Get rid of head lice with these home remedies

scratching head for liceLice infestation is such a bothersome, distracting and embarrassing problem. Surely everyone harbors them at one time or the other. It is usually common among school children but soon spreads to other members of the family.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not a sign of poor hygiene, as lice are not fussy whether they lay their eggs in clean or dirty hair. But yes, a dirty scalp can well serve as a perfect breeding ground for these tiresome creatures.

Lice get transferred easily from child to child owing to the close contact of heads, during play, while sitting together or by sharing caps.

Though there are many chemical and herbal over-the-counter preparations to remove lice, it is better to refrain from using them for they might also remove a good bit of your hair, while others could have a drying effect on the hair. 

There are many home-remedies which do work well but the age-old method of regular combing with a close-toothed comb on all counts, is the most effective method to get rid of lice. 

The first application of these home made preparations is usually not sufficient to kill all the lice or eggs (nits). It’s not unusual to see tiny lice the day after treatment. It means that new ones have hatched out. That’s why a second treatment, a week after the first to destroy all the new lice that have hatched out since the first treatment is necessary

Home remedies for head lice

1) Shampoo your hair well using any ordinary shampoo and also rub in lots of conditioner which makes it hard for lice to keep a grip.

2) To prevent lice spreading to other members of the family, vacuum sofas, beds, quilts and wash bed sheets, clothing, towels, etc in warm soapy water and let them dry in sunlight. Brushes and combs should also be soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and dried.scratching head for lice

Applications for the scalp:
3) Take 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and mix it in an equal quantity of ginger juice. Rub it gently on the scalp and keep it on for at least 5-6 hours. If possible, leave it overnight. Wash your hair the next morning.

4) Take Tulsi (basil) leaves, grind them and apply all over the scalp for the same duration as above or leave it overnight. Shampoo off in the morning.

5) Grind leaves of guava with turmeric powder into a fine paste. Apply this paste on the hair and leave it overnight. Wash the hair the next morning. Repeat the treatment after a week.

6) Another  simple home-remedy for head-lice. Take a bunch of fresh Mehendi (Henna) leaves (Though fresh leaves are preferable, if you cannot procure it you may use pure henna powder as well.) with a little water and grind it in a mixie to make a fine paste. Add 2 grams of camphor (Kapur) powder (buy from here) to this mixture. Apply this on your hair and leave it on for half an hour or so and then wash your hair. This helps get rid of nits as well as  head-lice. Henna (Mehendi) with its peculiar smell and antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties is quite capable of repelling human parasites like lice while camphor too being a moth repellent and an antimicrobial agent with anti-itching  properties is proven to be toxic for mites and parasites.

7) Grind neem seeds with water into a fine paste. Smear this paste on the hair. Wash it after six hours with the decoction of neem leaves. This treatment is quite effective in getting rid of head-lice. The bitter and pungent decoction of neem will kill the lice. Repeat the treatment after a week.

8) Mix lemon juice and garlic juice. Massage at the roots of the hair with this mixture. 

9) Massage into the roots of your hair, a paste of bitter almonds. 

10) Apply the paste made of the finely powdered seeds of Custard apple (Sitaphal) with water at bed-time and leave it overnight. The paste should not come in contact with your eyes.

11) Soak the hair well with tobacco paste and cover with a cloth for two to three hours to suffocate the lice. Then rinse thoroughly with the emulsion of soap nut (reetha).

12) Dissolve 3 grams of alum in half a litre of water and apply this paste on your scalp. Leave it on for nearly 6 hours.

13) A remedy using aromatherapy oils. Mix 4 drops of rosemary, 4 drops of geranium, 8 drops of eucalyptus and 8 drops of tea tree oils in 30 ml. of vegetable oil. Spread over the head. Leave on for 30 minutes before combing with a fine tooth comb. Shampoo out and repeat after two days.

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  1. I didn't know there were so many options for treating an infestation. Most people just buy Rid to kill off lice, but after using it you smell as if you have been crop dusted!

    The natural options that use neem and other essential oils have to smell better than the commercial treatments!

