Wondering how to get rid of lice using commercial over-the-counter treatments and top home remedies? This article discusses both. Some of the treatments and methods for ‘how to get rid of lice permanently’ come with certain disadvantages (read side effects) while others are completely natural and safe. So do evaluate your options before choosing the lice remedy that works best for you.
1. Use pediculicides
Over the counter head lice treatment medication contains Pediculicides. All these work in the same manner: you need to apply the solution to your hair and leave it on for 20 minutes. The disadvantage with this home remedy to get rid of lice is that it does not get rid of the lice eggs and nymphs.
2. Use permethrin based shampoos
Over the counter permethrin based shampoos are often the first line of defense when looking for ways to get rid of lice and lice eggs fast. 1% Permethrin based shampoos are available under various brand names. They leave a creamy residue and strong odor on the hair. This is necessary to kill lice and lice eggs fast. On the downside, some of these products really smell bad.
3. Use pyrethrin based products
Pyrethrin is derived from Chrysanthemums-so if you are allergic to these flowers, you might get an allergic reaction to shampoos and solutions containing Pyrethrin. However, Pyrethrin is considered even more effective in killing lice permanently. You must reapply the Pyrethrin based lice treatment every 3 days since nearly 30% of eggs remain viable after once application.
4. Use prescription topical medicines
If the above best remedies to get rid of lice fast and permanently do not work-then your doctor might prescribe Malathion or Lindane based antibiotic medicines for lice treatment. They come under different brand names such as Ovide and are particularly effective in killing lice eggs. The medicines can come in form of creams, gels, lotions or shampoos. (Note: Lindane has been banned by the FDA owing to toxicity. Over time, it can get absorbed by the scalp causing serious side effects. Despite the ban, it is still available in shampoo forms-so do exercise caution when using this on humans/pets for lice treatment.)
5. Use oral medication
If you (or your pet) are not responding to topical lice treatments, you can take oral medications which are very effective on massive lice infestations. These come in form of drugs like TriMethoprin Sulphamethoxazole or Ivermectin. These are both highly effective tools for getting rid of resistant lice infestations.
Now let us discuss ways to get rid of lice in your home with natural remedies.
6. Get rid of lice using lemon juice and garlic paste
Crush a few cloves of garlic and mix them with lemon juice. You will need at least 4 tablespoons of juice for treating your entire scalp. Apply all over the head and wait for 30 minutes before washing off. Use cold water for rinsing this out. If you do not like the smell of garlic, you can mix some butter with lemon juice instead. Repeat this remedy every 4 days.
7. Get rid of lice with vinegar, egg yolk and lemon juice
Vinegar is one of the best home remedies to kill head lice. Mix the yolk of 2 eggs, some lemon juice and a tablespoon of white or apple cider vinegar. Rub this in your scalp and allow it to set for at least one hour. Using cold water wash it off. This remedy can effectively kill lice and nits fast.
8. Get rid of lice and nits with vinegar and olive oil
Take a spray bottle and fill it up with white vinegar mixed with some olive oil. Shake it before use. Spray the mixture all over the hair and scalp. Comb your hair with a fine toothed nit comb. You will see all the nits and lice eggs getting eliminated using this method. Now shampoo your hair as you normally do. You can also use baby oil or mineral in place of olive oil to mix in equal parts with Vinegar as an effective lice treatment.
9. Use Listerine
Listerine mouthwash contains Eucalyptol, Thymol and Menthol. All these ingredients work in tandem to get rid of lice, eggs and nymphs permanently. Simply wet your hair with Listerine and cover it with a shower cap. Let it remain for about 2 hours before shampooing as usual. You can even follow this up with a Vinegar rinse to additionally kill the remaining lice and nits.
10. DIY homemade Lice shampoo remedy
Use the following DIY homemade lice killing shampoo recipe.
- Salt– It is a natural antiseptic that can kill lice fast
- Vinegar– Natural anti parasitic agent
- Tea tree oil-Natural antimicrobial, anti-parasitic agent
- Peppermint oil-Natural antiseptic, antimicrobial
- Dawn dish-washing soap (or any liquid dish detergent)
Mix together all the above. Do not use more than 10 drops of essential oils. This homemade lice killing shampoo can be used on humans and pets suffering from lice infestation. Use this shampoo each time you wash your hair when looking for solutions how to get rid of lice in your home.
11. Use petroleum jelly
Petroleum jelly can effectively get rid of lice in a single wash. Apply generous amounts of petroleum jelly all over your hair and cover with a shower cap. Leave this overnight, then wash off the next morning.
12. Get rid of lice and eggs with mayonnaise
Another very effective home remedy to curb lice, nits and larvae is using mayonnaise. Mayonnaise contains egg which suffocates the lice. You can make a hair mask for lice using Mayonnaise, petroleum jelly and some olive oil. Not only will this mask get rid of lice, it can also give you softer shinier hair!
13. Get rid of lice and nits through combing
All of the above home remedies to get rid of lice, lice eggs and nits will be more effective if you continue combing your hair with a nit comb. Comb in different directions as the lice tend to run fast. Also make sure to sterilize the comb in alcohol after each use.
14. Avoid sharing combs and towels with others. Wash all clothing
This is very essential remedy to prevent the lice infestation from getting out of hand. A single louse can lay thousands of eggs –so make sure you wash all bedding, pillow covers, towels etc in hot water. Dry in the sun and repeat every few days.
We hope these 14 home remedies for lice help you nip your lice and nits problem in the bud!