How to treat and prevent lice

It’s a gross topic but someone’s gotta cover it!  Has your kiddo had lice yet??  If so, you know how absolutely disgusting it is, not to mention embarrassing :/  Here’s what I’ve learned as a lice surviving mama!

How to TREAT and PREVENT lice:

We had to learn how to TREAT it, unfortunately so I hope this post will help you PREVENT it!

How to effectively treat lice first:
  • If you know your child (or yourself) has lice, soak your hair in Listerine (any kind) and cover with a shower cap for 2 HOURS.
  • Rinse, then do the same with Vinegar (yes, 2 MORE hours) Be sure to use a clean shower cap!
  • Rinse again then wash your hair with your normal shampoo but add 1 tablespoon of Tea Tree Oil into your shampoo bottle.
  • Condition with any brand of Coconut Conditioner.
  • Repeat 5 days later, then 5 days after that due to lice laying nits that hatch every 5 days.
To Prevent Lice:
  • Add 1 tablespoon of Tea Tree Oil to your regular shampoo bottle, the oil repels the lice.
  • Use any brand of Coconut smelling conditioner on a daily basis, lice don’t like the smell.
  • Before the school year starts, follow the instructions for treating lice…I read that a military mom of 35 years did this every year her kids were in school and between all the weird and random places they lived, her kids NEVER picked up lice.
Note: It’s been reported that lice are starting to become immune to the lice shampoo sold in stores.  Just as well, those bottles are really pricey and didn’t work the first 2 times my daughter had lice…which is why she get re-infected over and over until we heard about this treatment.

Cost: From the Dollar Store: 8 shower caps/$1, coconut conditioner/$1. Walmart: Tea Tree Oil/$8, Listerine $5, Vinegar/$1 so TOTAL COST: $16, less than 1 box of the whole preventative shampoo box!

Hope this works for you!  Worked for my girls beautifully!  Even my 2 1/2 year old kept her shower cap on the whole 4 hours without complaining. 

BIG thank you to my good friend, Melissa, for tipping me off to these home remedy treatments.  Sorry she had to suffer through it until she got it right but it benefits us all well, right?? (:  


GOOD LUCK!
On a happy note…check out all our Tips & Tricks pinterest board PLUS our back-to-school ideas! As well as our 13 back-t0-school fonts! (:
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Discussion

  1. 1


    jeannie maxwell

    Lol thank you so much! Bookmarking! We have four girls so I'm pretty sure the odds are against us.

  2. 2


    The Lovely Mrs. P

    Hi ladies,
    I read your remedy for Lice control and thought I would share mine with you. My daughter had lice for 6mths last year…what a nightmare that I care not to repeat. UGHH! She kept getting re infested by a child on her bus. Instead of all those products and steps I see you have tried…which believe me I tried everything too and on top of it I am a cosmetologist, which made this process more frustrating that I could not fix it!! UUGH! Finally I did though, I just used Tea Tree oil, from Walgreens, in the small concentrated brown bottle in the herb section of the pharmacy. I then mixed about 1/2 cup of olive oil and added about 1/4 (about 1 -1 1/1 tsp)of the small bottle of tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is very strong smelling almost gasoline like. I then worked the olive oil /tea tree mix through my daughters hair. Cover with a cap for 30-40 min. Yes it stinks and it has a minty effect on their scalp., but try to leave it on as long as they can stand. Wash their hair a few times to remove the oil and comb to remove nits. Then 3 days later repeat but only put 4-5 drops of tea tree in olive oil. Wash, comb out any nits. If you still have a problem repeat every 3 days. I also added drops of tea tree to her shampoo. I also used a daily deterrent spray from the drug store too. This did the trick for us in only 2 applications!! Such a nightmare. Olive oil is a great conditioner too and actually leaves the hair in better condition. Good luck I hope this helps!
    Kim@madeinaday
    http://madeinaday.com

  3. 3


    The Lovely Mrs. P

    Hi ladies,
    I read your remedy for Lice control and thought I would share mine with you. My daughter had lice for 6mths last year…what a nightmare that I care not to repeat. UGHH! She kept getting re infested by a child on her bus. Instead of all those products and steps I see you have tried…which believe me I tried everything too and on top of it I am a cosmetologist, which made this process more frustrating that I could not fix it!! UUGH! Finally I did though, I just used Tea Tree oil, from Walgreens, in the small concentrated brown bottle in the herb section of the pharmacy. I then mixed about 1/2 cup of olive oil and added about 1/4 (about 1 -1 1/1 tsp)of the small bottle of tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is very strong smelling almost gasoline like. I then worked the olive oil /tea tree mix through my daughters hair. Cover with a cap for 30-40 min. Yes it stinks and it has a minty effect on their scalp., but try to leave it on as long as they can stand. Wash their hair a few times to remove the oil and comb to remove nits. Then 3 days later repeat but only put 4-5 drops of tea tree in olive oil. Wash, comb out any nits. If you still have a problem repeat every 3 days. I also added drops of tea tree to her shampoo. I also used a daily deterrent spray from the drug store too. This did the trick for us in only 2 applications!! Such a nightmare. Olive oil is a great conditioner too and actually leaves the hair in better condition. Good luck I hope this helps!
    Kim@madeinaday
    http://madeinaday.com

