Powerful and Effective Lice Treatment at Home
If you head to a local pharmacy to grab an over-the-counter lice treatment product, you’re often confronted with a variety of solutions that contain ingredients that are toxic to brain cells. Not exactly what you want to be putting into your child’s hair. In addition, there are side effects to many of these products, such as burning, itching, numbness, rash, redness, and swelling of the scalp. Again, these are not what you want to put your child through.
There is a faster and safer over-the-counter solution, and that is to use LiceGuard®’s Lice & Egg Shampoo or LiceGuard®’s RobiComb®, which zaps and kills lice and eggs on contact. You can also use LiceGuard®’s Lice Repellent Hair Spray to proactively prevent lice infestations when your child is heading into a situation where lice may be a risk, such as a sleepover party, summer camp, a lice outbreak at your child’s school, etc. All of these products can be used at home easily, quickly, 100% safely and without a mess.
If you’re online looking for an at-home lice treatment, you’ll run across many articles and blog posts dispensing advice about using everyday products found around the home to combat lice. Do these home remedies work? Are they as powerful and effective as LiceGuard®’s Shampoo or RobiComb®? Should we all simply be reaching into the refrigerator for mayonnaise to scoop onto our children’s heads?
Some of the advice you’ll find online is useful and can be trusted, but much of it is simply inaccurate and could lead to many more days of lice infestations, itchy heads around your home and the misery of repeated applications and frustrated family members (not to mention the never-ending loads of laundry and the repeated house cleanings).
Let’s examine some of the purported at-home solutions using everyday products, and explore the underlying truth (as well as falsehoods) of these options.
One of the most common recommendations you’ll find online for at-home lice treatments using everyday items around the home is mayonnaise. The common advice is to massage mayonnaise into the hair and then cover it with a shower cap prior to going to bed. It’s then instructed to wash out the mayonnaise in the morning, prior to combing out any dead eggs, and then repeat the process days later.
One of the challenges with using mayonnaise is the mess that it creates. Another issue is the smell. Especially when dealing with children, using mayonnaise can be a challenge.
Also, and most importantly, according to the Mayo Clinic, there's little to no evidence of the effectiveness of mayonnaise in treating lice.
Household vinegar is proposed as an option for lice treatment by certain individuals and websites online. While vinegar can help in eliminating nits (head lice eggs) and possibly in killing nymphs (young lice that cannot yet lay eggs), vinegar actually does not kill adult head lice.
The acetic acid in vinegar is not strong enough to dissolve the protective exoskeleton of nits and therefore will not kill them. However, it will help to loosen the glue holding the nits to the hair follicle so that they will be easier to remove with the proper lice comb.
If you try to use vinegar as your sole solution at home for lice treatment, you very well may be disappointed.
Although some people online espouse coconut oil as a lice treatment solution, it is often not effective. Also, as with mayonnaise, coconut oil is a solution that relies on smothering rather than immediately killing lice. As lice can hold their breath for up to eight hours, you’ll need to rely on a shower cap as you sleep with the oil in your hair for the night. As the nits won’t die from suffocation, you’ll have to comb them out, and repeat the process after a few days.
Similar to coconut oil, you can try smothering the lice with essential oils, such as tea tree oil, lavender oil, clove oil or cinnamon leaf oil. Sometimes coating a comb rather than the hair works better than oiling up one’s hair. As with coconut oil, you’ll want to keep a thick coating of the oil in the hair and add a shower cap for sleeping through the night, and then repeat the process a few days later. Also, test a small drop of the oil on the back of your child’s hand prior to application to the hair, as some children may have an allergic reaction to certain oils.
Using a smothering technique as described above, along with sleeping with a shower cap for the night, can indeed suffocate lice. It does not, however, kill the eggs.
For the treatment to work you still need to go through the hair with a nit comb and remove all of the eggs. Then repeat the process a few days later, and possibly again and again until absolutely no eggs are uncovered. If you miss any of the eggs in the process, it’s possible for them to hatch and re-infest the head. This is why it’s critical to repeat the process until all signs of eggs have been completely eliminated.
Using an Epsom salt solution with water can help to get rid of lice. But be careful, as you’ll want to avoid eye contact with the salt. This can be tricky when dealing with children. Also, be aware that table salt does not work, and sea salt and kosher salt may not dissolve sufficiently.
While hair dye can be effective at killing head lice, it does not kill nits. It’s also not advisable to subject children to the application of hair dye, so this is generally not a good solution for lice treatment at home.
Effective Lice Treatment at Home
As you can see, looking at everyday products for a DIY lice treatment solution at home, although certainly safer for your child than products containing brain toxins, are not a panacea. They are often messy, time-consuming, not kid-friendly and only partially effective.
Instead, if you really want a powerful lice treatment at home, head to your local Walgreens, CVS or Walmart and grab one of LiceGuard®’s lice treatment offerings, which are fast, effective, and 100% safe for children. The RobiComb® electric lice “zapping” comb kills all lice and eggs on contact. It’s non-toxic, as it uses uses MicroCharge technology to zap lice on contact with an electric pulse that kills lice but is safe and does not hurt kids. One treatment and you’re done. No more emptying jars of mayonnaise on your child’s head and no more days and possibly weeks of repeated treatments!
- LiceGuard Webmaster