Do you have to face recurring of lice, in spite of trying all effective remedies? In most of the cases, that happens when you aim at lice only and leave the live nits untouched. Many of us don’t know that nits are the main culprit in head lice infestation. When a female louse lays nits, it releases a gooey substance from its body and use it to glue the nits from hair strands. That is why these nits do not come off easily. If you really want to get rid of lice permanently, plan out to eliminate head lice eggs.
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5 Ways to Eliminate Nits
Here we have enlisted the 4 easiest ways to get rid of nits in lesser time. Read on to know them.
1. Aim at Adult Head Lice
Want to know how to get rid of lice eggs? Start your lice killing session by aiming at the adult lice. An adult louse lays about 6 to 10 tiny eggs in a day. Thus the numbers of nits keep on multiplying with each passing day. Here are a few ways to kill adult lice;
Outnumbered head lice products are available for topical use, try them to get rid of nits and lice. These may include—anti-lice prescription shampoo, crème rinse and lice sprays.
Smothering and suffocating the lice is yet another useful technique. To do that, you have to cover your scalp with some greasy product (high fat mayonnaise, olive oil, coconut oil, petroleum jelly). The oily substance tends to block several breathing holes found on lice’s body. Secondly, the greasy scalp makes it difficult for lice to move easily. As lice are strong enough to survive for several hours without breathing, putting on a shower cap on your head would add more in lice suffocation process. To suffocate the live lice completely, leave the grease on your head for about 8 hours. Before rinsing your hair, use high quality lice comb to comb out the nasty lice and glued nits. As the oily substance would not come off easily, using hot water for rinsing hair is highly recommended.
Follow other procedures like flat iron/hair straightener after rinsing your hair or simply blow dry hair too kill lice, as lice can’t bear excessive heat. For severe infestation, Pyrethrum, shampoo is the right choice. This particular shampoo is made from chrysanthemum flowers. These flowers are known for having a natural insecticide named pyrethrins (toxic) that kills lice effectively. Follow the below given procedure to use this head lice product;
- Apply it to dry hair and leave for 10 minutes
- Dampen your hair, massage the shampoo in the scalp and rinse.
- Use a nit comb to remove the lice and nits.
- To kill any lingering lice, repeat this process after a week to 10 days.
Note: Using pyrethrins based products may have some side effects (itching or stinging sensation). That is why women with baby bump, nursing moms and kids must never use it without consulting their doctor.
2. Using Vinegar for Nit’s Removal
The sticky stuff that keeps the nits attached to hair shafts cannot be removed easily. The acetic acid in vinegar (both white and apple cider vinegar) aids in cutting off nit’s grip on hair follicles. After vinegar application, it is essential to remove nits with a metal nit comb. Vinegar can be applied in a number of ways. Some of them are;
- Dilute in water and apply in your scalp, leave it till it gets dry. Comb out the nits before rinsing with hot water.
- Make a mixture by adding vinegar in some mineral oil. Apply in head and leave for the whole night. Head must be covered with shower cap. Wash your hair next morning with any shampoo, preferably an anti-lice shampoo and comb out your hair. Keep on repeating these processes for a few weeks for complete removal of nits.
3. Removing Nits with Listerine
Listerine contains several ingredients (herbal oils plus alcohol 27%) that repel lice and dissolve nits. These may include— menthol, methyl, alcohol, eucalyptol, salicylate and thymol. Alcohol kills lice and herbal oils help in suffocating them. Listerine functions adequately to remove bugs and nits. Soak your hair in Listerine and cover your hair with a shower cap for half an hour. Now rinse your hair with warm water and vinegar. Use an ordinary hair conditioner to detangle your locks and comb out with a nit comb.
Note: Whenever you use a fine-tooth lice comb to remove nits, make certain that you are sitting in a bright nit-removal area, preferably with some light over your head. Using a magnifier makes it easier to see tiny nits. Once you have used the comb, dunk it in a bowl with water and vinegar or a bowl filled with water and dishwashing detergent.
4. Take Essential Measures to avoid Re-infestation
No matter how much time and money you spend on treating lice infestation, it would be useless if you do not follow some basic measures to avoid future infestations. Like we have already mentioned, lice grow quickly and a little negligence on your part, they will retreat. Read on to know the follow-up practices to get rid of them permanently.
Lice do not fly or jump to travel from one host to another. They spread by head-to-head contact, especially in kids at school. Tell your kids about the possible consequences of head contacts. Even elders should be careful and avoid any unnecessary closeness with anyone (friend or colleague).
Though lice feed on human blood but they are hard enough to survive without blood for 1 to 2 days. So, the accessories used by the infested person might have some lingering lice. Using any of these can easily cause infestation in you. The everyday household accessories (of infested person) to avoid are—pillows, bedding, towels, mittens, clothing, headpieces, scarves, comb, hair brushes and other personal cleaning products.
Lice can’t stand high heat. To kill the remaining lice, expose all the above-mentioned accessories to heat. Wash them in hot water followed by blow drying and ironing. Even the hair brushes and hair combs (used by infested person) should be disinfected in hot water (more than 130°F (54°C). If there are some items that cannot be washed, get them dry cleaned or simply pack them in a sealed plastic bag. Leave them sealed for about two weeks as lice cannot survive this long without human blood.
Curing the scalp and washing the household accessories is not enough. Once you have treated all the infested people in your house, it is time to vacuum the space used by them. Vacuum (with HEPA filter) the carpets, rugs, furniture, mattresses, stuffed toys and floors to avoid any lingering nit or lice, found on some broken hair. Lastly, dispose of the vacuum bag carefully.