  4. 4


    Tiffany

    I hate the smell but like the effectiveness of tea tree oil. It works as a natural home remedy for a lot of things.

  5. 5


    Natalie

    Ooh, wish I would have known this about 3 years ago! I just about lost my mind, I swear! I still have nightmares about it. I didn't know about the tea tree oil though…you'd think I would have since I grew up in Idaho Falls, in the Melaleuca capital of the U.S.! ;) Thanks for the tips, gals!

  6. 6


    Tasha

    I have not had to deal with lice yet…and with boys it sure has to be easier…but i have pinned this up just in case I ever do. Plus, you might as well just prevent things right?

  7. 7


    The {Prince} Family

    Blah that stinks u had to do this 2x sis :( Lice is a nightmare. I have done it once and hope (&pray to here do it again!)

  8. 8


    Melissa

    Oh kel! So glad it worked for ya! Fingers crossed that it doesn't come back. Xoxo

  9. 9


    Jess

    Ugh! Getting lice is horrible! We are a foster family and never dealt with lice until we had foster kiddos :-( I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and it totally sucked! After getting it 3 times over the course of 2 months, we found that coconut oil worked best for us. I slathered it into their hair (comes in a jar solid, but melts in just the warmth of your hand) and covered with a shower cap overnight. Combed through the hair the next morning (nits slid out so much easier), rinsed their hair really well, but did not shampoo (just put hair in a ponytail), combed out for the next couple of days, then washed out the oil with shampoo. Now, that it is gone, we still use coconut oil every month or so as a scalp conditioner and lice prevention.

    All these things are good to have in your back pocket since the intructions on the lice shampoos you buy in stores are so not helpful!

  10. 10


    {autie}

    nasty!
    I'm totally stashing this in my 'just in case' file! We got a note home from my son's school that someone had lice in his classroom, and I had keep-me-up-at-night nightmares about me getting it! SICK!
    thanks for the tips and tricks!

  11. 11


    Lyndsey

    Oh my gosh – lice FREAKS ME OUT!!! We have had none of it yet (knock on wood) but this is a good tool if that happens (knock on wood again – just for good measure )!!!

  12. 12


    Ashley

    THANK YOU! for posting this…2 of my girls got lice and it took me about 3 months to get rid of them…i tried everything…i will do this for sure

  13. 13


    The Richins Family

    We haven't had lice yet (crossing my fingers) but i am so glad you posted this. I will have to put tea tree in their shampoo bottles and start buying coconut conditioner. So sorry you had to deal with this so many times.

  14. 14


    Holly Lefevre

    I never had lice as a kid and only remember them checking us in class…but it seems to be an epidemic now. We had it and it was just a pain in the behind. I used Cetaphil and the chemicals. I like this idea a lot (hopefully there wont be a next time, but ya never know!). I have tea tree oil in all the shampoo now (buy it in the ethnic hair care section – much cheaper than in the herb section) and in a herb mister thingy. UGH!

  15. 15


    Brenda G

    Thank you so much! I am in head lice he$$ right now! I have been combining the listerine/vinegar and treating for 2 hours. This insanity started on Thursday night and my daughter has massively thick hair down to her mid-back. Today, I found another 2 live lice on my son and I just want to bawl. I treated him the same way I did but will retreat Friday night and every five days for another couple weeks. I'm afraid to look at my daughters hair tonight.
    THANK YOU!!

    • 16


      lollyjane

      Oh Brenda, I feel your pain. Both of my daughter’s have thick hair :( Not fun.

  16. 17


    Lolly Jane

    Oh Brenda, I feel your pain!! SO SORRY! I truly hope this helps!!! (:

  17. 18


    Organizing Made Fun Becky

    OH, this is so good that I MUST share! Thank you for taking the time to do this and that it's natural!

