- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Treating Head Lice Naturally
How To Treat Head Lice Naturally
Listerine For Lice Treatment
If you ever used Listerine to treat lice, did it work?
Child to Child for Treating Head Lice
If your child has head lice and you are going to use this method, let them watch the video. Another child explaining the steps and demonstrating the technique will help reassure your own child. They will be more willing to participate because they will know the steps and the reason for why the steps are necessary from another child who also had to deal with head lice.
How To Get Rid of Head Lice
- Examine- look for head lice & nits
- Treat- treat with natural products
- Comb- must comb out nits and lice
- Clean- house, bedding, towels and clothes
- Repeat & Check- continue for at least 2 to 3 weeks
- Notify- anyone who may be infected
Treating Head Lice Without Chemicals
Lice shampoos and sprays are pesticide based. They are expensive and expose children and the house to toxic harmful chemicals. Many have reported that lice have even become resistant to these harsh toxins. It is scary to think that a pesticide applied to your child's scalp in hopes to kill lice does not always work and the pesticide is absorbed into your child's blood and circulated through her body. If clothes are washed with these pesticides they will end up in our ground water. The sheets and pillows washed with these toxins will be next to your child's face breathing in the pesticides at night.
Ingredients inside lice shampoos and sprays have harmful side effects such as asthma or allergic responses, known or suspected to cause cancer and affect the nervous system. Children, especially children with asthma and allergies, are more vulnerable than adults to these chemicals.
There are natural alternatives to treating lice. These include:
- Covering the head with mayonnaise and a shower cap for 2 hours. (Your head will smell like a chicken salad.)
- Covering the head with olive oil and a shower cap for 2 hours or overnight. (Your head will smell like a salad, hair will be left smooth.)
- Cover the head with baby oil or vaseline and a shower cap for 2 hours. (Vaseline is extremely hard to wash out.)
All of the above are doing the same thing. The oils along with the shower cap suffocate the live lice. They die because they cannot breathe.
In all cases effective combing is necessary after the oil/shower cap treatment to remove the nits or the lice will come back.
Another effective way to treat head lice is with Listerine. Your head will not smell like a salad.
Why Does Listerine Kill Lice?
Listerine has an alcohol level of 26.9%. It is suspected that the high amount of alcohol plus the other ingredients, thymol, eucalyptol, menthol and methyl salicylate, are toxic to lice. The good news is they are not toxic to humans.
Choose the Gold Cap or Orignial Listerine. The other flavors can leave your hair sticky from the added sugars and possibly dye your hair.
I have colored treated hair, and found the the Orignial Listerine did not change or damage my hair color.
Life Cycle of Head Lice
1/16" (a bit smaller size of a sesame seed)
1/16" to 1/18"
Grey, tan, black, translucent, stripes
Grey, tan, black, translucent, stripes
Hatch in about 7 days
Take 10 days to reach maturity
Live about 30 days. Females lay about 5 eggs every day.
Eat blood from scalp.
Eat blood from scalp.
Close to scalp, most often around ears and along back of neck. Glued to hair.
Anywhere on the human head.
Anywhere on the human head.
Little, needs head to head contact.
Almost always spread by head to head contact.
Requires human body temperature.
Requires human body temperature and blood.
Requires human body temperature and blood.
Die in 1 day or less when off the body.
Die in 2 days or less when off the body.
Facts About Lice
- Having lice is one of the most contagious conditions among children, second to the common cold.
- An itchy scalp is the most common symptom of having head lice and may continue for a while after treatment.
- Lice can only survive away from a human host for 48 hours, because they depend on three things: the person’s body temperature, the person’s moisture they give off through their skin, and many blood meals a day.
- Lice need to feed on human blood or they cannot survive.
- Lice is not known to carry any disease and are not dangerous.
- Lice cannot jump of fly.
- Lice spreads by direct contact between the head with lice to another.
- People of all races, hair types, colors, and lengths get head lice.
- Lice can also be spread by sharing sports equipment like helmets, and hair accessories like brushes, barrettes, hats and towels.
- Lice can also be spread by sharing pillows, bedding and headrest.
