What are the best ways to treat head lice with home remedies? Our guide outlines all the tips for treating and preventing head lice in children — and adults.
You have already tested all conventional head lice remedies from pharmacies and drugstores, but nothing helps? We’ll tell you how to treat head lice with home remedies and prevent them returning.
It is well known that head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) are stubborn. Once these nasty bugs have established themselves, it is extremely difficult to get rid of them. In addition, these small parasites like to spread quickly and widely and wander cheerfully from head to head as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
No wonder lice in children are every parent’s nightmare. Because especially in community facilities such as day care centers, kindergartens and schools, the transmission of the little nuisances happened quickly. And then the daily combat actions against the (almost) invisible enemy begin: meticulous control of every single hair, endless combing through of hair, desperate large-scale laundry campaigns, …
That sounds like the purest disaster scenario. But we have good news for you: there are tricks and means to treat head lice with home remedies effectively, and that without necessarily using chemical products that attack not only the parasites but also your child’s scalp.
33 ways to treat head lice with home remedies
1. Coloring your hair helps against head lice: Sure, the color also attacks your hair, but sometimes hair coloring is the last alternative to the razor. The head lice are guaranteed not to survive the coloring action!
2. Coloring your hair with henna: If you don’t want to use chemical hair colors, you can declare war on head lice with the less aggressive henna color. Good to know: there are also colorless henna variants!
3. Shave off hair: This is the most radical solution that really should only be used in an extreme emergency. Especially with little girls … In winter, a nice hat can help to hide the shaved head in a cool way.
Remove head lice with a comb
4. Use an electric lice comb once a day , strand by strand. Caution: In order for this somewhat lengthy procedure to achieve the desired success, you have to have some time. Because only regular use is efficient …
Tip: Don’t forget the nit comb. While you can only comb out adult lice with the lice comb, the nit comb also removes the lice eggs. The two are often available as a double-sided combination comb: one side serves as a lice comb, the other as a nit comb
5. Declare war on the head lice with the straightening iron : The effectiveness of this (especially for children’s hair) somewhat aggressive method is controversial. But if all gentle attempts are unsuccessful, the good old flat iron might be worth a try.
6. Wash the hair as hot as possible . Be careful, this method will NEVER eliminate ALL head lice. And of course you have to be careful not to burn your child’s scalp in the action.. Be careful, this method will NEVER eliminate ALL head lice. And of course you have to be careful not to burn your child’s scalp in the action.
7. After washing, rinse the hair with a preparation of lukewarm water and vinegar . This will help loosen the nits (head louse eggs).
8. Avoid blow-drying your hair! On the one hand, because the head lice generally like the heat, but above all because it encourages the nits to hatch.
9. Use strong hairspray after shampooing : head lice supposedly hate that!
How to treat head lice with home remedies from plants
11. Arnica: If the scratching has not yet caused any abrasions on the scalp, you can try to drive the lice away with the brew of boiled arnica flowers: add 10 g of flowers to 1 liter of water, boil for 5 minutes and then add another 5 Let it steep for minutes. Sieve the mixture to filter out the flowers and pour the brew on the scalp as hot as possible. If the scratching has not yet caused any abrasions on the scalp, you can try to put the lice to flight with the brew of boiled arnica flowers: add 10 g of flowers to 1 liter of water, 5 minutes Cook and let it steep for another 5 minutes. Sieve the mixture to filter out the flowers and pour the brew on the scalp as hot as possible.
12. Lavender cider vinegar: A lotion made from lavender cider vinegar can be effective against head lice. The disadvantage of this application is that it must be prepared in advance: put 100 g of fresh flower tips in half a liter of vinegar. Leave to soak for two weeks and stir regularly in between. Pass the mixture through a sieve before use.
So you have to plan ahead. Head lice do not announce themselves in advance, but when you know that the small parasites are in circulation …
13. The ephemera is another native plant that can be used to treat head lice: Mix 1 liter of water with 1 glass of vinegar and 50 g of dried eu cone fruit. Heat and cook for 10 minutes. Pass the mixture through a sieve before use.
14. Boiled thyme against head lice: add 100 g thyme (fresh or dried) to 1 liter of water and boil for 15 minutes. Pass the mixture through a sieve and use like a hair treatment after shampooing.
15. Larkspur can also be used in the fight against lice: Simply sprinkle the infested areas with delphinium powder.
16. Pyrethrum powder also helps against lice: It is used like the delphinium powder.
17. Also effective against head lice: a powder made from senna leaves and the dried fruits of the spindle tree. Carefully sprinkle the powder on the scalp and then pull a cap over it to prevent the powder from spreading.
18. Real lavender (Lavendula angustifolia): Hildegard von Bingen already used real lavender against head lice! To do this, let the flowers of real lavender soak in cider vinegar and rub the hair and scalp vigorously with the mixture after washing.
