Head lice are tiny wingless insects that colonize scalp and hair. Lice have parasitic existence. They feed on the host's blood and dry skin and scales loosening from scalp. Lice are not injurious to health but are simply annoying. Lice infestation, also known as pediculosis, is contagious in nature. It spreads through direct or indirect contact with the host. Sharing of contaminated clothing, towels, brushes, combs and other belongings of the infected person, puts one at the risk of acquiring head lice.
Thus if one family member acquires head lice, the others are also likely to get infected. The growth of head lice occurs through 3 different phases: nit phase, nymph phase and adult hood. Nits are oval shaped, yellowish-white lice eggs. Nits cling to hair shaft and are often mistaken for dandruff or spray droplets. Nits hatch in a week's time. Once, the nit hatches, the baby louse emerges. It is called nymph. A nymph feeds on blood and takes about 7 days from the day of hatching, to reach adulthood. An adult louse resembles a sesame seed in size. It is six legged and dark or grayish white in color.
The life span of adult louse is 30 days. If a head louse falls off from head, it can survive up to 2 days at the most. Head lice move about in the midst of hair and cause a tickling sensation. They also cause severe itching. Some times sores develop due to vigorous scratching and the sores may even get infected. Head lice are unable to crawl or jump. They prefer clean hair over greasy hair, because in case of greasy hair, they face difficulty in attaching their nits. Their legs are designed as claws to facilitate both feeding and clinging to hair shaft.
Home Remedies for Head Lice
1. After shampooing, apply some vinegar on hair and allow it to stand for 4-5 minutes. Then dry up your hair with towel. This treatment allows easy removal of all nits.
2. Apply a paste made out of lemon juice and pounded garlic cloves on head. This destroys lice.
3. Apply tea tree oil on head and keep overnight. In the next morning, wash off hair. This helps to get rid of head lice.
4. Grind custard apple to a paste and apply on head. Cover up your head with a cloth and keep overnight. Then wash off the next morning. This is an effective home remedy for head lice.
5. Application of mayonnaise oil on head is a helpful lice treatment.
6. Pour few drops of baby oil in to a cup of vinegar and apply the solution on head. Shampoo after 1 hour. This eliminates lice.
7. Add few drops of lemon juice to a bowl of butter. Apply the mixture on head and keep for 20 minutes. Then shampoo your head. This is highly beneficial in treating lice.
8. Apply a mixture of vinegar and water to head and keep overnight. Wash off the next morning to free your head of lice.
9. Application of onion juice on head 4 hours before shampoo is a useful lice cure.
10. Oil your hair with olive oil and cover head with a plastic bag. Leave overnight. Next morning, extract all lice with nit comb. This is a good anti-head lice remedy.
11. Make a paste out of 10-12 almonds. Add 3-4 drops of lemon juice to the paste and apply on hair. Allow it to dry and then shampoo your hair. This treatment destroys lice.