Head lice is a common and troublesome condition manifested in school going children and it can become quite an issue for the entire household once it enters a home. Most of the time head lice spread via contact and sharing items of personal use such as combs, hair brushes and towels. These tiny parasitic creatures live close to the scalp and suck on the human blood. What makes this problem more acute is the fact that the small eggs called nits are located close to the hair shaft and are very hard to pull out. Many of them are able to stay in the hair and later grow into head lice and cause a great deal of irritation and trouble.
Treatment for Head Lice
The conventional treatment for head lice involves regular use of a delousing shampoo, preferably the one which contains permethrin as the main chemical as this one has no side effects. On the other hand, lindane based delousing shampoos are dangerous for human use because they can have life threatening side effects such as brain cancer and problems related to nervous system. After choosing the right shampoo, it has to be applied to the scalp and left for about 10 minutes to have its full impact. After rinsing the hair with plain water, it has to be washed with a mixture of water and vinegar in equal ratio, which enables it to get rid of dead nits. The process has to be repeated every 10 days to ensure that the head lice do not come back.
Home Remedies to get rid of head lice
Delousing shampoos can be used regularly for removing head lice and plenty of cleaning and care is required after that, but these things do not always work and they can be expensive as well as time consuming. Alternatively, you can try out some simple home remedies to prove effective for this purpose.
Here is a list of top 10 best home remedies for head lice:
#1. Onion juice can be massaged generously into the scalp and left in it for around an hour. Wash thoroughly with an effective shampoo to get rid of the odor. This inexpensive and easy home remedy has been proved to give excellent lice removal benefits.
#2. Application of mayonnaise to the scalp and leaving the same overnight can go a long way in stifling the head live and facilitating their removal from the hair for good. It is however, not useful for nits.
#3. Another home remedy for head lice is a paste of almonds mixed with almond juice. 10 peeled and crushed almonds are to be crushed and mixed with 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and applied to the scalp for half an hour. Wash and rinse hair to get rid of head lice.
#4. Raw custard apple seeds make another useful home remedy for head lice. The seeds are to be crushed into a powder, which is to be applied on the scalp overnight. The head should be covered with a piece of cloth so that the powder does not get in contact with the eyes. Alternatively, you can use it in a paste form by mixing it with water. Wash hair the next morning for removing head lice.
#5. Petroleum jelly can be applied overnight to the scalp and removed the next morning with the help of baby oil, followed by shampooing the hair. The process needs to be repeated for several nights in a row.
#6. Alum is another great home remedy for removing head lice. Rinse hair regularly with a solution made of 3 g alum with a liter of water. Repeat the process for 10 days, but it is wise to know that the treatment applies only to lice and not nits.
#7. A mixture of 2 teaspoon each of lemon juice and garlic juice applied to the scalp for half an hour before every hair wash is another useful home remedy for alleviating this problem.
#8. A homemade concoction of a piece of camphor in some coconut oil can be massaged regularly on the scalp as a classic home remedy for head lice.
#9. Boil some basil and need leaves in some water for some time and use the solution to rinse hair regularly for getting rid of head lice.
#10. Next amongst the top 10 best remedies for head lice is tobacco paste, which is to be applied on the scalp and left there for 2-3 hours, followed by shampooing of hair.
Prevention of Recurrence
Removal of lice is tough but prevention of recurrence is the bigger issue. Disinfection of all the items of personal use after lice removal is a must for this purpose. These include clothing, bed sheets, towels, combs and hair brushes. Awareness has to be created regarding avoiding contact in school and playground. Removal of nits is also essential, and so is regular examination to look for re-appearance.