Head Lice : Causes, Prevention and Home Remedies

Head lice are tiny parasitic insects found living amongst human hair. These tiny parasites are wingless and feed on blood which they draw through the scalp. Though these lice only feed on small amounts of blood at a time, they may cause itching and irritation on the scalp.

They can cause infections and wounding of the scalp due to persistent itching and scratching. People living in unclean and crowded places are more prone to head lice. These tiny wingless creatures are of a grayish brown shade and are extremely tiny, at the size of a pinhead upon hatching, and full grown specimens reaching a size of around 3mm. Head lice are incapable of flight and unlike fleas they cannot jump, nor can they swim. So the only mode through which they can spread is through direct contact.

Treatments for head lice infestations need to be intensive in part because of the short life cycles of lice, which also implies that they have rapid breeding cycles. Once hatched a louse will reach maturity within six to ten days and the female will start to lay eggs on the seventh day itself. So whether you are using medicated shampoos or home remedies for head lice, the treatments for head lice need to be rigorous and regular.

In order to eliminate head lice, one can look around the house for things that can be used for home remedies.

. Wash your hair with vinegar. This should be rubbed directly onto the scalp, kept for an hour or two and then rinsed with water.It will kill all the nits in two days.

. Apply coconut oil to your head after shampoo and condition.

. Add ten to fifteen drops of tea tree oil into shampoo bottle and use it daily.

. Rub Listerine mouth wash on your head. This will kill all the lice.

. Massage your head with mayonnaise and comb it after 2 hours. This will kill all the lice and their eggs.

. Apply a mixture of lemon and butter on your head, wait for 15 seconds and then rinse your head.

. Remove the eggs with a nit comb. Before doing this, rub olive oil in the hair or run the metal comb through beeswax. This helps make the nits easier to remove.

. A mixture of lemon and butter left on the head for about fifteen seconds and rinsing it thereafter can do the job.

. The application of Vaseline may also help by suffocating and then removing the lice.

. Completely soak hair with olive oil and wrap it in towel for 1-2 hours. Rinse and wash as usual.

. Use the medicine shampoo. First rinse and dry the hair. Then apply the medicine to the hair and scalp. After 10 minutes, rinse it off. Check for lice and nits again in 1 week and repeat the treatment if necessary.

Easy to prevent, but difficult to treat - good hygiene is the most effective prevention of head lice.

.Avoid sharing personal items like combs, brushes, towels, pillows, hats, headwear, etc.
.Avoid head to head contact with any person.
.Trim your hair to a shorter length as lice can not find suitable environment in short hair.
.Do a regular check in and around the nape of the neck, behind the ears and scalp, especially for children.
.If one member of the family is infected with lice, treat all the members of the family at the same time to prevent lice spreading from one head to another.