Head lice are a common problem especially amongst school going children. Head lice is no fun and can cause infection of the scalp, itching and acute discomfort for the child. It is therefore very important to deal with head lice as soon as possible.
Head lice are wingless insects that suck blood from your scalp, multiply fast and lay eggs, which are very difficult to get rid of. They are easily spread through contaminated bedding, clothes and hairbrushes. Some simple home remedies and preventive steps can help to tackle the menace of head lice.
How To Get Rid of Head Lice
Start With A Lice Shampoo
A lice shampoo is one of the first steps to be followed in the treatment of head lice in conjunction with other home remedies. Choose a mild, herbal, delousing shampoo, which will help to cleanse your scalp effectively.
The shampoo has to be applied to the scalp for at least ten minutes in order to do its job. In the meantime, you can catch a good book or listen to some soothing music.
White Kitchen Vinegar
Once you have washed off the shampoo, use white vinegar as a last rinse to decontaminate your hair. Mix 4-5 tablespoons of white vinegar in a mug of water and wash your hair thoroughly with this mix. This will help to eliminate the head lice effectively.
Olive Oil And Vinegar
Another effective remedy is to massage your hair with a solution of white vinegar and olive oil. Leave the solution in your hair for some time. You can place a shower cap on your head to seal in the oil and vinegar.
Now follow this up with regular shampooing. You will need to keep shampooing your hair until you get rid of the lice and do not feel any more symptoms of head lice.
This treatment is supposed to be very effective in the treatment of head lice although it is a tad messy. Make some mayonnaise at home and apply the mayonnaise thoroughly into your head and hair. Cover your head with a scarf or a shower cap so that you do not mess up your pillow.
The next morning the lice will all be dead and you can cleanse out your hair with anti-lice shampoo. The positive aspect of this remedy is that your hair will also feel softer and silkier thanks to the egg and the vinegar in the mayonnaise.
Petroleum jelly has a smothering effect on head lice. Simply cover your entire scalp and hair with a thick layer of petroleum jelly.
The next morning cleanse the jelly with baby oil. You will probably see thousands of dead lice as you remove the petroleum jelly.
Tea Tree Oil And Essential Oils
Treatment with tea tree oil and some other essential oils is said to be helpful in the treatment of head lice. Take a few teaspoons of tea tree oil and mix it with rosemary oil and the juice of a lime.
Now apply this oil and massage it into your scalp. Cover your head with a shower cap and wrap a towel over this. After an hour, unwrap the towel and rinse out your hair thoroughly with a special anti-lice shampoo.
Pick At The Lice
Get a good lice comb, which is available at most chemist stores. Now with the help of another person make sections of your child’s hair. Use the lice comb to take out as many lice and lice eggs as you can. This will make it easier to remove the remaining lice when you shampoo your hair.
You will have to kill the lice or dip the lice comb in an anti-lice solution to prevent cross contamination. It is a very tedious procedure but needs to be done in very severe cases of lice infestation.
Preventing Cross Contamination
The first thing to do when a child is infected with head lice is to separate all the child’s clothes, hairbrushes and belongings from the rest of the family. All hair scarves, ribbons, clips must be cleaned and sterilized or disposed of as deemed fit.
Wash down Clothing And Bedding
The entire child’s bedding, clothing as well as clothes of other family members must be run in a hot water machine cycle to ensure that the lice die.
Plastic possessions can be placed in sealed plastic bags and placed in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The icy temperature of the fridge should kill all the lice.
Crop The Child’s Hair
In case of very severe lice infestation, you may have to cut the child’s hair especially if the hair is very long. This may be heartbreaking, but it is one of the best solutions to get rid of majority of the lice.
The juice of an onion is said to be effective in the treatment of head lice. Rub some onion juice on your scalp and wash it off after 3-4 hours. The onion juice is potent and acts like a disinfectant thus doing a good job in removing the head lice.
Mash an apple and apply this mixture on your scalp. Wash this off after an hour or so.
Garlic helps to kill the lice. Rub some raw garlic juice along with some lemon juice on your scalp to help kill the lice.
Have The Child Change Clothes Often
Every time you use a nit comb and an anti-lice shampoo, make sure that the child changes his/her clothing often.
Vacuum The Floor And The Furniture
You will also need to vacuum the floor and the furniture, which may be housing lice. Never use fumigants as these are highly toxic especially with young children around.
Do Not Send The Child To School
Until the child is completely free of lice, do not send him/her to school. It is also wise to inform the school authorities so that other parents can be warned of possible cross contamination. Head lice in school going children can become an epidemic. With consistent treatment, it is easy to get rid of head lice.