Every now and again an infestation of Lice strikes. Bringing with it a flush of fear and a flurry of activity. While essential oils can certainly help to clear the infestation, regular addition of essential oils to your hair care products can help to prevent it from starting at all.
According to the Mayo Clinic.org:
Lice are tiny, wingless, parasitic insects that feed on your blood. They are easily spread — especially by schoolchildren — through close personal contact and by sharing belongings.
Several types exist:
- Head lice. These develop on your scalp. They’re easiest to see at the nape of your neck and over your ears.
- Body lice. These live in clothing and on bedding and move on to your skin to feed. Body lice most often affect people — such as homeless or transient individuals — who aren’t able to bathe or launder clothing regularly.
- Pubic lice. Commonly called crabs, these occur on the skin and hair of your pubic area and, less frequently, on coarse body hair, such as chest hair, eyebrows or eyelashes.
Signs and symptoms of lice include:
- Intense itching.
- Tickling feeling from movement of hair.
- They can be seen on your scalp, body, clothing, or pubic or other body hair. Adults may be about the size of a sesame seed or slightly larger.
- Lice eggs (nits) on hair shafts. Nits resemble tiny pussy willow buds. Nits can be mistaken for dandruff, but unlike dandruff, they can’t be easily brushed out of hair.
- Small, red bumps on the scalp, neck and shoulders.
Essential oils with insecticide and insect repellent properties can be helpful and would include essential oils like: Citronella, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Pine, Rosemary, Tea Tree and Thyme. Tea Tree is the essential oil most often used against lice, but you can create your own blend choosing from the oils listed above.
Step 1: Oil Treatment.
Massage Blend: 6 drops of essential oil to 15 ml (½ oz) base oil like coconut or olive oil. Massage this thoroughly into DRY scalp, comb through, cover with a shower cap and wrap with plastic wrap. Leave overnight. The following morning apply your shampoo [add 6 drops of essential oil/essential oil blend] to 1 cup of mild shampoo. Lather well working into all areas of the head paying particular attention to the back of the neck and behind the ears. Rinse Hair.
Step 2: Final Hair Rinse
Final Hair Rinse: 6 drops of essential oil/essential oil blend added to 90 ml (3 oz) of warm water. Leave this in the hair and towel dry. Inspect hair and comb out nits.
Step 3: Spritz – an excellent way to help prevent lice from returning.
In a spray bottle add 2 drops essential oil/essential oil blend to 90 ml (3 oz) water. Before using shake well and spray around the head each morning, particularly areas that might be covered by hair.
To prevent further contamination or re-infestation, make sure to wash all clothing and bedding very well. Use hot water and if you wish essential oils can be added to the final rinse.