Lice are like a plague, easily transferable from one person to another, via hair, their mode of transport being pillows, blankets, housemaids, even a hug from a loved one. Despite having a clean hair routine, these nasty itchy bugs will not leave the home that they’ve made in your head so easily. Apart from that constant feeling to scratch your scalp constantly, it often becomes a source of embarrassment if someone spots a creepy crawly dancing upon those lovely tresses.
What becomes even more painful is the removal of nymphs and nits, being the baby lice and their eggs infest your scalp and hold onto your skin, but the nits will remain stuck to the hair and the process of individual removal can be not just tedious, painful, but also next to impossible. So instead of going for that chemical OTC medication, try these lice treatments at home, using organic ingredients, known for hair care, already in your kitchens or easily available at your “pados wali parchoon ki dukaan.” Read along to rid yourself off those lousy lice and stubborn nymphs and nitwits!
5 Effective home remedies for lice
1.) Reetha Nuts:
Often an active ingredient in organic shampoos, and hair bars, Reetha or Soap nuts have a natural lather and are believed to be extremely bitter. My granny used to say that these can legit blind the lice from their bitterness and they’ll just leave your hair because it becomes an unhealthy environment for them to thrive.
Method: Soak 2 handfuls of reetha nuts in about 2 cups of water overnight. They should produce a lather when rubbed together the next morning. Wash your hair with a good aloe vera shampoo and then rub these nuts onto your scalp until a faint lather smears your strands. Repeat twice a week and see the difference.
2.) Neem Oil Massage:
Talk about bitterness and neem will never disappoint and gift you its benefits as a plus. Although neem oil has quite the funk, but no good has come without some sacrifice. If you can fathom the smell and keep it one for a couple of hours each time before you wash, or even overnight, although you’ll need a fresh change of sheets if you’re OCD about smelling well, then the benefits are not just ridding yourself off lice, but also, naturally prevent grey hair and other scalp infections.
Method: Massage neem oil gently onto roots of your hair and spread it across hair lengths. Leave your hair soaked in the oil for a couple of hours or overnight. Wash and run a fine-tooth comb through your hair to remove all the dead lice and nymphs and a nit comb thereafter. Alternately, if fresh neem is easily available near you, you may also apply a paste of neem leaves like a hair mask, it's said to have the same effect. Repeat for a few weeks, the lice are said to leave, never to return.
Camphor infused herbal hair oil massage: Camphor has a cooling effect and just the name brings a chill to that itchy scalp. Known for its many other benefits, like aiding in migraines, camphor plays a major role in keeping the bloodsucking insects at bay.
Method: Make a powder of camphor balls/cubes (readily available at any grocery store) by crushing them with a mortar and pestle, and mix that powder in cold-pressed coconut oil. Shake vigorously and let it sit overnight.
Alternately, you can also pour any carrier on burning camphor. Apply on the scalp, keep for a minimum of 40 mins to a maximum of an hour. Wash thoroughly with a good herbal, preferably Brahmi shampoo, rinse, and repeat at least twice each week. The camphor is sure to conquer this war.
4.) Custard apple seed mask:
The sitaphal, which is famous for its nutty texture and coconut-ey flavour, is often a task to eat especially with those seeds around. What if we told you, that those custard apple seeds are better saved that thrown and can combat lice like none other?
Method: Remove seeds from sitaphal pulp and dry them for a few days. The outer shell will harden and you can easily break it to get to the white seed inside. Sundry these white seeds too for another couple of days. Crush these dried seeds or give them a good round in a mixer. Mix with water and apply twice a week. Lice should vanish!
5.) Tea tree or Eucalyptus oil:
Many times the victims of lice are children contracting them from nannies, friends at school, wherein a gentler solution is always better and we can always turn to essential oils. These oils can be potent and harsh if used undiluted, so they should always be added to carrier oils and infuse their goodness for best results.
Method: Add a few drops of tea tree or eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil (use cold-pressed, preferably coconut) and mix well. Apply to the roots and hair length, paying special heed to areas behind the ears and those touching the neck. Wash off thoroughly and repeat this process until you forget what lice felt like.
By - Divya Handa Khera
Bollywood Screenwriter and a Lifestyle Influencer.
Legal Disclaimer: Information given here is generic, has not been evaluated by Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease, please consult an expert for any medical condition.