As a parent, there’s nothing better than watching your kid make new friends...until your little one picks up head lice on the playground. Then it’s all hands on deck to get rid of those pesky little buggers.
Head lice can be very tricky to avoid, especially among children and toddlers. While the best lice prevention method is to avoid head-to-head contact, this is not always possible with active kids on the move.
If your child does pick up lice at school or the playground, there are many over-the-counter treatment shampoos that can help to eradicate the pests. While these treatments can be effective, many of them contain strong chemicals. Fortunately, there are safe and natural lice prevention sprays and shampoos that can help to keep lice away entirely. Many plant-based ingredients serve as lice-repellents, providing a form of chemical-free lice prevention.
How do lice sprays and shampoos work?
First, it’s important to distinguish between lice prevention products and lice treatment products. Lice ‘scaring’ shampoos and sprays do not get rid of existing lice but are designed to prevent lice, using natural lice repellents such as peppermint and tea tree oil. Most of these products are non-toxic, and can be purchased anywhere.
Lice treatment shampoos, on the other hand, use pediculicides (lice-killing medicine) to treat existing lice. These treatments can be over-the-counter or prescription shampoos, such as Nix, that use active ingredients like permethrin to kill the lice. If you or your child develops lice, it’s best to speak with your doctor to find the best treatment plan for your family.
We get a lot of questions from curious parents about the best ways to keep lice away. Here is some of our go-to advice on what to do if head lice creep their way into your home.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can you use lice shampoo two days in a row?
Any over the counter or prescription lice shampoo should be used as directed, and most lice shampoos that contain active ingredients advise against multiple uses. Lice medicine can sometimes take multiple days to take effect, so it’s best to consult your healthcare provider before reusing the treatment.
However, many lice-preventing products, like So Cozy’s Boo! Lice Scaring Shampoo, are made to be used as your any-day-of-the-week go-to shampoo. So Cozy’s Lice Scaring shampoo is a natural product that cleans and cares for hair while also preventing lice, making it safe and effective for daily use.
Does lice shampoo kill lice and eggs?
The active ingredients present in the lice treatment determine how effectively the shampoo can kill lice and eggs. In order to kill the lice, the lice shampoo must contain pediculicides. However, not all lice-killing medicines kill pre-hatched lice eggs (known as nits). To kill both lice and nits, the lice shampoo must also be strongly ovicidal, meaning it kills louse eggs.
Will lice shampoo kill fleas?
While lice and fleas do have some similarities, lice shampoo is not guaranteed to be an effective flea treatment. Flea shampoo is recommended for the best treatment of fleas in hair.
Does lice shampoo fade hair color?
Like with all shampoos, hair color is likely to fade upon washing if your hair has been dyed recently. However, most lice shampoos are unlikely to fade hair color because they are meant to be used only once.
Can lice shampoo cause dandruff?
There is no studied correlation between lice shampoo and dandruff. However, it is possible that a lice shampoo with active ingredients could cause scalp irritation or dryness that may lead to dandruff. This can be remedied with a dandruff shampoo.
Can toddlers use lice shampoo?
Some over-the-counter lice shampoos are approved for children as young as two months old. However, some lice treatments, such as A-200, are only approved for children 2 years and older. With any lice treatment, it is important to take notice of age recommendations.