How to Get Rid of Head Lice

Often, people believe there can be short cuts in removing head lice. First and foremost, to be 100 percent successful, you have to view lice removal as a process. In researching the internet, you may have come across some of the many head lice removal home remedies. Over the years, it has been our experience that these do not work, are unnecessary or can be harmful.

     The key to treating head lice is to view it as a process of removal vs. killing the infestation while on the head. A few tips to remember if you get the call from the school saying “Your child has head lice”:

  • Having the correct lice removal comb will give you the best possible outcome. The Terminator Comb has given us the results needed to become a successful business. Without it, the nits would stay glued to the hair shaft and continue the life cycle.

  • A well-conditioned head of hair will allow the tightly positioned teeth of the comb to glide through the hair, releasing stubborn nits while grabbing live lice. Making sure to place pressure on the scalp, section the hair allowing the comb access to all layers of the hair. Working from the front hair line to the nape of the neck, check for all stages of head lice (nits, nymphs and adult bugs).

  • When combing to check for head lice, the process should take 15-20 minutes. For prevention, this combing should be done on a weekly basis.

  • When removing an infestation, the process should take 1-2 hours for girls and 30-45 minutes for boys. However, following through is important. Every other day for 1 week, one should comb the hair for 15 minutes to find any remaining residue. It is highly important to be consistent with the follow through. You must remove 100% of the infestation to be successful.  

     Home remedies have become a popular alternatives to the OTC products. Below are some popular examples:

  • Mayonnaise Treatment

Process: Place mayonnaise in a thick layer on the hair. Massage into scalp. Leave a shower cap on for 8-12 hours. Wash hair 3-4 times with Dawn dish detergent.

Result: Mayonnaise is supposed to suffocate live lice, then they fall off. Mayo also loosens the glue to the nits.

Problem: It is very hard to suffocate lice because they close themselves off to any moisture. If the lice are not removed, they will start breathing again. They will begin to move after they dry out. Although, the hair will have a tremendous deep conditioning from the mayonnaise, the dish detergent will dry out the hair.

 

  • Vinegar – usually includes lemon juice, rubbing alcohol, garlic paste, etc

Process: Mix together ingredients and massage onto hair and scalp. Sit with a shower cap on for 1 hour. Comb out lice and flatiron hair to kill nits. Repeat for the next 2 weeks.

Result: The acetic acid is supposed to dissolve the exoskeleton of the lice eggs so they no longer stick to the hair.

Problem: If the exoskeleton is dissolved, then why must you flatiron the hair? The comb should be the tool used to release the rest of the nits.

 

  • Olive or Coconut Oil Treatment

Process: Massage oil into hair and scalp using a liberal amount. Comb hair, Shampoo, apply oil again. Leave on for 12 hours, comb again, shampoo with Dawn dish detergent 3-4 times. Repeat once or twice a week.

Result: The oil is supposed to smother live lice.

Problem: It is hard to kill lice in their own environment. With no combing, you only get a wonderful deep conditioning treatment. It is very hard to suffocate lice, because they close themselves off to any moisture. If the lice are not removed, they will start breathing again. They will begin to move after they dry out.

 

  • Cetaphil Treatment

Process: Apply a 12oz bottle to dry hair and massage into scalp, wait 2 minutes. Comb out cleanser, remove nits with lice comb then blow dry hair. Leave in hair for 8 hours. Shampoo then rinse with a 50/50 vinegar/water solution. Comb with a nit comb and repeat every 14 days to break the life cycle.

Result: The Cetaphil Cleanser is supposed to adhere to the lice in order to suffocate them. The vinegar is supposed to dissolve the glue from the nits.

Problem: Suffocation does not work on 100 percent of the infestation. It is very hard to suffocate lice because they close themselves off to any moisture. If the lice are not removed, they will start breathing again. They will begin to move after they dry out.

 

  • Listerine Treatment

Process: Saturate hair and scalp completely, cover with a shower cap for 2 hours. Shampoo, then comb hair to remove lice. Treat again if live lice are found.

Result: The alcohol in the Listerine is supposed to kill lice.

Problem: The alcohol will dry the hair and turn the lice blue. It may kill some of the bugs, however, it leaves the nits behind. Again, the comb should be doing the work.

 

  • Denorex Shampoo and Suave Coconut Conditioner

Process: Apply Denorex Shampoo and leave in for 5 minutes. While the Coconut conditioner is in the hair, comb thoroughly with a nit comb. Next, blow dry and flatiron hair to kill any remaining nits. Repeat this process every 3 days for 3 weeks.

Result: Complete lice removal.

Problem: Caution may burn scalp!