Lice eggs, commonly referred to as nits, are found in the hair and usually cause itching and discomfort. The eggs are laid by the adult female lice, and are often tricky to get rid of because they stick to the shaft of the hair strand. Before using home remedies to get rid of the eggs, it is important to know what the eggs look like.
Head lice eggs appear as tiny yellowish dots on the hair, and can easily be mistaken for dandruff. In some cases, they resemble hair spray droplets, and typically measure less than a millimeter in both length and width. The head lice eggs are usually found behind the ears and in the neck region. This is because incubation occurs with ease largely due to the high temperatures as well as the increased humidity levels.
In addition to these locations, lice eggs will also be found within a centimeter from the scalp. Any eggs found further away from the scalp would usually be dead, and as such cannot hatch. For this reason, the point of focus ought to be the removal of live lice eggs close to the scalp. This prevents the eggs from hatching to nymphs, and attempts to cut short the life cycle of the lice. Typically, if one has adult lice, they are likely to have lice eggs as they reproduce very quickly. Lice eggs can be killed using a variety of home remedies which target the egg shell and dissolve it, thus eliminating their viability. Once the eggs are killed, it is easy to get rid of them and reduce the lice infestation. Listed below are some of the options available for natural home remedies that you can use with ease to get rid of lice eggs.
Time Required: 20 – 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Part of vinegar, 2 parts of warm water, a white towel and natural sunlight. You will also need a solution of vinegar in a separate basin.
Vinegar is one of the most potent home remedies for the destruction of lice eggs. To understand how the vinegar works, it is important to learn how the lice eggs attach themselves to the hair in the first place. Once the lice lay the eggs, they are glued to the shaft of the hair strand using a special substance known as chitin. This is what prevents the eggs from falling off. Chitin is difficult to dissolve, and this is what poses a challenge in getting rid of the live eggs from the hair.
Vinegar works because it contains acetic acid which, when exposed to the eggs, causes the chitin to dissolve. This allows for the easy elimination of the eggs when the hair is combed. You will need a steel comb for this purpose as it is best placed to eliminate the nits from the hair during the procedure. Sitting in natural sunlight makes it easy to comb the dislodged eggs from the hair. Follow the simple directions outlined below to get rid of lice eggs using vinegar. You may use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar depending on your personal preferences. You may have someone to help you with this procedure.
- Mix the vinegar and water in the ration 1:2 for dilution purposes. Do not use the vinegar in its undiluted state as this can easily cause scalp irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin. The solution you have just prepared is what will be used to wash the hair.
- Next, prepare a similar solution but transfer it to a basin. This is what you will use to rinse the steel comb after combing the lice eggs out.
- Have the white towel placed on the shoulders so that any eliminated lice eggs may drop on the towel and not the clothes. You will need to clean the towel after using this remedy.
- Part the hair in sections to ease the combing procedure.
- Using the solution prepared in step 1, wet the hair from the roots right to the tips of the hair strands.
- Sit in the sun and proceed to comb the wet and sectioned hair. Make sure you comb from the scalp to the hair tips.
- Once this is done, dip the used comb in the vinegar solution you prepared on step 2. This is done to wash away any lice or lice eggs.
- Once a section of the hair has been combed, fasten it with a hair clip or brand in order to prevent the transfer of the lice eggs from the uncombed hair sections.
- Do this for all the hair sections, making sure to rinse the comb every so often. You need to be patient because this procedure does take some time, especially if you have long hair.
- When the combing is complete, follow up by shampooing the hair as you normally would. Remember to clean the clothes worn, towel used and comb in hot water.
- Use this remedy twice weekly to cut short the life cycle of the lice in case any lice eggs survived.
2. Lemon Juice:
Time Required: 40 Min
What You Need: Freshly squeezed lemon juice (amount depends on the hair length), garlic paste, shower cap, warm water, shampoo to clean and a steel comb.
