Allergic To OTC Lice Treatments? Try These Alternatives

You can purchase lice-removing shampoos and rinses at most pharmacies, but they contain pesticides to kill the lice, and some people are allergic to these pesticides. If you've had a bad reaction to any pesticide product before, you may want to consider using an alternative lice removal treatment. Here are a few options.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Is there anything apple cider vinegar can't do? This natural product has a long list of applications for house cleaning and for health, and lice removal is certainly one of them. The vinegar's acidic nature dries out the lice, which kills them. It may not be an instant kill, since it can take the lice a while to be affected by the dehydration, but if you're patient, it will work.

Spray full-strength apple cider vinegar on your scalp, ensuring that you soak all of your hair entirely. Then, wrap your head up with plastic wrap to keep it moist. Watch TV or get some chores done for at least an hour -- two is even better. Then, rinse your hair out. To combat the scalp dryness you may experience from the vinegar, condition your hair. If you still notice some lice the next day, repeat the apple cider vinegar treatment again.

Mineral Oil

Another way to kill the lice is to suffocate them by coating them -- and your scalp -- in mineral oil. This process won't leave your hair dry like using apple cider vinegar may, but it can be quite messy. Try sitting in your bathtub while you apply the treatment; this way, you won't get mineral oil all over. Make sure you're wearing clothing you don't mind throwing away, too, since the mineral oil will stain.

Simply squeeze mineral oil all over your scalp, being as generous as possible to ensure you coat all of the lice. Once your scalp is coated, put a shower cap on to keep the oil from dripping off. Then, go about your day. Yes, lice can "hold their breath" for a while, so it's important to leave the oil on for as long as you can. If you can go for 8 hours, that's great. If not, try waiting for 4 hours, but know that you may have to repeat the treatment if you find a few stragglers.

When time's up, use warm water and a lot of shampoo to wash the mineral oil away. You may need to shampoo your hair three or four times to get it back to normal. However, it should then appear sleek and shiny, thanks to the oil treatment. For more information, contact a clinic like Lice Clinics of America - Cleveland.