Home Remedies For Head Lice Using Essential Oils

Head LiceHead Louse (Lice is plural of louse.)

While head lice aren't dangerous, they are annoying and can spread to other people. Using home remedies for head lice is an alternative to harsh commercial products to get rid of lice.

Plus, according to a Woman's Day article, commercial products are becoming less effective. The article also busts two myths about lice. First, lice cannot be spread by hats, scarves, or other items; lice only spread by head-to-head contact. Second, getting lice doesn't mean hair is dirty; lice are more attracted to clean hair than dirty.

Nit (Head Louse Egg)

An essential part of head lice treatment is a nit comb. Nits are lice eggs, and they're much harder to kill than the adult lice. A nit comb has fine teeth that are very close together and snag the nits as you comb through the hair. Use a nit comb in addition to any other home remedy you use for lice.

Aromatherapy Head Louse Treatment

Some studies suggest essential oils, such as tea tree oil, may be effective in home remedies for head lice.

Caution: The following aromatherapy blend is strong and some people may be sensitive to it. Patch test first, especially on children. Make sure you keep the solution out of eyes. If irritation starts to develop, immediately wash the solution out of the hair.

Repeat the use of this remedy once a day for three days to make sure you get rid of all lice and their nits.

Blend the following essential oils with four ounces of carrier oil (some sources indicate that coconut oil, olive oil, and neem oil may help kill lice):


  • 5 drops ylang ylang
  • 10 drops geranium
  • 10 drops juniper
  • 10 drops rosemary
  • 20 drops lavender
  • 20 drops eucalyptus
  1. Work the blend into dry hair.
  2. Cover hair with a shower cap or plastic bag.
  3. Wrap a towel around the head to avoid irritation to the eyes.
  4. Let the blend remain in the hair for one to two hours.
  5. To wash out the oils, don't wet the hair but work in shampoo directly. Then rinse with water.
  6. Shampoo again. Rinse with water and a few drops of lavender essential oil.

Note: If you don't have one of the essential oils for lice used in this aromatherapy recipe, replace it with tea tree oil.

Source: Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art

Alternative Home Remedies For Head Lice

If the first blend is too strong for you or your child, try one of the following home remedies.

Head Lice Treatment 1

  • 1 teaspoon karanja or neem oil
  • 3 tablespoons jojoba oil
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  1. Blend all ingredients.
  2. Apply to hair and leave on for one to two hours.
  3. Comb hair with fine-toothed comb.
  4. Shampoo.

Prevention: Apply one drop of an undiluted mixture of lavender and tea tree oils to the nape of the neck and temples.

Source: The Essential Guide to Natural Skin Care

Head Lice Treatment 2

Use the following blend for three treatments in one day. Seven days later, again do three treatments in one day to kill any eggs that hatched. Wash all bedding and clothing each day you use this home remedy for lice.

  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 2 drops thyme essential oil
  • 2 drops pine essential oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  1. Blend all the ingredients.
  2. Apply 1 teaspoon of mixture to the head and massage into the hair.
  3. Wrap the head with a towel. Leave on for about one hour.
  4. Rinse hair.

Source: Essential Oils For Healing

Click here for recommended essential oils.



Photo Credits: Microscopic male louse (top photo) and a louse egg by Gilles San Martin via Wikimedia Commons [CC-BY-SA-2.0].

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