Nature's Way - Head Lice

This is not a nice subject but an important one to discuss, especially if you have young school age children.  I wasn't sure whether or not to include this section as it's not very pleasant to talk about.  However, I remember struggling with lice in my children's hair for about one year and it drove us crazy.  At first we tried all the popular lice treatments but after a few months it seemed that the lice seemed immune to them.  It was then that I begun to research natural remedies and I did so mostly because of the high cost of the conventional methods.  We did have success and managed to keep the lice at bay only to discover that as soon as my daughter left the school she was in, the lice problem stopped.  Our problem was not lice treatment as much as it was another child in the school whose parents didn't bother with any lice treatment at all.   So if you are having a long term lice problem you might want to look into who the carrier is and have a nice little talk to them.

Sadly, most off the chemical-based head lice treatments contain pyrethrins and pesticides suspected of causing neurological damage.  Children in particular have less well-developed immune systems and a number of studies have indicated that they have a higher sensitivity to pesticide toxins.  Symptoms can include irritation, headaches, dizziness, acute hallucinations, hyperactivity, and a general lack of energy.

A London Times article of October 5, 1997 reported, "Alison and Keith Thomson from Carlisle started treating their three boys with the delousing lotion Derbac-M after an outbreak of nits at their local primary school last year. 'We kept treating them for about three or four months because they kept getting re-infected,' said Allison. 'I asked the doctor if it was okay to keep using it, and he said it was fine.' Just before Christmas Paul, 6, developed flu-like symptoms. He became lethargic and his personality changed. By Christmas he had become incontinent and could hardly walk. Doctors have said a possible cause is organophoaphates poisoning."

In that same article, Dr. Vyvyan Howard, senior lecturer in fetal and infant toxio-pathology at the University of Liverpool verified that possibility and added, "I have used these lotions [head lice treatments containing pesticides] myself in the past but knowing what I do now, I would never dream of using them again on my children."  
It has also been reported that head lice are becoming resistant to common drug treatments.  Overuse of pesticide treatments are endangering children, international media and medical literature are reporting that head lice are winning the war.  These new "super lice" are becoming more and more resistant to the chemical based treatments. As a result there is no chemical based lice treatment that is 100% effective against head lice.

Nature’s Way Alternatives

Using natural shampoo and conditioners will automatically reduce your susceptibility to head lice.  Using the bicarbonate of soda washing method and vinegar as a rinse makes your hair very slippery which means that the lice eggs cannot attach themselves to the hair shaft.  Also, using olive oil as a serum increases the slipperiness which can prevent lice.  
Let’s first look at ways to avoid getting lice in the first place.  Lice spread through hair-to-hair contact only as they do not jump, hop, or fly.  The most obvious first step is to tie up long hair and teach your children not to get their heads near to children who have lice.  Don’t share hairbrushes, hats, etc.  Also, if you have had an outbreak of lice make sure that you wash you bedding immediately in hot water and iron the bedding too.  Once all of that is in place you could look at using one of more of the following on your hair to prevent infestation:

Tea Tree Oil
Rub a little tea tree oil into your hair, especially around the ears and the base of the neck.  Lice don’t like the smell so will stay away from hair with tea tree oil on it.

Olive Oil
After washing your hair rub a small amount of olive oil into your hair to keep it nice and slippery, even if a lice does get into your hair it won’t be able to lay eggs and you will avoid an infestation of nits.

Rosemary Essential Oil
Lice don’t like rosemary oil, so add a few drops to your hairbrush and brush it through your hair.  Interestingly, rosemary is said to combat mental tiredness, loss of motivation and memory giving you an extra boost for your day.  Other essential oils such as lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint are also just as effective.

If you discover lice or nits in your hair treat it immediately with mayonnaise.  This method is messy but highly effective. The mayonnaise blocks the breathing holes of the lice and smothers them.  Not only will you be lice free but you will also have soft, shiny hair afterwards.

•    Kills lice and nits
•    Save money
•    Shiny, soft hair
•    No harmful chemicals

•    Take care to wash and rinse well or greasy hair will result.
•    Use shop bought mayonnaise and not a homemade one as this contains unpasteurised egg and you can run the risk of getting salmonella poisoning if you leave it in your hair too long.


Ingredients:        Mayonnaise

Method:    Coat your hair well with room temperature mayonnaise and leave in from two to four hours. 
After some time the mayonnaise gets a bit runny and will start running down your face and neck.  Wrap your hair up in a plastic bag or shower cap using cotton wool around the edges to catch the runny mayonnaise.

Before washing the mayonnaise out, run a metal nit comb through your hair to remove all the nits. 

Repeat daily until there are no more lice in the hair.

Repeat the treatment again in 10 days to kill any eggs that may have remained and hatched.

More treatment recipes:
There are many other simple ways to get rid of lice using natural ingredients, here are some examples:

Olive Oil
Olive oil does the same as mayonnaise but is a little easier to wash out of the hair.

Castor Oil
Castor oil does the same as olive oil.

Hair Straighteners or Curlers
Hot iron straightening or curling melts the nit glue and kills lice, which is very effective in getting rid of a lice problem. 

Now it's your turn.
If you have any lice treatment tips that work well, please share them with us.  Find out more about Nature's Way here.


  1. I'm all about natural alternatives! This post was so informative! Thank you for sharing. With three children under the age of six, the odds are that I may have to deal with this issue!

    New follower from the Frugal hop,,,,

    1. Angela6.6.12

      Thanks for stopping by Krista, glad the info was useful. x

  2. This remedy helped me, off the net. Coat the hair with cheap (or any) Conditioner, leave on for minimum of half an hour. (Apparently lice can hold their breath, so need to be soaked to death, that's why washing/ rinsing doesn't work).

    Wash off Conditioner as normal and use a metal lice comb to clear dead bugs out of the hair. If you brush morning and night with the nit comb, you pick up newly hatched nits and can get rid of them. It's a painful job for a week or so, but diligence gets rid of them. You can do another Conditioner soak after a couple of days if needed. Also do use your nails at checking time, to pick new eggs off hair and gradually the problem DOES clear up.

    Using pale sheets and pillow cases, helps you see any stray nits that come off the head during sleep and you can remove them by hand, and dust them off the sheets. No need to wash every day, just check in the morning, under good light.