Removing stubborn head lice and nits can be time-consuming, but there is one nifty household product that is believed to ‘work like a charm’ and keep the itchy insects at bay
Every parent has dealt with dreaded head lice at one time or another, but many are unaware that the itchy insects can be banished with a simple household product.
The pesky bugs live among human hairs and are most commonly found on children aged between four and 11. In fact, a recent survey of 31 primary schools in Wales found that head lice were detected in 8.3 percent of children.
The issue was recently highlighted in an Instagram post from McFly drummer Harry Judd’s wife Izzy, whose daughter Lola keeps catching the contagious creatures at school. She wrote: “I need every bit of advice about how to get rid of nits.
“I’ve done three treatments, wet combed, cleaned sheets and towels…I keep Lola’s hair in a plait every day. I get rid of them and then they keep coming back! It’s safe to say Lola and I hate them! Help needed, thank you!”
Generous followers flocked to the comments section to share their advice, as one user penned: “My mum used to put diluted vinegar on my hair when I was little!” Others agreed with this unusual recommendation, as they responded: “Mine too. Loads of conditioner so they couldn’t hold on, comb them out and rinse in vinegar. Always worked.”
“My mum did too with apple vinegar. You couldn’t smell it as it was quite diluted and worked a charm,” shared a third. A fourth added: “Try warm water with vinegar and let it act for 15-minutes, then use a fine comb to remove the nits and wash hair normally. My mother did this to my hair when I was a child.”
According to Good Housekeeping, vinegar doesn’t kill adult lice, but it can help remove nits, also known as eggs. This is because the acidic makeup of vinegar helps to “break down the glue-like substance that adheres the nits to the hair shaft”.
The magazine suggests mixing 50ml of vinegar with 50ml of water and using it as a rinse, before combing the hair with a fine-toothed comb. Everyday Health has suggested using white vinegar, which is believed to help loosen the “glue”.
Meanwhile, The Hair Force has branded the home remedy “totally ineffective”, claiming it doesn’t kill lice eggs. It warned: “What it will do is sting like crazy if there is any kind of cut on the scalp. You are much better off removing the lice eggs using a detangler or conditioner and nit-combing them thoroughly out of the hair.”
While there is minimal research suggesting vinegar is an effective treatment for head lice, the popular product can be purchased for as little as 35p from Tesco and ASDA. What’s more, the NHS has explained lice and nits can be effectively removed by wet combing with a detection comb. The health body shared the best steps to follow, which include:
Wash hair with ordinary shampoo
Apply lots of conditioner (any conditioner will do)
Comb the whole head of hair, from the roots to the ends