Another simple remedy that you can use to get rid of lice eggs is lemon juice. Just like vinegar, lemon juice is rich in citric acid at a concentration of about 5%. This is an important aspect of the fruit’s healing powers as the acid presents helps dissolve the chitin that glues the eggs to the shaft of the hair. Once the hair is soaked in this solution, it becomes easy to remove manually through combing. The addition of garlic paste, while been optional, has immense benefits for the hair as it improves the remedy’s efficiency. The pungent smell of garlic, however, is reduced by the lemon juice’s rejuvenating properties. Below are the simple steps to follow when using lemon juice to get rid of lice eggs.
- Take the freshly squeezed lemon juice and soak your hair in it. If the hair is short, you can simply pour the juice with ease. If the hair is long, part it in different sections to ease the process of remedy application and combing out to get rid of the eggs.
- You may add the garlic paste to the lemon juice for improved efficiency. Remember to make the garlic paste as smooth as possible for easy mixing.
- Leave the remedy on and wear a shower cap for half an hour. The warmth created by the shower cap helps loosen the eggs from the hair shaft.
- Rinse off the lemon juice- garlic paste mixture using warm water before shampooing as usual.
- Finish off by combing the hair, making sure you rinse the comb in warm soapy water with every comb.
- Repeat this remedy thrice weekly to get rid of all the lice eggs and curb the infestation.
3. Tea Tree Oil:
Time Required: 3 Hrs
What You Need: 10 Drops of tea tree oil, 1/2 cup of carrier oil such as olive, vegetable or almond oil, a shower cap, a nit comb, warm solution of vinegar and regular hair shampoo.
Tea tree oil is one of the popular herbal oils used for the elimination of lice eggs, thanks to its potency and ability to remove the nits. As a powerful antiseptic, the oil is effective in fighting off the lice, and this eventually eliminates the eggs as there are no lice to hatch any more eggs. The catch when using this remedy is to make sure that you repeat it severally during the week so that there are no surviving lice or eggs. Other benefits of using tea tree oil include its disinfectant and antiseptic properties.
NOTE: Tea tree oil is very potent, and must never be used in the absence of a carrier oil. Additionally, the oil should not be taken orally as this causes internal toxicity. This remedy must not be used on infants, toddlers and expectant women. Tea tree oil may be replaced by lavender or rosemary oil as these have great benefits for the scalp as well.
- Mix the tea tree oil with your preferred carrier oil and stir well.
- Coat the hair evenly, making sure that all of the hair strands are well covered especially if you have long hair.
- Wear a shower cap and cover the hair for the next three hours.
- When this time elapses, rinse the hair using the warm vinegar solution.
- Prepare this rinsing solution by mixing vinegar and water in the ration of 1:2 respectively.
- Comb out the eggs from the rinsed hair, making sure to rinse the comb every time.
- Shampoo the hair as usual to get rid of the remedies used.
- Use tea tree oil thrice weekly to get rid of the lice infestation and eliminate the eggs.
- Remember, tea tree oil must only be applied topically, and not ingested orally.
4. Coconut Oil Based Shampoo:
Time Required: 30 Min application, overnight leave-in.
What You Need: Coconut-based shampoo, warm water, lice nit comb as well as virgin coconut oil (optional).
One of the easiest ways to manage lice eggs and get rid of the lice is to use a coconut-oil based shampoo. Research shows that coconut oil is a natural irritant for both the lice and the eggs, and for this reason, is a great way to get rid of them. The shampoo is used as usual for natural cleaning procedures, with the option of applying coconut oil before wash day. A generous amount of the coconut oil is applied and left overnight to irritate the eggs and allow them to be eliminated with ease during cleaning.
- Apply a generous amount of the coconut oil a day before wash day and leave overnight. You may sleep in a shower cap to improve the remedy’s efficiency.
- Wash the hair with the coconut-oil based shampoo the next day as you normally would, making sure to comb the hair using a lice nit comb. This comb is preferred because it has thin tooth which make it easy to remove the lice eggs.
- Rinse the hair with warm water to which some vinegar has been added.
- Use this remedy twice weekly.
Mayonnaise has also been shown to be effective in removing lice eggs because it prevents the eggs from hatching. Patience is key when using these remedies because it typically takes about two weeks to completely eliminate the lice. In addition to these remedies, it is important to avoid sharing items of personal nature such as combs, hair brushes and hair turbans to prevent the spread of lice by contact.