(NaturalNews) Head lice are parasitical brown insects that thrive on the scalps of humans. Due to their short 30-day life cycle, they tend to reproduce quickly. Their eggs, commonly called "nits," are produced within a week of the female louse's lifetime and can be even more difficult to remove than the lice themselves, since they are firmly attached to the hair shafts. Although head lice are often associated with schoolchildren, in reality, anyone with a head of hair can contact them if they are in close proximity to others who are infested.
A number of conventional treatments for head lice exist, but they are often aggressive, unnatural and unpleasant. This is especially the case with anti-lice shampoos. Fortunately, home remedies for head lice infestations are also available, and they often work much better than their pharmaceutical equivalents.
Treatment with white vinegar
The key to removing a lice infestation is to saturate the hair with one or more ingredients that are likely to kill the lice and then repeat every other day so that no eggs remain. An excellent natural method is as follows:
Soak your head in white vinegar for an hour or more. It is recommended that you cover your head with a shower cap during this time.
Rinse your hair with warm water. You may notice a large number of dead lice falling out.
Next, wash your hair normally using your favorite shampoo. Comb your hair using a nit comb whilst the shampoo is still in the hair. The remaining dead lice will get stuck in the lather and are easily removed.
After rinsing thoroughly, the lice will be removed. You may re-apply some more shampoo if you feel that the vinegar smell is not yet eradicated.
Repeat the process at least a couple of times over a period of a week in case any eggs survived the initial treatment
Some people receive good results by mixing the vinegar with rubbing alcohol, baby oil or even mayonnaise.
Alternatives to vinegar
If you cannot handle white vinegar, then there are a number of other treatments that work just as well:
Onion juice - Extract the juice of an onion into a small bowl and then apply it to the scalp, massaging the roots gently. Allow the juice to remain on the hair for three to four hours. The juice's sulfur content will kill the lice, which can be removed after regular subsequent washes.
Coconut oil - Take some freshly-extracted coconut oil, mix some camphor extract into it and apply the mixture to your scalp before retiring to bed. Wash with shampoo the following morning.
Garlic cloves and lemon juice - This is an especially aggressive remedy that is suitable for severe infestations. Grind some garlic cloves into a paste, mix it with freshly-squeezed lemon juice and massage the mixture into the scalp before retiring to bed. The chemicals in the garlic, coupled with the lemon juice's acidic qualities, will ensure that the head lice will be killed overnight. The next morning, have a shower or head bath to remove the dead lice.
In all instances, you need to ensure that you repeat the process at least a handful of times within a period of a week. Head lice can be stubborn, and while the initial batch of adult lice might expire from the initial cleanse, their eggs can remain attached to your hair and will require additional purges.
About the author: Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world's healthiest foods.