Lice can hit any household – whether you are the cleanest in the neighborhood or not (a common myth that you only get lice if you live in a dirty home, but it’s not true).
Getting rid of head lice is, in my opinion, a painful process. Hours of painstaking combing and nit-picking in front of some horrible cartoon on the TV. I’m getting totally itchy just writing about it.
And just when you’ve spent hours and hours getting rid of the nits, your kids go back to school only to pick up the unwanted hair guests again (and again) from their friends.
Or, like our family, you discover that you’ve picked up the lovely Super Lice – a new strain of lice that is resistant to the chemical laden lice treatments AND the natural remedies the pediatrician recommends. What the actual heck is happening!?!?
They say prevention is better than cure, and with the time and effort it takes to get rid of head lice, I would have to agree 1000%!
Is it even possible to prevent head lice? The answer is a resounding YES, there is an all-natural scientifically backed solution that can help prevent those nasty unwanted hair guests.
Anti-Lice Spray Using Essential Oils
Douse to prevent louse! That’s my motto when it comes to preventing head lice infestation. Spraying your children’s hair each day before school with anti-nit essential oils can deter lice from jumping ship and taking up home on your little one’s locks.
I watched my daughter whispering with a classmate the other day, heads pressed together as they giggled and played. I don’t want my kids to be fretting over head lice or avoiding friends who might have lice! So I use this preventative spray and let kids be kids.
I’ve found the following anti-nit spray (recipe below) to be effective – as long as I remember to do it every day.
Combining the anti-nit spray with a weekly comb and check goes a long way in preventing the spread of lice.
But don’t take my word for it. See what scientists have found when they’ve pitted essential oils against lice.
Do Essential Oils Really Work to Prevent Lice? What the Science Says
Essential oils for nit prevention aren’t just some old wives tale that we desperately hope works. Studies show that essential oils are effective against lice. In some cases more effective than chemical treatments thanks to insecticide resistance.
The main anti-nit essential oils are tea tree oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil and Eucalyptus oil.
This study reported a 100% mortality rate of head lice in 30 minutes when using tea tree oil at 1% dilution as a head lice treatment.
In this study, the researchers found that the combination of tea tree oil and lavender oil is more effective than conventional lice treatments. The “suffocation” method was also as effective as the essential oils.
A Eucalyptus and tea tree combination was found to be more than twice as effective than conventional treatment in this study with less likelihood of irritation or adverse reactions. Finally, this study suggests that Eucalyptus oil appears to provide effective protection from lice.
So essential oils have been found to be effective against lice. But are they safe? Here are a few precautions to keep in mind.
Essential Oil Safety
Tea tree oil and lavender oils are generally considered safe for children over 3 months of age when used on the skin when diluted to 0.5% or less. Caution is always necessary when using any products on young children. Eucalyptus oil is not recommended for children under 2 years of age. Peppermint oil should not be applied full strength directly to areas around the eyes of infants or young children due to risk of rash. Also use caution with peppermint undiluted while breast feeding as it can decrease milk supply.
For kids six years and older, a dilution of 1% is suggested. In the study quoted above, they found tea tree oil diluted to 1% was effective at killing lice.
For younger children, a 0.5% dilution is suggested, and for adults, a 2% dilution works well.
The recipe below is at 1% dilution. If you have a different size bottle and you want to work out how many drops to put in your bottle size, a 1% dilution works out to be approximately 5 drops per 25mls of water.
A small number of people can be allergic to certain essential oils, so like anything, it’s important to patch test a small amount of diluted oil and wait for 24 hours to see if there is a reaction. If there is a reaction, discontinue use and consult a doctor.
Essential oils should not be swallowed. If swallowed, call poison control.
DYI Natural Lice Prevention Spray Recipe
Oil and water don’t mix, so the following recipe uses our Tea Tree Essential Oil Spray as a base which uses witch hazel to help the water and essential oils to emulsify.
Links to products in our store.
- 1 4 oz Bottle Tea Tree Essential Oil Spray
- 15 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- 15 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 5 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- Mix all ingredients into the Tea Tree Essential Oil spray bottle.
- Shake to mix well.
- Spray directly on hair in the morning before school.
You can also spray this on combs, brushes, and any other hair styling tool that you use around the house or share with one another. And if you know there are cases going around at school, be sure to spray coats, hoodies, and even backpacks! You can even add some to your shampoo and conditioner for an extra layer of protection. The key is to make the hair (or whatever you’re spraying) smell like the aforementioned essential oils. Lice do not like the scent and will avoid a head of hair smelling of Prevention Spray.
Now go forth and prevent those nasty hair guests from nit’ing their way into your hair and home!! Did this recipe work for you? Have another that’s been preventing lice from coming your way? Share below!!
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