Preventing Head Lice

Prevent Head Lice Returning

I have just had a very good comment from Andrea who used the olive oil treatment for treating head lice.   I have given several methods for getting rid of head lice  in the posts  entitled ‘How to Get Rid of Head Lice’ and ‘Does the Olive Oil Treatment Work For Head Lice?’

Andrea has found the olive oil treatment to be successful in getting rid of the head lice which her children had brought home from school.  But now she wants to know whether she should stop sending her children to school, as they will get reinfected.

Well, the straight answer is ‘NO, you don’t stop sending your children to school’.  Send your children to school just as usual.

The idea is to use natural remedies  on the hair at home, once you have gotten rid of the lice, so that the lice do not come back. I will go over some of the things you can do which help to deter lice.

The thing is, that you can catch lice in many places about town: riding on the bus, sitting in the movie theater, rubbing shoulders with people in crowds, or playing with children at school.  You can also reinfect the family at home, because lice and their nits will still be about the house somewhere, mainly on the sheets and pillow cases. So you see, it is best not to worry about where or when you might catch lice and in how you can avoid them, but to work on prevention methods instead.

What To Do To Prevent Head Lice Coming Back

  • First of all, try to wash all the clothes in hot water if you can.
  • Next, make sure that you iron all your family’s sheets and pillowcases and bed clothes.  You can use a steam iron to iron those woolen blankets. Also make sure to iron all shirts and singlets.
  • Cotton and wool products are the best things to use, as these withstand heat, whereas synthetic fibres such as polyester duvee fillings do not take the heat, which makes those fibres great homes for tiny things such as lice, nits and dust mites.  Also, I have found that that theses creatures prefer the magnetic-electrical field which synthetic fibres create .  Synthetic fibres are bad for us because they interfere with our own body’s energies, as well as attracting lice and dust mites.
  • After every wash of the hair, you should apply real apple cider vinegar to the scalp.  Just a quarter of a cup or so will do.  Apple cider vinegar  makes the scalp acidic, and the potassium and minerals in the apple cider vinegar are very good for the hair.   When you wash your hair with soap or shampoo, it makes the hair alkaline, and lice just love alkaline scalps.  So by putting on the vinegar, you deter those lice, because they can’t stand the acid nature of the apple cider vinegar..  They really don’t like it.  It will help to kill any remaining nits as well, if you use it regularly.
  • Then, no more than twice a week, put just two or three finger dabs of liquid iodine onto the scalp and massage it in.  You don’t need to cover the hair with this.  You MUST NOT cover the hair with iodine, as it is absorbed into the pores of the scalp, and you might get toxic effects if you do this.  Iodine is necessary for good health, but we only need just a tad now and then.  A little of the iodine will be transferred over the head with brushing, and this is enough to have an effect on any head lice.  Just two dabs of IODINE on the scalp twice a week will  help prevent catching head lice from other people, or off the couch, or something.  NOTE – DO NOT PUT IODINE ONTO THE SCALP STRAIGHT AFTER YOU PUT ON CIDER VINEGAR.  YOU MUST WAIT AT LEAST EIGHT HOURS BEFORE PUTTING ON ANY IODINE.  It is not dangerous to use them together, but they just do not mix together very well.  They work best when they are used separately, at different times.
  • Use the olive oil treatment once a week, whether you can see any lice or not.  This will take care of any stray lice which are about, and prevent them from laying eggs in the hair.  Olive oil is very good for the hair and nourishing to the scalp.  You can tell the children to regard it as a conditioner rather than a  regular lice treatment.
  • Other things which work as preventatives, or prophylactics, are the essential oils lavender, rosemary, tea tree, pine oil, eucalyptus oils. But you only need a drop or two once  or twice a week.  I find that these were not popular with my children, as they have a strong smell which caused them to be teased at school. Iodine worked better for us as a preventative, as it does not smell at all, and you need so little of it for it to work in preventing head lice.
  • Extra Vitamin B is helpful in dettering head lice.  Use the dose for children as stated on the bottle.  Keeping the diet rich in alkaline foods such as carrots, apples, broccoli, bean sprouts, lettuce, cabbage etc goes a long way to helping prevent head lice.  Try to reduce the amount of wheat and bread and pastries in the diet, and encourage the children to eat carrots, celery and apples for snacks instead of sweets or bread.  A good balanced meal once or twice a day, with protein, plenty of  greens and rice or potatoes is a good standard, of course.
  • Finally, BRUSHING the hair is so important.  This energises the scalp, the nerves, and encourages hair growth.  Brushing helps your scalp to stay healthy, and a healthy scalp helps to deter head lice.

