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Head Lice Treatment from Home | Natural Remedies!

Last Modified on Apr 26, 2015

What are Lice Anyhow?

Not the sort of news a parent wants to hear at the end of the school day, "Your child has head lice." Everyone knows that lice are something no one wants, but what exactly are they? Well, lice or a single louse is a parasite, a little wingless insect that travels very quickly by contact and bites into the host's flesh. Symptoms of a lice infestation include severe itching and red bumps on the skin. The black eggs and small whitish lice may also be visible.

It is possible to be infested with both pubic lice and body lice, but the louse prefers the shelter of hairy parts of the body so head lice is most common. And since they can easily be passed by contact and shared clothing, school children in their constant, close proximity are most likely to pick up the infestation.

Natural Treatment for Lice: Home Remedies

The old standbys for lice removal are essential. A nit comb should be run carefully and thoroughly across the infested head or other body parts to remove all louse eggs (each area of the body is infested by a different kind of louse, so head lice stay on the head, etc.). This will eliminate future generations of life. Among Earth Clinic members, the next step is to coat the head with mayonnaise or coconut oil to suffocate the living head lice. Vacuuming and washing any clothing and bed clothes the infected person has come into contact with is also essential, using soapy hot water on clothes and putting them in the dryer on high heat to kill off any remaining lice. Commercial shampoos are available to kill lice, but they are generally toxic and so preferably avoided. Be sure to "cook" your combs and brushes as well in water at or above 130F, and continue combing and inspecting for lice for a week or more just to be sure.

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Most Popular Lice Remedies:

Coconut Oil5
Multiple Remedies3
Neem Oil3
Olive Oil, Dish Soap, Vinegar, Tea Tree and Neem Oils3
Tea Tree Oil3
Hair Dye3

User Reviews

Table of Contents

Apple Cider Vinegar and Mayonnaise   1  0   

Posted by Madison (Independence, Kansas) on 03/24/2008

[YEA]  MAYO and APPLE VINEGAR: all you have to do is smoother mayo in you're hair then let it set for 2 hours wash with no conditioner or shampoo the put apple viniger in it and set for 30 minutes rince and it cures

Cat Flea Shampoo   1  0   

Posted by Ivory Coast (Loco, Ca) on 12/06/2009

[YEA]  For the head lice go to your pet store and get flea shampoo for cats. it should contain:

piperonyl butoxide technical 0.50%
pyrethrins 0.50%
other ingredients: 99.45%
total 100.00%

wash yourself first with soap and wash your hair with plain shampoo.

then while you are still wet apply the flea shampoo to your head and cover your whole body with it including your external genitailia, your feet hands and face. don't get it in your eyes though.

now, that you are covered all over set the egg timer for 12 minutes. in 3 days repeat. besure you wash your beding and pets bedding in hot water. i would also spray my bedding and the pets beding with flea spray. do the mattress too. wash your pets the same way too.

Replied by Vixen
The Triangle, North Carolina

FYI, lice do not transmit from pets to humans, only from human to human contact with heads, and if contacted within 48 hours: pillows, hats, headphones, and other head-contact gear.
Replied by Smbrate
Lake Wales, Florida

Actually, there are dog/cat shampoos that even say on their label that they kill lice. The chemicals used in these products are very strong, though, so I don't recc. for children because they can hurt their eyes.
Replied by Any One

Actually you are both right. I worked at animal clinic and dogs and cats carry lice just not the same as humans do. Yes some pet shampoos kill lice just not human lice. People and animals alike can not give each other lice,.so I guess enjoy the reason we are all on this site, as you know it's a efffffinnnng treat!

Cetaphil   2  0   

Posted by Alice (San Juan, Tx) on 07/17/2013

[YEA]  So, the kids went to the arcade and brought home a dose of head lice. We tried the cetaphil face lotion--apply liberally, put on shower cap, sleep. When you get up in the morning, rinse it out. All dead. NIts came out really easy. I think we're done, except for a week or so of checking just in case. Good to know just before school starts and it makes the rounds.

Posted by Racer (Hampton, Tn) on 11/15/2010

Cetaphil rubbed into hair and blow dried until hair is dry, kills lice. Put it on hair, then a shower cap and leave on all night. Wash out and comb through. 15 drops tea tree oil in any bottle of shampoo or conditioner used twice a week should keep the lice away as long as the lice comb is used all the time to get bugs out of the hair.

