Head lice are tiny insects that make their home in the hairy parts of your body, laying their eggs and feeding on small quantities of blood. These parasites can cause you to itch and scratch your head, which is the biggest symptom if you suspect your child has head lice. They are usually found in children's hair (although adults get lice too) and can be passed around easily, affecting an entire classroom of children if not taken care of quickly. If you suspect your child has head lice, it's important to keep them home until you have removed the lice from their heads to prevent spreading lice around to others. See below for ways to remove lice using natural ingredients you probably already have at home and other tips to help you remove lice and their eggs.
Be sure to invest in a nit comb before attempting any of these home remedies. The nit comb helps you to comb through the hair, pulling out the lice eggs as you do. Work on hair in sections at a time to ensure you get all of it. Nit combs can be found at your local pharmacy. After removing the nits, place them into a plastic bag, then seal it when finished and take it directly outside of your home.
Petroleum jelly will kill lice by suffocating them. Apply petroleum jelly all the way from the root of the hair to the tip on freshly washed hair. Comb it through using a nit comb. Allow the jelly to sit on the hair for about ten minutes, then wash it out. The downside to petroleum jelly is it can be hard to remove and can cause hair to become very oily.
Mayonnaise also suffocates lice, and is actually good for your hair. Comb the mayonnaise through your hair thoroughly to kill the lice, remove the dead lice, then wash and rinse to remove the mayonnaise.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is probably the best home remedy, as it kills the lice as well as the eggs. Using 4-5 drops of tea tree oil and 2 tbsp. of water in a bowl, apply the solution to your scalp and hair, massaging it in. Leave the solution on your hair overnight using a shower cap, and then remove the lice and eggs the following morning. Rinse the solution out with warm water and shampoo.
Tea tree oil is probably the best natural method to remove both the live lice and their eggs from hair. Be sure to also wash all bedding and any stuffed animals to remove any lice that may be present and trying to find their way to your child's hair again.