14 Home Remedies for Head Lice that Actually Work

Home remedies for head lice can be the most effective way to get rid of the parasites. While lice and nits are a common occurrence in children, this doesn’t mean you’re safe either. It’s almost impossible to prevent head lice from taking shelter on your scalp or that of your kid. This is why when they bulge in unannounced you should have a few ways on how to get rid of head lice and their eggs.

We have put together the best head lice home remedies, tested and proved by moms worldwide. Find the one that works best for you as home remedies are often more efficient than over-the-counter treatments or even prescription treatments against head lice. Before spending a fortune on other ways to get rid of the annoying pests, make use of vetted kitchen staples which are guaranteed to work wonders.

1. Almond Oil or Olive Oil

Almond oil and olive oil are two of the most recommended home remedies for head lice. This is due to the fact that they are packed with fatty acids which clog the breathing system of lice.

Necessary Items

All you need to do is to apply plenty of almond oil or olive oil to the hair and the scalp. Let the oils sit for at least two hours. To prevent messy leakages, put on a shower cap or wrap the hair in a towel really well.

Remove the shower cap or towel. Take a nit comb and start combing your hair or your kid’s hair from the scalp downward. Proceed with attention as nits may still remain hidden between hair strands. Rinse the nit comb regularly. At the end rinse the hair with vinegar to cut through the fatty acids of the oils. Vinegar is another powerful tool in the fight against head lice. You can use tea tree oil shampoo to wash the hair afterward.

Repeat the procedure for two weeks and you should be rid of the pests.

2. Garlic

Garlic is a mild antibiotic. At the same time, it is packed with compounds which are harmful to the parasites. Here’s how to get rid of head lice using garlic:

Necessary Items

  • 10-15 large garlic cloves
  • 2 spoons of lime juice
  • olive & tea tree oil for lice

There are several ways in which you can use garlic as a head lice home remedy. For once, peel off the garlic cloves. Then, grind them into a paste together with the lime juice. Use the paste directly on the scalp. As it is highly acidic, don’t keep the garlic on for more than half an hour. Rinse with hot water and heat dry your hair.

Another way to use garlic as one of the best home remedies for head lice is to make another garlic-based paste used as a hair mask. Peel and grind about 15 garlic cloves. Mix the ground garlic with lemon or lime juice, olive oil, and tea tree oil. Alternatively, you can mix the paste with your shampoo or conditioner.  Cover your hair with the paste as you would with conditioner. Keep the paste on for one to two hours and then rinse with hot water. Before rinsing, you may want to comb the hair with a nit comb.

3. Tea Tree Oil for Lice

The essential oil extracted from tea tree acts as a natural insecticide, anti-fungus, and anti-microbial substance for the best solution on how to get rid of head lice. Using tea tree oil for lice on your scalp and hair will lead to killing the lice and nits in no time.

Necessary Items

  • 1 teaspoon of essential tea tree oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil

Considering it’s quite powerful, you should mix these ingredients with a shampoo if this remedy is intended for kids. Apply the blend thoroughly, cover the hair with a shower cap and let it sit for half an hour to one hour. Rinse with white vinegar, but not before combing your hair once more. It’s a great idea to remove the dead head lice and nits before rinsing your hair. Comb once more after rinsing with vinegar and then rinse with hot water for the best way to get rid of lice.

4. Petroleum Jelly or Vaseline

Both petroleum jelly and Vaseline work by suffocating head lice. Here’s what you need to gather:

Necessary Items

  • Petroleum jelly / Vaseline
  • Vinegar

A thick layer of either of the two applied directly to the scalp and left to sit overnight will remove head lice in no time. Make sure that you don’t forget the vinegar, since you’ll need it to cut through the thickness of petroleum jelly the following day. Comb your hair with the nit comb before rinsing with hot water for the surest solution on how to get rid of head lice.

5. Salt Water

Salt water is one of the best home remedies for head lice and nits. High concentration salt water will dry out the nits and leave the head lice desiccated.

Necessary Items

  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • 1/4 cup of water or vinegar

For even better results, you can mix the salt with vinegar. Stir the salt in one-quarter of a cup of vinegar. Don’t let the solution remain blurry. Stir until all the salt is fully dissolved. Move the solution in a spray bottle and spray it on your hair until it’s slightly wet. Put on a shower cap and let it sit for two hours. Rinse the solution with lukewarm water.

6. Sesame Seed Oil

Sesame seed oil is a wonderful head lice home remedy. Packed with insecticide properties, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, this home remedy for head lice is easy to use.

Necessary Items

  • 1 cup of sesame seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil for lice, neem oil, eucalyptus oil, and/or rosemary oil
  • vinegar

Use the mixture on your hair, trying to avoid the scalp as much as possible. Let it sit for half an hour then comb with a nit comb. Rinse with vinegar and hot water afterward. Make sure the nit comb is also thoroughly cleaned and use it once more to comb the hair. You can repeat this treatment daily for one week. Rest assured that the results will be visible.

