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Head lice... Need non chemical solution


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I have heard everything from using oil... Any oil on hair over night, to using a blow dryer to dry the lice.  I have heard wash all sheets and bedding, to don't bother since lice need to live on a scalp to survive.  I have heard treat everyday for weeks to only every couple days. I have even heard there is some sort of electric comb you can buy to kill the nits.

What has worked for you?


Edited by kfeusse
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Olive oil massage throughly onto hair. Wrap hair with an old towel like you would for wet hair after a shower. Leave for 8hrs so you might want to do that before bed. 

Comb with a very fine tooth metal comb. Wash and shampoo as for oily hair. 

My relatives use the unscented olive oil that is for hair treatment. We get them from Asian Indian supermarkets but they are also available at beauty supply stores.

link from a school has quite clear instructions https://www.mononagrove.org/cms_files/resources/copy035827_Head Lice - Instructions for treatment.pdf

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we cannot use chemicals as DH has Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.

 what we did was conditioner in hair overnight. fine comb in morning. change all bedding every day. Wash everything and hang in the sun

 repeat every single day until there is no more lice. It took 2 weeks.


As the kids were young at the time I sat them in front of a microscope and they looked at the lice as I found them. they were happy to sit  still and do that. We didn't have a bad infestation.  only 3 kids had them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don’t know if you are still looking for ideas, but I took regular olive oil and mixed in some lavender oil and melaleuca (tree tea) oil. I applied to the hair for about an hour and then combed through with a nit comb. I then applied a thick layer of conditioner and combed through the other a bit comb again. Afterwards we shampooed with regular shampoo. In the meantime, I changed bed sheets daily and we bagged dolls and stuffed animals. After no longer seeing live bugs, I decreased the frequency to about every other day. Two weeks after the last live bug was seen, I stopped combing through hair. 

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[oops old thread, hope you are lice free now! but adding our experience]

When we had it, we didn't actually see any live bugs.

It was the 2yo's hair.

I combed out her hair with the nit comb (combing tiny sections at a time as to not miss anything was key, I think) and rinsed the comb off in boiling water.

Applied coconut oil and combed her hair out again in the evening and each morning for a few days until I wasn't seeing anymore nits, then rechecked every couple of days for a week or two.


When it was lice in my hair a few years ago (I was combing my hair and a very weak, but alive louse fell out), DH gave it one shoddy go through, and followed by an even weaker attempt the next day. Oh, but he didn't fail to do the "ooh! saw one run!" bit while he was combing through my hair ? Besides combing through it a bit on my own with the nit comb, I kept coconut oil in it for weeks. Didn't end up with an infestation.

Didn't do anything to treat the pillows or stuffed animals in either case, and it never ended up spreading to anyone else at home (or outside of the home, as far as I was aware.)


Looking at the nits under the microscope was so cool though!


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  • 4 weeks later...

Yep, I am a firm believer in 3-4 drops of Tea Tree Oil in olive oil or other oil as it worked for us.  Cetaphil and Nix did not work, as we were still looking at live lice under the microscope after following specific instructions.   Wrap the head in cellophane overnight if you can, shampoo  the next day, followed by vinegar rinse (I hear the eggs can't attach to the shaft because of the acidity).  I understanding that combing often with the nit comb daily helps. We kept up with vinegar rinses and followed up with 1 more oil/TT treatment within a week, with continued combing and searching for at least 2 weeks...

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  • 10 months later...

Combing.  Use conditioner to stun them a bit and comb in sections.  Repeat daily for about 3 weeks.  Do a dry comb in the morning or a brisk brush with hair hanging down as well.  Sterilise combs and brushes.  After the first time I only changed towels and pillowcases.  I use chemicals though now the kids are older. Kids

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Combing through with a metal nit comb with plenty of conditioner.  Here is a good combing schedule.  That said, make sure you hit the critcal days.  We got rid of them twice this way (and it was several years between reoccurances - definitely unrelated).  And we weren't on top of EVERY day but we did hit critical days.


The thing is you want to do the follow up combing to get any nits that might hatch out before they can breed.  So don't be complacent about follow up.

We did not do much cleaning.  Used towels on couches for heads while we were doing comb throughs.  Changed pillow cases on the days we combed.  That's about it.  Bagged up stuffies during the process.  

ETA - you want a comb something like this ...


Edited by FuzzyCatz
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