3 Natural Shampoo Options for Treating Head Lice

May 7th 2016

While shampoo-in additions help to kill and deter lice, the most effective and certain way of removing them is still regular combing with a proper nit comb. Use conditioner to provide a smooth stroke, clean the comb between each stroke and drown the lice as you catch them in a rubbing alcohol solution. Combine this with one of the treatments above and repeat every few days for a week or so to end the infestation.


Garlic's anti-infestation properties are well-known. While adding it to your diet can help to repel insects in any case, a strong paste of mashed garlic left on the hair for half an hour or more can help smother and repel lice directly. Adding acid in the form of lime or lemon juice also helps to combat the bugs, and you can add olive oil if you want to reduce the harsh effects on your hair and add more smothering properties. The longer you leave on the treatment, the more bugs it suffocates. Then, simply wash it out with a regular gentle shampoo.

Salt and Vinegar

In a similar manner, a mix of equal parts salt and vinegar sprayed onto the hair until the stands are saturated can help kill the crawling pests. Cover the wet hair with a shower cap and leave it for at least two hours before washing and conditioning. Again, the longer you can leave it, the more chances you have of suffocating the lice. Many people also believe the vinegar helps to loosen the sticky lice eggs, or nits, that can lead to ongoing infestation so they too are removed when you comb out the lice.

Tea Tree Oil

This natural oil has been shown to work as an insecticide in several studies, and it can be added to any natural shampoo and used as a straightforward wash. The recommended proportions are a teaspoon of tea tree oil to an ounce of shampoo. As with all natural options, if you can leave the mix on for longer, allowing it to sit under a shower cap or towel bandanna, it kills off more of the lice. Be careful not to get the oil on your scalp, as it is very strong and can cause allergic reactions.


Finding a head lice infestation is never pleasant, but it can happen to anyone who goes out in public, particularly among children. Treating head lice is often done with chemical preparations, but head lice are becoming resistant, and these preparations are not as effective as in previous years. Natural shampoo-in treatments help to remove and deter lice without dangerous chemicals, and there are fewer cases of resistance to these natural remedies.

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