Pediculosis Capitis (head lice, nits, cooties) is a common infestation. While is it most common in school-aged children, it can occur in any age group. Despite the stigmata associated with the infestation, it is extremely common. In one year 80% of American elementary schools reported an outbreak.
The presenting complaint is almost always itching of the scalp. On examination, the nits are very tiny and difficult to see. Combing the hair with a nit comb can reveal the infestation easier. A nit comb is a fine tooth comb designed for this condition. In addition, the nits deposit eggs that can be seen. They are also small but are whitish-grey or silvery attached to the hairs. Some describe them as little grains of rice.
Current medical treatment involves a pesticide cream or shampoo. There is a prescription medication called Ovide which is isopropyl alcohol and a tea tree oil extract. These medicines can be effective but also can be hard to get a hold of or expensive.
So, looking for home alternatives to traditional medical treatment?
This is one of the first things you can try to remove the lice from the hair. This will make the lice more visible and easier to distinguish from dandruff. This is a method that needs time and patience and someone to do this for you, as it is not that effective if you do this for your own head. Combing is one of the most effective ways to get rid of the lice.
How it works
Use a fine-toothed comb and if you have in handy a magnifying glass. Spray some conditioner on the hair and take thin parts of hair and comb. Make sure you separate the hair and use some hair clips for the already combed part of the hair. Do this for the entire head and you may find it very effective. Rinse the comb from time to time under hot water.
After finishing this session make sure you wash the comb thoroughly and even soak it in vinegar for 30 minutes then boil it in water for another 10, to be certain all the lice have died.
Essential oils have a high content of some substances that are known to kill any lice. However, some of them can have side effects on the scalp skin and these should be used with caution.
The top choices are tea tree essential oil, anise essential oil and ylang-ylang essential oil.
How it works
You can try to pour a few drops of lavender oil behind the ears and the head lice will free. This also depends on the degree of infestation one has.
While some essential oils are effective on their own – these are the most powerful ones and the ones we should be careful when we use them; some should be used with other oils such as olive oil and combined with combing of the hair. Regarding the most powerful essential oil try this combination – 10 percent tea tree oil mixed with one percent of lavender oil. This will result in more than 90 percent of the lice elimination.
You can also combine these harsh oils with coconut oil to reduce from the side effects but still have the needing effect for lice killing. Combine 3 tablespoon of coconut oil, 1 teaspoon of ylang-ylang oil, 1 teaspoon of anise oil, 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil, 2 cups of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of water. Massage this mix on the scalp and then pull on towards the ends. Comb the hair, leave it for two hours, then comb again and rinse well and wash.
Make sure you repeat any process you choose every five days so that all the lice and their eggs will be eradicated.
A good antiseptic and anti-inflammatory plant, neem oil extracted from fruits and seeds of the tree is safe to use for killing the lice. It has a very sharp smell which eventually kills the lice.
How it works
The easiest is to apply some of the neem oil on the scalp and massage so that it enters well at the hair root. Cover your head with a shower cap and leave it like this overnight. In the morning, wash your hair very well to make sure you remove all the dead head lice. Comb it thoroughly after washing.
This is a natural antiseptic and a handy solution as everyone has salt in the house.
How it works
Take a tablespoon of salt and vinegar and mix the two together, make sure you apply the mixture evenly on the hair. Stay with it like this for 1 to 2 hours, depending on how much time you have at yoru disposal and if you can stand the mixture on the head and then rinse well with a shampoo.