7. Essential Oils

Most essential oils carry incredible properties for removing head lice. Keep in mind that before using essential oils to get rid of head lice, you should check for allergies.

Necessary Items

The most effective essential oils that act as home remedies for how to get rid of head lice are:

  • Peppermint essential oil.
  • Red thyme oil.
  • Cinnamon leaf oil.
  • Eucalyptus oil.
  • Clove oil.
  • Lavender essential oil.

When you want to use essential oils as head lice home remedies, you can use them separately or mixed. Pour 15 to 20 drops of essential oil in olive oil. Use the blend to cover your scalp and hair and let it sit overnight. Comb your hair in the morning and rinse with hot water. Blow drying your hair with hot air is another effective way to get rid of head lice.

8. Nit Comb

Alright, a nit comb isn’t a remedy per se. However, without this trusty ally, you can’t comb out the tiny parasites hanging to your scalp and the nits hanging to your hair. As far as children are concerned, it’s better if you just use a nit comb regularly to comb their hair in addition to very mild solutions for getting rid of head lice. Children may react differently than you to a number of treatments, even if they are natural home remedies for head lice.

Necessary Items

9. Vinegar & Baby Oil

Using baby oil as one of the home remedies for head lice works similar to using almond oil or olive oil. It will smother the pests, leaving them vulnerable or dead.

Necessary Items

Vinegar comes to complete the job. After the head lice are smothered, vinegar will dry them out, as well as suffocate any remaining ones. Using this combination can lead to good results in less than two weeks. Use hot water to rinse the vinegar out of your hair or your children’s hair. Vinegar is also quite useful to dissolve the glue which keeps the eggs attached to the hair shafts.

10. Mayonnaise

It works great with salad and fries, but even better as a home remedy for head lice. Head lice home remedies work on several tiers. Some smother the head lice, while others dry them out. This is why mayonnaise, normally a delicious sauce, works better to kill head lice when it is fattier.

Necessary Items

  • Mayonnaise, as much as you wish

Cover with a shower cap and let it sit for a couple of hours or overnight if you can. Comb your hair with the nit comb in the morning and rinse it with hot water or vinegar and hot water. In less than two weeks, you should be lice-free.

11. Hot Oil Treatment

One of the best home remedies for head lice is hot oil. Lice are highly sensitive to temperature. Thus, heating some natural oil which can then be used as a hair treatment spells havoc for the parasites.

Necessary Items

Why choose neem oil or coconut oil over others? Because both these oils are less sensitive to temperature changes. At the same time, coconut oil is packed with lauric acid and compounds that have anti-microbial properties. Neem oil contains azadiractin, a compound which kills the nits, thus preventing the perpetuation of the lice life cycle.

Heat the oil, massage the hair and scalp, and let it sit for approximately 40 minutes. Comb your hair with a nit comb to remove the nits easily and the dead lice. Rinse with hot water.

12. Heat

Your hair dryer may be the best chance you stand against head lice and nits. Studies have shown that blow drying your hair with hot air destroys 55% of the lice as well as 98% of the nits. Use one of the home remedies for head lice above in combination with a tea tree oil shampoo, rinse with water and then heat dry your hair.

Necessary Items

13. Onions

Yes, the kitchen staple that normally make for delicious stews can be used to kill head lice and nits. This is due to the fact that onions are packed with sulfur, an active ingredient that works against head lice.

Necessary Items

Peel the onions and blend them to a smooth paste for one of the best home remedies for head lice. Run the paste through a sieve to extract the onion juice. Then, use the onion juice as a home remedy for head lice and apply it directly to the scalp. Cover your head with a shower cap and let the onion juice sit for approximately two hours. At the end, shampoo the hair to take out the onion smell, heat dry it, and use the nit comb to remove the dead head lice and their nits.

14. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has many uses as a home remedy. Now you can also count killing lice among them. Thanks to its acidic nature, lemon juice is one of the best home remedies for head lice. Here is how you can use lemon juice to kill off the pests and as one of the best head lice home remedies.

Necessary Items

  • 2 large lemons
  • 4 large garlic cloves

Squeeze the juice out of the lemons. Take the garlic cloves, peel them and mash them until you get a paste. Add the lemon juice until the paste becomes runny. This paste can be used to massage the hair and scalp as a hair mask. Let it sit for 45 minutes under a shower cap. Following, you can shampoo your hair and use a conditioner to de-tangle it. Make sure to use the nit comb immediately after and the hair dryer to get the best results.

There are plenty of home remedies for head lice you can use to kill lice and nits in a matter of weeks. What you should remember is that lice are parasites which hold on to bed sheets and pillows until they find a new host. Remember to wash your bed linens as soon as possible, wash your nit comb, and spread the word. If you or your kid has lice, anyone else in the family you’ve come in contact with runs the same risk.

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