Do natural head lice removal methods work?
There are all sorts of ideas in circulation of how to rid lice and nits naturally.
The suffocation method is one of them. Products such as mayonnaise and oil are applied to the head, attempting to suffocate the lice to kill them. Lice breathe through seven breathing holes which would all need to be completely covered for over two hours. Air trapped against the louse’s body acts as an air bubble when the insect is submerged in water (ie the shower) or covered in mayonnaise! The suffocation method has not proved to be effective in killing all the lice and does nothing to harm the nits. You then have the added headache of removing the products which is messy and difficult. There are many products on the market now too claiming to suffocate the nits and lice but more often than not, they simply don’t work.
Another method claims to use enzymes to loosen the cement-like glue of the nit from the hair shaft. It would be wonderful if it were true but a recent scientific study (read here) proved that this was not the case. The outcome of the experiments proved that leading brand ‘egg loosing’ agents were no more successful than water or hair conditioner.
A common suggestion is the use of a hair straightener to kill the eggs and lice. Unfortunately, this can not work as the live lice can be on the scalp or move quickly in dry hair and as such, can move away for the area you’re sectioning before you get an opportunity to straighten. The nits are laid very close to the scalp (within 2-5mm) and using a hair straightener that close to the scalp would cause burning. Often when people claim that they can ‘hear the eggs popping’, its simply the egg casings left stuck to the hair shaft after the louse has hatched.
There are many natural head Lice removal and prevention products on the market claiming to kill nits and lice without the use of harsh chemicals. Many of the contain tea tree oil and other oils and ‘natural repellents’. We have treated hundreds of clients over the years who have used many of these types of products… That in itself suggests they don’t work as either a head lice treatment or preventative. The best preventative is to wear your hair back and keep away from children with lice, which is most often impossible!
The only way to rid a head of lice and nits is to manually remove them with a high quality comb. At No Nits Now we use a comb which has been used internationally for more than 90 years, is recognised as a medical product in Europe, and was awarded with a gold medal at the Health Exhibition in Dusseldorf, Germany. A good comb and thorough combing technique is all you need. See our ‘How To’ videos here to check out what we do.