Head lice are insects that feed on human blood and infect the scalp. Head lice are easy to spread from one person to the other by physical contact and live their entire life cycle in the scalp. The challenge with treating head lice is that most treatments kill the head lice but cannot help prevent their re-infestation. Tea tree oil has been scientifically proven to cure head lice and we shall focus on that in this article
Can Tea Tree Oil Cure Head Lice?
- Tea tree oil has 2 components viz. 1,8-cineole and terpinen-4-ol, that are known to have insecticidal properties.
- Use of tea tree oil not only kills the lice but also kills the eggs that have been laid in the shafts of the hair.
- The strong smell of tea tree oil prevents re-infestation of head lice as well.
- A scientific study has proved that a product containing 10% tea tree oil and 1% lavender oil killed 96.7% of the head lice.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Head Lice?
Tea Tree Oil:
- Apply 2-3 drops of tea tree oil on the scalp before going to sleep.
- Leave it in overnight and comb hair after getting up the next morning to remove dead lice.
- Wash hair with shampoos and conditioners that contain tea tree oil.
- Repeat twice every week till all the lice get killed and cleaned.
Tea tree Oil with Coconut Oil:
- Mix one teaspoon of tea tree oil with 3 teaspoons of coconut oil.
- Add this to 1 ounce of a natural shampoo.
- Apply this to your hair and leave it in for 30 minutes.
- Cover your head once this is applied.
- Comb hair thoroughly to remove dead lice.
- Wash hair normally and repeat the process twice in one week.
Tea Tree Oil with Olive Oil:
- Mix few drops of tea tree oil with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Apply this on the hair scalp.
- Leave it in for 30-60 minutes and rinse with water.
- Rinse hair with vinegar to prevent further infection.
- Repeat the process 3-times a week.
Tips and Precautions:
- Tea tree oil is considered toxic when ingested orally, hence all the products that contain tea tree oil are recommended for topical application only. It is very important to care for proper storage of tea tree oil so that they do not accidentally get ingested by someone inadvertently.
- Use of tea tree oil can cause skin irritation, mild rashes, depressed behaviour, diarrhea, muscle tremors, loss of enthusiasm, rashes around the mouth, bad breath and stomach pain etc. and hence should be avoided if one has a history of allergies.
It is always advisable to check the concentration of tea tree oil before using it as it can cause the skin to burn. Dilution is advised before use.