How to Get rid of Head Lice

I pretty much HATE saying the “L” word, as we call it in our home, but I feel this is an important enough topic to write about, so I’ll type it out just a few times in this post. Here are my tips for How to Get rid of Head Lice using natural oils, very inexpensive, and sure fire way to get ride of it, because it’s used by the expensive Lice Doctors.

How to Get Rid of Head Lice (Natural, Cheap, Fail Proof)

I experienced head lice in my childhood, and it was one of my biggest fears as a mother. I still remember being in 7th grade, and at a drill team practice where we had to hook up our arms on the girls shoulders next to us in a high kick line.  The girl next to me knew, and would try to slyly wipe my shoulder with her hand, before placing her hand on my arm. It was so embarrassing. Luckily, no one said anything to my face. I didn’t get teased, but I knew people knew. My mom tried for weeks…months…to eradicate these disgusting bugs from my head, but it didn’t seem to be working. We did what the doctor recommended at the time: RID pesticides, but we know now, that those don’t really work so well. There wasn’t enough education then.  Even now, there are SO many different posts and info on how to get rid of head lice, that I tried, and didn’t fully work, either. Eventually, we figured something out. Those hours and hours of my mom combing through my long, thick, wavy hair with that teeny tiny comb worked. I was free and clear from teen ostracizing.

We’ve now had head lice TWICE since I’ve had kids. Ironically enough, was when both of my girls were in kindergarden. Not my boys–the girls. Probably something to do with all of the hugging they do with friends. The first round: five years ago, it affected everyone but my husband who has a shaved head. Even the boys got it…we share a lot in our home though, so that didn’t surprise me.  Yes, I got it too. Brushes, blankets, was community property. And lets not forget, I do a lot of hugging with my kids, so it just spread like wildfire.  I hated the idea that it was probably because I was hugging my kids that I got it. I couldn’t go there though, no matter what that did to my psyche, I’m not going to stop hugging on my kids!

It was easy to thumb through the boys heads, but those girls…challenging. Then there was me. Once again in my long, thick, wavy hair. This time though, my mom wasn’t there to help me out, and that was terrifying that I was the mom to fix things, and I physically could NOT look through my own scalp! My sweet husband tried, but I knew he wasn’t being as thorough as I needed. Plus, his vision isn’t the greatest. 5 years ago, I purchased the RID, because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do. It was gone, but it wasn’t really. I read something about Listerine. We did that, and my kids danced around in shower caps, as I treated each one of them.

I still remember, I had a college roommate come to visit, and then a funeral that others came to stay at my home, just before I found out we had it.  I was TERRIFIED that it spread to them, but fortunately, I found out from one that she was clear. I didn’t tell anyone around me. Too embarrassing. It may not be the best thing to do, I’ve heard others alert all their close friends, but I was afraid of being “marked” for months after, and just couldn’t deal with that. I was doing all that I could, but it just didn’t seem like enough. Sadly, we dealt with it for a few months before it was gone–that was 5 years ago. I still don’t fully know what actually happened to get rid of it then. I bought an online book, some jojobo oil, tea tree oil, and a few other oils, and followed the protocol, and it seemed to work. That book claimed to get rid of the eggs, too, and I though I found the perfect mystery cure.


Funny enough, I was staring lovingly at my younger daughter sitting next to me in church, when I noticed something that didn’t look right. I got this sinking fearful feeling, and I told her I wanted her to come to the bathroom with me. I did a brief check, and to my horror, it was confirmed.

No, no no!!!!

Big sister? Check.

Me? Check.

This time the boys were clear, but my girls and myself were infected, and the nightmare was revisited.

I cried.

My husband kindly held me, and listened as I recounted the horror of having it myself.

He was bald, so less worried about holding me and getting it himself, but I know he still felt mystery itches on his head throughout both infestations.

The mystery cure from before, was no where to be found, because when we had our 2nd round this past year, I could not for the life of me locate that document on my old computer. I couldn’t remember the formula, and through lots of google searches, couldn’t seem to locate the same information. I did however see LOTS of other advice, nothing short of patting your head, while hopping on one foot, and circling your stomach, with your tongue sticking out. If only that worked.

