Head lice, apart from being an extreme form of irritation, can be a cause of major embarrassment. I mean, who likes being thought of as dirty enough to carry around these little pests on their scalp, huh? Now, there are two ways of getting rid of these pests – medical/chemical treatments, and DIY/natural treatments. It is always advised to opt for the latter first because they are safe, simple and very affordable. There are also little to no risks of negative side effects. Plus, working on home remedies to remove lice from hair by your own isn’t as tough as one might think.
How to Remove Lice from Hair by Your Own
Here are a few home remedies along with modern DIY recipes. Most of them have a scientific basis to them, and even if the rest of them don’t, what’s the harm in trying them out? You can always switch to chemical treatments as and when you desire.
1. Garlic Paste/Juice
Garlic has a strong aroma and while most humans do mind smelling garlic anywhere (except on their food), lice are the same except for the fact that they completely hate the smell of garlic. And that garlic suffocates them, of course! All you have to do is take a dozen or so cloves of garlic, crush them and add 2 tsp. of fresh lemon juice to it. Mix well and apply the mixture to your scalp.
Let it sit on your head for half an hour and then wash it off with warm water. Repeat this process 3 times a week at least.
First things first. A lot of people believe that vinegar is one of those ingredients that help you with how to remove lice from hair by your own. In actuality, it doesn’t kill lice. Rather, it dissolves the glue that the eggs use to attach to the hair, making it easier for your comb to catch a hold of nits because sticking to your hair becomes impossible for them. In some cases, vinegar might be able to kill newly hatched nits too.
3. Comb Your Hair
There was a reason why our grandmothers would emphasize on combing our hair whenever we got lice. And that’s because this method actually works. Buy a fine toothed comb and then follow these instructions:
- Damp your hair with water. This will keep them tame and manageable.
- Divide your hair into multiple sections.
- After going through every section, dip your comb in vinegar (to kill the lice caught in the comb).
- Go through all your hair patiently. Do not skip any sections, even if you believe them to be free of lice.
4. Blow Dry Your Hair
Direct heat is the arch enemy of lice, so if you want to know how to remove lice from hair by your own, simply blow dry your hair! Now, it may not kill all the lice on you scalp and not certainly in one go, but it will definitely deter them from reproducing. In fact, several experiments have shown that blow dryers are almost 50% effective in killing these little critters. Just make sure of two things:
- Do not use a dryer if you’ve applied any chemical treatment on your scalp, as the heat might aggravate inflammable ingredients from the solution.
- Blow dry your hair immediately after washing it. The heat will be most effective on wet hair.
5. Orange or Lemon Juice
The acidic content in both oranges and lemons make them perfect to control the growth of lice. They work exactly like white vinegar, except you have to leave them on your scalp for half an hour. But be careful. There have been no conclusive studies about their efficacy, so if you see no significant improvement after 2-3 washes, drop this method.
6. Benzyl Alcohol Lotion, 5%
This has been certified by the FDA, and is considered safe and effective for those over the ages of 6 months. It’s aromatic, so you don’t have to worry about carrying a stink on your scalp. Please do not use rubbing alcohol as a substitute as it’s harmful to the human skin, especially when left to sit there for long periods of time.
Neem is a very versatile tree. You can use pretty much all of it – leaves, barks or fruits, to get rid of lice. For the same of convenience, opt for leaves or neem oil to get the best results. Not only does the natural insecticide in neem (azadirachtin) kill lice, it soothes your itchy skin and adds shine to your hair. When it comes to leaves, you can simply boil them in water, leave it aside for half an hour or so till it cools down, put the solution in a spray bottle and spray the solution 2-3 times a day on your scalp. You can also mince the leaves into a paste and apply the paste on your scalp.
Tips for Preventing Infection of Lice
Apart from knowing how to remove lice from hair by your own, there are certain precautions you should exercise in order to avoid getting infected again in the future:
- Always wash your brushes, hair clips, hair bands and other hair accessories with soap and then place them overnight in white vinegar every 15 days.
- Don’t forget to clean your extensions. Keep them away from vinegar as it might spoil their texture.
- No head to head contact with anybody, including family members.
- No sharing head accessories or even items like caps and helmets.
- The same goes for not sharing items like clothes, towels and bed sheets with anybody else.
- Wash affected cloth items with an enzyme based detergent in hot water.
- When participating in outdoor activities, tie your hair in a high pony or a bun.