Hair and Skin
No More Head Lice
In the past head lice hit our home and after 10 chemical shampoo treatments, several loads of laundry, many hours of cleaning and spending at least $450.00, I vowed this would never happen again.
From a friend, I learned there are ways to prevent head lice by using products on the hair before an infestation begins. These products contain herbs like Rosemary and Peppermint to help prevent head lice and it sounded like a grand idea to me, so I did a little research.
Essential Oils to Use
Different sources indicate a number of essential oils for the prevention and treatment of head lice. Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Lemon, Thyme, Lavender and Geranium seem to be the most mentioned. It gets confusing when a number of essential oils are mentioned for one job. Which one should I use? What if I don’t have them all?
Don’t sweat it. My opinion is that any of these would be perfectly acceptable as a preventive method for head lice. First, use oils that you already have on your counter at home and if you only have one or two, don’t worry. Secondly, smell the oils and use what you like or more importantly what your kids like. If you have Geranium but your daughter can’t stand the smell, then don’t bother with it.
There is one essential oil that I would definitely include and that would be Melaleuca or Tea Tree oil. A fairly recent study on pubmed.gov shows the use of Melaleuca and its effectiveness on head lice. Therefore, I’d start there.
Steps to Head Lice Prevention
- Place a couple of drops of Melaleuca essential oil in your kids’ shampoo.
- Place a couple of drops of essential oil on your kids’ feet. Yes. I did say the feet. It only takes 30 seconds for an essential oil to get through the body, so by placing it on the feet your kids will be wearing the scent. It’s best to dilute an essential oil when applying topically especially on children. You can use fractionated coconut oil or another type of carrier oil. Dilute 1 drop of essential oil: 3 drops of carrier oil.
- If your child has long hair, wear it up tightly. If your child has short hair, keep it short. This will give lice less opportunity to make your child’s scalp it’s home.
- Thirdly, get a metal or glass spray bottle and spray your child’s hair in the morning. You can find these at health food stores or order online from www.aromatools.com. My favorite is taking a couple of drops of Melaleuca and Lavender essential oils and filling the rest with water. Spray your children’s clothes, backpacks, hairbrushes, pillows, bedding, pillow, stuffed animals, etc.
- Lastly, make a second spray bottle for your car. Spray car interior and car seats with the Melaleuca and Lavender blend. You might want to make a different mix for the car and add a little Eucalyptus oil for its clean lively scent.