WikiHow to Treat Head Lice with Vinegar

Head lice are small insects which live on the human head and feed on blood. Lice may  creep but won’t fly and  still,  they go from person to person by a really close contact. That’s the reason for the high affection of children. They are often close while they are playing games.  Actually,  nearly  10 million American school children are affected by  head lice every year.[2] Vinegar is an ancient home remedy . People used  it to fight against head lice by preventing the eggs (nits) sticking to the  hair. Various treatments, natural as well as  pharmaceutical, can eliminate the head lice right away.  Moreover, By combining cures and approaches people treat the head lice effectively.

Using Vinegar for Head Lice

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Understand the benefits and limits of using vinegar. Vinegar is one traditional  home remedy to treat head lice. Anyway, a few  people believe that  it can destroy  adult lice and the eggs known as  nits. Actually,  vinegar is not strong enough to  kill head lice as it is not toxic. But, it may  eliminate  the nits from your  hair, which does not allow new  lice to hatch and infest your head.[3] In fact, the vinegar’s  acetic acid acts on the protective shells of the eggs nits and makes them fall out of the hair.

  • With the use of vinegar, the nits fall out of your hair or are made easy removable ( you can use a fine-toothed comb) .
  • The vinegar is not so strong to kill However, it can kill recently hatched lice known as nymphs.

Use an over-the-counter medicated shampoo first. You can  try to eliminate the lice with a medicated shampoo . These kinds of shampoos are  pediculicides. First  wash with   pediculicide, then rinse with  vinegar to get rid of  lice  from your hair.

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  • With this procedure you will kill the adult lice and stop them from spreading.
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Choose the type of vinegar. Each vinegar has got acetic acid. Anyway, some   kinds and brands are slightly  more concentrated. In general, the  vinegar which is  5% acetic acid may act on  the  coverings of the  nits, but it will not cause inflammation  of the skin.

The alcoholic  vinegar is  only an acetic acid diluted in water and mostly the cheapest to get. Red wine vinegar is  not as cheap and contains from 5 to 7 % acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar is also helpful . Just pick up a vinegar that has not been filtered or pasteurized  because such vinegars have  the highest concentration (around 5% acetic acid).

  • A concentration of acetic acid which is higher than  7% can cause inflammation of  your scalp while those with a concentration which is weaker  may not be able to act on the  nits in  your hair. Pick up vinegars which have acid between five and seven percent.
  • The itching that lice cause are because of an allergic reaction to lice saliva. However some  individuals do not suffer an allergic reaction.

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Stand in the shower or tub and apply the vinegar.

Once you’ve chosen  the  concentration of vinegar, prepare  yourself for a shower.   Pour on as much cups of vinegar  as you need  on your scalp on a wet hair.  Massage the vinegar into your scalp and try to wet the whole hair  .this might be difficult  if your hair is long, but don’t hurry.  Afterwards, wait for about seven minutes  before you rinse it.

  • You should close your eyes when you use the vinegar. Diluted acetic acid can’t hurt your eyes, but it may surely irritate them.
  • Protect your clothes from the vinegar because it can leave stains, especially the red wine and apple cider vinegars.

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Run a fine-toothed comb through your hair.

After being in your hair for about 5 minutes, take a fine-toothed comb  and go through it nicely. The nits that have been weakened and also the adult lice can be eliminated  by thorough combing. It is the best to think about   buying one special “nit comb” (plastic or metal combs with extremely fine tooth) online or at the pharmacy Comb  your hair for a couple of minutes, rinse the vinegar  and towel dry it — and assure that you  don’t  use a same  towel with anybody  while you have  head lice.

  • The vinegar treatment can lose nits from the hair  but  it cannot not destroy adult lice in your hair.  So,  don’t be taken by surprise to notice  some head lice when you have used a  vinegar wash.
  • Vinegar treatments can be performed every day until you get rid of the nits completely.  The acetic acid can  wash off  the oils on your hair and it can become dry   or frizzy afterwards.
  • Nits hatch in seven to nine days after they have been laid and adult lice can survive from three to four  So, when  you put vinegar on your hair and just comb it you will need one month to eliminate the lice completely.
  • Part2

Using Other Remedies for Head Lice

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Ask your doctor about over-the-counter shampoos.

Consult your doctor for the right  diagnose.  Next,  ask your doctor which is the best   shampoo or cream for head lice which can be bought at the pharmacies. Your doctor is likely to advise you to buy (over the counter)  OTC products with  pyrethrin, a compound from chrysanthemum flowers which kills lice – Famous brands such as Nix (a synthetic version of pyrethrin) and Rid (pyrethrin mixed with other compounds toxic to lice).

  • The pyrethrin-based products for hair are efficiently destroying head lice, but not the So,  rethink about mixing vinegar and pyrethrin remedies to say goodbye to lice as well as to their nits.
  • The disadvantages of the pyrethrin-based shampoos are : scalp irritation, redness and itchiness — which is mostly detected  in allergic children .
  • Head lice cannot spread diseases (bacterial and viral), but scalp itchiness can  cause sores which can further get infected because of the scratching .
  • Do not use your usual shampoo after you have used the lice treatment shampoo .  It  will lower  the power of the lice treatment shampoo.

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Consult with your doctor about prescription medications.

If the head lice condition  is not treated  with vinegar or OTC products , then you must consult  your physician for finding  a more effective  remedy.  In some geographic areas, head lice have become  immune to OTC shampoos, so prescribed medications are the only one to help.  The most familiar prescription medications  for head lice are benzyl alcohol (Ulesfia), malathion (Ovide) and Lindane.In all,  medicines that are able to destroy  lice are named pediculicides and you have to use them with cautiousness , especially   with children.

  • Benzyl alcohol acts on scalp lice in such a way that it cuts them of oxygen. It’s powerful. However , there are some disadvantages such as :  skin irritation, allergic reaction and seizures and therefore it is not good for  children  below six months of age.
  • Malathion shampoo mustn’t be used for children below  6 years because it has got possible and  serious side effects. Be careful not to expose this shampoo to a hot hair dryer or get it near an open flame because of its high alcohol content.
  • Lindane shampoo is sort a “last resort” treatment for head lice because of its high risk of serious bad effects (seizures). So  by the American Academy of Pediatrics  do not recommend it for treatment of  children of any age or pregnant women.

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Consider using a natural herbal remedy.

According to some studies  specific  oils made from plants  can have  a toxic effect on head lice and their nits.  The plant oils which are the best against head lice are:  tea tree oil, anise oil, ylang ylang essential oil and nerolidol (a compound found in many plants). Despite  such  plant oils are not certified  by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat lice, they do have an especially positive safety record  among people and  you can try it if its price is ok for you.

Plant oils like the  tea tree oil are often included  in natural medicated shampoos which can  solve  dandruff and psoriasis, but they are also good for  fighting against head lice.

  • Generally, the plant-based oils can be used  for children as there haven’t been recorded any side effects recorded.
  • There are also natural remedies that destroy  head lice in such a way that they  “smother “  them (deprive them of O2) like the  olive oil and butter. Massage one of them on  your scalp 10  minutes before  you rinse it off  with a medicated shampoo.
  • Head lice are not jumping or flying. Thus they spread to others mostly by head-to-head contact. Also, there are some methods of spreading which are not direct such as  sharing hats, brushes, combs, towels, pillows, scarves, hair accessories and stereo headphones.


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