How to Treat Lice Naturally

Last week, my kids came home from school with a letter telling parents that there has been a large number of lice cases at the school.  Thankfully, we weren't affected this time, but I still wanted to learn how to treat lice naturally.  I've talked to friends who have battled lice this year or who have friends who have, and they claim that popular lice treatments just aren't working this year.  They do, however, report that home treatments for lice are effectively killing them.


The most popular home remedy for lice is to suffocate them with an oil.  Chemical shampoos like Nix work by suffocating lice, so this is a very effective treatment.  Some experts feel that suffocating does not kill the louse, but it does slow them down so you can catch them.

You can coat your child's head with olive oil, real mayonnaise, or almond oil to smother lice.  With the oil in the hair, use a lice comb to comb small sections of hair.  Use a good light so you can see lice, nits, or eggs.  Once you have combed all of your child's hair, wash her hair as usual and rinse well.

Repeat daily for a week, and continue to check for lice every night for another week.

Male human head louse 

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a popular natural lice treatment.  Look for a shampoo with tea tree oil, or make your own by adding 3-5 drops of the oil to an ounce of shampoo.  You can also add up to 5 drops to coconut or olive oil.   Let the tea tree oil in oil or shampoo sit on the hair for half an hour before rinsing and washing as usual.

You can also add 15 drops of the oil to the water in your washing machine to kill lice when you treat affected clothes and towels.

Never apply tea tree oil directly to the skin or scalp.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Spray apple cider vinegar on the hair before and after washing it.  Let it sit for a few minutes before you shampoo.  Towel dry hair and comb with a lice comb.  The vinegar helps remove nits from the hair.

These natural lice treatments will help kill lice on your child's hair, but you should also treat your home.  Place stuffed animals and toys in garbage bags for a week to kill lice.  Vacuum your furniture and carpets thoroughly, and wash bedding, clothing, and towels in hot water to kill lice and eggs.