Uh oh…lice! Natural Remedies for Eliminating Lice
Summer camps can be a breeding ground for head lice—close contact, shared combs and brushes, and pillows make these little critters easy to catch. Getting rid of them is a whole other story. Many over-the-counter products contain lindane, a known neuro-toxin. The EPA banned the pesticide, which has been linked with side effects from skin irritations to seizures, from agricultural use in 2006, but it is still sold in lice treatment products for children. A Massachusets congressman has called on the FDA to ban the pesticide for these products saying that they are not safe for use on children.
There are also a number of natural methods using oils and other common ingredients that work well and do not have the dangerous side effects of chemicals.
If you’re one of the unlucky ones – try this:
Coat the hair with olive or almond oil. (Vaseline and mayonnaise are not recommended—they are unnecessarily messy, and both can be difficult to wash out.)
Some people suggest coating the comb instead of the hair and re-applying the oil as needed. You may have to try both methods to see which works best for you.
Separate the hair into small sections, using a hair clip to move them out of the way. Work under a good light so you can see what you’re doing. Rinse out the comb often under running hot water as you go.
Once you have completely combed out your child’s hair, use their regular shampoo, rinse, and repeat. Make sure you wash all the towels used and clean out the lice comb. You can soak it in a 10 percent bleach solution or 2 percent Lysol solution for 30 minutes and rinse very well. Alternatively, you can soak the comb in vinegar for 30 minutes or boil it in water for 10 minutes.
Follow this procedure every day for a week. Then, for the next two weeks, comb through your child’s hair every night to make sure the lice are gone.