spray prior to the comb-out process listed above.

Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to soak your lice comb, as well as your barrettes and wide-toothed combs. Pour a little into a bowl and soak.

5. Try iodine

Interestingly, bathing in diluted iodine is a treatment for horses that have horse lice (source). Horse lice is not the same as head lice, but it is interesting that, anecdotally, many individuals have found that iodine has worked for them as well. Just don’t bathe in it!

To help kill the nits:

  • Apply two to three drops of liquid iodine on your scalp

6. Use apple cider vinegar

Remember that the female louse glues her eggs to your hair? Apple cider vinegar can help loosen the glue that holds nits in your hair.

Try soaking, rinsing, or spraying on the apple cider vinegar. You can use this as your detangler spray as well. Follow up with the comb-out method.

How to Treat Your House for Head Lice

Once you start treating your hair with the above home remedies for lice, you also need to treat your house. Treating your house may seem like a big production, but this will help prevent any further infestations. If it seems overwhelming, make a checklist and just focus on one task at a time.

  • Treat linens and clothing: Wash all clothing and bed linens in hot water (130F degrees or higher) for at least 20 minutes.
  • Treat stuffed animals and coats: Dry-clean anything that’s not machine-washable; alternatively, you can put these items—stuffed animals, coats, etc—in sealed plastic bags for two weeks.
  • Clean hair tools: Soak brushes and combs in hot, soapy water, then place in a bag and leave in the freezer for two days.
  • Wash the floors: Vacuum floors and furniture. Don’t forget to vacuum curtains as well. Empty the canister and throw away the trash immediately.

Do You Need to Cut Your Hair If You Get Lice?

Tempted to go chop off your mane? Before you cut your hair, know this: cutting your hair has never proven to be one of the more effective home remedies for lice, because lice live so close to the hair shaft.

To eliminate those nits (which are only 4mm away from your scalp), you’d need to shave your hair, which is not a desirable option for many people–especially when it’s not necessary. Instead, stick with the natural home remedies for lice listed above.

Do Pets Need to Be Treated for Lice?

Worried about having to do a three hour comb-out on your dog? Don’t worry!

Head lice don’t live on household pets, so you can leave that item off of your to-do list.

How to Prevent Lice

With all this talk about combing out lice and nits and eggs, you probably have one question on your mind: These home remedies for lice are great, but how do I prevent lice in the first place?! Unfortunately, it’s very hard to prevent lice with 100 percent certainty, especially if you have kids ages 3-11.

Use essential oils

Studies show that ginger, eucalyptus, tea tree, cedarwood, and lavender essential oils are highly effective ways to prevent lice.(source, source) There are many ways to use essential oils, but most mamas successfully keep lice at bay by:

  • Adding kid-safe essential oils into your normal shampoo
  • Making a preventive hair spray
  • Making a preventive hat spray

Note: Not all essential oils are safe for use around small children. Eucalyptus is not safe for children, but if you or your partner have lice, be sure to use it when you’re not around small children. Read this essential oil guide to learn more.

How to make a preventive hair spray

  • A spray bottle
  • Detangling spray or hair gel
  • Essential oils
  1. Add 2% of your essential oils (any combination of tea tree, lavender, cedarwood, and/or lemon) to your detangling spray or gel. (Note: For a 2% dilution, add 12 drops of essential oils for each 1 ounce of detangling spray.)
  2. Spray or apply each morning when you get ready for the day (or when you get your child ready for school).

How to make a preventive hat spray

  1. Add 12 drops of your essential oils (any combination of tea tree, lavender, cedarwood, and/or lemon) to one ounce of witch hazel.
  2. Store this solution in the fridge and make only enough for one week at a time, as there are no preservatives in this recipes.

Other ways to minimize your chances of getting lice:

  • Don’t share brushes or hair accessories (and teaching your child not to share brushes)
  • Don’t share clothing, especially hats
  • Avoid close contact with anyone infested

How About You?

Have you or your children ever had lice? Which home remedies for lice worked for you?

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About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 85,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.


Marie B. Feb 23 at 11:22 pm

Thanks for all your suggestions. If I may had this , best comb Nitty gritty nit
Comb available on Amazon. It has 33 round-tipped teeth that have “micro-spiral” groove in each one to gently remove anything that attached to hair (lice, nits). Better then the one sold in pharmacy.

marla Jul 17 at 9:32 pm

I have had lice A LOT traveling in India and Nepal. What worked for me as an adult, without fail, was rubbing alcohol doused over the hair with a bag on top overnight. Everything drops dead without even brushing. Repeat in a week to get any extras that were in the environment and hatched. This requires no combing, so good for dreads or long curly hair. Of course, you could not do this unless the child is really old enough to sit still, you must avoid getting any on the face- lean back while pouring it. Other remedy that I figured out, while I discovered lice in a 6 week meditation retreat at a monastary and had taken vows not to kill- high concentration of neem oil shampoo will stop the infestation quickly by sterilizing them. Their life span is short, so they will die in a few days without you directly killing them, and again, no combing involved. I did experiments in the past on them, putting them in piles and surrounding with tea tree, oil, vinegar, permitherin, etc…. none of those worked . They only work because the combing after

Brittany Dec 17 at 10:03 am

I went to the AAP website and could not find the source article for the quote you included in this article. I did find this:
“Permethrin (1%) Manufactured as a synthetic pyrethroid, 1% permethrin (Nix [Pfizer Consumer Health Care Group, New York, NY]) is currently the recommended treatment of choice for head lice.12–14 It has even lower mammalian toxicity than do pyrethrins and does not cause allergic reactions in individuals with plant allergies”

Do you have a reference for the quote you used regarding the AAP recommendation that treatment be free of chemicals? As you know, there is so much conflicting information making it confusing to know what is best. I don’t typically align with the AAP regarding health/wellness but do like to compare recommendations and do my due diligence. Thank you for all of your resources and guidance. My family appreciates all you do, Genevieve!

Amanda Pulbrook Dec 6 at 7:46 pm

I find using olive oil mixed with tea tree oil works wonders. But you need to be patient.
First, let the mixture really soak in (it helps of you use a shower cap or towel to wrap their head in so that the tea tree doesn’t lose its potency). I leave it on their heads for about half an hour (let them play or draw etc meanwhile so they don’t get bored).
Then, with a nit comb (looks like a tuning fork with very close, metal teeth and sold in most pharmacies), slowly work your way through their hair in sections, over and over. The critters literally slide right off their hair as the oil has suffocated them previously and they’ve let go of the hair strands (lice are not on your scalp but instead, hang on to hair follicles and lay their eggs there as well. They only go down to the scalp to feed).
This should do it but it’s always a good idea to check again the next day just to make sure. Shining a bright light directly on their heads helps find them faster too.
Good luck and be patient! Lice happens!

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