- Lice eggs are more likely to be behind the ears or at the back of the neck.
- Lice move away from light.
- Lice does not mean there is poor hygiene. Lice seem to prefer clean heads.
- Girls are more commonly infested than boys.
- School aged children are most at risk.
- You cannot get lice from pets, they live on people not animals.
- Anyone, including you can get lice.
- You can also beat lice.
What You Need To Treat Head Lice Naturally
You will need several products to treat head lice naturally. Even when all these products add up, it is still cheaper than most toxic head lice treatments.
The products are chosen by mothers all over the world who report their effectiveness. Tea Tree Oil, Denorex Shampoo, Listerien, Coconut Oil have all been reported to detour lice and even kill them.
Natural Head Lice Prodcuts
This is absolutely essential. You need a comb where the teeth are very close together.
How To Treat Head Lice with Listerine
- Lice Comb
- Original Listerine
- White Vinegar
- Disposable Plastic Shower Cap
- Denorex Dandruff Extra Strength Shampoo
- Conditioner with Coconut Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Spray Bottle
- Warm Water
- Paper Towels
Mix 1 cup of Listerine with 1 cup of vinegar into a spray bottle. (The ratio is 1/1 so use more or less depending on how much hair you need to saturate.)
Thoroughly saturate hair with Listerine mixture.
Cover head with a plastic shower cap.
Let it sit for 2 hours for the first treatment. (30 minutes for additional treatments.) Then take off the shower cap.
Mix warm water and vinegar into a bowl. Have paper towels nearby. Use a lice comb and thoroughly go through small sections of the hair combing down from the top of the head to the bottom of the hair. Comb the entire length of the hair strands. After each stroke dip the comb into a bowl of warm water mix. Wipe off debris with the paper towel when needed. This is a tedious process but extremely important. The Listerine and vinegar mixture killed the lice. The vinegar also works by detaching the nits making it easier to release. If any nits are left behind, the lice will come back.
Wash hair with Denorex Dandruff Extra Strength Shampoo and 1 drop of tea tree oil. Scrub the head and scalp. Rinse with warm water.
Condition the hair with a conditioner that has coconut oil.
Dry with a towel. Towel and any clothes that were being worn during this process into the washing machine right away. When you’re done, change your clothes. Vacuum up the area where you worked and wash the nit comb in warm soapy water.
This step is not necessary. You can blow dry your hair on a hot blow dryer setting. Then if you have a flat iron, you can flat iron your hair. If any nits are left you can fry them. Lice cannot stand heat over 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of a flat iron is between 360 to 410 degrees Fahrenheit. (Only let an adult do this step). Remember little kids heads and your head will scald at 110 degrees. However, if you have a flat iron you can safely take small sections of dry hair to fry them out.
Variation: Another variation is to pour the Listerine on the head and put the shower cap on. Wait the 2 hours or 30 min. Remove shower cap, and rinse with vinegar. Follow by combing.
Is it a Nit or Dandruff?
- To tell the difference between dandruff and nits, dandruff can be moved easily, nits are glued to the hair and it is hard to remove.
- Nits look like a small sesame seed.
One treatment of lice products or natural remedies is not enough. If all the nits are not removed they will hatch into lice, generating a cycle of self re-infestation. Do not mistakenly believe one application is enough. Follow the Lice Treatment Schedule below to ensure you get all the lice out for good.
Lice Treatment Schedule
Listerine Treatment Regime
Wash & Dry
First time you notice lice, treat the hair right away.
Vacuum your whole house, including beds, sofa's and even the car.
Wash and dry all bedding and clothes.
All the stuff animals need to be washed and dried.
Wash all hair brushes, or throw them out and replace them.
It is important to stay on top of lice, or you will have another outbreak.
Dispose or empty out vacuum cleaner bags immediately after use.
Probably still doing laundry.
Or you can put all the stuffed animals in a trash bag and spray them with lysal and let them sit for 2 weeks.
Disinfect hair products such as combs, brushes and hair accessories by soaking in hot soapy water for 5 to 10 minutes.
