Apparently, over one million children in the UK have headlice (nits) at any one time, which I find very surprising. People spend millions of pounds on cures from combs and chemicals to oils and professional help. There are some extremely toxic treatments out there, and a child’s skin and scalp are very sensitive to these chemicals, which WILL be absorbed through their skin, so go for the safe natural options, they DO work!
I have been asked if there are some essential oils that will work and to make up some products, so here are my thoughts and suggestions on how you can treat headlice / nits effectively with aromatherapy essential oils. Essential oils can, and will, work if you follow the suggestions and persevere. (Perseverance is important whichever route you choose, chemical or natural).
More importantly, essential oils, on the whole, are safe to use (please ensure you seek help and advice from a qualified aromatherapist though). It may work out more expensive, initially, and the chemical off-the-shelf treatments may be cheap, but what’s the point of getting rid of these parasites (perhaps temporarily) but risking storing up health problems for your children? The chemical based blends actually contain chemicals that are neurotoxins and proven carcinogens.
Any treatment needs to kill the headlice themselves, their eggs and help to be a preventative measure too. Some facts I established are:
The symptoms are itching. You may see tiny red bites on the back of the neck, scalp or forehead.
The lice can live up to 4 weeks on the host.
The lice can live about 2 days without food.
The lice lay up to 10 eggs a day.
The eggs hatch from between 7 and 10 days.
In order to be rid of the lice, you need to kill the adults and remove the eggs. Eggs are stuck to the base or lower part of the hair shafts. You need to ensure your product kills the eggs so they will not hatch out live young.
Remember the eggs and lice will drop onto coat collars, bed linen, towels etc, so to ensure you keep lice at bay, you need to ensure no re-use of these items whilst the lice are being treated, and add essential oils to your wash as well as treating your child’s head.
There are quite a few essential oils recognised as being effective, being;
Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Thyme, Rosemary, Lavender and Geranium.
Aromatherapy Head Lice Treatment Formulas are best used daily, for at least a week!
Scalp & Hair Mask
50ml (for smal child with short hair) or 75ml of Grapeseed oil, Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
To 50ml add 10 drops Eucalyptus, 10 drops Tea Tree, 15 drops Lavender and 10 drops Rosemary.
To 75 ml add 15 drops Eucalyptus, 10 drops Tea Tree, 25 drops Lavender and 15 frops Rosemary.
Massage the oil into the scalp and try to ensure complete coverage, especially to the nape of the neck and behind the ears, which are favourite egg laying sites.
- Leave on for 1 hour, and then comb through with a fine toothed nit comb (I think the fine toothed nit combs are incredibly important too). The combing out is definitely the most important part!
- Remove the eggs. The oil makes the eggs easier to remove from the hair shaft (again, perseverance and patience is required here).
- Remove the live, dead or dying lice. The lice vary dramatically in size, so ensure you remove the tiny ones which you may need a magnifying glass for.
- Have a bowl of hot water mixed with 5 drops Tea Tree and 5 drops Eucalyptus oils, to wash and clean the comb after each comb through. Do not just wipe the lice and eggs on a tissue as they may crawl off.
- Shampoo and condition (see recipes below).
Apparently, it’s best to empty the water down the toilet and flush as they may crawl back up the drain if you pour the water down the sink.
100ml of chemical-free shampoo, add 10 drops each of Tea Tree, Rosemary and Geranium. Shake well before use.
To help prevent further infestation use more conditioner than normal. Use chemical-free conditioner and use the same quantities of essential oils as for the shampoo.
There are quite a few more oils and ‘recipes’ to choose from but I have tried to make this as easy as possible.
Interesting fact: I kept scratching my head and neck while writing this. Why does that happen??
Let me know how you get on and if you’ve come across any other natural remedies that work please share.
Aromatherapy essential oils are fantastic for all sorts of physical and emotional ailments. If you want any advice on using essential oils, then please just call on 01889 808388 or email [email protected]
Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for personal information and interest only. It is not intended to offer professional medical advice or treatment for any condition. I recommend you consult your GP if you have any health concerns. My advice has been provided on the basis that there are no known contra-indications to treatment. If you have any health problems or are taking any medication you should seek advice from your healthcare provider prior to using aromatherapy essential oils. I also advise you see a qualified aromatherapist who will take a full case history and offer you tailored treatment advice. Please note I accept no liability for misuse of essential oils or other products or for any reliance on the information provided within.