How to treat head lice? Not always a simple answer. A few months ago, (while we were still living in Florida) there was lice outbreak of head lice going around my nephews school. My sister in law did some research on how to treat head lice and found great options online. I decided to jump in and help her figure it out. She ended up following these steps:
Step 1. Coconut Oil/ Olive Oil
Spread the coconut/ olive oil throughout full head of hair. Be very thorough! Make sure you apply plenty! Cover head with a shower cap for 2-4 hours. This will kill the lice and any eggs that have developed. Next take off the shower cap and dispose of it immediately. Make sure you wash your hands! Then shampoo the hair really well. You may have to shampoo it a few times to get the hair feeling clean again. Coconut and Olive oil kill lice by dissolving their exoskeletons. Not all oils work as well as Coconut and Olive oil.
Step 2. Tea Tree Oil Shampoo. (kills lice) /Step 3. Vinegar Rinse (loosens eggs)
5-10 tsp olive oil or coconut oil
4-8 drops tea tree oil
4-8 drops peppermint oil
4-8 drops rosemary oil
4-8 drops lavender oil
Add a few tsp of your regular shampoo to the mix. Rub this all over the hair/head. Don’t miss any spots!
Put on a shower cap or drape a towel over the head (to prevent drips) and leave on for 1-2 hours.
Next, Rinse and shampoo the hair. Do not use conditioner yet.
Use fewer drops of essential oils if using less olive/or coconut oil. I like using both coconut and olive oil together.
Always use caution when using essential oils. Certain individuals may be more sensitive than others.
Vinegar Rinse (after the shampooing).
This step will loosen the eggs.
Pour vinegar over hair, be careful not to use too much. Warn your kids that the smell may be very strong! Rub it all over.
Now rinse out the vinegar with very warm, not too HOT water.
Step 4. Comb the Hair (this gets the eggs out)
There is a nit comb by all the Chemical Lice Treatments in the drug store. This the the comb that you will need for the hair. If there is a lot of hair, put the hair in sections, and thoroughly comb the hair out. Do not miss a section.
Step 5. Check Head
Wait until the hair is dry. Have good lighting. Check for nits. They are shiny and small. Check all parts of the hair, by the scalp and all the way to the ends. Check by sections again. Don’t miss any. Schools will not let you back in if you test positive for any nits. If you find any nits on the hair or scalp make sure you dispose of them properly. Use the nit comb and put them in a bowl of vinegar.
You may want to do another vinegar rinse if any nits are spotted.
You can also easily treat the eyebrows and eyelashes with applied coconut/olive oil.
More Notes: (lice can only live up to 24 w/o a human host)
1. Keep checking the hair over the next few days. To make sure that they have not returned or that you didn’t miss any. Start the treatment over if you find any others. Check siblings too!
2. Let your friends, family, or neighbors know about the outbreak if your kids have had contact with them.
3. Wash all bedding, stuffed animals, and clothing with hot water and vinegar(as long as it won’t shrink or be ruined). Dry on hottest setting…. if it won’t shrink!
4. Throw away all combs and brushes.
5. Vacuum couches, chairs, mattresses, cribs, car seats, rugs, carpet, etc
6. If there are things you can’t be washed in HOT water, bag them up tightly. Keep tightly bagged anywhere from 10 days- 2 weeks. Lice can only live up to 24 hours w/o a human host.
I hope these tips help you naturally kill and even prevent lice outbreaks!!
Great Lice Shampoo Prevention: