As soon as the school year starts, the problems with lice begin, and these parasites that spread so easily among the little ones, become a real headache for parents and teachers.
There are many ways to combat head lice, because in addition to shampoos and liquids, there are certain home remedies that can help you do it successfully.
One of them is vinegar, so at unComo.com we explain how to use apple cider vinegar for lice.
We know that head lice are a constant threat in schools, especially among children from 3 to 11 years old, and that getting rid of them is not always easy.
But the best tool for success is prevention, and some simple measures can help you protect children from contagion, thus guaranteeing their peace of mind and well-being, as well as that of all family members.
Can You Kill Lice With Apple Cider Vinegar
Infestation among children (whether young or not) is much more common than among adults, because direct head-to-head contact – especially when they play – is much greater.
In addition, they also tend to share toys and certain items of clothing or accessories, such as hair ties or hats, which can easily transmit them.
And, contrary to popular belief, it has nothing to do with a lack of hygiene. That is to say, it is not true that lack of hygiene or lack of cleanliness facilitates or enhances their appearance.
On the contrary, lice make no distinction between clean and dirty hair. However, they do tend to prefer fine, clean hair, as they can cling to the hair much better.
Be that as it may, although it is true that there is an interesting variety of different natural remedies that are tremendously popular among grandmothers and many mothers, it is possible that they are not as effective as one might expect (and wish).
A good example is apple cider vinegar, commonly used in many homes as a treatment or home remedy against the appearance of head lice. But is it really useful and, above all, effective? Let’s start at the beginning…
In which cases is it good to use apple cider vinegar for head lice?
The first thing you should be clear about before venturing to use apple cider vinegar for head lice is that this home remedy, like any natural and chemical-free alternative, is not as effective as a commercial product.
Apple cider vinegar will not get rid of lice in large quantities. It will get rid of their nits, which will not be able to withstand the acidity of this ingredient.
Therefore, it is a good complementary option to use together with other products to eliminate lice if we want to get rid of them using different alternatives.
Why is it so complicated and difficult to get rid of head lice?
An adult louse can be gray or brown in color, have a length of two to three millimeters. It also has a lifespan that usually reaches approximately 30 days.
On the other hand, an adult female louse is capable of laying an average of 6 to 10 eggs per day, laying them as close as possible to the scalp in order to better protect them and thus promote their survival.
An egg usually takes 8 to 9 days to hatch.
Then, once hatched, the nit develops into a nymph, which is actually an immature louse.
Thus, as long as there is sufficient – and adequate – blood supply, it will develop into an adult louse within 9 to 12 days.
So getting rid of lice rarely becomes a quick fix.
In fact, one of the reasons why lice are so tremendously difficult to eradicate is that they are not so easy to see. This makes it very difficult to identify and differentiate them from the rest of the hair.
They hide so quickly from the light, and crawl so fast that detecting them can be an enormously difficult task, even though you know they are there.
Not surprisingly, many teachers and even parents often mistake dandruff for a nit.
Is apple cider vinegar effective against head lice?
Apple cider vinegar is often considered to be one of the apparent and supposedly most effective natural remedies for treating a lice infestation, mainly because it has been promoted as an aid in eliminating nits.
Even if it does serve this purpose, it has been found to be unable to kill adult lice, so its usefulness is ultimately in question.
For example, a study published in 2004 was quite clear in this regard: not only did it not support the use of vinegar as a treatment for lice, but the researchers compared a total of five other folk remedies commonly used as treatment for lice infestation, including not only vinegar, but also melted butter, mayonnaise or olive oil.
They found that, in fact, vinegar is the least effective treatment method for getting rid not only of nits, but also of adult lice.
And the same was true for all the other home remedies: none of them worked properly, so none of these treatments were able to prevent the lice from continuing to lay eggs, even when the lice were exposed for a long time.
Which treatments are really useful to kill head lice?
On the one hand, one of the number one enemies for eliminating both nits and lice is the comb.
It is popularly known as the nit.
In fact, as some research has shown, it is almost impossible to successfully treat head lice without a nit comb.
It consists of a fine-toothed comb capable of reaching parts of the scalp that any other comb cannot reach.
And its function is even better when used wet, because it allows to catch live lice as well as eggs.
An excellent option is to use tea tree oil together, as research has certainly shown promising results.
This is because it contains two components with insecticidal effect.
It has also been shown to be able to kill both lice and nits.
On the other hand, over-the-counter shampoos containing permethrin or pyrethrin may also be useful, and in fact tend to be recommended. However, if in doubt, it is always best to consult your pediatrician.
Using apple cider vinegar to get rid of lice
Using this home remedy to fight head lice is very simple. Just mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and warm water. Apply the liquid all over your dry head, from the scalp to the tips, soaking well with the mixture.
Then cover the head with a shower cap and leave it on for two hours.
After this time you should comb the head to remove the nits, preferably using the appropriate combing tool.
Then you should wash the child’s head as usual. Do this without using lice shampoo or it could be too irritating for the scalp.
You can use apple cider vinegar for lice 3 times a week, always avoiding shampooing on the same day.
Remember to combine this treatment with others to eliminate lice quickly and effectively.
This article is purely informative, as we do not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatment or make any kind of diagnosis.
We advice you to see a doctor if you have any type of condition or discomfort.