The 7 Best Lice Treatments for Kids of 2020

The 7 Best Lice Treatments for Kids of 2020

Contents

Banish the creepy crawlies

Our Top Picks

«It’s been effectively treating lice for more than a decade, and parents find it works.»

«It’s powerful enough to kill super lice and eggs, but it’s also pesticide-free and odorless.»

«It’s tough on the critters, but easy on your toddler’s sensitive skin.»

«The ingredients in this lice treatment from Head Hunters Naturals are lovely, but they’re bad news for lice.»

«As tough as the formula is on lice, it’s otherwise gentle, containing only non-toxic ingredients.»

«The formula is non-toxic and pesticide-free, and it’s infused with peppermint oil, so it has a fresh, minty scent.»

Best Preventative Treatment: Repel Daily Kid Shampoo at Amazon

«This shampoo and conditioner from Fairy Tales won’t kill existing nits and lice, but it will help keep them away.»

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: RID Lice Killing Shampoo

Courtesy of Amazon

When parents just want to rid their kids of lice, they turn to RID. It’s been effectively treating lice for more than a decade, and parents find it works. To use, apply the formula to dry hair, rinse, then comb through with a nit comb (which comes with this kit). Then, seven to 10 days later, you repeat the process again to ensure there are no lice left standing. It claims to be 100 percent effective, and while some customer reviews disagree, the majority say it works as promised.

This formula is recommended for adults and kids age two and over. While some don’t like the harsh formula, most customers say it’s tough enough to get the job done.

Best Budget: Nix Ultra 2-in-1 Lice Treatment

While you can shell out big bucks for a professional to delouse your child’s head, fortunately, there are also effective and inexpensive solutions you can use at home, like this one from Nix. It’s powerful enough to kill super lice and eggs, but it’s also pesticide-free and odorless. To use, you apply the solution, let it sit for 15 minutes, shampoo it out, then use a lice removal comb (included) to comb out the nits and lice. It can be a tedious process, but it works.

Most customers say it’s easy to use and tough on lice. Some note that regular shampoo won’t thoroughly remove the solution, so you may need to add some dish soap to your regular shampoo to get the job done. Others find that the comb that’s included is a bit flimsy.

Best for Toddlers: Ladibugs One and Done Lice Treatment Kit

When it comes to taking down toddler lice, you want something that’s tough on the critters, but easy on your toddler’s sensitive skin, like these products from Ladibugs. The three-step kit is pesticide-free and made with 96 percent natural ingredients, like essential oils, which are free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates and other chemicals. To use, first you apply a serum, then follow with a mouse that’s designed to dissolve the glue of the nits, before you comb them out of the hair.

www.verywellfamily.com

The 7 Best Lice Shampoos of 2020

Wash those nits away

Richard N. Fogoros, MD, is a retired professor of medicine and board-certified internal medicine physician and cardiologist. He is Verywell’s Senior Medical Advisor.

Our Top Picks

«NIX is the only lice shampoo on the market that contains permethrin, a substance known to be extremely effective for killing lice and other mites.»

«Many who have tried this shampoo say it works just as well—and in some cases even better—than the leading brands.»

Best Single-Application: Sklice at sklice.com

«It’s the only lice shampoo available with the ability to kill lice in all stages of their life cycle without having to reapply after a week or so.»

«SchoolTime’s natural formula is scent-free and tear-free, so you won’t have to worry about it stinging your little one’s eyes.»

Best Preventative: Fairy Tales at Amazon

«Parents rave about the pleasant scent that’s not too overpowering and it’s gentle enough for everyday use to keep the bugs away.»

«If you’re tired of super smelly lice treatments that reek of chemicals or tea tree oil, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by HeadHunter’s Wipe Out.»

Best Pesticide Free: Lice Clinics at Amazon

«With dimethicone as the active ingredient, this product is formulated to kill adult lice only, rather than adults and nits.»

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: NIX Lice Killing Creme Rinse

Courtesy of Amazon

When it comes to treating lice, NIX is the biggest name in the business—and for good reason. NIX is the only lice shampoo on the market that contains permethrin, a substance known to be extremely effective for killing lice and other mites (although for treatment-resistant super lice, you may need a prescription product). It’s safe for kids too, as long as your little one is over two months old. The kit comes with lice creme rinse and a comb to help comb out eggs and nits.

