Natural, Non-Toxic Treatment Options for Head Lice
One of the best treatment options is to use an old-fashioned “nit comb.” Lice attach their eggs (nits) to hair shafts near the scalp and lay five to six eggs a day. A careful combing for these eggs and live adults, once every three to four days, has been found to be just as effective as more dangerous chemical treatments which also may need to be reapplied for full effectiveness, making them even more hazardous to your health.
The best Nit comb to purchase is the Nitty Gritty. This is excellent and sure fire way to get rid of nits. I made a simple salt distilled vinegar solution adding teatree and geranium oil to the mixture. I sprayed this all over my son’s hair and left for four hours. The vinegar supports the egg removal by breaking down the glue type substance. Apparently nits hate the smell of tea tree and geranium and the salt and vinegar dehydrates them in the same way a chemically based lotion provides a nit solution. Then I washed and dried my son’s hair. Finally adding a large amount of white conditioner to his hair and worked through each section with a Nitty Gritty comb, and a bowl of water. I then washed his hair again and dried using both a hair dryer and a mini straighter to ensure all eggs were eliminated. This is an extremely affect way to get rid of nits naturally. Make sure to keep checking for a few days and do a follow treatment following this procedure in 7 days time to ensure all eggs are gone.
Here are some other non-chemical alternatives you can consider:
Essential Oils: The oils of anise and ylang ylang combined with coconut oil into a natural spray have been found to be highly effective, eliminating about 92 percent of head lice. Anise and ylang ylang contain essential oils which are generally antibacterial, antifungal, and insecticidal. These oils have long been known to have such effects. One related study found that the essential oil of an African plant, lippia multiflora, was more effective against head and body lice than conventional treatment.
Olive Oil: Applying olive oil to the entire scalp for a minimum of two hours may be useful. You can also sleep with a shower cap on and use the olive oil overnight. I would not advise any other oil as olive oil is the safest food oil to use. The oil coats the lice and may serve to suffocate them.
Heat: The hot dry air produced by standard hand-held hair dryers may suffice to kill lice and their eggs on your hair. Use great care if you try this method, as the heated air from these devices can also easily scald the hair and the scalp.
Similarly, a clothes dryer set on a high heat or a hot pressing iron will kill any lice or their eggs on pillowcases, sheets, nightclothes, towels and similar items that might spread them to others. Combs, brushes, hats and other hair accessories in contact with an infected person should be washed in hot water each day to dislodge any lice or nits.
Freezing: Lice or their eggs found on inanimate objects such as toys may be killed by freezing temperatures. Objects that cannot be heated in your clothes dryer can be placed in your freezer instead. This treatment may require several days to be effective depending on the temperature and humidity.
Haircuts: Lice will find little to grasp on a bald or shaved head. Although competitive swimmers who shave their heads generally need not be concerned about head lice, many parents may find this old-fashioned method to be aesthetically unappealing. Short hair is more easily searched for lice and eggs but does not make the child invulnerable to infestation.
Lice may also occasionally be found on eyelashes or other facial hair. These lice should be removed by hand with great care so as not to injure the eye; insecticides should NEVER be used on or around the eye