Does the Olive Oil Treatment Work for Lice

Olive Oil Treatment for Head Lice.

‘Does the Olive Oil Treatment Work for Head Lice?’  you may ask, and with good reason.

Head lice are certainly difficult to eradicate:  even with the use of harmful commercial insecticide preparations, head lice can be pesky, determined little creatures.

Olive Oil Treatment for Head Lice is a perfectly natural way in which you can get rid of head lice.  It takes a little more effort than using a commercial poison, but the effort in protecting your child from harmful potentially carcenogenic poisons is certainly well worth it.

There are, of  course, some commercially made herbal or homeopathic preparations which are safe to use, but many of the standard hair lice treatments contain very harmful toxic substances which get absorbed into the scalp, then into the blood stream, then into the liver, where they get stored and wreak their damage to the immune system.

Olive oil is actually very beneficial to the skin, and to the hair and scalp, so by using the olive oil treatment for head lice, you get to condition your hair too, and encourage hair regrowth.

The best procedure for using the olive oil treatment for head lice is:

  • Wash the hair in the evening with a good plain soap.  Try to avoid shampoo, unless it is one which does not have any petrochemicals in it, or other harmful substances.
  • After rubbing the hair dry with a towel, massage about a half a cup of olive oil straight into the hair, a tablespoon or so at a time.  Rub it well in.  You may need more, or less, oil, depending on the length and the thickness of the hair.  The scalp, and all the hair should have a covering of olive oil now.
  • The next step is to wrap it up in a towel, or a cap which will protect your pillow slip and your sheets while you sleep with the left on overnight.
  • In the morning, wash out the oil with plenty of soap and warm water.  Make sure all the soap is washed out thoroughly.
  • Comb out with a fine toothed comb.
  • Put two or three dabs only of liquid iodine onto the scalp and massage it in.  The children won’t mind this, as it does not smell:  Tea tree oil is great too, but children really hate to go to school with this on their scalp, as it is a tell-tale sign of head lice.
  • Send the children off to school, and get ready for the next thing:
  • You must now wash all the bedding and towels in hot water.  Sheets and pillow cases for all the beds in the house must be ironed before use.  If you can’t get to wash the linen that day, then do iron the sheets and pillow cases on the beds.  This is important.  Ironing the sheets must be done each day until you have eradicated the lice, as the eggs are continually hatching out.  The idea is to destroy the eggs before they hatch into lice.
  • As well, all clothing, especially shirts  and collars where the eggs might lie, must be ironed before wear.
  • Avoiding recontamination is the important thing.  Ironing is the way to avoid recontamination.

This olive oil treatment must be continued each night for a week.  After that, you can reduce the applications to twice a week for several weeks. After that, you can use the olive oil treatment once a week, just to make sure, and to keep the hair in good condition.

Ironing is an integral part of this procedure for eradicating head lice.  The lice get the message, actually.  Very soon they get the idea that all their efforts are being thwarted, and that their eggs are perishing.  They just hate that heat.

You do not need to apply the iodine every single day.  Put a dab or two of iodine onto the scalp about twice a week until the lice have gone, then apply iodine to the scalp once a week as a deterrent to the lice.

So – Does the olive oil treatment work for lice?  The answer is yes, but there is a method to it, which requires persistence.

Foods Rich in Iodine

Foods High in Iodine
It is important to eat plentiful amounts of iodine-rich foods in your diet.

 Iodine is one of the six most important minerals for body health, along with calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc. Of course, traces of the remaining dozen minerals are also necessary for the optimum  function of body organs and for the maintenance of cellular tissue. However, Iodine is the mineral featured in this article: iodine is so often deficient in people’s diets.

