Natural nit prevention and treatment
Apr 17, 2018
The ‘nit note’ home from school provokes groans all round, but in the tropics, heat and head lice go hand in hand (or claw by claw). Headlice love hair, all hair. It’s simply their avenue to the scalp.
Why children get headlice
Children are prone to headlice because they put their heads together whilst playing or working together in the classroom. Headlice use these opportunities to crawl from hair strands on one head to another. Having headlice does not indicate poor hygiene or unclean living.
How to avoid damaging chemical treatments for headlice
Chemical treatments or lice shampoo containing insecticides are a common treatment to get rid of headlice, although these little blood suckers can become increasingly resistant to them. We spoke to local natural hairstylist Renée Lalor who believes using chemical treatments on a regular basis is harmful to the health of children and the health of their scalp and hair. “The key is to prevent the lice from wanting to take refuge in your child’s hair,” says Renée, “so it is important to create an environment that the lice do not like.”
Natural remedies to prevent lice and condition hair
A little caution should be taken using ‘home’ remedies, but Renée believes essential oils are an effective and natural way to repel head lice. She suggests using tea tree, rosemary and lavender.
Renée’s preferred remedy
- In a 120ml glass or aluminium spray bottle, add 15 drops of tea tree, 5 drops rosemary and 10 drops lavender to 10ml fractionated coconut oil
- Fill with water.
- Use this spray daily in your child’s hair to prevent head lice.
- Also use an all-natural leave-in conditioner spray, and add the essential oils mix to the bottle to provide more conditioning for your child’s hair.
To treat headlice, Renée suggests a natural approach to the conditioner-and-comb method (both remedies for nit prevention and treatment are available as free downloads in the Clean Living in the Tropics Shop or from Your Natural Hairstylist – Renée at Malak Marketplace – Saturdays 4-9pm from 28 April).