If you see your child scratching away at his or her head, it's most likely he or she has lice. On closer inspection, an itchy scalp will have a lot of red welts going all the way to the nape of the neck, and the white specks on the strand of hair, which are actually nits, confirm that your child is infected with lice.
While most concerned parents resort to a doctor's prescription to get the right anti-lice treatment, there are also a number of head lice home remedies that you could use, right in the comfort of your home.
Before you begin treatment, make sure that the white flecks you find in your child's hair are nits and not dandruff. The difference is quite easy to detect. Dandruff normally originates from the scalp; whereas nits are attached to the hair strand with its hair shaft.
If you see actual lice moving about in your child's scalp, you might want to get immediate medical treatment and not just home remedies. If all you can see are nits, then you can go ahead with these simple home remedies.
One quite effective way is to suffocate the lice by applying a thick coat of mayonnaise and then cover the head tightly with a wrap, leaving no room for air to get in. After about two hours, rinse the hair out well using an anti-lice shampoo. Comb out dead lice and nits with a lice comb. For best results, repeat this process twice. Instead of mayonnaise, olive oil, hair conditioners, baby oil or heavy henna hair cream may also be used instead. Of all these options, olive oil is the best solution, as it softens the shell of the lice, making them more vulnerable and therefore much easier to remove.
Using herbal remedies is another way to combat this problem. Certain essential oils and tea tree oils have been used for removing lice, but exactly how effective is this method is uncertain. The drawback in this method is that it is not recommended for very young kids as it may irritate their skin and scalp. If at all it must be used on young children, an allergy test is required. However, herbal remedies are better used on older children.
Another remedy is Benzyl Alcohol Lotion. 5% of this lotion can be applied to your child's' hair for 10 minutes, making sure each strand of hair is covered in lotion. Clean hair using a lice comb and then shampoo thoroughly preferably using an anti-lice shampoo. Repeating this process weekly will ensure your child has no lice or nits. It's an effective way to kill lice by crippling their respiratory tract. However, precautions are necessary. Make sure your child is nor allergic to Benzyl Alcohol Lotion and is above six months old.
Lastly, having a good anti-lice shampoo at home is a must to finish off any anti-lice treatment that you have done. Other than being easy to use, it's a good way to control lice infestation.By Christopher R. Thomas