The hair (or head) louse, also called Pediculus humanus capitis, is a parasitic insect that survives by feeding on its host’s blood numerous times a day. Although they are known to inhabit the head region, they can also be found on the eyebrows and eyelashes of people. However, other than causing itchiness and skin irritation, these insect-like parasites are relatively harmless.
From the tropical climates of India to the cold climates of North America, head lice seem to have spread their reach worldwide. Mostly, they are found in children who have, at one time or another, played with other children with head lice. Sometimes, they spread from sharing clothes with an infected person or lying down somewhere that has just recently come into contact with an infected person.
There are some obvious symptoms of being a victim of this phenomenon; including the strange sensation of feeling tickled in the scalp by the movement of something in the hair, itchiness caused by the bites of the lice (just like itchiness caused by mosquito bites; only to a greater degree), feeling irritated and having difficulty sleeping since these parasites are most active in the dark, and finally, sores in places that had to undergo some extreme scratching exercises by the host!
Although not an easy task, there are several approaches to getting rid of hair lice:
(a) Using essential oils:
Since hair lice are known to be repelled by essential oils, it is a good idea to rub the scalp and hair with a standard amount of essential oil such as lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil and the like. However, for hair that is highly infested with lice, it would be better to get the hair soaked up over night with an essential oil. It can be washed off in the morning. To be completely free of the lice, the affected person should see to it that he/she repeats the process over the next few days.
(b) Treating with mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and fruits:
Mayonnaise can be mixed with apple cider vinegar and applied on the scalp. It could be kept for a while, preferably for about two hours and then washed off. If the apple cider vinegar is unobtainable, just mayonnaise should also do the trick. Other compositions that can be applied to the scalp include a mixture of lemon and butter, onion juice, and a paste made from grinding custard apple along with its seeds. That last one should be left on the head overnight by wearing a shower cap. It could be washed off with shampoo the next morning.
(c) Egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic paste and olive oil:
A mixture can be made out of egg yolk, lemon juice and vinegar and applied on the scalp. It should be kept for at least 30 minutes before washing off. Lemon juice is useful not only for the treatment of lice, but also dandruff. Another good fusion is that of lemon juice and garlic paste. Vinegar can also be added to this composition since it has demonstrated effectiveness in getting rid of lice. Also, olive oil can be applied to the hair, using it as an essential oil. The hair should be drenched in olive oil and be kept like that over night. It can be washed off in the morning. This process has to be carried out repeatedly every few days until all the lice are gone.
(d) Almonds, lemon juice, neem, and basil:
Another ingredient for combating hair lice is almond. A few almonds can be soaked overnight in water; then a paste be made out of it. After mixing it with a few drops of lemon juice, it should be applied on the scalp and left to dry. Later, cold water should be used to wash it off. Other herbs useful for treating lice are neem and basil. While the pungent smell of basil acts as a repellant of lice, neem has qualities that can repel and kill lice. A paste made out of either one of them could be applied on the scalp then dried and washed off.
Since most artificial solutions to the problem of hair lice lead to side-effects ranging from hair damage to hair loss, while some have harmful effects on the skin as well, it is recommended that a natural approach be taken. The options suggested here are proven to have worked on numerous people. In fact, they are very likely to improve the quality of your scalp and hair in general.