How to get rid of head lice: treatment at home

We cover all the key tips and tricks when it comes to how to get rid of lice in your home.

Updated

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Key steps

To get rid of head lice at home follow these key steps:

  1. Inspect the hair for symptoms – like an itchy scalp and seeing the lice or their eggs.
  2. Comb wet, conditioned hair with a detection comb every day until the lice have gone.
  3. If that doesn’t work, try using medicated lotions or sprays.
  4. Wash all worn items from two days prior with hot water and a good detergent and fabric conditioner, like OMO and Comfort Pure.
  5. Wipe down all surfaces in the home with a powerful cleaner, such as Handy Andy.

Numerous home remedies are available to remove head lice. But how do you make sure to get rid of lice from your home, and everyone in it, while also preventing them from returning? Learn every step to take against a head lice infestation below: from understanding the symptoms and treating the person infested to laundry and house cleaning advice to prevent them from coming back. We’ve got everything you need to know on how to get rid of head lice in your home.

Any item that has been worn during the two days leading up to the initial head lice treatment should be thoroughly cleaned. Wash and dry clothes on a high temperature with a good quality detergent and fabric conditioner, such as OMO and Comfort Pure.

How to identify an infestation: Head lice symptoms

There are a few ways to know whether you or someone in the family has head lice.

These include:

  1. Scratching the scalp and itchy skin.
  2. The feeling of something moving in your hair.
  3. Seeing the headlice – they are up to 3mm long and can often be seen through the hair.
  4. Seeing the lice eggs – these are brown or white and attached to the hair close to the scalp.

If you’re unsure, get a special lice detection comb to help you. This is a very fine-toothed comb which can be used to remove eggs and adult lice from your hair.

How to get rid of head lice: In your home and in your hair

Noticed some of the signs above? Don’t panic. There are plenty of solutions and home remedies for head lice that you can use. Here's how to get rid of lice (or nits as they're also called) quickly:

  1. Comb through wet hair with a lice detection comb. You'll need to repeat this process every day until there are no signs of lice or their eggs.
  2. Apply lots of conditioner when washing your hair. This will make your hair slippery which means lice will struggle to get their grip and are easier to remove.
  3. Use essential oils on your hair. Tea tree and lavender oil are good head lice deterrents. Mix them with water, oil, or shampoo and wash through your hair.
  4. Try medicated lotions and sprays. These can be bought at a pharmacy or in bigger supermarkets. Follow the instructions on the pack. 
Trying any lice treatments at home? Always patch test it on your skin before you treat headlice. They can be pretty strong, so it’s important to prevent any nasty allergic reactions.

How to avoid an infestation: Head lice prevention

There’s little that can effectively prevent headlice entirely. They are very common – especially in children as it can be easily caught at school – but you can reduce the risk of catching them by avoiding head-to-head contact with anyone who has nits or wearing a protective cap to cover the hair.

When one of your family suffers from headlice, you can reduce the risk of it spreading to the rest of the household through thorough cleaning. Make sure all fabrics are washed thoroughly in hot water to prevent lice spreading or coming back – this includes clothes, pillows and bed sheets. Also, be sure to clean surfaces with an effective home cleaning solution like Handy Andy.

Now you know the essentials when it comes to getting rid of head lice. The most important step in learning how to get rid of lice is catching it early and treating it comprehensively.

Originally published