  2. Anonymous6:13 PM

    For anyone who ever gets lice, please be aware that it has nothing to do with how long your hair is. Lice actually don’t really care where they go, they just want to hatch more eggs… :D

  3. Anonymous5:56 PM

    The nits stay for a while. because they are attached to your hair shaft. How close are they to your scalp? If they are pretty close to your scalp, it could mean you still have the lice and might want to consider some lice shampoo and another good combing through the hair with a nit comb. But if the nits are near the ends of your hair, it just means that they never fell off completely. Try getting a hair cut or just keep combing and you should be ok

  4. Anonymous5:41 PM

    I wud use sum lice killin shampoo buh i wudnt rli recommend it as sumtimes dey dnt rli work
    buh yoo cud alwayz hav sum1 chk ur hair n kill da lice dey find!

  5. Pavitra4:25 PM

    Lavender essential oil is useful for the hair as it can be very effective on lice and lice eggs or nits.

  6. Aswini9:38 AM

    Applying a paste of dried ground rind of pomegranate fruit to the hair for 30 minutes and then washing, clears off all the lice.

  7. Saiprema9:05 AM

    first of all don't use special treatments. they are just a waste of money. comb through your hair with a lice comb everyday for at least 15-20 mines. wash your hair everyday and do deep conditioning.

  8. unknown9:09 AM

    Dont wash it every day as lice like clean hair! They are actually very hygienic creatures, every other day will do! Also certain products do work, i live in the UK and there are great products that i have used before. When you comb your hair with the lice comb, do sections at a time, making sure you are pressing hard enough, it will hurt but lice cling to the hair and scalp so pressure is needed in order to get them out

  9. Pallavi11:49 AM

    You can also use Tea Tree Oil.

  10. Jyotika11:03 AM

    Put a pinch of camphor in coconut oil and use it as hair oil. Apply paste of fenugreek seeds as a medicine once in a week and wash the child’s hair with very dilute camphor water the lices will just vanish away.
    This tow or three times in fifteen days. This will help to get rid of Lice.

  11. Christine9:51 AM

    We used the OCT Nix kit to begin with which was very effective. However, that with washing all bedding, etc, didn't quite do it, so we are now moving on to some of the more natural treatments. I know it will take awhile, but I think with all the hints, we will get rid of it soon. Thanks again!

  12. Jackie10:04 AM

    Apply Melaleuca oil directly to the scalp and then wash hair with a shampoo that contains Melaleuca oil. This works as a treatment and as a preventative!

  13. Sapnir10:15 AM

    I don't know about the all natural treatments...sounds like a good idea.
    But my Mom used on us either RID OR NIX. I am hispanic and have a FULL head of hair and let me just say this was never a fun experience for me. I dont remember which one had the thicker comb in it but i liked it better since i have thick hair. The thinner comb would be better for those with fine hair.Yes it smelled and horrible but worked! We didn't have to do more than one treatments on me. My mom also washed all laundry sheets, towels and clothing in the RID/NIX detergent treatment they have. As well as boiling all brushes and combs in the house. I dont know if she treated the carpet our house...I think she might of bombed the house when all the kids got it.Let me tell you what...she got rid of them! At least until we got it again from school.

  14. Triveni11:33 AM

    good old honey works wonders,just add some on your hair and massage into your scalp, or you could try aloe vera. works like magic :

  15. Anonymous11:33 AM

    hair dy kills nits and hair lice so dye whoevrs hair thats affected with a temporary dye [unless you want ma permanent 1] and it will kill the head lice. easy peasy.

  16. unknown9:31 AM

    We found that the chemical treatments do nothing, especially in this area. The lice are resistant. The only way we were able to completely get rid of them was to comb, comb, comb. Every night for about 2 weeks I would wash their hair, and condition it REALLY well. Then I would sit and comb through it with the lice comb. Usually while they watched TV. It's a time consuming process, but the only effective one I've seen.

  17. Jyotsna10:25 AM

    There is nothing like picking them out one by one. I tried everything on my daughter but the only thing that worked was using the lice shampoo and taking them out one by one every single strand of hair.

  18. Sneha8:47 AM

    green tea to minimize her pores

  19. Anonymous10:05 AM

    Indian soapnut is a herb if you wash your hair every day you will get rid of lice permanently.
    Or boil some leaves of neem, strain and apply on scalp and hair keep for 20 min. and then wash with warm water.
    Dandruff is a 28 days disease if you can take care of your scalp for 28 days you will be cured forever.
    And lies are a 14 days job use neem for 14 days and wash your hair for 14 days regularly you will be permanently cured.
    Use neem oil if you can get. Massage every night and shampoo every morning.

  20. Manasa10:06 AM

    what you need to do is put all the bedding, pillows, teddy bears and curtains ( anything lice can get into the isn't a hard surface) into plastic bags for at least 2 days...

