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If you have children or work around them, you know that the warmer weather can bring with it a few problems, one of which is head lice. No matter what you do to avoid them, head lice can affect a large number of children each year.
All it takes is for one child in a class to have head lice and soon enough every child will be infected. But how do you deal with them without going to extreme measures?
Pesticide-based head lice treatments are designed to be toxic to the lice but they are also toxic for people, especially your children. They are incredibly strong, meaning they aren't the best thing for using on a child's sensitive skin. There is also evidence that head lice are starting to develop resistance to these treatments, meaning they don't always work as well as you'd expect.
Rather than going down the route of strong pesticides, natural and non-toxic head lice remedies can make it easier to get rid of the pests. Teaming these treatments with regular combing when your child presents with head lice - and continuing to use a nit comb even it when it appears that they are all gone - can help to keep your child head lice free.
Natural and non-toxic methods work by slowing down the lice, which makes them easier to get rid of using a fine-toothed comb. Oils can also help to make it easier to loosen the eggs so they can be removed, which will help to get rid of any future infestations. Certain essential oils can also be used to kill and deter head lice and can be used alongside carrier oils.
One great option for a natural nit treatment is to mix together 20 drops of lavender essential oil, 20 drops of tea tree oil, four ounces of olive oil and ten drops of rosemary essential oil. You can double this mixture if your child has particularly long or thick hair.
Once the oils are mixed thoroughly, cover the hair in it, taking care to massage it in thoroughly. Wrap the hair in a shower cap or turban and leave to soak overnight, or four eight to 12 hours. Come through the hair to get rid of any tangles and then more thoroughly to remove the lice and eggs. You should find that the grown lice have been suffocated by the olive oil, while the eggs have been loosened - but not killed - making it easier to remove them.
Ideally this treatment should be used every four days for a fortnight in order to get rid of all the head lice completely.
You can also try adding tea tree oil to a normal conditioner, as the oil kills the lice and helps to stop them from returning. This is a better option if you are short on time as you simply mix the oil and conditioner together, cover dry hair and comb through thoroughly. Wash the hair thoroughly and once again repeat every four days. You can also add tea tree oil to shampoo and conditioner once all the head lice have gone to try and stop them from returning.