Home Remedies for Lice

Over-the-counter remedies aren’t always effective and some insecticides are even toxic.

Plus, the head lice are now resistant to some of the store-bought treatments.

But, there are wide-ranging home remedies for lice that can provide a more useful treatment option compared to the commercial alternatives.

Home remedies for head lice

Here are four home remedies for lice:

1 – Combing and nitpicking

The most reliable method to remove head lice is a regular program of combing and nitpicking. Combing and nitpicking is used in combination with other treatments. Special combs are available at most drugstores and the most effective tool for removing nits and lice. A proper fined-toothed comb is quick and easy to use. Once the hair has received a good brush through, it can benefit to use a magnifying light to help find the last few that might be left behind.

Combing is the main technique and most effective home remedy for lice. A child’s hair cannot be fully cleared of lice until the eggs are removed.

Head lice are incapable of flying, hopping, or jumping.

2 – Pyrethrum

Certain over-the-counter medications (Rid, Pronto, A-200, etc.) include the active ingredient pyrethrum which is sourced from the chrysanthemum flower and rich in pyrethrins (a natural insecticide). By applying the pyrethrins rich medications, it is possible to attack the lice and destroy their nervous systems. But, lice are starting to grow more resistant to these medications and are no longer as effective.

Use the medication by applying a good amount to completely dry hair. Leave in place for 10-12 minutes. Now add water and massage the hair to create lather. Rinse after giving the hair a good clean. Once the hair is clean use a head lice comb to remove the nits. If necessary, a repeat application can take place after 7 days to destroy the remaining bugs. Use the medication with caution because it can result in allergic reactions.

Nearly 350 million dollars is spent annually on lice treatments in the US alone.

3 – Olive oil

Olive oil is a versatile kitchen item and can be used for a variety of home remedies. Use the olive oil to help suffocate the lice by blocking the breathing holes. Because the lice have the ability to survive without breathing for several hours, this process is best used at night. Before going to bed, soak the head in olive oil and place shower cap on to avoid issues with getting the pillow messy – in the morning comb through the hair to remove the nits. The nets should be easy to remove because the oil helps to loosen them from the shafts of hair.

On average, 10-12 million Americans will get infected with head lice each year.

4 – Hair dryers

A simple home remedy for lice is to use a source of heat like a hair dryer. Warm-air methods have the potential to kill most of the nits, but isn’t so effective in removing the lice. Using direct heat has the potential to eliminate about 96% of all nits. Make sure to wash the hair first and apply the hair dryer to quickly remove the most noticeable lice.

But, be more cautious with hot-air products like hair dryers. Certain products can include flammable ingredients, so not a practical option if using a chemical lice treatment system.


How to Get Rid of Head Lice Fast (Video)


Further reading:

  1. Head lice and nits
  2. Head Lice: Life Cycle
  3. Facts on Symptoms and Signs of Head Lice