Getting rid of head lice can be a challenging process, but with patience and persistence, it can be done effectively. If after several attempts to get rid of lice at home the infestation persists, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional or a lice removal specialist for further guidance and treatment options. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you eliminate head lice
1. Confirm the Infestation: Make sure it’s lice you’re dealing with. Head lice are tiny, wingless insects that live on the scalp and feed on blood. They lay eggs called nits, which are glued to the hair shafts close to the scalp.
2. Use Over-the-Counter Lice Shampoo: Purchase an over-the-counter lice shampoo or pediculicide from a pharmacy. Follow the instructions carefully. Usually, these shampoos need to be applied to dry hair and left on for a specific amount of time before rinsing.
3. Comb Out Lice and Nits: After using the lice shampoo, use a fine-toothed lice comb to remove dead lice and nits. Comb small sections of damp hair from the scalp to the ends, wiping the comb on a paper towel after each pass. This process needs to be repeated every few days to ensure all lice and nits are removed.
4. Wash Bedding and Clothing: Wash all bedding, pillowcases, and clothing that the infested person has used in hot water (above 130°F or 54°C) and dry them on high heat. Items that cannot be washed can be sealed in a plastic bag for two weeks to suffocate any remaining lice.
5. Vacuum and Clean the Environment: Vacuum carpets, upholstery, and any other areas where the infested person has been. Dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag or empty the canister in an outdoor trash bin immediately.
6. Avoid Sharing Personal Items: Instruct the infested person not to share hats, scarves, hair accessories, combs, or brushes. Lice can spread through the sharing of personal items.
7. Natural Remedies: Some people prefer natural remedies such as applying mayonnaise, olive oil, or tea tree oil to the hair and scalp. While these methods might suffocate lice, there’s limited scientific evidence on their effectiveness. If you choose to use natural remedies, be aware that they might not completely eliminate the infestation.
8. Repeat Treatment if Necessary: In some cases, a second application of lice shampoo may be necessary. Follow the instructions on the product and consult a healthcare professional if the lice persist.
9. Check Family Members: Check all family members for lice, and if anyone else is infested, treat them simultaneously to prevent reinfestation.