Home of Dr. Leslie Storey, Board Certified Dermatologist
Mohs Fellowship Trained Surgeon

Close this search box.

Natural Remedies for Hair Lice You Can Use at Home

Natural Remedies for Hair Lice You Can Use at Home

Hair lice—the tiny, biting, bugs with an affinity for human hair. No one likes to talk about hair lice, but many people experience an infestation of the worst kind, especially children. Let’s take a look at how people get head lice in the first place and a few natural ways you may be able to handle the problem.

How do you get hair lice?

Some studies suggest that head lice have actually been around longer than humans. So, who could say how the first human got hair lice. However, the modern-day human can get hair lice pretty easily. Usually, the lice are simply spread from person to person either because of proximity or shared objects in contact with an infested head. Most people get lice in their hair when:

  • They sleep in the bed with someone with lice
  • They share combs or brushes with someone with lice
  • They wear hats or articles of clothing that someone with lice has worn

How to Get Rid of Hair Lice with Natural Remedies from Home

1. Try the wet combing method

Wet-combing is one of the most traditional ways to get rid of hair lice. In short, when the hair is wet and smooth, lice and their eggs are a lot easier to see for removal and may slide away from strands easier. A step-by-step process involves:

  • Using a mixture of hair conditioner and water to coat the hair thoroughly
  • Dividing the hair into individual sections
  • Working through each section to remove the lice and nits with a lice comb

Obviously, wet-combing alone can be one of the most time-consuming processes, but it can be highly effective and free for the most part.

2. Suffocate the hair lice with food-derived oils

Certain oils may suffocate or smother head lice, or at least slow them down, so they are easier to remove. Likewise, oils can soften lice eggs (nits), so they dislodge from individual strands of hair. Olive oil, almond oil, and even vegetable or peanut oil may help. Using oil for head lice removal involves simply coating the hair with the oil and then using a lice comb to remove lice and eggs. The process can be a bit messy, and you may need several oil applications as you search.

3. Try essential oils

A growing number of essential oils have been shown to be effective for helping to eradicate head lice. Keep in mind that some people can have skin sensitivities to certain essential oils. Therefore, it is best to use a minimal amount of oil with a gentle carrier oil like sweet almond oil. A few essential oils that may be effective for hair lice include:

Essential oils can range in efficacy according to the oil, the concentration used, and the method of application. 

4. Clean up

A simple and natural way to combat a head lice problem is to do some thorough cleaning. Specifically, clean any area or item that has had close contact with the infested person. It is also best to do cleaning directly after or while you are treating hair lice, so there is no danger of lice making their way back into the hair. Make sure to:

  • Wash all hats, scarves, worn clothing, and jackets
  • Remove and wash bedding, including pillows and pillowcases
  • Soak all combs, brushes, hair clips, etcetera in hot water
  • Vacuum the mattress, paying special attention to creases where lice may be hiding
  • Placed stuffed animals or soft toys in an airtight plastic bag

Wash all items in hot water at a temperature of 130°F (54°C). Clothing, bedding, pillows, and hats can be placed in a hot dryer for about 15 minutes.

Seeking Help for Hair Lice

In the event natural remedies don’t work in your efforts to fight a hair lice infestation, be sure to seek help from professionals. Feel free to reach out to us at Valley Skin Institute to request an appointment or to discuss hair lice treatment solutions and products.


Dr. Leslie Storey | Valley Skin Institute

Dr. Leslie Storey is a board-certified physician specializing in medical and surgical dermatology. Her mission is to find and remove skin cancer, which she does more than 2,000 times a year. An expert in Mohs Surgery, Dr. Storey’s patients often comment that they are amazed at how minimal their scar is after they have healed from surgery. If you notice anything suspicious on your skin, request an appointment with Dr. Storey to have it checked out.

Need Help?

Call Us

(559) 472-7546

Leave a Reply

Call Now Button