Stave the itch of head lice with at-home remedies

Head lice have away of sneaking into your home and make a point of staying.

POLOKWANE – Several schools have reported dreaded head lice doing the rounds and appealed to parents to take extra care in treating their children’s hair.

They provided several tips for parents to deal with the problem but insist the best form of protection is early detection.

Different medications are available at local chemists that will assist in the process of removing the stubborn pests.

Some people however, believe in trusted home remedies such as the following:

1. Vinegar

A very easy and effective treatment to eliminate head lice is vinegar. The high amount of acetic acid present in vinegar can successfully kill head lice. Plus, the vinegar helps dissolve dead nits.

Here’s how: Mix equal amounts of vinegar and mineral oil. Apply this mixture to your scalp and hair before going to bed. Cover your head and hair with a shower cap and leave it on overnight. The next morning, wash your hair with your regular shampoo.

Alternatively, dilute vinegar with an equal amount of water and use the solution to rinse your freshly shampooed hair. Leave it on for 10 minutes, and then wash your hair again with fresh water.

Use either of these treatments two or three times a week for two months. Also, comb your hair thoroughly with a nit comb after using these remedies.

2. Mayonnaise

Another popular home treatment for head lice is mayonnaise. Mayonnaise can successfully suffocate the little monsters and eventually kill them. The Minnesota Department of Health lists mayonnaise as an acceptable method for treating head lice.

Here’s how: Coat your hair thoroughly with mayonnaise. Cover it tightly with plastic or a shower cap. You can even wrap a towel over the plastic. Leave this on for a minimum of five to six hours then wash your hair well with your regular shampoo. Dry your hair using a hair dryer as the hot air will ensure any remnants of the lice die then use a nit comb to remove the lice and nits.

Repeat once a week for about two months.

3. Coconut Oil

This kitchen staple is an excellent smothering agent and also good for your hair. Coconut oil will suffocate the lice and eventually kill them.

Here’s how: Heat three tablespoons of coconut oil and add a little camphor oil to it. Apply this mixture all over your head, and massage it into your scalp. Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it on overnight.

The next morning, wash your hair with shampoo. When dry, comb with a nit comb. Use this treatment daily for five days to eradicate lice.

4. Onions

Onions can be used as a natural remedy to treat head lice. Onions are high in sulfur that kills head lice.

Here’s how: Grind four to five onions in a blender or food processor to make a paste. Put the paste in a sieve and press it with a spoon to extract the juice. Massage your scalp with the juice, and cover your head with a shower cap. Leave it on for at least two hours. Shampoo your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water. Dry your hair and use a nit comb to remove all the head lice.

Repeat this treatment daily for three consecutive days, and then do it once a week for two months.

5. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a natural insecticide that can effectively kill head lice and help soothe the itching.

Here’s how: Mix together three to five drops of oil for every one ounce of shampoo. Use the mixture to shampoo your hair. When dry, use a nit comb to remove the lice. Use this mixed shampoo for at least two months.

Alternatively, mix three tablespoons of olive oil and one teaspoon of tea tree oil. You can also add one teaspoon of eucalyptus oil. Apply the solution to your hair and scalp thoroughly. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes, and then shampoo your hair. Use this treatment twice a week for one to two months.

Note: Be careful when using tea tree oil as it is quite strong.

Parents who are unsure of what to use can get in contact with their child’s school as they will, in all likelyhood, have a list of products or home remedies to try.

[email protected]

Riana Joubert

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