How to treat head Lice at homeEasy and Safe Remedies for your child

EEEEK!! Your child has come home with nits and head lice.  

It happens, to most of us. Luckily, although they are a pain, there are a few easy ways of treating nits and lice using products from your cupboard at home.

Head Lice Removal CombA good thing all parents should have at home at all times is a lice comb, they are available from your local Pharmacy for just a few dollars (see example). If you aren’t sure what lice and nits look like, check out this Youtube video so you can get a good idea!



What do Nits or Head Lice Lice Look Like?

If you have never seen head lice before, sometimes they can be hard to detect.  Of course, there is scratching, but most nits and head lice seem to like the nape of the neck and infect there first, so check that area first.  If you have no idea what you are even looking for, this Youtube video will really help!  The best description I can think is ‘large white pepper’ in the hair.  But you will see the lice actually crawling around!

If your child has head lice at school, usually the school will give you a call to come and collect your child.  Don’t worry, they have seen it all before!  Ask them to show you so you can see what you are looking for – most schools are happy to work with parents on this issue – so don’t feel icky about it.

If a head lice outbreak is going around your Childs school, it is a good idea to check your childrens’ hair regularly.

Fun Fact About Head Lice:  A female louse can lay up to ten eggs per day!!!!

Tip: Parents can get lice too! When treating your child’s hair, wear a shower cap!

Home Remedies for Head Lice

  • When the kids are in the bath – pour plain white vinegar through their hair (be careful you don’t get it in their eyes, it will sting!). Leave it in overnight and wash it out in the morning and comb through with a nit comb. You will need to repeat this method three to four days later.
  • Use a cheap conditioner and cover the kids hair with a shower cap and leave it for a few hours. Then comb through with a nit comb to remove eggs.  You will have to repeat 3 – 4 days later in case you miss any eggs.
  • Mayonnaise is meant to work in the same was as conditioner method above – and it makes your hair lovely and shiny.
  • Olive oil also works by ‘smothering’ the head lice and the eggs. Massage through to the scalp – leave for a few hours if you can – then wash thoroughly. Use a head lice comb to remove what’s left!
  • If you have Selsun Blue or Selsun Gold (anti-dandruff shampoos), wash your child’s hair with the Selsun and leave in the hair for 30 minutes (place a shower cap on to prevent the soap getting into their eyes), then wash out, condition and use a head lice comb.


Fun Fact:  Lice cannot ‘jump’ and do not have ‘wings’.  Transmission is usually made when direct head-to-head contact – which is why lice are more prevalent in kids!


Head Lice Prevention Sprays

There are a lot of ways to try and stop the prevention of nits and head lice in the first place. This easy homemade head lice prevention spray is a nice smelling deterrent for lice.

  • 1 spray bottle
  • water
  • 1 tablespoon conditioner
  • 10 drops either Tea Tree, Lavender or Eucalyptus Oil

Place the conditioner and essential oils in a spray bottle and fill with tap water. Every morning whilst doing your children’s hair, give it a quick spray with the mixture. Makes a great de-tangler too!

After Head Lice Treatments

Even though head lice can only live on the hair follicle, it is a great idea to wash hats, sheets, pillowcases and headbands etc in your washing machine (on the hottest cycle) with a few drops of essential oils. Also wash any hair brushes by removing the hair and discarding, placing the hair brush in a bucket with boiling water and a little washing up detergent.

Chemist Head Lice Treatments:

If all else fails, it’s time to head to the chemist for something a little stronger. There are two types of head lice treatments available from pharmacies, the insecticide treatments, and the herbal treatments. Commonly available insecticide preparations include:

Best Herbal Head Lice Treatments from the Chemist include:

  • MOOV Headlice Solution:  Comes in a 200ml bottle and the liquid is quite thick, gloopy, bright green and smells very strongly of eucalyptus. It is easy to apply and you only need to leave it on the hair for 10 minutes then repeat at day 7 and day 14. Retails for around $20. Advantages are that you don’t need to use the nit comb and I like the fact it only takes 10 minutes.  They also have a huge range of other products to deter headlice.

View More Head Lice Treatments >

Under no circumstance should you use kerosene, turpentine, methylated spirits, dog or cat flea/tick treatments or insect sprays on your child to kill nits and lice – these are completely dangerous practices which can cause harm to your child.

How to Get Rid of Nits and Head Lice at Home

If you require any further information we have some hotlines and suggested websites for further information and advice*.

*SAHM takes no responsibility for any illness, injury or death caused by misuse of this information.  All information provided is correct at time of publication.

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