Head lice are parasites that particularly affect children, especially those of kindergarten or school age. They easily pass from one person to another and therefore should be removed.
About head lice
Head lice usually do not spread diseases, but they cause itching and great discomfort. They feed on human blood by making tiny holes in the scalp. Each louse makes six or seven eggs per day, and those are called nits. That way the number of lice continues to rise. The eggs hatch from seven to ten days and a louse takes eight to nine days to mature and to lay new eggs.
The eggs or nits stick to the hair, about half an inch above the scalp. They are resistant and often hard to remove. It is very important that every treatment for hair lice removes both adult lice and the eggs, otherwise they will hatch again. More importantly, the treatment needs to be repeated after a week, to make sure all the lice and nits are gone.
Remedies for removing head lice
There are many commercially sold treatments for head lice, available in any drugstore. They generally consist of insecticides and chemicals that are toxic for the lice and kill them instantly.
After the lice are killed, they need to be combed out of the hair. The best way to do it is to divide the hair into several sections and to use a fine-toothed, thick comb. There are even especially designed lice combs, also available in drugstores. After the lice and the nits get trapped between the teeth of the comb, they should be squished with nails and washed down the drain.
It is also important to wash all the clothes, especially the headwear, and to wash the linen too. Sometimes nits can hatch in fabrics and pass onto the head again.
There are other solutions for getting rid of head lice too. Cutting the hair may be drastic, but it is one of the best solutions.
As for the home remedies, mayonnaise and vinegar work quite well, and lime juice with garlic paste are another effective remedy. Washing the hair with vinegar is also a good way to remove the lice from the hair, but it is vital to comb the hair thoroughly after each of those treatments. Some people even rub cooking oil, tea tree oil and mouthwash into the scalp.
Children who have head lice should not go to school until they remove all of them, otherwise they can pass the lice to other children, which may result in a small epidemic of sorts.