How to get rid of Head Lice Fast
What is Head Lice?
Head Lice (pediculus humanus capitis) are a type of small parasites which breed on the head of the victim & suck blood from the scalp thereby causing itching and irritation. It is one of the most common & embarrassing problem affecting millions of people every year. Read on for further information about these parasites, like how do you get Head Lice and how to get rid of them.
What Causes Head Lice
- Untidy hair
- Improper maintenance of long hair
- Unhygienic living environment
- Living in a crowded place
- Contact with a person suffering from Head Lice
- Dry scalp increases the chances of having dandruff & Head Lice
Head Lice Signs and Symptoms
- Prolonged itching on the scalp
- Swelling and redness of the scalp, nape of neck & behind the ears
- Live parasites & white eggs (nits/nymphs) in hair
Head Lice Prevention
Prevention is better than cure, so there are certain preventive measures listed below.
- In a suspected case of Head Lice, take off the linens, pillows, hats and clothing to launder them in hot water.
- Vacuum around the bed, mattress, carpets & car seats.
- Put all items that cannot be washed into an airtight garbage bag & keep them isolated for no less than 2 weeks.
- Freezing the bag containing suspected hair brush and other hair accessories overnight kills the lice and nits.
- Pay attention towards Hair Hygiene. It is advisable to use Herbal shampoo rather than chemicals to reduce the chances of getting affected. Long hair requires extra care as it is more at risk of developing Head Lice.Improper maintenance could also lead to the development of Head Lice. Sporting a short & tidy hairstyle is advisable for avoiding these problems.
- Avoid going to crowded places as lice transfers from one head to another. Do not share anybody else’s comb, hat, towel and pillow.
- Extra care should be taken to avoid dryness of the scalp which causes dandruff & Head Lice. Regular application of hair oil, such as coconut oil, helps to keep the scalp moist.
How to Get Rid of Head Lice
There are various ways of getting rid of these parasites permanently, including different natural products and home remedies.
Home Remedies for Head Lice Removal
One can get rid of Head Lice quickly and safely at home. Following are some of the well known natural remedies:-
Lemon juice is one of the best remedies against the adult lice & the nymphs they hatch.
Take equal amounts of lemon juice & garlic paste (1-2 tablespoons.) Intermix these two ingredients & apply this paste on the scalp. Leave it on for 30 minutes so that it is fully absorbed by the scalp skin. Now wash the head with cold water & Comb your hair using a lice comb to remove the lice.
Onion juice is an easy way of destroying Head Lice. For this remedy, take 1 bowl of crushed onions and place it on a sieve to extract its juice. Apply this juice on scalp & give a gentle massage. Leave it on for 1 hour and then rinse with normal water. This removes tiny buggers & all the nits. Continue this treatment regularly for a week.
Almond, along with lemon juice, accelerates the process of lice eradication. Blend together one bowl of peeled and crushed almonds and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. Apply this paste on the scalp & wait for 1-2 hours. Then, wash your hair gently and thoroughly.
Blend 2 egg yolks with vinegar and lemon juice in equal quantities (2-3 tablespoons) to make a paste. Apply this paste onto the scalp, allowing it to dry for 20-30 minutes. Then wash your hair with warm water.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar is amongst the best home remedy against Head Lice & nits. Vinegar helps to destroy the glue-like substance through which tiny nits & Head Lice attach to the scalp, thereby making it easier to comb out all these little culprits.
For this remedy, make a fine paste by mixing vinegar (3 -4 tablespoons) along with lemon juice & garlic paste in equal amounts (2 tablespoons). Apply the mixture onto the scalp & leave it on for 2 hours. Then, wash your hair with cold water. Repeat this process 3-4 times a month. You will get successful results within a month.
Orange Juice is a highly effective natural means of getting rid of the little buggers & the nymphs they hatch.
Dampen your hair & scalp thoroughly with orange juice. Massage the scalp gently, allowing it to dry so that the scalp skin can fully absorb the nutrients in the juice. It helps to kill the adult lice and detach the nits off your hair. Next step involves combing the hair using a lice comb for removing the lice. Wash the hair with warm water to get rid of the parasites. Do apply Hair conditioner as this creates a suffocating environment for the Head Lice & destroys the eggs quickly. Continue using this remedy for at least two weeks to get the best results.
Herbal Therapy for Treating Head Lice
Margosa/Neem Leaves (Azadirachta indica) & Basil/Tulsi Leaves (Ocimum tenuiflorum)
These herbs have antibacterial & antiseptic properties (due to their azadirachtin content) that reduce the capacity of Head Lice to grow & reproduce.
Take equal proportion of margosa & basil leaves (20-30 leaves). Crush them into powder and blend them well to apply the paste on the scalp. Leave it to dry for 30-45 minutes. Go for a head wash with normal water. Repeat this process 2-3 times a week. Positive results will be visible within a few weeks.
Balsam of Peru (Myroxylon balsamum)
It is a liquid resin herb that possess anti parasitic properties which attack & kill both the Head Lice & their eggs.
Citronella Grass (Cymbopogon nardus)
It is available as an essential oil used in soaps & also as insect repellent. This essential oil can effectively kill this harmful parasite.
Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Essential oil extracted from tea tree serves as an excellent herbal remedy against Head Lice due to its antiseptic & insecticide properties. You can add tea tree oil to your shampoo & wash your hair with regularly for getting rid of Head Lice. Combing the hair with a lice comb helps to remove the parasites.
Perform a gentle Olive oil massage of the scalp & hair. Leave it overnight. You can use a shower cap if you have long hair. Remove the cap in the morning & comb your hair with lice comb. Repeat this process after 7-10 days.
Mayonnaise & Coconut Oil Shampoo
Apply mayonnaise oil onto the scalp & wait for 2-3 hours for its full absorption. Then comb the hair with a Lice comb. Rinse out the mayonnaise oil using hot water. Then wash the hair with a coconut oil based shampoo and apply a coconut oil based conditioner. Repeat this process 3-4 times a week.
Other Treatment Options
- Hair dyes works to a great extent in killing Head Lice & nits. Cautiously apply it onto the scalp since it should not go inside the eyes as it contains chemicals which could cause eye infections.
- Coconut oil is the best insect repellent. Add camphor powder to it & apply this mixture frequently. Successful results will become visible within few weeks. Remember to have a regular combing procedure using a lice comb.
- An easy approach to remove Head Lice is to wash your hair in Listerine / mint mouthwash. The easiest way of doing this is tying your hair in a ponytail & saturating them fully in a vessel containing mouth wash. Put on a shower cap & leave it for 2-3 hours. Then comb with a lice comb to remove all the dead bugs & nymphs.
- Saturating your hair in Cetaphil cleanser is another option. Comb out the excess Cetaphil into a clean towel and then dry the Cetaphil saturated hair on the hottest tolerable setting. Leave it as such for 12 hours/ overnight & then wash out using coconut oil based shampoo and a conditioner.