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Tea Tree Oil for Lice

In this article, we will be discussing the various benefits of tea tree oil for lice treatment, but let’s first get to know about head lice and its causes. The head lice are tiny, wingless parasites that live in human hair and feed on human blood that is drawn from the scalp. Lice (plural of louse) are a common problem, especially in school going kids.

The problem of lice is contagious and itchy, sometimes annoying and tough to get rid of. Though they aren’t dangerous and won’t cause any harm to your health and they do not even spread any disease, but makes it embarrassing when you feel the sudden urge to vigorously scratch your scalp due to their bites.

There are no medications to treat head lice and the best way is to remove them from the hair because they spread easily from direct contact with hair or sharing of clothes and head accessories.

Lice Eggs

Lice eggs, also called nits look like tiny yellow, brown or tan dots before they hatch. The eggs are laid near to the scalp on the hair shaft where the temperature is apt for the eggs to stay warm. They are often confused with dandruff that gives them a chance to escape and hatch. They can only be removed by shaking or brushing.

Initially, only the nits are to be seen in a child’s hair, but if you ignore the situation, then live lice can also be seen crawling on the hair strands. The nits hatch within 1-2 weeks after they get laid

Adult Lice or Nymphs (Babies)

An adult louse is no bigger than a sesame seed and is white, tan or gray in color. Nymphs are a bit smaller in size to louse and become adults in about 1-2 weeks after the egg hatch. If the lice are not removed then this process repeats in every 3 weeks.

Signs and Symptoms of Head Lice

  • Crawling feeling on the skin of the scalp.
  • Extreme scalp itching
  • Sores and scabs on the scalp from vigorous scratching.


When a louse bite, it gives the sudden urge to scratch due to itching. This is actually due to the reaction of the scalp to the saliva of the louse. This itching may not start immediately as the louse bit, it depends on how sensitive the scalp skin is. It sometimes takes weeks for the scratching to start they may complain of a tickling feeling on the scalp.

Bumps or Sores From Scratching

In many cases, the irritation is mild but in a few cases it can be more bothersome that causes the rash to develop on the scalp. Excessive and vigorous scratching can also cause bacterial infection due to swollen lymph glands and red tender skin that might ooze. In such cases, the doctor may treat you with oral antibiotics.

tea tree oil for lice

Use of Tea Tree Oil for Lice Treatment

1.) Purchase Pure Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties that help to get rid of lice. Although the exact mechanism has not been discovered yet, but in many cases, tea tree oil has shown effective results in killing lice, removing nits from the hair. It also has lice repelling properties in it.

  • Look for pure tea tree oil.
  • Though many hair products have claimed to have tea tree oil, but the concentration levels are not that high enough to be effective in killing the lice.
  • A minimum of 2% concentration is required to give effective results, not less that this.
  • Look for distilled-steam tea tree oil from the Melaleuca Alernifolia tree.

2.) Purchase a Lice Comb

  • A lice comb has its teeth closely spaced that helps to examine the hair near to the scalp.
  • This won’t let any nit or louse easily escape.

3.) Make Tea Tree Oil Solution

  • Pure tea tree oil may cause irritation to the scalp so it’s better to mix it with your shampoo.
  • Put 2-4 drops of tea tree oil in a small bowl and using an eye dropper to get the exact quantity.
  • Also, add 2-4 drops of lavender oil to it.
  • Add some shampoo to the oil mixture, (98-100) drops for being specific. Add enough shampoo to fill a quarter of the bowl.
  • Now add a few drops of any base oil, like coconut or olive oil. The oil helps in suffocating the lice.
  • Stir the mixture until properly blended.

4.) Work Up the Mixture Into Your Hair

  • Pay more attention to the hair shaft near the scalp, that is the area where most of the lice and nits are found.
  • Work up the lather and let the treatment show its effect. Leave it for 30 minutes and cover with a shower cap.
  • If you feel a slight burning sensation, this is the sign of infection caused due to scratching or it may also an allergic reaction, in that case, wash off the shampoo immediately with warm water and rewash the hair with your regular shampoo.
  • Towel dry the hair and then allow to air dry.
  • Repeat the treatment as needed or until the lice are gone.

5.) Condition Your Hair

  • The thick consistency of a conditioner will suffocate the lice and those who managed to escape from the shampoo treatment will surely be killed by this.
  • It will also help to run the lice comb easily through the hair strands.
  • Do not rinse the conditioner now.

6.) Now, Use a Comb To Run Through Your Hair

  • Start from the roots because this is where the dead or fainted lice and nits are found.
  • Divide the hair into sections and comb them from the roots to the end.
  • If any of the nits manage to escape, the infestation will start again and you have to work up the procedure all over again.

7.) Repeat the Above Steps for 3-7 Days

Repeating the process every day may sound a bit hectic and chaotic, but it will surely help you get  rid of lice easily and quickly and tea tree oil for lice is highly effective and have proven results.

Nits take about a week to hatch and mature into adults, so repeating this remedy for a week will not let the infestation, work any further and kill the nits at the beginning.

8.) Use Shampoo That Contains Tea Tree Oil

Always use a shampoo that has tea tree oil to avoid the intrusion of lice or any lice problems in future. It will also prevent re-infestation.

Other Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil for Lice

9.) Tea Tree Oil with Olive Oil

  • Mix a few drops of tea tree oil and 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Apply this solution to the scalp and hair strands.
  • Leave it on the hair to work up for about an hour and then rinse off with plain water.
  • Comb to remove dead lice or nits.
  • Repeat as required.
  • This is an effective remedy of tea tree oil for lice treatment.

10.) Tea Tree Oil with Olive Oil or Vodka

  • Mix 20 drops of pure tea tree oil with 2 ounces of vodka or olive oil.
  • Use a cotton ball to apply the mixture to the roots of the hair.
  • Let it work for 10-12 hours, then wash off.
  • Repeat as required.
  • This is also an effective home remedy of tea tree oil for lice.

11.) Tea Tree Oil for Lice and Alcohol Spray

  • Mix 2 ounces of any alcoholic drink with 15020 drops of tea tree oil and fill it in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution to the roots, i.e on the scalp.
  • Leave it to work for 12 hours and then rinse off.
  • Repeat as required.
  • This is also an effective natural remedy of tea tree oil for lice.

12.) Tea Tree Oil for Nits

Process 1:

  • Mix 10 drops of pure tea tree oil with the regular amount of shampoo that you use.
  • Apply and work up the lather, paying attention to the roots.
  • Let it work for 7-10 minutes and then rinse off.
  • Repeat as required.

Process 2:

  • Mix 5 drops of tea tree oil with the regular amount of conditioner.
  • Apply this mixture to the roots and leave it for 5 minutes.
  • Rinse off your hair and comb to remove dead lice.
  • Repeat as required.

Process 3:

  • Apply shampoos, conditioners or tea tree oil mixed with a base oil to your hair and roots.
  • Leave it to work overnight, covering it with a shower cap.
  • Comb your hair next morning to remove dead or fainted lice, then wash off your hair.
  • Repeat the procedure as needed.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Avoid direct contact of your hair with the affected hair.
  • Also, avoid using their clothes, towels or hair accessories.
  • Tea tree oil should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Lice can also get on furry stuffed toys, so keep them away.
  • Do not ingest or consume tea tree oil as it can cause harmful side effects like coma,diarrhea, drowsiness and confusion.
  • A skin test is required before the application of tea tree oil for lice.

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