There are a lot of hair problems that we face throughout our life. People suffer from dry hair and scalp problems as well as dandruff. However, one of the most irritating and harmful among this issue are lice. Irrespective of age, lice can affect any person. Simply sharing a comb with someone who is affected with lice is enough reason to be contagious.
Children are more susceptible to this issue since they play with each other and often come in close contact. As such, it is possible that if one member of the group has contracted lice, that person will definitely transmit it to the rest of the group. Lice need to be treated quickly and efficiently in order to save oneself from any further complications or health issues.
Our hair plays a big role in casting our impression over others and it is important that we be careful and gentle towards it. Most of the chemical treatments available for lice can seriously damage the quality of your hair, leading to rough and frizzy locks. This article will help you understand how to get rid of lice in the most natural way of using tea tree oil for lice so that your hair is not adversely affected due to the treatment.
About Head Lice
This article will tell you how to use tea tree oil for lice. First, let’s try to understand what head lice(1) are and what makes them so harmful to our health.
Head lice are small, brown color insects that use our scalp as their source of food. They have a specialized mouth that is built to suck blood from our scalp. Another major problem with lice is that they multiply really fast. Though they cannot jump from one’s head onto another’s, these lice can crawl across from one host to another. These creatures settle on the base of hair strands and hold on to the hair with their vice-like grip so that they do not fall off when we comb our hair. Same is true for the eggshells which are left behind in our hair after the lice have hatched.
Symptoms, causes, and risk factors
Head lice specifically feed on human blood from hair scalp, spilling their saliva onto the hair and the head scalp. The saliva creates an allergic reaction causing itching and discomfort.
Significant causes of head lice are
- Encountering a person suffering from head lice
- Sharing of personal items of an infected person
- Coming in contact with furniture or upholstery infected with head lice
The primary symptoms for head lice are: –
- Tickling feeling of something moving on your head
- Constant itching feeling
- Sores that develop from scratching
- Difficulty in sleeping.
The primary age group of human beings prone to head lice is an elementary school and preschool-aged children, specifically girls. Girls have more tendency to head lice owing to longer hair and head-to-head contact. Another significant risk factor for head lice would be poor communication. If a child has head lice, it is better to inform everyone in close contact.
What is tea tree oil?
(where it comes from, its applications and properties)
Tea tree oil is extracted from leaves of the tea tree called the Melaleuca alternifolia tree that is native to Australia. Going back to the eighteenth century, the sailors during those days has discovered the tea tree plant. Do not confuse yourself with the standard tea plant that is used to make a tea that we typically drink as a hot beverage.
The tea tree essential oil contains two very major compounds that have insecticidal activity namely 1, 8-cineole and terpinen-4-ol. These compounds are said to have properties that help kill bacteria and fungus and assist in reducing allergic skin reactions.
A few primary uses of tea tree oil are on top of skin acne, fungal infections caused by a finger or toenails, lice, scabies, and ringworm. The tea tree essential oil possesses antiseptic properties, which help in curing cuts and bruises, for skin burns, bee stings and insect bites, and vaginal infections.
Extracted Tea tree essential oil is very concentrated and potent. Therefore, health experts suggest it be mixed and diluted with any carrier oil such as coconut oil and then be used.
Why use tea tree oil for lice treatment
Since tea tree essential oil(2) has powerful antiseptic properties, it is useful in fighting many conditions including head lice. It also has many characteristics like being disinfectant, bactericide, fungicide, and antiviral. Experts say that tea tree has properties that can kill head lice and all scalp fungal infections caused by lice.
How to use tea tree oil for head lice
Tea tree essential oils is best known for its purifying properties. It is widely used to cleanse skin, nails and hair scalps. It possesses properties that help soothe skin irritations and rashes. Using Tea Tree Oil and Almond Oil as a combination can help cure lupus rash. Adding a few drops of Lemon essential oil to the mixture assists with prevention from scarring.
Tea tree essential oil can be diluted with any other oil like coconut or olive oil and be applied to scalp and hair. It also is added to water while taking a bath for rinsing the hair.
