“Head lice” is a term that strikes fear in the hearts of parents of school-age children everywhere. “What do I do now?” is their first thought. Take heart. Although head and pubic lice are now resistant to the common chemicals that have been used to kill them in the past, there are new alternative treatments that will rid your child of this annoying pest.
The most common alternative treatment for head lice involves covering the child’s head with a thick oil or cream. Mayonnaise is a favored choice, although olive oil, conditioner, or vegetable oil will also work. The head needs to be covered with a shower cap and the oil left overnight. In the morning, the lice will have suffocated, and they can be removed with a lice comb.
The oil, tea tree oil, is a great treatment. This unique oil comes from a tree that grows in Australia. Few know of all the wonderful benefits of the oil. Several companies manufacture products that contain tea tree oil. We suggest a conditioner for the hair that includes a high component of this oil. As when using mayonnaise, leave it on the hair overnight and then comb out the head lice in the morning.
Another safe treatment method suggested for treating children’s head lice is with nutrition, using brewer’s yeast and garlic. This method provides a palatable option for improving the skin and scalp, making it inhospitable to the head lice. This dietary change must be used with the physical combing of lice nits as well for complete treatment. The change may be only moderate with diet alone. Some research, in fact, is not conclusive on the effectiveness of the yeast and garlic method alone.
Last, but not least, is the time-honored manual treatment. This method takes a lot of persistence and hard work, but the results are great and no chemicals are involved. This method means committing to long periods of thoroughly combing lice and nits from the child’s hair every day for possibly up to two weeks. It’s a labor-intensive process, but it’s a proven cure for even the toughest cases. Prior to beginning the manual treatment you might also consider having your child’s hair cut, because it will be easier to administer with the shorter hair.
With time and patience, you can rid your home and child’s head of head lice with traditional, herbal, oil-based or manual treatments.