Posted by Rebecca (Gilbert, MN) on 11/30/2007

[YEA]  When I called my pediatrician to get a prescription because RID was not killing the lice he told me that instead of using harsh chemicals to use Cetaphil. It is a face wash, there is also a lotion by the same company, but you have to use the face wash. You saturate the hair and scalp with the wash, comb out the excess and blow dry until hard. Then leave on overnight and wash in the morning. I would not say it has 100% taken care of the problem but we are so far improved in one application that we decided to continue to use this for a few more nights instead of using the prescription. I also bought a Robi Comb. The combs that I bought the first time and that came with the lice shampoo were junk and went right over the eggs, even the metal combs which are supposed to be made for egg removal. The Robi Comb was $30, but it is like a bug zapper, when it detects a louse it omits an electric charge killing the nervous system of the bug. After one use I could not find a live bug on my kids. Between the two methods I think we have this thing licked. Of course we are also doing massive amounts of laundry and we all sleep with plastic mattress and pillow covers now just to ensure we don't reinfest ourselves.

Replied by Margarett
Tulsa, Oklahoma

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]   Lice Remedies:

I just found out about the cetaphil procedure. I am doing that now. I really hope it works. I normally use Quill shampoo for whenever i get head lice. Where i work I can get them anytime. Drives me nuts. So far the cetaphil is slowing them down. I have had them for two weeks.

Coconut Oil   5  0   

Posted by Maskeen (Dubai, Uae) on 01/01/2011

[YEA]  When I was young and had immigrated to the US, I had lice in my hair. My mom put virgin coconut oil in my hair and made me go play out in the yard. Coconut oil hardens below 76 degrees F. The oil hardened in my hair and the lice died. She did this for two weeks to make certain the the newly hatched nits also died. Within two weeks I was lice free.

Replied by Angela
Escondido, Ca

[YEA]   Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil in liquid form - the best! At first I used an OTC topical and spent all night combing my hair and both of my girl's hair. It didn't work well and I could immediately tell I'd have to repeat. We all wore hair shower caps to bed. The poision dried out our hair and I got sick from the chemicals. I went online to look for a natural cure, found coconut oil, had some on hand, and used it. After applying a somewhat generous amount, concentrating on the scalp, to our hair, the shower caps went back on for two hours. I then recombed their hair, scalp down, it was clearly evident it worked!!! I rinsed our hair with vinegar and used shampoo - no conditioner. Recombed our hair and we were clean! I'm going to repeat one or two more times every week. Our hair, still a bit oily, is so soft now and no more itchiness! Organic coconut oil - AMAZING!

Posted by Angela (Kingsland, GA) on 09/14/2007

[YEA]  My son came home from school the other day, and I was told he had lice. We went out and bought those chemicals, but decided to read about them before using them, and I am so glad we didn't use them. That's when I was told about using Coconut Oil by my mother in law. We bought a jar of the oil, it comes in a solid format, and turns liquid as applying it. We treated my son, my husband and myself just to be safe. We put the oil in his hair, then covered his head with a plastic shower cap and had him sit and watch TV for about an hour. Then we took the cap off and combed his hair out. Getting all the nits was painful to him, but it was VERY SUCCESSFUL. I would definitly recommend this method to anyone. Of coourse there is the little matter of getting the oil out of his hair, it took a couple of washings, but his hair is very soft now!

Replied by Angel
Peoria, Il

[YEA]   Hi, when my daughter was one year old she applied about a whole bottle of Vaseline in her hair. I did many, many shampooing to get it out and nothing would touch it , so I searched here on internet, and found vinegar. Rinse with vinegar it will cut the grease right out instantly.. Hope this helps..
Replied by Heavensent
Regina, Sask

I used dish soap to get the oil out, it worked great!!
Replied by All Natural All The Time
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

To remove the oils (coconut or other) from hair, I use a 20% dilution of grain alcohol (like vodka, Alcool brand, Clear Spring brand). The 90% alcohols listed here are sold to make fruit preserves. Something like almost 1:5 with distilled water makes the 20% solution.

The solution will not rinse out the oil (unless you use gallons of it). Instead, soak the alcohol solution into the oily hair. Massage to mix with the oil. Oil mixes with alcohol. Alcohol mixes with water. Water mixes with soap. Add your soap or shampoo to the wet, oily hair. Massage to lather.

Once you get a lather going, the entire goop rinses out. I find that it takes me about three times with the alcohol mix and shampoo to remove all the oil. I used about 8 ounces of the alcohol mix on a head of short hair. A thick head of long hair may take more of the mix to remove it.

Posted by Dianna (Sapulpa, OK)

[YEA]  My daughter came home with lice, and a friend told me to use some coconut oil overnight to suffocate the lice and the nits. I had no trouble getting the nits out, and there didn't seem to be any bugs when I combed through her hair. The only problem I had was getting the coconut oil out of her hair. I used the coconut oil conditioner, which I think is different than liquid coconut oil, but it worked so well I had to share the tip.

