There are few things more unpleasant than head lice. Not only are these critters itchy but they are highly contagious. This can make you really unpopular among your friends and you can be sure that you’re not going to be getting a whole lot of hugs for a while until you sort the problem out!
Head lice are also notoriously difficult to get rid of. That’s because they mature quickly and reproduce even faster, which is why the best solution is to get rid of them quickly in a single sitting. Water won’t cut it.
The problem is that a lot of chemical head lice treatments also won’t cut it. This is largely down to the fact that lice have evolved to become resistant to many of these treatments. Not only that, but the abrasive chemicals found in many of these products can actually be harmful to your scalp.
The good news? There’s another way!
Tea tree oil is just one of several home remedies that can help you to get rid of head lice using purely natural, non-toxic and effective means.
So what is so good about tea tree oil for lice?
Mainly, the benefits come down to two key ingredients. Those ingredients are 1,8-cineole and terpinen-4-ol. Both of these have natural insecticidal properties, which make them effective at killing off insects – and head lice.
The other benefit of tea tree oil comes down simply to its consistency. Tea tree oil can effectively smother lice and make it hard for them to breathe. More importantly though, it is a lubricant which makes it hard for head lice to attach nits to the hair shaft using the gummy adhesive that they employ. This means that when you then go through the hair with a fine comb, it will remove those nits much more easily, along with the lice.
Finally, seeing as tea tree oil is a natural insecticide, you can bet that head lice don’t like it very much. In fact, they can smell it from a way off and this is actually enough to put them off of reinfesting the hair. Tea tree oil for lice prevention is important because if you have head lice, that means that you got them from someone and there’s a good chance that they still have them. Preventing reinfection means that you should be able to prevent them from passing the lice back to you!
To use tea tree oil for lice, you have a number of options. The first option is simply to use the oil directly. However, it’s a good idea to always dilute the substance a little first as it can be very strong. Apply a few drops along with 50% water and then leave the application overnight. You’ll probably want to sleep on a towel. In the morning, comb the hair out with a fine tooth comb to remove the dead lice. Then wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner – for added points, consider looking for a product that contains tea tree oil as one of the main ingredients.
Another way you can use tea tree oil is as a spray. This is safe and easy and is gentler on sensitive skin. To use it, find an empty spray bottle and fill it with water. Then add 3-4 drops of tea tree oil and shake. You can now simply spray the solution onto your scalp and hair and then leave it in until you next wash. Because the application is thinner, you shouldn’t need to worry about it dripping down your head! Again, keep combing and stop only once you stop finding lice.
Another option is to make a more elaborate concoction with coconut oil. Combine a teaspoon of the oil with one ounce of a natural shampoo and three tablespoons of coconut oil. Apply this to the scalp and hair and the added viscosity will make it even harder for them to breathe. Better yet, coconut oil is also very rich in a range of nutrients to help nourish the hair and scalp – which will be needed after living with lice for a while!
Don’t leave this combination on for more than 30 minutes at a time though and once again be sure to comb out dead lice with a fine comb. Repeat this 2-3 times a week.
Another interesting combination is to use your tea tree oil with lavender oil. Like tea tree, lavender oil also works as insecticide, which means it can be doubly effective when you combine the two. Add one teaspoon and 1.2 teaspoon lavender oil with some water again, apply to the scalp and hair and leave for an hour. Then comb thoroughly once again with the nit comb – you know the drill by now – and wash the hair normally. Do this 2-3 times per week.
There are many more things you can combine tea tree oil with too, which include olive oil, vodka and other alcohols. Any of these options will help to provide even more insecticidal properties and ensure that you can simply remove the lice.
If none of these options work though, then it’s still worth checking with your doctor. They might be able to offer more extreme measures to remove the lice if necessary. But wherever possible, using gentler and more natural options will help you to avoid damage to the scalp and to the skin and is of course preferable! Of course you can still have reactions, so do be careful to look out for signs of irritation and to stop at once if you notice any.
Otherwise, make sure that you avoid knocking heads with people as lice need contact to spread. Eat a healthy and nutritious diet and make sure to look after skin with the right products and treatment. Your skin has natural defenses and if you eat right and protect your immune system you can help to provide further natural fortification against these irritating little pests.