Which essential oils help against head lice?
Numerous essential oils are known for their effectiveness against lice: geranium, eucalyptus, lavender or rosemary … You are spoiled for choice. Ultimately, personal taste should decide which fragrance direction you use.
19.Essential oils against head lice: Recipe No. 1
For 300 ml shampoo you need as an additive:
- 10 drops of lavender essential oil
- 10 drops of geranium essential oil
- 10 drops of lemon essential oil
- 10 drops of Eucalyptus globulus essential oil
- 10 drops of tea tree essential oil
Simply mix the ingredients, add to the shampoo, shake well and let rest for a few days.
Application: Apply the mixture to the head and leave it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the treatment every 3 days. It is better to only use lavender and tea tree oil with small children!
20. Essential oils against head lice: Recipe No. 2
Add the following oils to conventional shampoo:
- 4 drops of eucalyptus oil
- 4 drops of rosemary oil
- 4 drops of lavender oil
Mix the oils well with the shampoo and massage into the hair. Leave on for a few minutes and rinse.
21. Essential oils for head lice: Recipe No. 3
Put a mixture of lavender, geranium, lavender sage and / or cedar (1-2 tablespoons each) in a bowl and mix well. Massage into the scalp and leave on for several hours, then wash off thoroughly. Repeat the procedure several times if necessary.
Don’t forget to comb your hair with the lice comb between uses to remove the dead parasites.
22. Essential oils for head lice: Recipe No. 4
Put 10 drops of clove essential oil in a bowl of olive oil. Massage the mixture vigorously into the scalp, cover the head and leave it on for a few hours. Rinse well.
23. Essential oils against head lice: prescription from the pharmacy
- You can have the following mixture mixed in the pharmacy:
- 4 ml lavandula burnatii super (Lavandin super)
- 2 ml melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil)
- 2 ml rosmarinus cineoliferum (rosemary cineol)
- 1 ml cedrus atlantica (Atlas Cedar)
- 1 ml mentha pulegium (pennyroyal mint)
Put a few drops on the scalp (especially on the neck and behind the ears). Massage in like a shampoo. Use the mixture regularly until the head lice have completely disappeared.
Warning: do not use on children under 3 years!
Which household products are effective against head lice?
24. Rub the head with Vaseline , cover with a cloth and leave it on for a full night. Wash your hair thoroughly in the morning with shampoo and work with a lice comb. Repeat the action after a few days.
Disadvantage: Several washes of hair are often necessary to completely wash out the petroleum jelly.
25. Apply diluted household alcohol to the hair. Fortunately, there are products with pleasant flavors such as lemon or apple! Make sure to protect the eyes well: it is best to hold your child’s head back when washing. Leave on for 15 minutes.
Repeat the procedure for several days.
26. Massage the scalp with vegetable oil (cooking oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, …). Then protect the head with a shower cap or cling film and leave the oil on for several hours (or all night). Wash, untangle and comb your hair with a fine comb.
For an even better effect, you can use a little vinegar when washing out.
Repeat the application at least 4 times within 12 days.
27. Rub the head with mayonnaise (this is no joke!) And then let it work for several hours. Protect your head with cling film, for example. Comb the hair with a fine comb to remove the lice and wash thoroughly with shampoo .
28. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) can also be used in the fight against head lice. Because it dissolves the body’s own “glue” in the nits. There are 2 options:
- Put the sodium bicarbonate in a bowl of warm water and dip the comb in the mixture before combing.
- Powder the sodium bicarbonate over your hair before combing. Be careful, the product stings your eyes!
Wash the hair thoroughly afterwards.
29. Mix two egg yolks and use them to brush the hairline (this is where the nits get stuck). Leave to act, wash out thoroughly with shampoo and comb carefully. Repeat the action until the lice are gone.
How can I prevent head lice?
Prevent the lice infestation from the start? You can use these tricks to prevent head lice!
31. Put fresh thyme in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Pass through a sieve and rub the hair with the liquid.
30. Some swear by the fact that head lice are allergic to hair gel . Maybe this is THE opportunity to give your offspring a real punk hairstyle or some other cool hairstyling?
32. Put a few drops of lavender oil on the neck, behind the ears and on the hat: This should also help to keep the head lice at a distance.
33. It is best not to swap or borrow helmets : whether skiing, cycling or riding…. Your child drives safest when they wear their own helmet.
Fighting head lice: what should I avoid?
Even if the head lice are so penetrative, you should NEVER use these 3 things:
- Ammonia: It may be effective against lice and nits, but it is far too aggressive.
- Petroleum: is very harmful to the respiratory system.
- Animal products: What is good for cats and dogs can be dangerous for humans!
Author: Genevieve Dumas is a food, fashion, health and beauty writer from New York, who has worked for a range of major magazines.