Lice, as we mentioned above, can spread very quickly through a community but especially among children, who are more likely to be comfortable sharing belongings and making close contact with each other. Lice typically spread through head-to-head contact (which could happen while playing, hugging, napping, fighting, or even just leaning in to share a schoolbook), or by sharing items that have made direct contact with an infected person’s head (like hats, hair ties, hoodies, and hair brushes).
Many people believe that lice are caused by poor hygiene, but that’s not necessarily the case. Kids and adults who have lice don’t get them because they don’t take enough baths or showers or because their homes are dirty. Anyone can catch lice, no matter how clean their homes or their hair. In fact, not washing hair every day may be a slightly better deterrent than keeping it squeaky clean.
“Keeping hair a little ‘dirty’ can help,” says Bindiya Gandhi, M.D., an American Board Family Medicine–certified physician and mbg health expert. “A good way to do this is to oil your hair regularly—Indian parents always use coconut oil because it’s antibacterial and helps keep lice away.” This may also help prevent the lice from clinging to hair follicles.
So, you or your kid has lice. Now, what are you going to do about it? Most people know all about the standard, over-the-counter treatments for lice, like Nix. Some parents, however, might not feel totally comfortable dousing their family members’ heads with chemicals. So, are there any good, all-natural options when it comes to treating lice in kids and adults? Yes—of course there are.