Lice stink. There’s just not two ways about that. If you’re finding this post *before* there’s a problem, then try these 5 tips to prevent lice, in hopes that you’ll never need it. If it’s already “too late,” then save that one for after the treatment. Keep reading to learn how to treat safely, effectively, and without chemicals using this natural lice killing hair mask!
By Katie Mae Stanley, Contributing Writer
School is back in session and your child gets sent home with lice…
It happens. You are not a bad mom, you don’t have a dirty house or poor hygiene, it is just a fact of life. There are not many kids that get through childhood without having lice at least once. Don’t believe the myths people try to tell you.
It’s awesome when you have a natural arsenal on hand to prevent lice from the get go but sometimes life just happens and you forget. In that case, you are probably wanting to get those nasty
boogers lice gone as soon as possible, so your house and kiddo is lice free and not miss any more school or activities.
There are several effective things that you can/should do to treat lice naturally. A good place to start is a natural lice killing hair mask that is a cinch to whip up!
Why is a natural lice killing hair mask is so important?
It’s simple, lice can hold their breath for up to 8 hours. (Source) Nasty bonus tip, they can also swim! I’ve seen them with my own eyes. A natural lice killing hair mask of coconut oil, with specific essential oils, will suffocate lice overnight while you sleep!
Lice can live up to 30 days. After mating, female lice can lay up to 10 nits per day. (Source) Lice generally lay nits 1/4 inch away from the scalp, but they can be found anywhere on the hair. (Believe me, I have found lice down to the ends of the hair shaft before.)
Natural Lice Killing Hair Mask
1/4 cup coconut oil
10 drops melaleuca essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
If the coconut oil is solid, gently heat on the stove. Mix the coconut oil, melaleuca essential oil, and lavender essential oil in a small glass jar. Allow to cool if needed, or place in the refrigerator until slightly firm.
Directions for Use:
Carefully massage the lice killing hair mask into the entire scalp, covering all the hair. The length of hair will determine how much of the oil you will need. You may need to double or triple the lice killing hair mask recipe if you are working with very thick, long hair. Alternatively, you may need to use less if you are treating short or fine hair.
Cover the head with a shower or swim cap, wrapping with a towel if desired to prevent oil from seeping out and go to bed. Leave the oil in the hair for at least 8 hours.
In the morning shampoo, to remove the lice killing hair mask. You will need to shampoo more than once as the coconut oil can be difficult to get out of the hair. Some people find it beneficial to add a degreasing dish soap to the shampoo to aid in removing the hair mask.
Comb any dead lice and the nits out with a lice comb. This can take a few hours if there are a large number of nits.
Blow dry the hair. Heat is effective in killing lice that may have survived (though this is very unlikely) and helps loosen the “glue” that attaches the nits to the hair shaft.
For more tips on treating lice naturally, check out this article.
The Players in the Natural Lice Killing Hair Mask
Coconut oil coats the hair, preventing the lice from moving up and down the hair shaft. This makes it much easier comb the lice out. It also, when left on for enough time, suffocates the lice. (Source)This does not kill the nits. You will need to treat again in about 7- 10 days when the nits (eggs) hatch. I prefer to comb out the nits, along with the dead lice as a preventative measure. Even if you think you have combed all of the nits out, it is still wise to treat again in case you missed even a few, remember that they can lay up to 10 eggs a day.
I prefer to comb out the nits, along with the dead lice as a preventative measure. Even if you think you have combed all of the nits out, it is still wise to treat again in case you missed even a few. Remember that they can lay up to 10 eggs a day.
Melaleuca Essential Oil (Tea Tree Oil)
Melaleuca essential oil, also widely know as Tea Tree is a natural insecticide that also contains antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiviral properties. This article offers an in-depth look at the use of melaleuca essential oil being used to treat lice.
I have personally used melaleuca essential oil to treat and prevent lice for over 8 years. It was the first things I added to my natural lice treating arsenal. It can be added to shampoo to aid in the ridding and prevention of lice.
If the person being treated experiences itchiness from the tea tree oil, rinse out immediately. I have never personally experienced this with my family.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender, like melaleuca, it is a natural insecticide. It also repels lice. If you are sensitive melaleuca, lavender can be used on its own, though of the two, melaleuca is the more effective.
This study showed that a lotion containing 10% Tea Tree oil and 1% lavender oil were 97.6% effective in eliminating lice while, while insecticides such as piperonyl butoxide and pyrethrins where only 25% effective.
Other Essential Oil Beneficial for Treating Lice:
*If you are treating children under the age of two, consider using only coconut oil, or coconut oil with one or two drops of lavender essential oil.*