It is important to treat every 3 days. This way if any missed eggs hatch, you can kill the nymph louse before they become an adult and lay more eggs.
Just think how clean your house will be.
Keep on top of washing pillow cases, and sheets.
If they are terribly missing their stuffed animals, maybe buy a new one until the lice are gone.
You can bring a pot of water to boiling, and then shut it off. Put the hair accesories in the water and let it sit with the lid on until it cools.
If just one egg was not discovered, it could hatch and start the whole thing again. You must keep on top of it so the lice do not grow into adults and hatch more eggs.
Wash all bedding.
Might want to keep the stuffed animals at bay until you know for sure the lice are eradicated.
Teach your child to never share hair accesories.
You are probably getting really good and efficant at this.
Do not forget to empty out the vacuum bags or container.
Do not forget any towels used while treating the lice.
Did you know, that hospitals rarely give out stuffed animals. It is because they are full of allergens.
Some have stated they put their hair accesories through the dishwasher. Without dishes of course.
Hang in there. If you do it right the first time, you will not be needing to keep doing this.
Immediately throw away the bags or the dust picked up by the vacuum and place outside in a trash can.
Wash bedding every time you do the Listerine Regime.
Instead of buying stuffed animals, you can buy plastic or wooden toys that can easily be washed and sanatized.
You can spray your hair accessories with Listerine.
Almost there. Keep up the good work.
Some have put a few drops of tea tree oil in their wash to help combat lice.
Stuffed animals can be removed from trash bags.
Be aware of sports equipment like helmets. Try not to share, or at least spray the helmets with a disinfectant or Liserine.
Congratulations, this is your last treatment.
You are probably a pro vacuum cleaner.
Wash your bedding at least once a week going forward.
Repeat if found more lice.
Be aware of headphones.
How To Prevent Head Lice
Fill a spray bottle with Listerine and a drop of Tea Tree Oil. Spritz hair and this will act like a repellant because they don't like the mentholated smell.
Prevent Head Lice Products
Helping Your Child Cope With Head Lice
- As the adult, do not become overly anxious or upset, your child will pick up emotional cues from you on how to react
- Stay focused, stay calm
- Assure your child this is a common problem and happens to everyone
- If you have a story, tell your child you had head lice when you were young too
- Let them know the lice will not hurt them
- Tell your child some of the positives with having head lice
- Have your child put stickers on the calender on the days they will need to do their Listerine head lice treatment. This way you both know what days will need to be treated to ensure the lice will not initially come back.
Positives to having head lice from a child's perspective:
- You get to have a day off of school without feeling sick
- You get to spend more one on one time with your mom
- You get to buy a new brush, barrettes and headbands if you decide to throw your old ones out
- You get to watch a movie while your mom or dad combs your hair
- Encourage your child to make their own movie on how to fight head lice
- Encourage your child to make a picture of what it feels like not to have lice
- Have your child color while you comb through their hair
Mother To Mother Treating Head Lice
When I heard Emma had lice I was mortified. I thought I was a bad mother. Then I researched and found that lice is one of the most contagious conditions, second to the common cold. Emma has several colds a year, so statistically it would seem she would also get a case of head lice. I also read, that lice likes clean hair, because it is easier for them to attach.
I did not want to use the harsh chemicals on my daughter and in my research found many parents reporting they do not seem to work. We decided to do the Listerine treatment. After we pulled the shower cap off, all the bugs were dead. I worked hard on getting the nits out. It took me a long time because I used my pet's flea brush. The comb bristles were not close enough. We then purchased a nit comb and it was more effective, it only took me 20 to 30 minutes to comb through her hair instead of hours with the flea brush.
She was sent home on a Thursday for lice. We treated her Thursday night and again on Saturday. We also washed all the bedding and cleaned the house thoroughly all weekend. Monday she had to see the school nurse before they admitted her back into school. The nurse did not find one louse or one nit. The Listerine treatment outlined here works. My daughter is living proof.
One thing the lice provided, that I was unaware of in the beginning, was a unique way for my daughter and I to be together all weekend.
Carly Sullens 2013. All Rights Reserved.