When head lice comes to town not a hair on your head is safe.
These creepy crawlies will lay their eggs in hair of all colours, ages, lengths and textures and, if left untreated, headlice can cause the scalp to become itchy and uncomfortable.
Whilst conventional treatments designed to kill headlice can be effective, they often contain chemical ingredients that make them unsafe for infants and pregnant womeni so is there a natural solution to head lice? Read on to find out.
What are head lice?
Head lice are small insects that lay their eggs in human hair follicles.
Though relatively harmless to human health they can cause irritation, such as an itchy scalp, and, according to the NHS, those infected with head lice can even develop a rash on the back of the necki.
Who can be affected by head lice?
Head lice can make their way onto any head of hair, but, according to the NHS, children of school age are particularly prone to catching head lice[i].
This is thought to be because lice cannot jump from head-to-head but can crawl from person-to-person when heads come into close contacti.
Will head lice go away on their own?
Unfortunately, once head lice take root in the hair, they are unlikely to leave on their own accord.
In fact, if they lay their eggs, which are more commonly known as nits, they could multiply in numbers and cause their host further irritation.
Can you treat head lice naturally?
There is no guaranteed way to protect against lice and nits. Regardless of how clean your hair, head or home is you could still be vulnerable to head lice but, if you do come under invasion from these tiny insects, there are effective ways to treat them naturally.
When it comes to combating head lice you need to arm yourself with some essentials, and there are two essential oils that lice simply cannot stand, lavender oil and tea tree oil.
It is unadvisable to apply undiluted essential oils directly onto the hair or scalp due to the risk of causing irritation to the skin or getting into the eye and causing discomfort.
Instead, the best course of action is to wash the hair with a natural shampoo which contains these essential oils, such as our Organic Children Lavender Burst Shampoo.
Made with Tea Tree and Lavender it can be used by both kids and adults to leave hair clean, soft and shiny. Formulated without hash foaming agents, parabens or alcohol it has delicate floral scent that we love, but head lice cannot stomach.
Your natural head lice essentials
Combating nits with a fine-tooth comb
The third weapon you’ll need to fight back against head lice is a louse detection comb.
These can be purchased from high-street chemists and are designed to remove live head lice and their eggs from the hair.
According to the NHS, finding a live louse in the hair is the only way to determine if you have head lice[i].
This is because the lice and their nits are so small that they can be mistaken for dandruff.
How to comb the hair for head lice
BEFORE YOU START: The NHS advises that before you begin you wash the hair using just conditioner to stop the lice from moving, and then brush the hair normallyii to remove any tangles.
DETECTION COMBING: Once the hair is untangled the NHS suggests switching to a louse detection, or nit comb, making sure you thoroughly comb small sections of hair from root to tip.
They also advise that you check the comb each time you move it through the hair and say that, if you do come across any lice, you should either rinse the comb or remove the lice using tissue paperii.
Will head lice come back?
Remember, lice can spread from person to person. To make sure you get to the root of the problem, be sure to check everyone in the household and, if the lice persist, be sure to seek advice from a medical professional.