    Becky B.
    http://www.organizingmadefun.com
    Organizing Made Fun

  18. 19


    The Cantelmo Family

    This is GREAT! I am paranoid about my daughter getting lice and thankfully she hasn't got it yet. I don't let her brush or play with other kids hair or allow other kids to touch her hair. I remind her this almost everyday -but she is a kid! I heard about the tea tree oil but I love all the other stuff you suggested! Pinning it!

    • 20


      lollyjane

      Hopefully it doesn’t come back. Glad you established rules for her, I learned that too late!

  19. 21


    Anonymous

    Thank you so much! I am phobic about lice. It makes it worse that we found out I am allergic to chemicals in the store kits. I have never had to rid us of lice, but I did use tea tree oil as a preventative 16 yr.s ago. I was a mental health counselor at a special 2 wk camp & we found lice. Saving this for hubbie's grandkids; they have gotten lice from school & a neigbor friend.

  20. 22


    zippy

    Thanks for the information! I did a little experiment in a bowl with a louse from my son's hair – I put a drop of listerine on it, and it was knocked out after about 30 seconds. It stayed in this state for several hours – still, but alive. Then I put a drop of vinegar on it, and it suddenly awoke, sprinted like mad, and then keeled over dead after 5 seconds. It makes me wonder if you really need to bother with 2 hours of listerine, and 2 hours of vinegar, or whether 5 minutes of vinegar would be enough! This guy was d-e-a-d, dead.

    • 23


      lollyjane

      Ooooh good to know!! Will keep that in mind IF (and hopefully never) it comes back!

  21. 24


    kjd

    oh my, we’ve had it and i’ve thought about writing this post, but i just can’t bring myself to do it! the RIT stuff did not work, after several rounds and lots of tears, I bought an online book that said just this above. the listerine was temporary, too, but the tea tree was JUST the trick! literally, months of on again off again agony.

    • 25


      lollyjane

      Oh Kristen, sucky suckage huh?! Lice is the biggest annoyance ever! Luckily it’s not something that will kill you … just makes you want to go insane though! Glad the oil worked!! Hopefully that’s the last of it!

  22. 26


    Lelah

    thanks a bunch for sharing this! we just found out today that my little sister has lice :-( the school didn’t even notify parents that 2 kids were checked and have them week before last! we were furious but they said it wasn’t policy. needless tosay my mom was mortified to find out. i’ve already shared this with hernand we’re gonna give it a try. the lie isn’t too bad yet thank god so hopefully we can get rid of them

  23. 27


    Andrea

    We went round and round with the chemicals and then the home rememdies… finally hired a professional – yes, a professional – to come remove the lice from my daughter. Learned some great tips… #1 the bottles in the store have different main ingredients. If one brand doesn’t work, try another. This stuff only kills hatched lice – not the nits. Nothing on the market kills the nits. #2 the most “organic” way to kill them is heat. The professional used a type of hairdryer on small, small sections of hair – not hot enough to burn her scalp but hot enough to kill the adult lice #3 invest in a GOOD nit comb – not the plastic ones that come in the store kits. We now have a metal tooth comb that each tooth is actually a spiral #4 take the time to carefully comb through tiny sections of hair and use baking soda on the comb to help catch the nits. Comb each section multiple times in different directions (from under the hair, on top, on the side). Keep clean hair and “infested” hair separate on the head by using clips. It’s easier to clip it all up and start at the nape of the neck moving up to the top, then start over the ears working up to the center part. The combing is the most important in order to stop re-infestation.
    Hope those tips help!

  24. 28

    Last year I got head lice and only one remedy helped me get rid of it. I shampooed my hair and then rinsed it. Then I rinsed it again with a mix of water and kitchen vinegar in equal proportions. This home remedy has bad odor, but it is really effective!

  25. 29


    Charlene z.

    Does crest mouth wash work too?

    • 30


      lollyjane

      Good question, Charlene! I’ve never heard of that method?? All I know is lice is becoming immune to the boxes at the store so natural is the best way to go!

  26. 31


    Teren

    Thank you so much for this post!! I have been having such a hard time finding info online about lice treatments. I was wondering if you combed the hair with a nit comb as well?

    • 32


      lollyjane

      I just used a fine tooth comb, a cheap one from Walgreens (:

  27. 33

    When do you comb the nits out?

    • 34


      lollyjane

      Right after the homemade treatment soaks their hair.

  28. 35


    Krista

    It really is so nice to know that I am not alone in the battle with Lice! So embarrassing and disgusting.

  29. 36


    Denise

    Im so absolutely obsessed with this whole process, I feel terrible everytime I look at our daughter I’m looking at her hair! Defitenely trying this tomorrow, I spent over $100 on products Im flipping my lid over this. I would like to hear from everyone who tried this if it worked?