Head lice – and their offspring nits – have affected most of us in our lives. Outbreaks are common in schools and home treatment is usually enough to clear up the problem quickly. Vinegar has a thousand household uses, but many people aren’t aware of its uses in combating nits and head lice. It’s not, however, a one-application wonder-treatment, and to make it work you have to know how to use it and what it can do to help.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Towel or shower cap
- Nit comb
- Normal shampoo
Choose white, white wine, red wine or cider vinegar for your treatment. Check the person’s scalp for soreness and scratch marks, and if they are too sore, don’t proceed with the vinegar as it will be quite painful.
Position the person’s head over a sink and apply the vinegar to their hair. Make sure you work it in to all the hairs and give it a good soak. The vinegar will be able to erode the shell of the un-hatched nits and kill the smaller head lice. Keep the hair soaked in vinegar for 30 minutes to an hour. The best way to do this is to wrap it in a towel or use a shower cap.
Use a nit comb to remove the remnants of the nits and the larger head lice. The vinegar may not have been able to kill the larger head lice, but will have at least detached the nits, making them both easily combed out. When using a nit comb, start at the base of the hair, next to the scalp, and draw the comb all the way to the end. When you get to the end, wipe off anything on the comb with a cloth and repeat.
When the hair has been fully combed, wash the hair with normal shampoo to get rid of the vinegary smell. However, repeat the process a day later – and more if there are still signs of lice or nits – to ensure you have all the nits eradicated.
Tips and warnings
- Be careful not to get vinegar in the person's eyes as it can be quite painful. Rinse with cold water if this happens.
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