Best Budget: Mata Piojos

Dealing with lice is bad enough without having to pay a lot for treatment. If you’re hoping to save a few bucks, check out Mata Piojos, which literally means kill lice in Spanish. Many who have tried this shampoo say it works just as well—and in some cases even better—than the leading brands.

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Similar to other lice treatments, the active ingredient in Mata Piojos is pyrethrum, which kills active bugs. To ensure complete elimination, you’ll have to apply a second treatment of Mata Piojos after seven to 10 days, since this formula doesn’t kill eggs.

Best Single-Application: Sklice

Courtesy of Sklice

When it comes to head lice, it’s understandable to want a one-and-done solution. After all, who wants to deal with lice longer than absolutely necessary? Eliminate adult lice and nits on the double with Sklice, a prescription-strength lice shampoo made with Ivermectin. It’s the only lice shampoo available with the ability to kill lice in all stages of their life cycle without having to reapply after a week or so.

Although you’ll need a prescription to obtain Sklice, it’s super effective, with no nit combing required—lice are dead on contact when you use Sklice. It’s even approved for use in children as young as six months old.

Best for Toddlers: SchoolTime Shampoo

If your toddler comes home with a case of head lice, you’ll probably want to look for a lice treatment that’s gentle and without harsh smells or chemicals. Enter Schooltime Shampoo: a chemical-free alternative to some of the most popular brands of lice treatments available today. SchoolTime’s natural formula is scent-free and tear-free, so you won’t have to worry about it stinging your little one’s eyes.

Best Preventative: Fairy Tales

Why not handle the lice issue before it even starts? Opt for a lice-repellent shampoo like Fairy Tales. It’s formulated with Rosemary, Citronella, and tea tree oil, all of which are natural lice repellents, and it’s free of harsh chemicals and sulfates. Parents rave about the pleasant scent that’s not too overpowering and it’s gentle enough for everyday use to keep the bugs away.

If, however, you find yourself dealing with lice despite your best efforts to avoid them, Fairy Tales also offers a gentle and chemical-free lice treatment kit.

Best Natural: HeadHunters

Most people are under the impression that it takes a heavy dose of insecticides in order to get rid of lice. That’s certainly one way to do it, but if you’re looking for a natural alternative lice treatment, WipeOut by HeadHunters is a great place to start. The company explains that their product is particularly effective because it attacks lice on a physical level instead of using chemicals to kill them. That means it permanently damages or disables the lice, rather than exposing them to chemicals known to kill them.

If you’re tired of super smelly lice treatments that reek of chemicals or tea tree oil, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by HeadHunter’s Wipe Out. It’s got a light, fruity scent you’ll love.

Best Pesticide Free: Lice Clinics

If you’re looking for a lice treatment that’s a complete elimination kit but you’d like to skip the pesticides, look no further than Lice Clinics of America. With dimethicone as the active ingredient, this product is formulated to kill adult lice only, rather than adults and nits. That means you’ll not only have to comb, but also be diligent about doing a second application one week later to kill all the lice (to account for all stages of the life cycle). A bonus is that the bottle comes with enough product for both applications, so you don’t have to head back to the store.

Users claim that this highly rated lice treatment is an effective alternative to more popular brands like NIX and RID. Though it may take a bit more time and diligence to completely eradicate head lice, reviewers say it’s worth it to avoid potentially harmful pesticides.

www.verywellfamily.com

The 8 Best Lice Treatments of 2020

Everything you need to banish the bugs

First Look

Best Overall: RID Lice Treatment Complete Kit at Amazon
«Includes a spray to detangle hair after shampooing, making it easier to comb through damp hair and remove stubborn nits.»

Best Budget: Equate Maximum Strength Lice Killing Shampoo at Amazon
«Comes with two combs in case the lice spread to multiple family members.»

Best for Kids: Nix Ultra 2-in-1 Lice Treatment at Amazon
«Pesticide-free and non-toxic, and it also conditions the hair.»

Best for Babies: Ladibugs one and Done Lice Treatment Kit at Amazon
«Eliminates nits and adults with a pesticide-free serum and mousse.»

Best All-Natural: Head Hunters Pro-Lice Treatment at Amazon
«Forces lice to leave their respiratory system open, drowning them by creating a physical response in the lice instead of poisoning them.»

