Can Olive Oil Help Get Rid of Lice?

By Shabana Kachhi

Lice are an infestation of small parasites found in human hair. It is most commonly found in preschoolers and elementary school children. Although these are harmless, lice feed by sucking blood from the scalps, which may lead to an itchy scalp or sores on the head.

Head lice spread through human contact only. That means exposure or physical contact like hugging the infected person can lead to the spreading of lice.

Can Olive Oil Help Get Rid of Lice?

Children get exposed to all kinds of kids at school or in the hobby classes and this makes them more susceptible to head lice. And the worst part is, if your child contracts it, there are chances of them spreading them to your whole family soon.

Head lice are easy to diagnose. If your child is constantly scratching his/her head, it is a sure shot sign of head lice infestation. However, it is always better to look out for physical signs in the hair and scalp, such as moving lice or nits (lice eggs).

Head lice infestations may affect you child in many ways. For once, the need for constantly scratching their head may be irritating. The sensation of something moving inside the hair may also be quite unpleasant. But the biggest problem they will be facing is that they will be unable to sleep at night. Head lice are nocturnal and are often active during the night. Therefore it is important to get rid of them at the earliest.

In a tropical country like ours, head lice are quite common. There are various over-the-counter medications easily available. But these come with their set of problems. Anti-lice medications are often laced with strong chemicals and pesticides, which may be quite harmful for your child's sensitive scalp. The side effects of these medications also include heavy hair fall. All this may compel you to look for natural alternatives.

We at Boldsky love all things natural and believe that every human problem has a natural solution to it. This holds true in case of head lice as well.

Olive oil has been found to be very effective in treating head lice. It acts as a suffocating agent for the lice. It coats the skin of adult lice and deprives them of oxygen, making them wither. This is the best and most natural way of removing lice from your child's scalp without subjecting them to chemicals.

Here is a step by step method of removing head lice using olive oil.

1) Choose the right kind-

When using anything for your child, you need to ensure that it is of high quality. Therefore extra virgin olive oil is regarded to be the best for this treatment.

2) Cover the whole scalp and hair-

It is important to apply loads of olive oil to the scalp and hair. In fact, you are to ensure that all the hair strands are saturated with olive oil. Covering the shoulders with a towel will keep the clothes free from oil stains.

3) Tie the hair into a bun-

Get all of the hair together and tie it into a bun sitting on top of the head. Secure it with rubber bands. Make sure the bun isn't too tight but comfortable for your child.

4) Use a shower cap-

A plastic cap or a shower cap should be used to cover the entire hair. The bottom hair line should be covered as well. In case a shower cap is too loose for your kid, a plastic wrap will work fine.

5) Double layer it with a towel-
The plastic wrap should further be covered by a towel which is to be tied as tight as possible to ensure that no air is circulated in and out. This will cut off oxygen supply to the lice and suffocate them. Leave this overnight.

6) Comb it up-

The next morning, remove the double layering and place a towel on the shoulders. Combing through the hair will help remove all the dead lice. Keep combing until nothings falls on the towel anymore.

7) Gentle wash-

Use a mild shampoo to wash off the olive oil. You may have to repeat shampooing in order to get rid of all oil residues.

8) Repeat after a week-

Although this process is quite effective in killing off the lice, the nits may still remain on the hair. Therefore, repeat the process once in a week, which is the usual time it takes for the nits to hatch. This will ensure the removal of the lice at an early stage, without giving them a chance to multiply again. 

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    Read more about: hair care how to
    Story first published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 17:17 [IST]
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