How to get rid of head lice?
“Head Lice” the name itself is a very disgusting thing. If there are head lice in our head, it gives us a big headache. No one likes to stay closer to a person with head lice. Head Lice is not just a tiny parasite. It affects to your whole personality and social relationships. It’s a big pain to get rid of them. Having head lice doesn’t mean that a person has a bad hygiene or unhealthy. Even a super clean healthy person can get head lice anytime if he/she has close contacts with a person who has lice.
What are head lice?
Head lice are tiny little insects with six legs and each one has a tiny hook at the edge that helps them climb one hair to other and quickly climb down to your scalp. They mostly live closer to scalp and neck and feed human blood several times a day. These parasites are so tiny, so they are very tricky to spot. Their eggs are called nits and they lay their eggs on hair so closer to the scalp and those nits stick to hair with a glue-like substance. These nits are easy to spot, and they can be mostly seen back of our neck and behind the ears. In a day a female louse can lay around 8 eggs and they take only about a week to hatch. After like 10 days old they start laying their own eggs making your head lice count doubles and triples within few days. Lice can hold their breath for 8 hours. Head lice are very common among young children and preschool children since they have close contacts with their friends.
Symptoms of Head Lice
- Itching: This is the most common symptom that you can figure out that there are head lice in your hair.
- Lice on the scalp
- Nits on hair
- Small bumps on scalp and back of the neck
- A tickling sensation on the head
Human head is the main host for head lice. They can very easily crawl from one person to another through direct head-to-head contact. Head lice don’t go away by their own. Prompt treatments are required for head lice since they reproduce fast. If your situation is mild, you can first try some natural home remedies to get rid of them.
Home remedies for head lice
Nit combs / Fine-toothed combs
Continuous combing by using a nit comb helps a lot to get a relief for your head. Use a nit comb and comb your hair every day. Wet combing gives you more results than dry combing. Apply coconut oil or olive oil in your hair and then comb.
Clean beddings, clothes, and towels with hot water
Head lice can transmit from one person to another due to direct head-to-head contact. They can crawl but they can’t jump or fly. Although they are mainly live-in human scalp they can survive for a while on clothes, towels, and dresses too. That’s why it is very important to change these things daily and be very responsible when you share your things with others.
Clean hair tools everyday
It’s very vital to clean all your hair tools like combs, brushes and hair accessories with hot water. Soak them in hot water around 5-10 mins and then wash.
Don’t use conditioner
Conditioner acts as a barrier to lice treatments and prevents those treatments sticking to your hair. Therefore, stop using conditioner until you get rid of lice problem.
Wash hair with vinegar
Washing your hair with vinegar doesn’t kill adult lice. But vinegar can break the glue-like substance that nits stick to the hair. Mix 50ml of vinegar with 50ml of water and rinse your hair.
Get few cloves of garlic and blend them to make a fine paste. Mix garlic paste with few drops of olive or coconut oil and apply on your hair. Leave the paste on your hair for 30 mins and then wash it with a mild shampoo.
Make some onion juice at home and apply it on your hair. Leave it around 3-4 hours. Wipe off the dead lice and nits by using a comb and then wash your hair.
Baking soda helps to kill lice by stopping their respiratory system. Mix 01 tsp of baking soda to 03 tsp of your conditioner and apply on your hair. Divide hair into sections and comb by using a nit comb. Use a clean tissue to wipe off lice and nits. Rinse off with a normal shampoo.
Fenugreek and lime
Boil fenugreek and lime together. Filter excess water and blend fenugreek and lime to make a paste. Apply the paste on your hair and scalp and leave it around 30 mins. Rinse with a normal shampoo and comb your hair with a nit comb to remove dead lice and nits. Not only for lice, but this home remedy is also perfect to reduce dandruff on your hair.
Olive oil / Coconut oil
Apply coconut oil or olive oil and cover your hair with a towel. Comb hair with a nit comb after around 30 mins.
Over The Counter (OTC) treatments
There are several lice killing treatments that you can purchase over the counter. All of them may not be good for kids. Read the instructions very carefully before using and if you purchase it for a kid, it’s always better to consult a doctor first and go for a prescription medication. Make sure not to use extra amounts than the recommended dose to try to treat lice faster. Also, don’t use same product more than 2-3 times if they don’t work on you. Keep them away from your eyes.
It takes time for these treatments to kill the louse completely. They can still be on your head unconsciously. Hence use a nit comb and comb your hair every 2-3 days even after doing treatments.
When to see a doctor
If the situation gets worse, you will end up with allergies due to lots of bug bites. Lots of scratching may cause injuries on your scalp. In this kind of situation, you will have to get help from a medical expert. Even if the OTC treatments don’t work a doctor can prescribe a more powerful medication.
You can’t get rid of head lice permanently. As soon as you have direct contacts with a person who has head lice, they may come to your hair too. Above mentioned natural home remedies may not give effective results for all. You should check everyone in your house with head lice and treat all of them at the same time for better results. If the problem gets worse, the ideal thing is to consult a medical expert.