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Kill Head Lice with Tea Tree Oil

Head Lice, Lice, Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is a natural home remedy to kill head lice. Instead of using harsh chemicals, which can be especially harmful to the tender scalp of children, tea tree oil offers a natural alternative that does not damage the hair or irritate the scalp. Yet the tea tree oil still successfully kills lice and their eggs, called nits. This remedy is not only recommended by parents and professionals, but is recognized by camp counselors and scout leaders as an effective agent to kill head lice.

How a Person Gets Head Lice

Children are most often considered the carrier of head lice. The child, from preschool to high school age brings head lice home from school, camp, scouting events, from a friend’s house. The parents often have no idea initially and before it is discovered, others have already been infected. Just one such incident and not only does that child become infested with head lice, but carries it home to spread to his or her entire family. When a person has head lice, the scalp may not only itch, but become very irritated and inflamed, and an infection of the scalp may result. If untreated, hair may be damaged and the spreading to other people will continue. Head lice can even spread to eyebrows

How Tea Tree Oil Works to Kill Head Lice

Tea Tree Oil contains a natural bacteria fighting ingredient, called terpinen-4-ol. There are over one hundred known benefits of tea tree oil for use in skin irritation, infections and diseases. Head lice prefer hair that is clean. Tea tree oil coats the hair and scalp and contains agents that will kill the head lice and eggs. Because tea tree oil has antiseptic and healing properties, it not only will kill the lice, but will soothe and heal the irritated scalp that has been affected by head lice.

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The nits, or eggs of the head lice can and often do survive the chemical shampoos and harsh treatments. This may result in one or more additional trips back to the store or pharmacy to buy additional chemical preparations to try to kill the head lice and their eggs. With each additional chemical application on already irritated scalp skin, the risk increases for additional hair and scalp damage. In fact, in one study, tea tree oil fared better at getting rid of lice than the harsh chemical remedies.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil to Kill Head Lice

Tea tree oil can be found in some big box stores, as well as the natural ingredient stores and at pharmacies. Using essential tea tree oil straight from the bottle may cause a reaction. The most common way is to mix the tea tree oil with the regularly used shampoo. Some people have been known to use dishwashing liquid. A mixture containing tea tree oil can often be found in the health and beauty aids or over-the-counter pharmacy area of most big box stores. In this instance, tea tree oil will be found with hair care products and may be sold as a gel, pomade-type mixture, a moisturizer, or hair dress.

If using the 100% tea tree oil, pour about 10 drops tea tree oil into the regular amount of shampoo normally used when washing hair. Mix thoroughly and apply to hair. Leave on the scalp for several minutes. Rinse thoroughly and repeat. Next, mix five drops tea tree oil into the normal amount of hair conditioner that is used. Apply the hair conditioner and leave on for five minutes. Rinse thoroughly. Use a nit comb, or fine tooth comb to remove lice and eggs. This process will be repeated at least one more time within ten days.

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If using a product that is premixed, do not add additional tea tree oil. There are pre-mixed tea tree oil shampoos that can sometimes be found, but usually it will be in the form of a gel or hair dress. When using a tea tree oil containing product meant to be left in the hair, gently rub into the scalp, covering the entire scalp. Be sure to include the nape area. Next, rub into hair. Wrap the head in a towel. Leave in overnight. The next morning, wash hair thoroughly after removing dead head lice. Repeat this process a few days later. Continue repeating the shampooing method or the hair dress method, or combination of both until the head lice infestation is eliminated.

There is no need to use harsh, damaging, dangerous chemicals to be rid of a head lice infestation. Natural and effective tea tree oil is safer and healthier.