Best for Dogs: Adams Flea & Tick Cleansing Shampoo at Amazon
«Will leave your pooch’s coat soft and pest-free.»

Best for Body Lice: Nix Lice Killing Cream Rinse at Amazon
«Attaches to your hair follicles more thoroughly than a shampoo, making it easier to trap and remove nits, nymphs, and adults anywhere on your body.»

Best for Adults: LiceMD Lice & Egg Removal Treatment Gel at Walmart
«Fully adheres to your hair shaft for results in minutes, so you can get back to your on-the-go life.»

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: RID Lice Treatment Complete Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

This kit has everything you need to attack nits, nymphs, and adult lice for a bug-free head of hair. The Lice-Killing Shampoo contains extracts from the chrysanthemum flower to eliminate adult lice. The kit also includes a spray to detangle hair after shampooing, making it easier to comb through damp hair and remove stubborn nits. For added protection, the Home Lice, Bedbug & Dust Mite Spray helps kill remaining lice and eggs on cloth items in your home that are difficult to wash, preventing a re-infestation.

A must-have for parents with elementary school-age children, this kit also works well on body lice.

Best Budget: Equate Maximum Strength Lice Killing Shampoo

Lice are already nasty on your hair and scalp; there’s no reason they should leave a mark on your wallet too. Equate’s Maximum Strength Shampoo uses tried-and-true ingredients to eliminate lice for a bargain.

This shampoo contains two chemicals that target both adult lice and nits to kill both. The bottle comes with two combs in case the lice spread to multiple family members, and it’s inexpensive enough to keep an extra bottle around in case another round of lice begins at your child’s school.

Walmart customers said that this treatment successfully eliminated lice outbreaks in multiple children at once, and appreciated both how quickly it worked and how easy it was to apply.

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Best For Kids: Nix Ultra 2-in-1 Lice Treatment

Children are the most susceptible to a lice outbreak, and Nix is a first-line lice treatment that stops nits, lice, and super lice (lice that have mutated and become resistant to over-the-counter treatments) with ease. After applying this solution to hair, you leave it on for ten minutes and let the active ingredients (dimethicone and mineral oil) suffocate the nits and adult lice. The formula is pesticide-free and non-toxic, and it also conditions the hair so it’s easier to comb through and get rid of pesky eggs and adults.

Best for Babies: Ladibugs One and Done Lice Treatment Kit

Lice are most common in elementary school-aged children, but babies can also fall victim to these irritating insects. You’ll need to take extra special care to treat lice in babies and choose a soothing formula for sensitive skin, and Ladibugs One and Done Lice Treatment Kit eliminates nits and adults with a pesticide-free serum and mousse.

This kit’s first step is a mint serum, which suffocates any live bugs in just 15 minutes. Afterward, you’ll apply a mousse to damp hair—the consistency is perfect for keeping the active ingredients on a fussy baby’s head. A comb with staggered teeth pulls everything out without dragging on strands, leaving you with one happy and comfortable baby.

Best All-Natural: Head Hunters Pro-Lice Treatment

If you want to steer clear of chemicals and try a more natural approach when you’re treating a lice outbreak, this conditioner-based treatment from Head Hunters Naturals is right up your alley. This treatment eschews shampoos and foams in favor of a proprietary conditioner base that forces lice to leave their respiratory system open, drowning them by creating a physical response in the lice instead of poisoning them with a chemical response. The included Pro Lice Comb removes the dead lice and nits after the conditioner works its magic.

Best for Dogs: Adams Flea & Tick Cleansing Shampoo

If you thought that lice only affects people, think again: lice are some of the many insects that our four-legged friends have to deal with. Dogs don’t exactly love sitting and waiting while you comb and nit-pick their fur, so a powerful shampoo for your furry friend’s coat is in order. Adams Flea & Tick Cleansing Shampoo will leave your pooch’s coat soft and pest-free.

This shampoo can be used as a complement to your dog’s flea, lice, and tick medication regimen, or on its own during a single lice outbreak. It breaks the lice life cycle by killing adult lice and nits, and it also moisturizes and deodorizes your animal’s coat. This is one of the few dog shampoos on the market that kills lice in addition to fleas and ticks, and the results last for up to a month.

Best for Body Lice: Nix Lice Killing Creme Rinse

Head lice are already uncomfortable enough, but unfortunately, they don’t always stay on your head, and that takes more than a simple comb and nit-picking to treat. Nix Lice Killing Creme Rinse takes care of body lice in a single application.