Why Iodine is Important:
Iodine is essential for healthy hair, nails, skin and teeth. A deficiency in iodine will affect your hair growth for sure.  Poor mental function, poor eye-sight, lack of energy, and slow growth in children are other symptoms likely to be suffered by people who are deficient in iodine.
Because two thirds of the body’s iodine is stored in the thyroid gland, a deficiency of iodine directly affects the thyroid function,  and this disturbance can result in your putting on a lot of weight.It can also lead to goitre and hypothyroidism.
Adults need somewhere between 80-150mcg daily, the guideline being 1 mcg for every kilogram of your body weight. Pregnant women and breast-feeding mums need to keep their intake on the high side of average.

You can over-do iodine if you take supplements, however, you cannot over-dose on iodine if you rely on food to give you your daily requirement of the mineral. It pays to remember, also, that iodine is often destroyed in the processing of foods which would normally hold iodine, and that over-worked soils are often deficient themselves in iodine, so that foods produced on these soils are also deficient in iodine and other minerals, like zinc.
Liquid iodine can be used on the scalp to supplement your iodine intake, and help your hair to regrow: see my posts on ‘Iodine Hair Growth’, ‘Iodine Scalp Hair Remedy’‘Regrow Hair’ and ‘Iodine’.

Foods rich  in iodine are all those which come from the sea. Sea-water has high amounts of iodine in it, and this is absorbed by all sea life – all sea-water fish, shellfish, and sea-weeds. You absorb a little iodine as you swim in sea-water, and lie on the sand at the beach.

Living by the sea will increase your iodine levels minimally, as the salt spray will be breathed in and settle on the skin where it will be absorbed: this is one reason why sailors generally have excellent eye-sight.
Lobster, shrimp, crayfish, crab,oysters, mussels, abalone, sardines, mackerel and tuna are foods which are all extremely high in iodine.
Sea-salt also contains iodine. This is a more preferable way to take iodine than using iodized salt, which has sodium iodide added to it. The iodine in sea-salt is natural, elemental iodine, and is more easily assimilated than sodium iodide. There is much written on the subject of iodized salt which suggests this could actually be harmful, compounded by the fact that free-flowing agents, like aluminium, are also added to iodized table salt.
Kelp is a valuable source of iodine. Kelp could be substituted for table salt. It should be added to meals to ensure that enough iodine is acquired for the body, especially considering that many vegetables do not have the expected amount of iodine due to being grown on impoverished soils.
Onions, garlic, leeks, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are normally good sources of iodine, however their iodine content depends on how much iodine is in the soils where they were grown.
Root vegetables such as beetroot and carrots, turnips, swede, parsnips, dandelions and salsify, and other vegetables which are deep-rooted, like comfrey, and jerusalem artichokes, are normally high in iodine. The globe artichoke, which belongs to the thistle family, is a rich source of iodine and other minerals and vitamins. The common nettle, which can be boiled as a vegetable or made into a tea, also contains reasonable amounts of iodine.
Milk, butter, yogurt and eggs all contain some iodine.
But kelp is the king of all iodine providers. Just half a teaspoonful of kelp powder provides you with about 1700 mcg of iodine, which well exceeds the dietary standard.

Iodine Hair Growth

Iodine Can Help To Restore Hair Growth

It is important to consult your doctor or health practitioner first of all, before using any iodine on the hair.  Some people do not manage to follow instructions very well, and I have had several people claiming that the iodine treatment made their hair fall out. No responsibility can be taken on my part if hair continues to fall, or if you use the iodine treatment unwisely.

If these people had followed instructions faithfully, and only used no more than two finger dabs of pharmaceutical liquid iodine to put on the hair, then no problem should have arisen.

But do ask your health practitioner first, before using any iodine on the hair.

This is how I use iodine on the hair:

After each wash, dry the hair well, then apply just two finger dabs of liquid iodine onto the scalp. Do this while the hair is still damp.  Then massage the hair thoroughly to distribute traces of iodine over the scalp.

A trace of iodine is all that is needed to encourage hair growth. Your hair follicles will absorb small amounts of iodine into the scalp, which will nourish the hair roots.


Merrilyn’s new book is available on Amazon:

See also Merrilyn’s posts posts entitled  Regrow Hair; and Iodine scalp/Hair Remedy have more ideas for improving hair growth.