Replied by Elaine
Edmond, Oklahoma, Usa

When my daughter was little she got hold of the Vaseline and smeared it in her hair. Like coconut oil it is very hard to wash out. Impossible in fact. Then I remembered when she was a baby I would put both Vaseline and baby powder on her tush. I thought, what's the point? The powder soaks up the Vaseline. Bingo! I sprinkled baby powder in her hair, let it set for a few minutes to soak up the Vaseline and washed out the powder. Talc works better than corn starch, but both work within one to two shampoos.
Replied by Lon
Stanhope, Nj

I add vinegar to shampoo to remove oils from my hair.

Coconut Oil, Tea Tree Oil   1  0   

Posted by Cyndy (Fayetteville, Arkansas) on 01/09/2009

[YEA]  After staying at a friend's home, while I was out of town, my daughter was infested with head lice. By the time I got home, the infestation was huge. She had scratched/clawed her head until it was bleeding and there was blood and skin matted into her hair. I got home at night and the only products I had on hand to treat were coconut and tea tree oil. I poured the entire contents of the tea tree oil onto her head and worked it through her hair until saturated. Then I got my coconut oil and did the same with it. I wrapped her head in a towel and put her to bed. She slept for several hours. When she awoke I went through her hair with a comb and my fingers pulling out bugs. I pulled out more than 60 head lice before I gave up. Most of them were completely dead and the rest were almost dead. We washed her hair with a strong dish soap and applied a good conditioner. After only that one treatment she was completely bug free. I went through her hair with a comb to remove any nits and they combed out very easily. next time your child is infested, try this first, before the harmful chemicals sold on store shelves.

Denorex Shampoo   2  0   

Posted by Kristy (Lansing, Michigan) on 11/01/2008

[YEA]  My daughter and I both wound up with a 'rash' on our necks, upper backs and shoulders. Our doctor prescribed some cream that didn't work. Other people suggested heat rash, since it was summer and we both had really long hair. And still others thought it might be a shampoo allergy.

During the two months this lasted, I had gotten a lice comb and checked her hair, just as she checked mine, but we didn't see any bugs or eggs. (I think they just didn't show up in her hair and she wasn't sure what she was looking for in mine!)

Anyway, I read something online that lice move very quickly but that hair conditioner will paralyze them temporarily so I finally got some and tried it and, sure enough, my daughters hair was chock full of bugs! So was mine!!!

We tried lice shampoo, we tried oil and I don't even remember everything else, to no avail.

Finally I found something about Denerox and thought, why not.

We scrubbed it in, left the shampoo in our hair and wrapped our heads with towels for 30 minutes, per the instructions. And the lice was gone, never to return.

I believe that it worked because Denorex on your towel wrapped head gets REALLY warm. Almost uncomfortably warm. And my theory is it not only 'cooks' the bugs, it 'cooks' the eggs, too! Kind of a disgusting thought, but whatever!

So I wouldn't mess with anything else, should this ever become a problem for my family again.

Posted by Kimberly (Fairmont, West Virginia) on 03/31/2007

[YEA]  Denorex shampoo it must be the Denorex that has coal tar. The salicylic acid one does not work. This kills live lice on the first time you are lice free. I wash my hair in it and let it set a few minutes maybe 5 then rinse and wash once again. I then use it once a day for 14 days just to make sure I did not miss any or eggs that may have hatched.

Eucalyptus Oil   2  0   

Posted by Cathrine (Perth, Western Australia, Australia) on 03/05/2011

[YEA]  I have been reading the posts here and I have noticed eucalyptus oil has not been mentioned. In the past I have used the oil successfully for head lice and fleas.

I have on occasion sat down with my cats and searched through their fur for fleas and when I spotted one I would just touch it with a oil soaked cotton bud. The flea died instantly. So I am thinking the oil is highly toxic to small insects such as lice and fleas.

I would imagine scabies would be in the same family as these insects. If you do try eucalyptus oil please research the correct dilution with a carrier oil. For head lice I didnt dilute it but I have read warnings that one should always dilute the oil. I also read the oil fries the fleas exoskeleton.

Good luck!

Replied by Samantha
Adelaide, Sa, Australia

[YEA]   Whenver we have lice, my daughter and I treat ourelves with 2tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of eucalytpus, 1/4 tsp of tea tree oil and a squirt of shampoo. Mix all together and slather on hair. Wait 30 mins. (We put a disposable shower cap over our heads). The oil suffocates the lice and the eucalyptus and tea tree oil damage their exoskelelons.

Our hair ends up soft and shiny. You need to repeat 1 week and 2 weeks later to completely break the reproductive cycle because it doesn't kill all the eggs.