Nix Creme Rinse used to be only available with a prescription, so it’s a serious treatment for serious body lice. The creme formula attaches to your hair follicles more thoroughly than a shampoo, making it easier to trap and remove nits, nymphs, and adults anywhere on your body.

Best for Adults: LiceMD Lice & Egg Removal Treatment Gel

Courtesy of Walmart

Just because you’ve outgrown your school days doesn’t mean you’re safe from lice: coming into contact with the critters as an adult can still leave you itchy and miserable, and busy adults don’t have time to go through multiple treatments to get rid of lice and nits. This gel can eliminate the bugs in as little as 10 minutes.

LiceMD’s treatment uses proven ingredient dimethicone to suffocate lice and nits so you can easily comb them out. The gel formulation fully adheres to your hair shaft for results in minutes, so you can get back to your on-the-go life.

Adults loved how efficiently this lice treatment worked, saying that it killed lice fast and was more thorough than products three times the price.

www.verywellhealth.com

10 Best Lice Treatments 2020

If you have a persistently itchy scalp that isn’t caused by dandruff or rashes, you should check yourself for lice. These small, often undetected parasites thrive on your scalp and latch on to your skin to suck out blood. They can make your head very itchy and cause serious discomfort. Even worse, they’re easily passed from person to person, which can make some people in your social circle steer clear of you for a while.

Fortunately, lice can be easily removed with an effective lice remedy. These products are specially designed to kill off any existing parasites and keep the scalp clean and healthy to prevent future infestation.

In our guide, we will highlight the best lice treatment options and help you understand how to select the right product.

Top 10 Lice Treatments Chart

Picture Name Treatment Form Price Rating (1-5)
Picture Name Treatment Form Price Rating (1-5)
1. Maple Holistics Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo — Natural Essential Oil Anti-Dandruff Shampoo Shampoo $$$ 4.4
2. Hyland’s Homeopathic Quit Nits Natural Complete Head Lice Removal Kit Solution, Spray $$$ 4.3
3. Licefreee Spray, Instant Head Lice Treatment Spray Bottle With Metal Comb, 6-Ounce Spray $$ 4.3
4. Lice Shield Shampoo and Conditioner in 1, 10 Fluid Ounce Shampoo $ 4.3
5. OGX Shampoo, Hydrating TeaTree Mint, 13oz Shampoo $ 4.3
6. LiceLogic # 1 Lice Shampoo and Lice Treatment Natural One Day Head Lice and Nit Treatment Shampoo $$$$ 4.0
7. Nix Ultra 2-in-1 Lice Treatment, 3.4 Fluid Ounce Solution, Comb $$ 3.9
8. RID Shampoo, 8-Ounce Shampoo $$ 3.9
9. LiceMD Lice & Egg Treatment, 4-Ounce Bottle Gel, Comb $ 3.8
10. Clearlice Natural One Day Head Lice Treatment & Pesticide Free Shampoo $$$$ 3.7

Things to Consider When Buying a Lice Treatment

It isn’t easy to choose the right treatment, especially when you’re faced with numerous different options. However, because it is true that not all of those products will work well for you, it is important to take your time choosing the best lice treatment to avoid purchasing the wrong product.

Make sure to keep these major considerations in mind when buying your lice treatment to get the right option for your needs and preferences.

  • Treatment Form. There are lots of ways that lice treatment can be applied and used, and these all offer different pros and cons. Understanding the specifics of each treatment form will help you identify an option that suits your needs and preferences.
    • Shampoos. Of course, what better way to easily address lice than with shampoo? These products aim to kill lice and clean the scalp to prevent future infestation. The only issue that some consumers have with shampoos is that they are often lead to dry and frizzy hair.
    • Treatment Kits. These kits can include a variety of different items intended for lice treatment. The most common are liquid formulas that are applied for several hours and then washed off with shampoo. Some also include a special narrow teethed comb to help manually remove lice and their eggs from the hair.
    • Sprays. For people with mild to moderate lice infestation, sprays are an ideal form of treatment. These products protect the scalp from lice and kill off any existing lice and their eggs. Sprays are often used once in the morning and once at night, but they can also be used on children who are to play with untreated playmates that may have lice.
  • Medicated Treatments. For severe lice infestation, it may be necessary to use a medicated treatment. These are only accessible with the prescription of a doctor and may require special instruction for usage. Most often, these products are bound to cause unwanted reactions and side-effects, which can make them very irritating on a sensitive scalp.

