Head lice (or pediculus humanus capitis) are tiny parasites infest the scalp and hair by leaving the infected person scratching all the day till they cleared from the hair.
This infestation is caused at any age but most commonly in children up to an age of 14 years, as it can transfer easily from one to another’s hair through close personal contact, sharing hair accessories (like combs, hair bands) or usage of contaminated furnishing or beds of an infected person.
They lay eggs (nits) and feed on blood for its survival. Itching, red rashes and scratching on the scalp are some symptoms experienced due to head lice infestation. If one person suffers from this problem then the whole family should take preventive measures to get rid of the problem.
Natural remedies are the best ways to clear the problem and here we are going to know all about olive oil for treating head lice.
Is Olive Oil good for Removing Head Lice?
- Olive oil deprives the oxygen to the lice which in turn makes it unable to breathe properly. This will eventually kill the head lice and clears it easily from the hair.
- It acts as smothers that suffocate the lice and makes it easier to remove it while combing the hair.
- It soothes the itching and irritation caused by the head lice on the scalp.
- It restricts the free movement of lice by making the hair greasy, which in turn makes it easy to remove the lice while combing.
How to treat Head Lice using Olive Oil:
Here, we are going to know about the 3 best olive oil methods that widely used to treat this embarrassing hair problem. These methods not only remove head lice but also make your hair well nourished.
Method – 1: (Olive Oil)
Applying olive oil will suffocate the head lice and remove the dead lice easily from your hair.
- Apply enough olive oil to the dry hair by massaging it thoroughly on the scalp.
- Wrap your head with a plastic bag or shower cap and then with a towel.
- Leave it on for about 8 hours or overnight.
- After that, remove the towel and shower cap and place the towel on the shoulders.
- Comb the hair thoroughly for few minutes till you remove the traces of head lice.
- Finally, rinse your hair with mild shampoo followed by conditioner.
- For best results, repeat the process for every 4 days of 6 treatments over a 21 day period (life cycle of head lice) to get rid of head lice completely.
Note: Or mix 1/2 cup each of olive oil and conditioner with a small amount of liquid soap. Apply it on the scalp and rinse off with a shampoo after an hour. Comb your hair thoroughly to remove dead lice.
Method – 2: (Olive Oil with Tea Tree Oil)
Tea tree oil has insecticidal properties that kill the head lice and the strong smell of tea tree oil repels the lice from transferring from one to another.
This combination will help to dissolve the gummy texture (connects the nits and hair shafts) and thus makes it easy to remove head lice and its nits (eggs) from the hair while combing.
- Stir 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in 1 ounce of natural shampoo.
- Apply it on the scalp and cover it with a shower cap and rinse off your hair with warm water after 30 – 40 minutes.
- Comb your hair to remove dead lice and repeat it regularly for twice a week for quick removal of head lice.
- Also, mix few drops of lavender oil and tea tree oil in olive oil and apply it on the hair and scalp. Cover it with a shower cap for few hours or overnight. Then comb your hair and rinse off thoroughly.
- Or else, mix 1 part of tea tree oil, 2 teaspoons of olive oil in 4 parts of neem oil. Apply it on the scalp and hair and comb your hair after few minutes to remove the lice. Shampoo your hair and repeat it regularly.
Method – 3: (Olive Oil with Apple Cider Vinegar)
Apple cider vinegar has acetic acid and other acids that kill the lice and remove it effectively. This combination will clear both lice and its nits.
- Add equal quantities of olive oil and vinegar and give it a nice stir.
- Apply this mix on the scalp and hair.
- Cover it with a shower cap or towel for an hour and wash your hair thoroughly with a shampoo and conditioner.
- Comb your hair and repeat the same regularly for once a week.
Note: Or mix few drops of tea tree oil in enough olive oil and apply it on the scalp and hair. Rinse off your hair with shampoo after 45-60 minutes and use vinegar as a final rinse. Comb your hair and repeat regularly.
Tips and Precautions:
- Olive oil doesn’t work best in clears nits, as it is unable to penetrate into the hard shell of the nit but the oil application will loosen the grip of nits with the hair shaft and makes it easy to remove from hair using a nit comb.
- It’s always recommended to rinse the clothes, bed sheets, towels, hair accessories, etc. in hot water to kill the lice and its infestation.
- Avoid head – head contact with lice-infected people and stop sharing your combs, clothes, bed sheets, sweatshirts, hair accessories with other (especially those who have lice infestation).
- Use any cheap virgin olive oil for treating this head lice problem and for best results, follow these methods regularly till you get complete relief from the lice and its nits.
- It’s best to use natural remedies for treating head lice like coconut oil, tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar for treating head lice, as they become resistant to the chemicals or toxins used in head lice killing products.
- Always take preventive steps like cover the seats with sweatshirt or jacket in the public places like in the bus, movie theater or airplane and also keep away from the infected person till they get rid of head lice.
- However, head lice won’t cause any health problem but be sure to consult your doctor if this problem becomes like an infection and causing any bumps or rashes with a pain for treatment.
Try these olive oil methods to get rid of head lice. Do you know any other olive oil methods for removing head lice? Then share your experience with us in the below comments box.