By Titilayo Kupoliyi

Now and then, her right hand swings to her head, scratching away at her hair vigorously.

Her target is louse (plural lice), the common name for any member of the clade Phthiraptera, which contains nearly 5,000 species of wingless parasitic insects.

Lice easily find the hair of children habitable as most of them play with sand, making it dirty, hence breeding lice.

Though, head lice can affect anyone but occur most often among children between the ages of 3 to 11years old.

And most times children with bushy unkempt hair are susceptible to having hair lice. 

Yoruba call hair lice, ina-ori, Hausas call it kurajen gashi, and is known as ntutu isi by Igbo.

Hair lice feed on blood from the human scalp.

VeryWell Health

According to experts, the insects usually spread through direct transfer from the hair of one person to another in cases where sharing of items including combs, brushes and hats are involved.

The most common symptom of head lice is itching, especially on the back of the head and neck and near your ears — areas where lice are more likely to live.

Symptoms of head lice include:

• Feeling like something in your hair is moving (tickling).

• Itching.

• Sores from itching and scratching.

• Difficulty sleeping.

Head lice are most active at night, which can disrupt sleep.

Frequent itching can break the skin on your head, which can lead to an infection.

Head lice can’t fly or jump, so they spread by crawling from person to person during close contact. Although rare, head lice can spread through personal items like towels, sheets, hairbrushes or hats.

To prevent hair lice however, it is imperative people keep their hair clean always while shunning the attitude of sharing instruments like combs, brushes etc

You can check for lice at home if you suspect your child has head lice by running a fine-toothed comb or a special head lice comb slowly through your child’s hair to locate nits or head lice.

Lice Doctors

Lice Home Remedies

There are quite a few natural options that you can choose from when treating your household for lice. 

Many of these options work well in the form of a hair mask and shampoo, and all options work best if followed with an apple cider vinegar rinse and a daily combing with a good nit comb to remove any eggs that might be left on your scalp. 

Lice eggs take 7 days to hatch, so it’s important to be consistent with these treatments and comb for at least 7 days to be sure that you haven’t missed any eggs. 

Olive Oil/Coconut Oil

Gentle, conditioning of the  hair, and antibacterial, coconut and olive oil make great natural options to rid the scalp of lice and the itching they cause.

Carrier oils are most commonly used to get rid of lice by combining them with essential oils, which are then applied to the hair and left on for hours to smother and kill all of the adult lice. After shampooing the oil out of the hair, it is best to follow with a raw apple cider vinegar rinse and comb with a nit comb. 

Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

While it won’t kill the adult lice, raw apple cider vinegar is the perfect conditioning rinse to use after any of the other natural lice treatments chosen for use. Raw apple cider vinegar is acidic enough to break the glue that binds lice eggs, kills baby lice (called nits), and repel any lice from wanting to live on thehead. After shampooing, spray apple cider vinegar rinse onto the head, completely saturating hair and scalp. Do not rinse out. Follow with a nit comb on wet hair.

Aloe Vera Gel

This stuff rocks in so many ways for the hair, but yet another use of it is to help kill lice on the head (read more ways to use aloe vera here). Just like the carrier oils, aloe vera gel can be used to smother and kill lice. Not only will it condition the hair, but its acidity level also helps to remove the nit eggs. Apply to the hair just as you would the carrier oils, cover the head with a shower cap and letting dry completely before rinsing. Follow with raw apple cider vinegar rinse and comb with a nit comb. 


Soapnut liquid can be used to shampoo and soak the hair, helping to rid your scalp of lice. When used frequently during an outbreak of lice, soapnuts can also be effective lice repellent. Follow with a raw apple cider vinegar rinse and a nit comb after application. Check out my DIY Herbal Goddess Soapnuts Shampoo recipe! 

Lemon Juice/Lemon Peel Tea

Just like apple cider vinegar, lemon juice is very acidic and can help loosen and remove eggs and nits from the scalp. The peel of lemons and oranges contains their essential oils. These two citrus essential oils are rich in the chemical constituent d-limonene, a fabulous insecticide that will dissolve the husk of all bugs, good or bad. I use sweet orange essential oil when cleaning my home during the summer to keep fleas away! 

Essential Oils

There are many essential oils that can be used to help prevent and kill lice, many of which have been specifically tested for use against lice and lice eggs.

Essential oils that have shown a high percentage of effectiveness are anise seed, cinnamon leaf, tea tree, oregano, red thyme, sweet orange, clove, eucalyptus, geranium, lemongrass, peppermint, and nutmeg. 

Essential oils are extremely potent combinations of chemical constituents and great care should be taken when using them. Not all essential oils are safe for all ages, so if treating for lice on children, it is important to make sure that extra precautions are taken for safe use. Do not use essential oils on anyone without diluting them in oil first.

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