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Home remedies for head lice


Pediculosis capitis is the term used for head lice in the medical field.

Head lice affects both adults and children and are transmitted mainly from direct head to head contact with an infected person. Head lice can also be contracted by sharing the same hair brush, bedding, towels and clothing.

School going children between the ages of three and ten are the most vulnerable since they can come into contact with children having head lice while at school. Living in an unhygienic environment and not bathing and washing hair regularly can also make one susceptible to head lice.

The following are a few popular home remedies used for the treatment of head lice.

Mayonnaise Treatment For Head Lice

Mayonnaise is one of the oldest home remedies used in treating head lice. Although it does not kill the eggs and lice, it smothers the louse making it easy to be removed with a lice comb. The oil in the mayonnaise is the ingredient which helps in suffocating the lice.

Fully coat the hair with the mayonnaise. Make sure to apply on the hair near the ear and neck since these two areas are where lice and nits are mostly found. Cover the hair with a shower cap and leave on for 7-8 hours. Do not apply the mayo on hair before going to bed and leave overnight since the shower cap can come off resulting in the mayonnaise going on the nightclothes, pillows and bedding. Wash using a mild shampoo like baby shampoo. Then use a lice comb and comb through each section of hair to catch the lice. Do this treatment once a week for best results.

Olive Oil Treatment For Head Lice

Olive oil has antiseptic properties which kill the lice by suffocating it. Fully coat the hair with olive oil. Apply on the hair near the ear and neck as these are two areas frequented by nits and lice. Cover the hair with a shower cap and leave on for 3 hours. Wash with baby shampoo as this is a mild shampoo. Since you might have to wash the hair 2-3 times to get rid of the oil it’s best to use a mild shampoo on the hair. Use a lice comb and comb through the hair to remove the lice and nits. The olive oil treatment should be done every 7 to 10 days.

Neem Leaves for the Treatment For Head Lice

Neem leaves are effective in killing lice. Grind a handful of Neem leaves in the grinder. Transfer to the blender with 3 tablespoons water and blend. Remove and place in bowl. Fully coat the hair with the mixture. Leave on for an hour and wash with warm water. Do not use a shampoo or soap when washing the hair since the chemicals may mix with the Neem and aggravate the scalp and hair resulting in an allergic reaction. This treatment is not recommended to be used on children.

Shampoos for the treatment of lice
  • Tea Tree Oil shampoos and conditioners
  • Coconut oil shampoos and conditioners
© 2012 Suranee Perera

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