I found a blog post of a trusted friend where she shared the cure she found, and even texted her for extra details. It required 3 weeks of diligent work, that was painstaking, but I was willing to put forth the effort. I could not to “months” again. I went forward and tried the Clearasil method she wrote about.

I’m glad she had a great, positive experience, but I pretty much HATED everything about this, and it was pricey!

It required the purchase of a bottle of soap per person per week.

At nearly $10 each, that was 9 bottles with a total of nearly $100. She said it was cheaper than the lice doctors (which I was heavily considering), and I agreed. I had to give it a try.

I won’t give you a step by step, but it was a MAJOR PAIN, and you had to do each step to EXACT PERFECTION or else it wouldn’t work. It required soaking our heads with the soap, then blowing it dry while the soap was still in–3 weeks in a row. Remember…long, thick hair over here? Yeah, it was an hour per person, because it’s much harder to dry hair saturated with soap!

After 3 weeks of that, I was so heartbroken that it still didn’t break the cycle. $100  and 10+ hours of painstaking effort, down the drain.

For those who don’t know much about head lice, it’s a cycle of live lice laying eggs, and you have to understand their lifespan to know how to get them at the right times.

I was at my whits end, about to leave my younger children with a friend while I went on a trip, and I had to do what I contemplated doing from the beginning.

Call the Lice Doctors.

I thought it was the answer, that they were highly trained, and that after $400 and 5 hours in my home, we were 100% cured and carefree.


We got instructions on what to do for the next 3 weeks to keep it away.


We aren’t DONE with this insanity???

At that moment, she declared us free of LIVE lice for the next 5 or so days, which was really good because my kids would be with my friend for 4 days, and that meant they couldn’t pass it onto them.  But she said that it’s possible she missed an egg or two, and if they aren’t caught, it starts all over again.

The secret is in the oil.

Olive oil.

This is where I share the secret, cheap, natural, lice doctor formula.

It’s olive oil, a huge VAT of olive oil.

It still takes 3 weeks though, but doesn’t require sifting through the head for hours with the comb.

It’s all about killing the vicious life cycle of those nasty little heathens.

Simple Solution:

  • Saturate head in olive oil (using a bottle with spout helps)
  • Wrap head in towel or shower cap overnight (or 6 hours)
  • Wash hair with DAWN dish soap to get all of the oils out
  • Repeat once a week for 3 weeks (I did a bonus 4th week to be sure)

That’s it! Though 3 weeks is a long time, you aren’t actually living with lice for that long, but maybe 1-2 full days at the end of the life cycle. This kills the live lice before they lay eggs. The oil doesn’t kill the eggs.

If you wanted to do the oil more than once a week, it can surely help. What the lice doctors actually said was:

1st week: do oil/dawn every day for a week

2nd week: do oil/dawn every other day for a week

3rd week: do oil/dawn every 3 days

You can do that, but it was still time intensive to saturate and wash, I opted to go the once a week route. We were traveling during this time, and every day for a week was just not possible.

Olive oil (doesn’t matter if it’s extra virgin or not) is very cheap. I got a HUGE container at Costco for about $15 (?) and it was perfect for all 3 of us for 4 weeks.

I am SOOOOOO relived to have finally found an absolute CURE!

Yeah, the time frame is a pain, but it doesn’t require any picking with those awful combs (that really are next to impossible to find everything anyway).

So there you have it, how to get rid of head lice!

Questions or comments on what worked for you??

Good luck, my friends, it’s extremely frustrating to deal with, and I hope my pain and experience can help someone else!


  1. says

    Oh geez! I hate lice. My little sister came to visit and had it and I started getting the phantom itching. She has long thick hair too but we just bought stuff off the counter and sectioned off her hair with the comb a couple of times. Kept a bowl handy to wipe the comb. We did this twice in one week and she was cured. We also put all bedding and pillows in trash bags for a week or two. maybe we were lucky…

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