Tea tree essential oil considered likely unsafe when consumed or taken by mouth. It is advised by health experts not to take tea tree oil by mouth. As a rule, never consume undiluted essential oils orally owing to the possibility of severe side effects. Getting advice from an expert is suggested to know what suits you.
[Read: Essential Oils for Lice]
Tea Tree Oil DIY
Following are some Do It Yourself (DIY) recipes involving tea tree essential oil, to cure the ailment of Head lice.
RECIPE 1: Hair mask with a Mix of Tea tree oil and lavender oil with almond oil
Things you will need
Tea tree essential oil, lavender oil, and almond oil
Mix 25 drops of tea tree essential oil and 25 drops of lavender essential oil with 100 milliliters of almond oil. Coat the hair scalp and strands (preferably wet hair) with this mixture.
Comb through the hair, to remove any knots and wrap the hair with a plastic wrap. Let this mask stay on for 2 to 3 hours. Rinse the hair with shampoo, if required shampoo twice and rinse thoroughly.
Comb through the hair with a nit comb to remove all dead lice. For better and quick results, it’s suggested to repeat this treatment for seven days.
[Read: Tea Tree Oil For Hair Growth]
RECIPE 2: Applying pure tea tree oil
Things you will need
Tea tree essential oil.
One can apply tea tree oil directly to the skin, provided it is a tiny patch, and it is not advised to apply it too often and over a long period. Do not use more than two drops of tea tree essential oil, since it would be very potent and for a maximum of three days only. Rinse hair after the process with regular shampooing and comb through the hair to remove dead lice.
Precautions, side effects, do’s and don’ts of using this oil
Do’s and don’ts
It is always suggested consulting a health expert to determine what works best for you. Never ingest essential oils. Still take precautions when it comes to children, pets, pregnant women and the elderly.
Unnecessary and overconsumption could also be fatal. Topical applications or inhalations can reap the benefits of essential oils. Don’t use too much, since essential oils are very much concentrated and potent.
1. Always use top-quality essential oils or therapeutic grade oil. It should be certified as organic, and 100% pure.
2. Keep essential oils away from sensitive areas. Essential oils are considered as nature’s powerhouses as they are 40-50 times more potent than the plant it’s extracted from. Avoid using or applying essential oils to sensitive areas of the body, including the genitals or area near your eyes.
3. Always test new oils to make sure there are no reactions before applying. A patch test is always advisable to check if the essential oil causes any redness or itching or any irritation.
4. Never heat essential oils. What you may be not aware of is that boiling these oils ruins their healing characteristics.
Excessive use of anything could have a drawback, applies the same for essential oils. Always advising a health expert to decide what is suitable for you will reduce the chances of side effects like allergic reactions and skin irritation. Researches have shown that excessive use of essential oils like lavender and tea-tree have shown some hormonal-effects. It’s advised to avoid contact of essential oils onto skin for a very long time.
Following are other home remedies that could be used to treat head lice.
- Spray Listerine on your hair and wrap it up for 2 hours. Rinse with a mild shampoo for best results
- Make a solution with equal parts of vinegar and water and apply it thoroughly on the scalp. Keep it on for about 30 minutes and then comb your hair. You will see the dead lice falling off.
- Apply a generous amount of Benzyl Alcohol solution to the hair and scalp in the affected area and wash it off after 10 minutes. Comb your hair properly with a nit comb.
Tea tree essential oil is considered one of the best lice repellents. It has excellent properties that will help for lice prevention. By following the above DIY recipes and home, remedies will help one cure adult lice and as well as stubborn nits.
Hoping the above content regarding essential oils for lice treatment was useful to you. Essentials oils are the trending buddies for one’s health and wellness. Above mentioned essential oils can help one combat the risking factors for lice treatment in a natural way.
Keeping in mind the dos and don’ts, precautions and side-effects regarding essential oils will hold one at bay from unwanted complications. Always visiting and consulting a health expert as to know what’s best for your body is vital.