Will tea tree oil kill lice on humans? If so, are there any side effects?
I don't know if tea tree oil will kill lice. My daughter got it last year (I still shudder thinking about it). I think I caught it very early. The first night I treated her with the store bought stuff (Nix or Rid). I didn't trust my husband when I asked him to look at my hair, because he didn't see what I was trying to show him in my daughter's hair. So I used tea tree oil cut with some jojoba oil, and rubbed it in my scalp and through my hair. My scalp is sensitive, so that's why I diluted it. I wrapped my head with a towel and left it on for several hours. I hoped if I had any that the oils would suffocate them. I've since read conflicting information on whether or not that works. I had to wash my hair a couple times to get the tea tree oil smell out. A few days later I had a friend check me, and she didn't see anything.
I'll tell you what worked for us. As I said, I used Rid or Nix the first night. I did a lot of reading up about how lice have become resistant to those treatments, plus I didn't feel good about using them anyway. I kept combing her hair with that crappy little plastic thing from the kit, but I felt it was ineffective. I ended up ordering this kit:
I used to staff at a summer camp every year, and I've learned there's always going to be one kid there with lice. I got lice one year and I was able to treat it pretty easily. First, buy a lice comb. NOT the plastic one, it's junk. Buy a metal one, it gets the nits and everything, every time. Then, get either mayonnaise or karosene (I used karosene) it smothers the lice. Use it one your head like shampoo. I recommend the lather-rinse-repeat method. Then, use the comb to get out any left over nits. Then, use the karosene again just to insure that they're gone. Then you'll want to wash your hair thoroughly, many times with regular shampoo because the odor is strong. After you're done with all of that, run a comb through once more to get any leftover nits that you may have missed. Check your head again in a few days.
Play it safe and cheap. Smear mayonnaise on the head, leave on with a shower curtain for the time suggested in these many sites. Good luck!
I believe that there is a tea tree oil product in the drug store, alongside the regular Rid and Nix products. If it is sold there, it likely works. I would use that product rather than a home remedy. Use as directed. It is misuse and overuse of products that causes the insects to become resistant to them.
My mother says they used kerosene in the depression; I think we have less horrific and less dangerous substances now. I would not pour a flammable fuel on my head if there was an alternative.
Prevention is a must. I taught school, survived many lice outbreaks, with never a louse. Nor did my kids get it. But, they had short hair, didn't share combs or toques nor coats and scarves. Little girls with long flowing locks who play games where they sit close, get their little heads together, and hug each other are the ones who most often caught it from others at school. Sometimes, however, it can seem totally random. Just like a cold, sometimes you just get them from "life".
I don't have a solid answer on that either. But wanted to let you know that every morning , especially during the school year, after brushing my daughter's hair I spray it w/ TT Oil. I put some in a water bottle and then fill it up w/ water. In hopes to keep those critters away. Again, not real sure , but if it helps, I'm all for it! 8>)
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