Do you remember when you were in grammar school, and you heard someone got lice? The first thought you had is that they must not wash their hair, or their house must be dirty. The truth is that no matter who you are, it is possible to get lice, and easy too. Lice is a parasite that lives in the scalp and is highly contagious. Once you get lice it is not an easy process to rid your hair or your home, of it. That is why preventing the spread of lice is key to its containment.
What is head lice?
Lice is the plural form of louse which is the parasite that causes the condition we refer to as lice. Lice are organisms that live at the base of the human hair follicle. They live off of blood that they get from the scalp of their host. They are only dangerous to the extent that they are irritating. They won’t cause disease, but they can cause itchiness and irritation at the scalp line.
The biggest problem with lice is that it can be difficult to get rid of. Not only do you have to rid your hair and scalp of them, you have to make sure that there aren’t any eggs laying on the things that you wear or touch. Lice lay eggs that can survive one to two weeks before they hatch which means that if you don’t get them all, those that survive can start the entire contamination again.
Don’t share head apparel
The best way to deal with head lice is to prevent it from happening to begin with. Since head lice is so highly contagious it is best that you never share hats or helmets with other people. This is especially important for children. It is more common in children than adults, so tell your children never to share hair apparel, or hygiene tools such as combs, brushes, or barrettes.
There are natural products that are known to deter lice from latching onto hair. Using products with the following ingredients will help to keep your family lice-free.
7 natural remedies to get rid of head lice
1. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a known deterrent to louse. There are many shampoos that will contain it in the list of ingredients, especially those found in the health food stores. It is also a great product to help with dry hair.
Eucalyptus is a great ingredient to look for in your hair products. Found in many shampoos and gels, it repels lice from attaching to the hair.
Also a natural cure for the prevention of lice, the smell is very distinguishable. If you are unable to find shampoo with it listed as an ingredient, you can always add it to your favorite shampoo to stave off any infestation of head lice.
Lavender may be a smell that is soothing to us, but it definitely is not to head lice. It is also an ingredient that is simple to add to any of your hair care products. Found in many products due to the appealing smell of it, you can find it at any local pharmacy.
5. Spray bottles
If you want to keep your child lice-free, you can mix up a spray bottle full of any of the above ingredients. Simply take the herbs and grind them. Add a quarter cup of herbs to a pint of water and let it seep. After a day, you can spray some of the water on the hair after shampooing to keep them safe from lice transfer.
Saturating the hair heavily with conditioner can make the hair hard to hold onto for lice. When the lice are unable to hold on, they will naturally fall off. If you use a bottle of conditioner and allow it to sit on the hair for about 30 minutes, you should be able to metal comb most of the lice and the eggs that they laid, off with a comb. It may take several applications to rid your hair of head lice with this method.
7. Vinegar and olive oil
A concoction of vinegar and olive oil are perfect for ridding the hair of lice. It works because the olive oil disallows the lice to latch onto the hair follicles, and the vinegar kills the eggs. If you allow the concoction to sit for thirty minutes or more before combing the hair with a metal comb, it should be enough to get a significant amount of the lice eggs and grown lice adults. It will take several applications to rid your hair of head lice in this manner.
Other steps needed to keep them gone
Clothing, bedding and other fabric materials
Since lice can live outside a host for a minimum of 48 hours, it is important to thoroughly wash any material that your hair has come into contact with. If you are wondering what you have to wash to get rid of lice, and the eggs that may have been laid, the list can be pretty extensive.
Bedding and sheets
It is important to remove the top layer of bedding and comforters from your bed. Since washing in warm water with soap is enough to get rid of lice and lice eggs, sticking bedding and sheets in the washer and dryer with your normal detergent is enough. You don’t have to worry about the bedding underneath; lice do not borough in the same way you would have to worry about things such as bed bugs and fleas.
Hats, hair apparel
If you have been using any hats or hair apparel, you have to do the same thing. Simply throwing them into a washer cycle is enough to rid them from your home.
Brushes and combs
Stick your hair tools into the dishwasher. Things such as brushes and combs can either run through a cycle or simply replaced.
If you have been using any throw pillows or laying on the carpet, simply vacuum and put the throw pillows in the washing machine. Since lice can only live for 48 hours that should take care of the adult population as long as they don’t find a host. Eggs, however can live for one to two weeks, so it is possible that you may have to repeat the process more than once if the space is recontaminated.