Hi There, My boyfriend has dreads and has just discovered that he has head lice. I was wondering if you knew any natural ways to get rid of them as all head lice treatments say to comb them out, which is impossible in his case. He's only had them for a year and is absolutely gutted at the thought of cutting them off. We've tried white vinegar and tea tree oil which seems to kill them for a week or so but then their back. He will try anything and blatantly refuses to get the chop. Thanks
Hello sweetie! Awful problem, my son caught them when he was in Primary School “mum, I have bugs in my hair!”
There are lots of natural remedies and old remedies, the problem is, sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. It is really a case of trial and error i’m afraid.
Neem Oil has anti-parasitic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities. They use this oil a lot in India for the treatment of head and body lice and disorders of the skin. A treatment would involve dousing the entire head with the oil, making sure to soak the roots properly. Wrap the head tightly with cling film (saran wrap, plastic wrap) and wear a shower cap to keep the cling film in place. Sleep with this overnight. The idea here is to smother the insects, basically suffocate and drown them. Other oils that can be used in place of Neem, include Sunflower and Olive.
Quassia (Quassia amara) wood chips can be boiled in water and left to steep for a few hours. The resulting infusion is poured into a spray bottle and used to liberally saturate the head. I purchase all of my bulk herbs from here.
You can also try using mayonnaise and again wrap the head in plastic as mentioned before with the oils and left overnight.
Other people use the acidic qualities of Cola soda drinks, although sticky because of the sugar residue it tends to have the same effect as using vinegar.
I’ve been hearing good things about Cetaphil Face Cleanser, its used in the same way as hair conditioner. The head is saturated and then covered tightly and left overnight, again the aim is to deny the lice oxygen so they eventually suffocate. By the same principal, I guess you could use regular hair conditioner.
Okay, these are the treatments that I know about but it’s not just the lice you have to kill, its the eggs (nits). They lay millions of them. This is probably why the lice keep coming back on your boyfriends head. I am so sorry to say this but he is going to have to comb out his dreads entirely or shave his head. The dead lice must be combed out. The eggs must be combed out. There is no other way. You may succeed in eventually killing both lice and eggs but I can’t imagine he would want their corpses stuck in his hair forever!
Do make sure to boil sheets and pillowcases and clothing. These creatures are pesky little survivors. Also, it’s probably a good idea to apply the same treatments to your hair, its likely you may also become infested.
Okay, now I feel really bad having instructed the killing of insects :(
Peace & Love.