Natural ways to help you get rid of head lice or nits include washing your hair with vinegar and water, applying a mixture of essential oils to the scalp, and using a fine-tooth or electric lice comb (available online or at some pharmacies) to physically remove these insects.
These are generally easy to do at home and are safe for use on children. Many involve the use of ingredients that naturally destroy lice and nits. Learn more about home remedies for lice that use natural products for minimal side effects.
When treating lice, you are advised to wash all clothes, bedsheets, soft toys, brushes and hair accessories belonging to the infected person in hot water (with a temperature of at least 140°F or 60°C) for around 30 minutes. This will help to remove any eggs and lingering nits or lice that may be hidden on the surfaces.
How to get rid of head lice
The five steps for getting rid of nits and head lice naturally are:
1. Wash your hair with vinegar
The first step is to wash your hair with a mixture of vinegar and warm water. Vinegar contains properties that kill and get rid of nits and lice. This mixture should be applied directly to the whole scalp.
- 1 cup of vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup of warm water
Mix 1 cup of vinegar with 1 cup of warm water. Next, distribute this mixture onto the scalp and cover your hair with a hair cap. Let this sit for approximately 30 minutes. Then, wash your hair normally with your usual shampoo.
2. Use an essential oil mixture
The second step is to apply a mixture of essential oils directly on your scalp and hair, put a hair cap on and leave the mixture to work for 20 minutes.
- 50 mL of coconut oil;
- 2 to 3 drops of essential tea-tree oil;
- 2 to 3 drops of ylang ylang essential oil;
- 50 mL of apple cider vinegar.
Mix all the ingredients together and apply directly on hair. Leave it in for 20 minutes and then wash it out with your usual shampoo.
3. Comb your hair using a fine-tooth comb
The third step is to run a fine-tooth comb through your whole hair, going through each section carefully in order to make sure that every part of your hair gets thoroughly visualized and combed.
Instead of using a fine-tooth comb, you can also use an electric lice comb on dry hair, which is even more efficient in detecting and eliminating lice. This comb makes a continuous sound while it is turned on and a more intense and higher-pitched sound when it detects a louse. The electric comb emits an ultrasound frequency that is not sensed by the person but is lethal to lice.
4. Wash your clothes in hot water
Lice can be transmitted through brushes, combs, hats, pillow-cases or bed sheets. Therefore, it is very important to wash these objects frequently, to avoid a new infestation or transmission of the parasite to another person.
All objects that have been in contact with affected scalps (such as bed sheets, blankets, clothes, soft toys, hair bands and ties, hats, caps, carpets, pillow cases and sofa covers) need to be washed in hot water at a temperature over 140°F or 60°C in order to kill the lice.
5. Repeat all steps after 9 days
Lice have a life cycle of 9 days and, therefore, nits that were not removed in the first treatment can end up developing into lice within this time frame. Therefore, nine days after the first treatment we recommend you repeat all the steps. This will ensure that all lice are eliminated.