Head Lice, or Nits are tiny, wingless parasites that feast on minuscule amounts of blood for survival. Since they can’t fly or even walk on the ground, these insects can only live off of a host for 24 to 48 hours. As its Latin name pediculus humanus capitis suggests, lice feed solely on the scalps of humans.

For some of us, we have no idea these little critters have been living with us until we get sent the dreaded note from school letting us know that someone in the class has head lice a.k.a nits.   After reading the note, and reaching for the wine bottle simultaneously, finally, we get ourselves ready take on the battle to rid our families heads of the little blighters. But, can you really nuke them without using a toxic cauldron of nasty chemicals on our little one’s heads?

Yes, you can.   We share some of the best natural alternatives like Manuka & Kanuka essential oil so your kid’s hair can be nit free in no time.

What do head lice look like? 

An adult louse can be light brown or grey is two-three millimetres long and has a lifespan of about 30 days. Adult female louse can lay an average six eggs per day (up to ten) and does so as close to the scalp as possible. In order, to promote survival, securing the eggs to the hair shaft with a glue-like substance. Head Lice are the size of a pinhead, and appear whitish or yellow. It takes approximately eight to nine days for an egg to hatch, which is why getting rid of head lice is rarely a quick fix. A nit hatches into a nymph, an immature louse, and as long as there is a blood supply, it develops into an adult in nine to 12 days.

If you look closely (you may need a magnifying glass to do this) you will also be able to see the head lice crawling around. However, it can be more difficult to spot the nits. You will find the nits on the hair shaft within a quarter inch from the scalp. The egg sac is usually white or yellowish. Sacs found further from the scalp, this means that the lice have hatched already.

One of the most common symptoms of any kind of lice is itching. You may also see red bumps on the scalp and around the neck and shoulders. Lice also prefer the dark, so a little one with lice could be more restless during night time.

5 steps to blitz head lice | Discover the power of Manuka Oil

If you discover your little one has head lice there are two key things you have to do to get rid of them

  • Kill the lice that are living
  • Remove the lice eggs or kill them

Below we outline the 5 steps you need to take to be completely nit free in no time.

1. Get a head lice comb

Enemy number one to lice and nits is the comb, of the extremely fine-toothed variety. Research has shown fine-tooth lice combs to be more effective in treating lice than pediculicides. First of all, a good quality lice comb is the easiest way to confirm a diagnosis. One study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that “diagnosis of louse infestation using a louse comb is four times more efficient than direct visual examination and twice as fast.” So whether your child has lice or not, make sure you have one in your medicine cabinet.

Now, you need to start Step Two, the wet combing the hair using an apple cider vinegar mixture.

2. Wet hair with apple cider vinegar mixture

Consider this step as no different to wetting your child’s hair before you would normally apply a shampoo. Mix up 3-4 capfuls of Apple Cider Vinegar with water and wet your child’s hair with this mixture first. a key step is to leaving it to sit on the hair strand for a few minutes. The acidic makeup of apple cider vinegar helps to loosen the head lice glue from the hair strand making them easier to comb out. Nits breathe via air holes on the sides of their bodies, so you are impairing their respiration. It won’t kill the adult head lice, but it truly helps you in combing them off the hair shaft.

3. Use a natural Manuka Oil infused Conditioner

First, you want to smother the head lice with our Conditioner which is made by infusing rich oils (moroccan argan oil, olive oil, avocado oil) with Manuka & Kanuka essential oil. Effectively, you are suffocating the lice if you leave it on for long enough. Secondly, it also helps to loosen the nits from the hair roots and hair strand. This is great news for you. Imperatively, your killing both the adults and any eggs on the scalp whilst leaving your little one’s hair super nourished.

Applying our thick conditioner on your little one’s wet hair and letting it sit for 5 – 10 mins on the hair before you start combing the hair. Start combing the hair into sections using the head lice comb, starting as close the scalp as possible. Wipe off the conditioner on a rag or paper towel after each pass. A top tip is to have a bowl of hot water mixed with 5- 10 drops Manuka Oil and a capful of apple cider vinegar, to wash and clean the comb after each comb through. Finally, rinse out the hair using Manuka Biotic’s Shampoo and Conditioner to clean the hair before we move into the next step.