  21. Anonymous10:12 AM

    robi comb you can buy it at the drug store

  22. Sarita9:31 AM

    use the the head lice comb everyday and do a britney spears

  23. Chadravati9:27 AM

    Rinsing your hair with white vinegar also helps to kill lice and nits.

  24. Kavita9:27 AM

    Vacuuming is good

  25. Nidhi9:32 AM

    lice hold their breath under water and that is why they don't die if you just wash your hair with shampoo. So make sure your hair is completely dry when you put on the RID shampoo on your head. Make sure EVERY strand on your head is soaked in shampoo

  26. Shobha9:36 AM

    You need lice shampoo (like Rid) and follow the directions on the bottle, combing each tiny bit of hair until you get every bug and every egg.

  27. Anonymous9:08 AM

    just cut your hair and you will get rid of them I had crabs and let me tell you it was nothing nice I worked with crabs crawling around on pubic area my gosh it was a horror story untill I got my fist check they would crawl down there and make me want to go insane at work lol I should have gone the hospital or use a lice shampoo

  28. unknown9:10 AM

    Dont wash it every day as lice like clean hair! They are actually very hygenic creatures, every other day will do! Also certain products do work, i live in the UK and there are great products that i have used before. When you comb your hair with the lice comb, do sections at a time, making sure you are pressing hard enough, it will hurt but lice cling to the hair and scalp so pressure is needed in order to get them out

  29. Suguna9:10 AM

    Use coconut oil for massaging hair scalp.

  30. Anonymous9:11 AM

    Anti-louse lotion, either gammabenzene hexachloride lotion or cream (Lorexane, Gammaexane) or Malathion (Prioderma) will kill the eggs which can be removed by a comb with very fine teeth. One treatment is enough but all the family who are infested should be treated and the hair examined regularly for a while.

  31. The first is a mixture of 1/2 cup rubbing alchol, 1 cup of white vinager and 1 cup mouth wash (listernie or generic) origianl flavor. Just Pour it over their hair then ring out and put it up in a towel til dry. then just was and conditon like normal. You may need to do a little combing but not much.
    Second is one from my best friend whos mom used it for years on her kids. It is 1/2 cup of Downy to 1 quart of water. Just pour over hair and let dry. Wash like normal. And it works!!!

  32. Clara9:18 AM

    10-15 drops of black walnut extract mixed with about 15-20oz of water in a spray bottle will repel lice. You only need to apply 2 squirts either on top of or underneath the bottom of the hair daily just prior to possible exposure. I squirt my daughter's hair each morning before I take her to school.

  33. Anonymous9:21 AM

    Get two egg yolks, two to three tablespoons of vinegar and two to three tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix these ingredients well. Apply them to your scalp. Allow it to set for about half an hour. After that you wash it off with warm water.
    Use one to two tablespoons of lemon juice, and one to two tablespoons of garlic past. Mix these two. Apply this to your scalp and let it stay for about half an hour. Wash your hair in cold water.
    Mix two tablespoons of lemon juice with one tablespoon of butter. Make a cream out of these ingredients and apply it to your head. Leave it on for a minimum of 15 minutes. Rinse it out.
    Repeat this measure for four days. At the end of four days stop. Wait several days. Then reapply the treatment again for four days.
    Take a raw lemon, apply it to your head once a week. This is said not only to prevent lice, but keep dandruff at bay at the same time.

  34. Diana9:25 AM

    Coat the hair in mayonnaise and leave on for a minimum of two hours. Wash out and comb through hair. This will not only kill the lice, but it also helps remove the eggs much easier!

  35. Devaki9:01 AM

    I have found baking soda good for getting rid of head lice.

  36. Lorretta5:15 PM

    Cut your hair! that will get rid of them.

  37. Jaggesh5:16 PM

    shave your head. lice will be gone in 15 minutes.

  38. Anonymous9:42 AM

    After shampooing, rinse the infected area head thoroughly with white vinegar. The acetic acid in the vinegar will dissolve the glue holding eggs to the hair.
    Use an over-the-counter head lice preparation to kill the lice. Be sure to read and follow the directions carefully.
    Rinse the hair thoroughly once again with white vinegar to dislodge nits.
    In order to get rid of all remaining lice eggs, you should use a fine-toothed comb to comb out the entire head of hair. Take your time and do it well.
    Repeat treatment using the de-lousing preparation in seven to ten days. If you still find nits, rinse with vinegar again and comb the hair thoroughly.

