It's possible that your child will contract head lice at some point; it is estimated that six to twelve million children in between the ages of three and eleven get head lice every year. Getting rid of these little blood suckers can make you cry just as much as it makes your child cry, if not more. Many parents shy away from over-the-counter lice treatments because of the high levels of pesticides they contain; luckily, there are several at-home remedies you can use that are safe and effective.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of the best and most effective solutions when it comes to eliminating lice at home. Not only is this oil an natural insecticide, it also contains terpinen. Terpinen is an anti-bacterial that is known for killing lice. Using this oil will also help soothe scratches on the scalp from itching fingers.
Mix one tablespoon of tea tree oil and one ounce of your regular shampoo together. Completely saturate your child's hair and work it until it comes to a nice lather. Cover your child's hair with a plastic shower cap for forty-five minutes. After the time is up, begin the process of removing the bugs with a lice comb. Tea tree oil also works on the eggs by undoing the glue that sticks them to the shaft of the hair.
Another safe and effective home solution for lice removal is onion. Onions are full of sulfur, which burns lice at the site. To remove the nits as well, add a little olive oil to the mix. Like the tea tree oil, olive oil will remove the glue that holds the eggs to the hair.
Place six onions and one-fourth cup of olive oil in a blender and mix until it turns into a paste. Massage the paste into your child's hair, paying special attention to the crown of the head and behind the ears. These are the hot spots where lice like to hang out. Place a shower cap over your child's hair for two hours. After the two hours is up, rinse your child's hair and break out the lice comb.
When it comes to the natural enemies of head lice, vinegar is at the top of the list. Vinegar has high levels of acid, which is very toxic for the little blood suckers. It also destroys the nits by making the eggs around them dissolve.
Mix one cup of vinegar with one cup of mineral oil and massage the mixture into your child's hair, making sure the mixture is applied evenly and thoroughly. Place a shower cap over your child's hair and let it sit for eight hours. It is usually best to apply this treatment right before bed so your child doesn't get antsy. In the morning, rinse your child's hair with warm water and use a lice comb to remove anything that remains.
When it comes to vinegar, either white or apple cider vinegar will work. However, apple cider vinegar has higher levels of anti-microbial agents.
There are solutions for head lice that can rid the scalp of these creepy crawlers without harmful pesticides. For more information on treating head lice, consult a lice treatment group in your area.