Leaving conditioner overnight our your little one’s hair before you start combing the next day really zaps the nits. Combine 2-3 drops of pure essential Manuka & Kanuka Oil with a squeeze of conditioner and mix well and then massage onto the scalp.

4. Wash hair with natural manuka oil Shampoo & Conditioner

Prevent further infestation of head lice with regular washing with our Shampoo and Conditioner and combing. Ensuring that any infestation or a missed egg have been blitzed to oblivion. Make up this Nit Prevention Hair Spritz below to remain a nit free zone.

5. Head lice prevention Manuka Oil blitzing hair spritz

Make this quick and easy nit, head lice blitzing manuka oil hair spritz. In addition, to being a terrific deterrent against getting head lice in the first place, it ensure that any head lice lingering in your kid’s classroom avoid your child’s hair like the plague. It’s super easy to make, and you can spray it over your little one’s pillow, bed, school uniform etc.
Use a mini spray bottle and to 10 tablespoons of clear alcohol (vodka) add 10 drops each of Manuka oil (add lavender essential oil, if you want to make it a sweeter smell). Remember to shake well every time you use it, to ensure the essential oils and the alcohol mix together. Use it every morning like a hair mist to help calm those wayward, out of place, bedhead hairs. One thing is for sure, any headlice hoovering near your little one’s spritzed hair are going to hitch another ride home!
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Why these natural treatment alternatives work on head lice?

As noted in a 2014 review the most potent natural alternatives ones are Manuka, Kanuka (and Lavender) essential oils which all have antimicrobial properties. Another study, published in BMC DermatologyTrusted Source, also found promising results when treating children with head lice with manuka, tea tree and lavender essential oils.

  1. Certified Organic Manuka & Kanuka Oil: Our Manuka Biotic organic Manuka and Kanuka essential oil, is the world’s only certified organic Manuka oil, which has powerful antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that work to eliminate nits. They hate the smell of manuka oil. So, its goodbye nits and hello healthy hair again.
  2. The Shampoo & Conditioner: infused with Manuka Oil our Shampoo & Conditioner is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and not only killing off the nits but helping to soothe any itchy skin on the scalp and the deterring the lice from returning.
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar: the acidic makeup helps to loosen the nit glue from the hair strand making them easier to comb out. Nits breathe via air holes on the sides of their bodies, so you are impairing their respiration.
  4. Lavender Oil: A 2011 study found that lavender essential oil could help prevent head lice. The study tested lavender with another essential oil, tea tree oil ( also known as New Zealand’s Manuka oil), combining a few drops these essential oils together.

Don’t forget: when choosing a new essential oil, cream, moisturiser for your families skin it’s vital to test a small area of skin to check if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. We advise trying new products on a small patch of skin and waiting 24 hours to make sure there is no reaction. Any natural product on the market could contain an ingredient that won’t agree with your skin.

Manuka Biotic Recommendations for head lice

Our Manuka and Kanuka essential oil, is the world’s only certified organic Manuka oil.   Packed with antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that work to nuke nits.  They hate the smell of manuka oil.  It’s goodbye nits and hello healthy hair again.

Remember the eggs and lice will drop onto coat collars, bed linen, towels etc, so to ensure you keep lice at bay, you need to ensure no re-use of these items whilst the lice are being treated, and add a few drops of Manuka essential oil to a hot wash cycle, as well as treating your child’s and other family members hair.

Infused with certified organic Manuka oil, our  Shampoo and Conditioner are perfect for reducing bacteria on the scalp and keeping nits at bay.  Plus it’s all natural, making bathtimes free from all the nasty toxins and chemicals.

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Why Manuka Biotic?

  1. We use the worlds only certified organic Manuka oil.
  2. All our products contain potent antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe and repair the skin.
  3. Our products are 100% New Zealand made.
  4. Our products are made using natural ingredients and are FREE from:
    • Parabens
    • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & SLES
    • PEGs, PABA, EDTA
    • Added fragrances & colouring
    • Petrochemicals
    • Mineral Oils
    • Phenoxyethanol
    • Propylene Glycol
    • Phthalates
    • Animal testing or animal derivatives

Manuka Biotic is natural skincare for the whole family, giving you access to the potent power of Manuka Oil.

For further information talk to your doctor.

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