Unilever logo

How to get rid of head lice

If you want to know how to get rid of lice naturally and quickly, then take a look at the guide below.


hair styling brushes

Key Steps

  • Keep an eye out for symptoms including an itchy scalp or seeing the lice.
  • Use a detection comb on wet, conditioned hair every day until there are no more lice.
  • Alternatively, try specialised lotions or sprays.
  • Don’t forget to wash clothes and bedding using a good quality product such as Omo.

Most lice infestations come from direct head-to-head contact or sharing personal items such as hats or hairbrushes. Read on for our guide to how to get rid of head lice in the family and tips to keep your home free of them.

Always wash any items worn or used in the two days leading up to discovery and treatment of head lice. Use a high temperature and good quality detergent like Omo.

How to get rid of lice: identifying a head lice infestation

Before you learn how to get rid of hair lice, there are a few important steps to recognising a head lice infestation:

  • Itchy skin and scalp.
  • Seeing or feeling hair movement.
  • Spotting adult headlice which can measure up to 3mm long.
  • Seeing the nits (head lice eggs), which are usually white and sit close to the scalp.
  • Using a detection comb and removing what you suspect might be eggs and adult lice from hair.

How to get rid of lice eggs and adult lice: quick solutions and home remedies

If you’ve spotted some of the identifying signs listed above, it’s time to learn how to get rid of nits and lice quickly. We’ll also tell you how to get rid of lice naturally.

  1. Wet the hair and wash as usual.
  2. Apply plenty of conditioner to make your hair slippery.
  3. Use a detection comb to comb the hair.
  4. Continue this process until there is no sign of head lice left in the hair.
  5. Mix tea tree or lavender oils with water or your usual shampoo and use it to wash your hair. These act as head lice deterrents.
  6. If all else fails, buy a head lice treatment lotion or spray. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Always patch test any oils or treatments on your skin first to check for allergic reactions.
  8. Remember to wash any clothing and bedding you or your family have come into contact with. For more advice, read our article on how to clean school uniforms.

How to get rid of lice: top tips for head lice prevention

Now we’ve shown you how to get rid of lice fast, here are our top tips for preventing head lice.

  • Avoid head-to-head contact with other people and encourage your children to do the same.
  • Avoid sharing hairbrushes at home, school or work.
  • Keep long hair tied back. Braids are particularly good at reducing the risk of catching head lice.
  • If another family member has head lice, avoid them spreading by treating as soon as possible and cleaning all fabrics thoroughly in hot water with a good quality detergent like Omo. This includes clothes, pillows and bedsheets.
  • You can also check out our advice on personal hygiene to improve your kid’s health.

From showing you how to get rid of lice naturally using oils to giving you tips to prevent head lice, this guide tells you everything you need to know about head lice.

Originally published