A highly contagious condition, head lice infestation should be controlled immediately. Not to mention, it’s also very annoying and can make you feel anxious all the time. One of the best ways to get rid of head lice is to make use of tea tree oil.

In this post, you’re going to learn the following information:

  • What head lice are, what causes this problem, and what makes a person at risk of infestation.
  • What the useful properties of tea tree oil are?
  • Effective uses of tea tree for lice treatment.

RELATED: 12 Home Remedies for Head Lice Problem ( That Work Fast)

What You Need to Know About Head Lice

Head lice refer to tiny parasites that live in the hair, sucking blood from the scalp to survive [1]. The eggs of head lice called nits resemble dandruff flakes but the difference is that they stay in place [2].

A louse can live for 30 days or more on the scalp of a human while the eggs can last for only two weeks [2]. In the United States, there are up to 12 million cases of head lice infestation each year [3].

It’s most common among children between the ages 3 and 11 [3].

The usual signs of head lice infestation include:

  • Scalp itching
  • Feeling of having something crawl on your scalp
  • Red bumps on scalp and neck
  • White specks on the hair strands

As mentioned earlier, head lice are contagious.

It’s possible to get infected if you have direct contact with another person who has this problem, or if you share personal items [1].

Keep in mind that head lice can be transferred through brushes, combs, hats, headphones, clothing, beddings, towels and hair accessories [1].

Children, particularly preschool and elementary students, are most prone to head lice problems [1].

That’s because they usually play closely together, and even share items like brushes and caps [1].

Parents and siblings of children who have head lice are also at great risk of this condition.

It’s important to know, however, that head lice are not a sign of poor hygiene.

Head lice do not have any preference between clean and dirty environments.

If you or your child have head lice, it does not mean that you have neglected your or your child’s hygiene.

To make sure that you fight off head lice, and never to have this problem again, it’s a good idea to make use of remedies that are both safe and effective like tea tree oil.

RELATED: 12 Incredible Health Benefits of Tea Tree Oil (Backed by Evidence)

Medicinal Qualities of Tea Tree Oil

tea tree oil for headache

Tea tree oil is an essential oil derived through steam distillation from a plant that originated in Australia [4].

For many years, it has been used medicinally as a topical antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory [5].

Australian folk healers have long relied on this oil for wound treatment and disinfection [4].

It is known to possess broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities that can neutralize a vast array of viruses, bacteria, and fungi [4].

This oil is composed of terpene hydrocarbons, most of which are beneficial sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes [5].

Terpinen-4-ol is the most studied component of tea tree oil which is said to be responsible for many of its pharmacological effects [6].

Today, tea tree oil is incorporated in many skincare and healthcare products manufactured and sold not only in Australia but also in countries in North America and Europe [5].

People also rely on it as remedy for acne, seborrheic dermatitis, and gingivitis, among other health issues [6].

It is also believed to have anti-cancer properties that can reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer [6].

With all these practical benefits for the human health, it’s a good idea to have a bottle of tea tree oil in your home, ready for use anytime.

It can come to your rescue if anyone in the family starts scratching his or her head.

Why Use Tea Tree Oil for Head Lice Infestation?

There are three ways by which tea tree oil destroys head lice:

  1. Tea tree oil’s active compound terpinen-4-ol impairs the nervous system of head lice by inhibiting the acetylcholine esterase activity.
  1. The monoterpenes in tea tree oil dissolve the wax coating around the head lice that protects them and prevents them from getting dehydrated.
  1. The monoterpenes disrupt the enzymes needed by the head lice to function properly.

Scientific studies have provided sufficient evidence to support the efficacy of tea tree oil as treatment for this parasitic infestation.

A study conducted in Dublin, Ireland confirms that tea tree oil removes adult lice and their eggs by inhibiting acetylcholine esterase [7].

At minimum concentration, tea tree oil’s terpinen-4-ol was able to inhibit this activity by up to 50 percent [7].

Italian researchers, meanwhile, probed how well tea tree oil and nerolidol work against head lice [8].

A total of 69 adult lice and 187 eggs were collected over the period of six months [8].

After exposure to both products, results reveal that tea tree oil was superior to nerolidol in killing adult lice and eggs, causing a 100 percent mortality rate within 30 minutes using only 1 percent concentration [8].

An experiment involving 32 school children reported that the use of tea tree oil resulted in significant reduction of eggs and lice in their heads, as well as alleviated symptoms such as scalp itching [9].

How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Lice?

Make use of the following remedies to relieve head lice.

All these are used in combination with other natural ingredients that have also been found highly effective in suffocating head lice, and disrupting their growth and spread.

1. Tea Tree Oil and Olive Oil Lice Buster

Olive oil is said to be an efficient way to suffocate lice and control infestation.

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine the two oils.
  2. Spread a thin layer on your scalp and hair.
  3. Cover your head with a shower cap.
  4. Leave it on for 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse your hair with cool water.
  6. Comb your hair strands with a fine-toothed comb to get rid of the lice.
  7. Repeat remedy once a day for three to four weeks.

2. Tea Tree Oil Anti-Nit Spray

Using this tea tree oil spray is a quick way to resolve the problem of head lice.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 spray bottle with water
  • 4 drops of tea tree oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add tea tree oil to the spray bottle with water.
  2. Cover with lid and shake.
  3. Spray mixture onto the scalp and hair.
  4. Let it sit for 24 hours.
  5. Wash it the next day when you take a bath.
  6. Comb your hair to remove the lice and nits.
  7. Do this process three to four times a week until head lice disappear.

3. Tea Tree Oil and Coconut Oil for Head Lice Control

Coconut oil works similarly to olive oil in suffocating these tiny parasites.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil
  • 5 tablespoons of coconut oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Mix tea tree oil and coconut oil.
  2. Apply mixture to your scalp and hair strands.
  3. Use a shower or towel to wrap your head.
  4. Wait for 30 minutes to one hour before washing your hair.
  5. Remove the lice by combing your hair.
  6. Do this procedure twice or thrice a week until head lice are gone.

4. Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Oil to Minimize Head Lice Infestation

Lavender oil has soothing properties that can tone down anxiety due to head lice.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lavender oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients.
  2. Use mixture to apply on scalp and hair.
  3. Wash it the next day.
  4. Use a fine toothed comb to remove head lice.
  5. Follow this technique two to three times a day until infestation is resolved.

RELATED: 11 Effective Home Remedies for Anxiety That Actually Work

5. Tea Tree Oil and Eucalyptus Oil for Quick Relief from Head Lice

The active compounds in eucalyptus oil have powerful anti-parasitic action against head lice.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 drops of tea tree oil
  • 3 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 1 tablespoon of organic shampoo

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil to your shampoo.
  2. Use this to wash your hair.
  3. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing.
  4. Use it regularly until head lice are cleared.

Bottom Line

Although it’s not true that head lice are a sign of poor hygiene, these can still make you feel self-conscious and embarrassed.

Having head lice infestation can also make you feel uncomfortable.

You can make use of tea tree oil in combination with other natural ingredients to resolve head lice problem.

Just see to it that when you’re using tea tree oil topically, you don’t use it in undiluted form.

As you probably know, essential oils like tea tree oil are very strong, and can cause skin irritation if used in pure form.

Dilute it first in a carrier oil, water or other natural ingredient.

READ MORE: Coconut Oil for Dandruff and Lice: 6 Natural Remedies

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