- Kids Health
Natural Home Remedies for Lice
We were battling head lice in our family last month. After sending my husband to the store for every chemical they had to treat it, I decided to look for natural remedies. After much searching online, I read that Listerine would kill lice. Having that on hand, I immediately doused my daughter's hair in Listerine and let her sit with a shower cap on for ten minutes. We could hardly stand this it burned our eyes so badly. It did do a great job killing the lice, but I wouldn't recommend this unless you are very pressed for time, which we were because we were leaving on vacation the next morning and we didn't discover the lice until after dinner.
When my husband got home we shampooed all the kids in lice
shampoo. Lice shampoo is actually a pesticide and can cause all sorts of
problems in humans. I wish I had known this before using the
shampoo. Not only because it is so bad for you, but because it didn't
even work. After following the instructions perfectly, when we combed
through the kids hair, we were finding live bugs. The deadly lice shampoo
wasn't even killing the lice.
What we found to be the most effective treatment for ridding the hair of lice was combing through it. You can buy lice combs at the drugstore, for around $10. Priceless in my opinion. After the hair is wet, you can comb through it small section by small section and pick out any bugs or nits. It is very tedious and time consuming, we spent hours picking through the kids hair. You have to pick through the hair repeatedly for 7-10 days to make sure that you have gotten rid of all nits. My theory on this is that when the eggs are first laid, they are so small you can't see them. As they grow you are able to see them and pick them out. The eggs are actually glued to the hair shaft and don't come off easily. We actually resorted to using tweezers and yanking the hair out to get rid of the nits and eggs.
Fast forward to our vacation and discovering my unfortunate sister's family had gotten the lice from my daughter before we ever headed to the beach. By this point I had been able to do more research and while not really wanting to have the kids sit for two hours with shower caps on their heads, that is what we opted to try. First we coated the kid's hair with mayonnaise. Not Miracle Whip, or light mayo or anything like that. It has to be regular mayonnaise. You need to coat the entire scalp very well and seal all the hair up in the shower cap. The lice are suffocated this way.
The mayonnaise treatment was amazing. When the shower caps were pulled off, we found numerous dead bugs. Remember when I used the lice shampoo, the bugs were still alive. Not with the mayo. We knew we had killed all the live bugs. Next you must go through the hair to pick out any nits that are stuck to the hair shafts. Unfortunately there is really nothing that will kill nits before they hatch.
After rechecking the kid's hair each day, we opted to do another natural treatment - this time with olive oil. This also worked very well, however it was messier. While it was easier to get all the hair and scalp covered with the oil, the oil tended to run out of the shower cap throughout the two hour wait. It burns when it gets in your eyes, so keep a paper towel handy to dab at places.
To sum up, we tried the chemicals and they didn't work. We then tried three natural remedies that all worked great. I think that hands down the natural home remedies work the best. Unfortunately the chemical companies would have you believe otherwise and actively claim that home remedies don't work. I disagree and hope that next time you are dealing with lice that you try a home remedy that is cheaper and much better for your child.