    To prevent reinfestation, wash and dry your clothes at the hottest temperatures possible. It is the heat rather than the soap and water, that kills the lice.
    Soak the combs and hair brushes in hot water which is at least 150 degrees F.) for at least five minutes.
    Vacuum pillows, sofas, chairs and other upholstered furniture as well as carpets, mattresses, and even car seats. Then dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag far away from your home. Better yet burn it if possible.
    If you have followed these instructions carefully you should be free of these itchy little devils for a while.

  39. Anonymous5:50 PM

    The best thing is to ask your pharmacist for the best product.
    Keep in mind that this is a treatment, not a one-time application.
    Lice lay eggs, and so you need to treat your head a few times in a row, to make sure there are no eggs left behind.

  40. Diana5:50 PM

    Dip the metal fine-tooth comb in the vinegar and start working on a section of your hair. You have to be systematic. Don't miss a spot, make sure you get through the entire length of the hair, from root to end. Once you have combed it through your hair, you might see black spots, which would be the lice and the eggs. It is very important to kill the eggs. Dip the comb in the boiling water (it helps if you add vinegar to it), and then comb again, all the way through your hair.

  41. Get the lice-killing shampoo and a special comb to remove the nits (eggs) and they'll be fine in no time

  42. Leena9:31 AM

    Head lice are human parasites and require human blood to survive. The best thing I've found for ridding lice is castor oil. Coat hair cover with disposable shower cap leave on over night. In the AM put shampoo on hair before you wet it! Wash twice castor oil is gone and so are lice. I do comb hair carefully to be sure there aren't any nits left. Hair is conditioned and looks great.
    This is the best and easiest method I've found.

  43. Anonymous9:33 AM

    We try to comb at night, because it seems easier to catch the live bugs at night (they are very light-sensitive, but artificial light seems better than natural light). We rinse the hair daily with the below essential oil blend and comb out every day, dipping the nit comb in vinegar --- vinegar won't kill the live lice but it does loosen the adhesive the eggs are attached to the hair with

  44. Pramila9:37 AM

    "Use creamy peanut butter. Part hair in small sections and put peanut butter on the hair and comb back out with the small lice comb. This will take all the eggs out. This takes about 3 hours to do, but it works, my daughter came home from school with it and she has hair down to her waist and we just used the peanut butter and rinsed and shampood hair and that was the end of the lice."

  45. Namita3:32 PM

    Soak the combs and hair brushes in hot water which is at least 150 degrees F.) for at least five minutes.

  46. Amulya3:44 PM

    Make sure that you are washing all clothes, linen, hats, hoods, bedding, scarves and pillows, etc. It is easy for the entire family to contract this condition so you need to be diligent.

  47. Aditi3:50 PM

    Use essential oils to kill the lice as one of your home remedies for head lice. Mix 16 drops of tea tree oil with 13 drops of lavender in 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Be sure to test this on your elbow for skin allergies or sensitivities. If no skin irritation then rub into the scalp well. Place a plastic shower cap over your hair and wrap with a towel. After 70 minutes take off the towel and cap and wash well. After washing use a delousing comb to remove eggs.

  48. Sandhya9:27 AM

    very very useful tips

  49. Bhavya10:19 AM


  50. Anonymous12:05 PM

    It is true, there are some lice that are immune to commercial products. Get a good lice comb called the LiceMeister to remove the nits. To kill the lice, soak your hair and scalp with rubbing alcohol. Don't get it in your eyes. Then rinse and shampoo with regular shampoo. It will kill the lice and they can't get immune to it.

  51. Sabita10:07 AM

    Applying the paste of ground seeds of Amla mixed with lemon- especially on the roots of the hair and washing after half an hour will clear the lices from the hair. Even when washing it off use the water having little of Amla juice.

  52. Sumati9:25 AM

    use the the head lice comb everyday or do a britney spears

  53. karuna11:37 AM

    Neat vinegar after washing can rid the hair of lice and prevent new ones from taking up residence.

  54. Reema3:05 PM

    Wash bed sheets, pillow covers, scarves, clothes, towels and other clothing and linen that may have been infested
    Do not share combs and brushes – the used ones should be soaked in hot, soapy water
    Vacuum upholstery including car seats and sofas

    Daily hair care and cleanliness is an absolute necessity to prevent the menace from recurring!


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