School-age children will inevitably experience a lice infestation at least once in their young lives, or be in the same class with a friend who has lice. Lice tend to spread through a classroom like wildfire and, though they are luckily not as destructive, they are decidedly unwanted.
Those itchy, creepy, crawly little bugs are easily transferred when kids share hats or combs, but close proximity is really all it takes for your little love to acquire an infestation.
Nobody wants lice, so there are a lot of commercially-available lice sprays, creams, foams, and special shampoos developed in laboratories to kill the tiny bugs. The trouble is that those same insect-annihilating chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and the long-term effects on humans are unknown. Why slather your kiddo’s head with chemicals when you can easily create a natural spray to prevent lice in the first place?
With just 3 ingredients (plus water), you can take steps to ensure that your little one doesn’t catch lice from their schoolmates. And, in the case of an infestation, this mixture can be used as a soak to kill existing lice and allow them to be combed out easily.
1. Gather your supplies.
- 3 oz spray bottle
- 1 oz vodka (or alcohol-containing witch hazel, in a pinch)
- 20 drops each: lavender and rosemary essential oils
- 2 oz filtered water
2. Mix oils.
Combine vodka and essential oils in the spray bottle and swirl to combine. Lavender and rosemary essential oils both work to repel a variety of insects, including lice. Rosemary oil also promotes healthy, shiny hair.
3. Add water.
Add water, place the screw top on the bottle, and shake vigorously.
4. Apply for prevention.
In the morning, spray the lice prevention solution on your little one’s hair and comb through. Re-apply daily as long as you’re concerned about lice at school or daycare.
5. Banish the bugs.
If your little one already has a head full of critters, you can also use this mixture to kill off the unwanted guests.
Wash with your regular shampoo and let the suds sit for a few minutes. This will start the process of suffocating the lice. Rinse with cool water, and then pour the lice prevention solution over the scalp. After a few minutes, you can use a fine-toothed comb to remove the bugs from the hair follicles. No additional rinsing is necessary to remove the solution, but you may need to repeat the treatment a few times to ensure that all of the bugs and eggs are gone.
6. Check and double-check.
Check your little one’s hair on a weekly basis to make sure the bugs are gone.