The Trouble With Head Lice Home Remedies- Why They Don’t Work Against Super Lice

The Trouble With Head Lice Home Remedies- Why They Don’t Work Against Super Lice

What are Head Lice?

Before I get into the home remedies, here is a quick biography on the bugs themselves. Head lice are small, ectoparasites that live solely on humans. They do not infest pets or other animals and they cannot jump or fly. Head lice are only spread from head to head contact (sharing a hug, taking a photo together, sharing brushes/hair ties… ). Head lice reproduce at an amazing rate, laying 5-8 eggs a day. Head lice mate once, and the female is then pregnant for her entire 30-day life cycle! The nits (eggs) are cemented to the base of a single hair shaft. Head lice eggs hatch within 7-10 days of being laid.

Types of Head Lice Home Remedies

Head lice home remedies are most commonly found online and are used to control a lice infestation in the home. While the over-the-counter products are purchased to treat lice infestations, the other options are spread mostly on online forums and social media sites. Some common lice home remedies are listed below:

  • Lathering the head in mayonnaise under a shower cap overnight
  • Soaking the scalp in olive oil, coconut oil, or tea tree oil
  • Over the counter products, like: Rid, Nix, Generic brands (Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens… )
  • Why don’t lice home remedies work?

Well, there are many reasons these home remedies do not work. I guess it’s best to revisit the list above and discuss the issue with each.

Soaking the head in mayonnaise under a shower cap overnight:

For this to work, the hair must be completely covered in mayonnaise under a shower cap, overnight; this will, theoretically, suffocate the live bugs. This will work only if the following things happen. The hair needs to be coated in mayonnaise for a full 8 hours. This depends on the shower cap staying in place overnight, which is harder than it sounds if you have younger kids. Assuming that goes well, your live bugs will have died. Your biggest problem will actually come from picking out the nits (eggs) left in the hair. YOU MUST REMOVE ALL EGGS FROM THE HAIR TO COMPLETELY REMOVE THE LICE INFESTATION. Two tiny eggs left behind means a re-infestation within 2 weeks.

Soaking the scalp in olive oil, coconut oil, or tea tree oil:

The same directions as above apply here: coat all of the hair, cover the hair and remove the eggs. Be cautious: these processes are a lot slimier than mayonnaise.

Over-the-counter products:

While I’m not sure I support the home remedies above (due to their inefficiency), I do know that these over-the-counter options contain pesticides that should in NO way be allowed on your child’s scalp. Pyrethrin, malathion, permethrin, and lindane are all chemicals used in these products that are not safe to use on human skin.

In addition, lice have changed over the last decade to actually develop a resistance to these medicated shampoos and conditioners, which means that most users rewash the scalp several times to remove the bugs. The eggs must be removed again as well.

What is the safest, quickest way to remove head lice?

Strand-by-strand lice and nit removal! Using a nit comb, each individual bug and egg needs to be picked out of the hair. If two tiny nits are left behind, you can have a re-infestation within the week! There are many certified locations across the country that will provide this service for you at a cost, but in a lice treatment facility- you leave your FIRST appointment LICE-FREE!

For more information on lice, follow these links!

For more information on the strand-by-strand lice and nit removal process, Certified Lice Removal.

Publish in: Ezine Articles

Published by: Cac Stiner

Published Article: March 26, 2014