5. Use Best Selling Products to Get Rid of Nits
Besides trying all the above mentioned hacks, there are a number of anti-lice products available in pharmacies as well as online. Here we have enlisted the most recommended and safe products for getting rid of nits.
- ClearLice Family Size Lice Treatment Kit
Made from plant extracts and all-natural botanical ingredients, this is the safest anti-lice kit for the whole family. This kit includes an anti-lice shampoo, conditioner, nit comb, 2 shower caps, a household spray and a laundry enzyme additive. It works effectively on nits and lice. Use the product according to the instructions given to the packaging.
- Healthpol Delacet Head Lice Repellent
Made from flower extracts, this product fights nits as well as lice. It is a product, safe for the whole family and all hair types. It has been recommended by the users who are using it from the last four decades. It is a water-like solution and must be used carefully. Read the instructions to know the dosage and the way to apply it.
- LiceLogic Natural Lice Prevention Kit
LiceLogic kit is an all-natural and organic anti-lice product without any harsh chemicals. Unlike many other anti-lice products, it is safe for everyday use. This kit includes—a shampoo, conditioner and an anti-lice hair spray. The anti-lice shampoo and conditioner are formulated to keep hair manageably soft. The aroma of essential oils keeps hair fragrant for whole day long. Using LiceLogic hair lice spray every day, keeps you safe from re-infestation. This non-toxic product is free from pesticides and safe to use for the whole family.
6. Comb the Nits Out
One simple, effective and natural way to get rid of nits is to comb them out. You can comb out lice eggs after you’ve applied a lice-killing treatment, or you can use combing on its own to help combat the problem in between each treatment.
For best results, you’ll need to use a lice comb. These combs are specially designed to remove adult lice and eggs. What’s so special about their design?
- The teeth are close together to pull nits and lice from the hair.
- The teeth have rounded or pointed ends to kill and better remove lice.
- Some teeth have grooves or circular designs to better catch lice eggs.
Most combs can be sterilized after each use so that you can keep reusing it until the infestation is gone. These combs can also be used as preventative measures to avoid future infestations.
Make sure that you comb the entire head. It’s best to separate the hair into three or four sections to make combing easier and more thorough. The longer the hair, the more tedious the combing will be.
Use a tissue in between each passing to remove any debris, nits and lice that may be lodged in the teeth. Repeat this process with each section until you’ve combed the entire head.
Be patient. Take your time, and be thorough. Keep in mind that combing will play an important role in getting rid of nits, so you’ll want to do a good job.
7. Smother Them
Another way to get rid of lice eggs is to smother them. Treatments that focus on smothering or suffocating the lice are usually pretty effective.
For this method, you’ll need an oil (almond or olive work best) and a lice comb.
Some experts believe that the combing is what gets rid of the nits, and that the oil merely slows them down to make it easier to remove.
You can either coat the comb with the oil and reapply the oil with each passing, or you can coat the entire head with the oil. It’s really a matter of personal preference.
You’ll want to work in small sections, and use hair clips to move untreated hair out of the way. Make sure that you have good lighting so that you can see what you’re doing. Don’t forget to clean the comb after each pass to prevent reinfestation.
Once you’ve combed the entire head, you’ll want to shampoo the hair with regular or medicated shampoo. Rinse and repeat to remove the nits. Then, allow the hair to air dry.
When you’re done with the treatment, make sure that you wash all of the towels, clothing and other items used during the treatment in the hottest water possible.
You’ll also want to clean the comb by soaking it in a solution of 10% bleach and 2% Lysol for 30 minutes. You can also boil the comb in water for 10 minutes, or soak it for 30 minutes in vinegar. Make sure that your rinse the comb very well after treating it.
For best results, repeat this treatment every day for a week. Then, comb the hair every night for two weeks to check the scalp and make sure the lice are gone.
8. Use Essential Oils
Some essential oils have shown to be effective against lice and lice eggs, especially when used in conjunction with combing.
Essential oils should never be ingested, and they should always be used with a carrier oil to prevent reactions. Keep in mind that these oils are highly potent, so you need to be cautious when using them, especially on children.
Try testing the treatment by mixing a small drop of the essential oil with a carrier oil and applying it to the back of your child’s hand. If there is no reaction, then the oil should be safe for use.
The essential oils that have been shown to be effective against lice include:
- Tea tree
- Red thyme
- Cinnamon leaf
To treat lice eggs, mix two ounces of a carrier oil, such as olive oil, with 15-20 drops of your desired essential oil. Apply the mixture to the scalp and hair using cotton balls. Allow the solution to soak overnight, or at least 12 hours. Comb out the nits, rinse the hair, and repeat the process.
If you’d rather not use oil, you can mix the essential oil with rubbing alcohol instead. Place the mixture into a spray bottle, and spray the head to saturate the scalp and head. You’ll want to allow this mixture to sit on the head for at least 12 hours.
After you’ve completely removed the lice, you can continue using the alcohol spray to prevent reinfestation. Just make sure that you continue combing the hair as part of your preventative treatment protocol.
9. Turn Up the Heat
One study found that hot-air methods were highly effective at killing nits, although they did little to kill adult lice.
In that study, a bonnet dryer effectively killed 89% of nits. A blow dryer using direct heat was able to kill nearly 98% of nits and 55% of lice.
If you have a blow dryer in your home, you can take advantage of this natural treatment. Simply use the dryer to dry hair after shampooing to effectively kill most of the nits. Just make sure that you’re using a comb to remove them.
One word of caution here: never use a blow dryer when applying a chemical lice treatment. Some of these treatments contain flammable ingredients.
Getting rid of nits requires you to be diligent and persistent in your efforts. Combing every night and implementing a treatment – whether it’s oil, vinegar or a chemical – will help you get rid of these pests for good.