Now if someone could come up with an oil that washes out more easily the formula would be perfect!

Replied by Irene
Los Angeles, California Usa

eucalyptis oil, tea tree oil, extra virgin olive oil, dawn dish soap

Finally cured after trying EVERYTHING!!! Just when I thought they were gone... The nits that I had missed started hatching. I immediately bought a bottle of tea tree oil for $11.00, eucalyptis oil for $4.00 at a store having to do with a red arrow aiming at something ha ha! (don't know if I can say on here... And they were not next to eachother I had to do some shelf hunting), also some extra virgin olive oil from a dollar store (warning: I heard if your child or yourself has had a history of epilepsy/seizures it is not good to use eucalyptus oil as it can bring out the seizures) for my 3 year old I used 3/4 tsp tea tree oil, 3/4 tsp eucalyptus oil, 2 tablespoons olive oil, then I mixed it with squirts of shampoo and mixed until syrup like. For my 5 year old and myself I used 1 tsp tree oil, 1 tsp eucalyptus, and 2 tablespoons olive oil and extra squirts of shampoo... I have long hair!!! I used a spray bottle to barely dampen their hair enough just so that it would create suds when I put the mixture on. I didn't want to get in their eyes so I "spooned" it into their hair in sections making sure I rubbed it very close to the roots/scalp (I didn't have any shower caps so I just rubber banded their hair up) let sit for 1 hour no less!! I draped towels on my couches so they wouldn't stain them and let them watch a movie for 1 hour and rinsed with water, after that I put dawn dishsoap in their hair and rinsed I immediately started seeing dead lice fall out... Combed out hair and removed all the bug bodies I could see more bodies as I was blow drying/combing out their hair.. I did see nits but they were all dead so keep pulling out nits just in case!! Been lice free for a whole week!!! When you rinse this stuff out make sure you put a washcloth over their eyes so it won't go in... Also keep eucalyptus oil out of reach of children it is extremely poisonus!! Good luck!!! :) you can even repeat just in case after 7 days.

Garlic Oil   1  0   

Posted by London3 (Sacramento, Ca) on 01/10/2012

[YEA]  My daughter and I have been fighting to get rid of her head lice for 2 months. I tried rid, nix, 2 different prescriptions, tea tree oil, and mayonaise. None of it worked. Those buggers were resistant to everything! I then remembered how well the garlic oil cleared up my bunnies mites, so I tried it in her hair for almost 15 hours and the next day was her first day nit free in 2 months!! She and I both agree that it was the easiest and only treatment that worked!

Replied by Francisca
Zug, Switzerland

Do you mean essential oil? Did you apply it pure, I suppose not, did you dilute it in another oil?
Replied by Chargir
Cleveland, Ohio

I'm glad that worked. I used cedarwood oil which is a essential oil that can be bought from most soap making supply companies, I got mine from a local soap and candle supply company. Keep in mind. It must be The real essential oil to work well. The cedarwood oil kills the lice, and dissolves the nit glue easily and also kills the eggs. It is totally non-toxic. I coated my granddaughter's head, left it on for 30 min. (Test a nit egg to make sure it releases easily) Worked like a charm, after fighting for a month with over the counter treatments. This put an end to the cycle.

General Feedback   0  0   

Posted by Dale (Winnipeg, Manitoba) on 02/13/2013

Have had what I think was head lice. Treated with chemicals. Seems my head was still crawling with little white things/this after I took my hair down to nothing/scalp, like/feels like white fiberglass /very polar in nature/seems to stick to me and my clothes like a magnet, has been getting a little better, maybe borax/ help.

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

Dale, lice are black, and only stay on hair areas.
Replied by Hani
Charlotte, Nc

Try mayonnaise! Rub it on the scalp, it suffocates the lice. Something called Lycel oil specially to kill the lice, we get it in India works wonders. Don't know how to get it here. Some Indian stores can help you with it.

Posted by Maria (Iligan, Phillipines) on 04/01/2012

Hello, can head lice survive, if you're suffering from dandruff?

Replied by Iowama
Pella, Ia/USA

Hi Maria, Yes, to answer your question, I am afraid that lice feed on dandruff. On two occasions, I've had to treat my Granddaughter from severe infestations, but the remedies I used were very successful and came from Earth Clinic posts. Best wishes, Iowama
Replied by Sarah
Seattle, Wa

The only remedy I will ever use again for lice is enzyme shampoo. It is harmless to you and deadly to lice. It doesn't smell bad and is gentle enough to use on a baby. It doesn't dry out your scalp. You can use it daily if you need to, use it on anything that can get wet. I ordered it on line, but maybe it can be found in a health store.

And another web site with more about enzymes effect and how it works. It is truly amazing.

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