Whenever possible, it would be ideal to use a product that’s available without a prescription as these are much less likely to cause side-effects; however, if infestation persists, it may be ideal to consult your doctor.

  • Active Ingredients. It is important to look into the active ingredients in your chosen product because this will tell you how well it will work to kill existing lice and eggs. The most common active ingredients in lice treatment products are:
    • Eucalyptus and Mint. To a typical person, menthol ingredients can provide a very cool and refreshing feeling; however, for lice, this sensation is deadly, causing serious damage to their eggs, nests, and the lice themselves. These ingredients also help to soothe the irritated skin to provide instant relief from itching caused by the parasites.
    • Tea Tree Oil. The main function of tea tree oil is to nourish the skin and relieve irritation. Although the ingredient itself is not deadly to lice, the coating it leaves on the scalp is powerful enough to prevent lice from latching, thus leaving them no option but to leave the scalp.
    • Dimethicone. This ingredient kills lice by cutting off their breathing mechanism. The chemical penetrates into the spiracles – which resemble pores – of the lice’s body, effectively killing them. It also does away with the lice’s eggs by disrupting the delicate chemical balance they need to survive.

Top 5 Best Lice Treatment Reviews

1. Maple Holistics Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

For many buyers, Maple Holistics Tea Tree Special Formula Shampoo is the best lice treatment and for several good reasons. This all-natural formulation is infused with several powerful essential oils that don’t only kill lice but also nourish the hair and scalp for optimum health: this sets it apart from other shampoos for lice which tend to dry out the hair.

The product is highly effective at instant relief and works to kill existing lice and eggs as soon as the first use: this makes it a prime option for people who want to be able to get rid of their lice as soon as possible – without having to wait for several uses before experiencing results.

2. Hyland’s Homeopathic Quit Nits Natural

The Quit Nits Non-Toxic Head Lice Kit is an effective lice treatment for both adults and children, and effectively works to remove both living lice and its eggs. The product uses a two-part process – the first is the lice treatment itself, which is used before washing the hair with traditional shampoo: this kills living lice and compromises egg health.

The second part of the treatment process is the spray. Once the lice and eggs have been effectively killed, the spray should be applied at least once a day. For kids, the spray should be used before making contact with other children who may not have had treatment.

All in all, it is a highly effective product. The only problem some consumers have with it is that it can be relatively tedious, especially for those with severe lice infestation.

3. Licefreee Instant Head Lice Treatment Spray Bottle

For those who want an easy yet thorough remedy for lice, the Licefree Spray Instant Head Lice Treatment is a premium choice. This product kills lice and eggs instantly, making it a good selection for parents with kids who are struggling with an infestation.

The product comes with a nit comb that can be used to clear away dead lice and eggs. However, using the comb on yourself can be a bit of a hassle, which is why the entire kit is best used with assistance.

All in all, the Licefree Spray Instant Head Lice Treatment Kit can be very effective. The only problem that some users have is that it can be inconvenient for self-use, which is how most people tend to treat lice infestation.

4. Lice Shield Shampoo and Conditioner in 1

This two-in-one formulation is the perfect choice for parents who want to protect their family against lice infestation. Lice Shield Shampoo and Conditioner in 1 effectively repels lice, keeping users safe from infestation even when in contact with an untreated individual.

For those who worry about dry, frizzy hair, the formulation incorporates 5 powerful essential oils that guarantee hair health and texture while effectively protecting against lice. The only problem with this product is that it is ideal for repelling lice rather than killing them. Although it can treat existing lice to some extent, it may not be as effective as other options that are specifically developed for killing living lice and eggs.

5. OGX Shampoo, Hydrating TeaTree Mint

What makes this product an effective lice treatment solution is the inclusion of menthol, eucalyptus, and mint. These three ingredients are potent compounds that effectively clear out the scalp and cool down the irritation for instant relief. What’s more, they create a hostile environment throughout the scalp, making it unlivable for lice and their eggs.

Aside from being an effective remedy, Hydrating Teatree Mint Shampoo is also a very affordable solution. At just a fraction of the cost of other options, this is a prime pick for people working on a budget.

www.medconsumers.com

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