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Head Lice: Causes, Symptoms & Natural Remedies

Head Lice: Causes, Symptoms & Natural Remedies

If you have a little child in elementary school, it’s very likely they may be exposed to lice sooner or later. So, if you observe your child or anyone else in your family scratching their scalp, it’s probably due to head lice. Lice are known for laying an abundance of eggs, so not only do you need to eradicate the lice, you’ve got to remove all the eggs left behind.

Don’t fret because there a number of natural options for banishing these pesky little pests, which have proven to be quite successful:

What You Should Know About Lice

Lice are very tiny insects that feed off the blood of their hosts. Because they can easily jump from one host to the next, if one family member has lice everyone else in the house is exposed. The same goes for your child’s classroom. If one child has lice, odds are that all the other kids in the classroom will get head lice as well.

Lice poses no danger to your health, and they are not an indication that you, your family or your home are not clean. They are an annoyance that causes a lot of discomfort, but there is some social stigma that people tend to associate with them. Lice shampoos typically contain a chemical ingredient called pyrethrin, which a lot of parents use on their children. This can be extremely effective if used as instructed. But if you’re uncomfortable using harsh chemicals on your child’s scalp, there are some natural treatments that are well worth trying first.

Recognizing Lice

Before trying to get rid of the problem, you need to confirm that what you’re dealing with is actually lice. People with dandruff and/or dry skin also scratch their scalps, and it’s easy to mistake those flakes for dead lice. This is why it’s important to find a moving specimen, so you know for sure that the problem is lice.

The easiest way to accomplish this is by using a wet lice comb. Wet your child’s hair and go through it carefully with a very fine lice comb. If the comb doesn’t pick up any lice, then lice may not be the problem. But if you find just one, there are very likely a lot more and that includes a lot of eggs as well.

Natural Treatments

  • Meticulously Comb the Hair

Use a very fine lice comb to carefully comb through the hair. This is the best natural treatment you can use to get rid of head lice. For best results this should be done every other day for at least three weeks. This will ensure that all the lice, plus the eggs they left behind have been removed.

  • Machine Wash All Bedding

You will also need to continuously wash all bedding in hot water, especially the pillowcases. Keep washing the bedding every two days for three weeks. Since lice can only live for a couple of days without a host, it won’t be necessary to deep clean your entire house.

  • Apply Essential Oils

In addition to doing the thorough comb-throughs, many parents apply Lavender or Tea Tree essential oils to their child’s scalp. They suggest this slows the lice down, making it easier to remove them. To make sure your child isn’t allergic to the essential oil, test a couple of drops on the back of their wrist. Wait a half hour to make sure there is no reaction. Pour a few drops of either oil into a spray bottle full of olive oil and shake. Wet your child’s hair before spraying it with the solution. When finished, do another meticulous comb-through.

Preventive Measures

It’s nearly impossible to prevent head lice. Some even argue that there is no way to prevent them because lice are extremely contagious. The reason is because you can’t keep your children locked up at home out of school. So, they’re going to be around other kids and will be prone to getting head lice. If you thoroughly comb through your child’s hair every month or two, you may be able to detect a lice problem early on.


Having head lice is uncomfortable, disruptive and embarrassing, so if your family is dealing with the problem, you have good reason to be upset. However, this it’s one of the common household pests, and no one is to blame. It can be comforting to know that lice pose no serious health risks and there are some very effective natural methods for getting rid of the problem.

David Lewis

David Lewis

What started out as an intention to keep pests away from my home has turned into a mission to share my research with as many people as possible. For the majority of common household pests, there are many simple yet effective do-it-yourself pest control methods to help you eliminate and keep them away.

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