Q. We are lice-free at last with Listerine, alcohol, vinegar and Denorex! We sprayed four heads every night with Listerine before bed, then combed and combed every inch with a nit comb.

The lice were gone in 3 days, but we continued this ritual for 7 more days to kill off any newly hatched eggs each day. I soaked the four separate nit combs in rubbing alcohol between uses and dipped them periodically in the alcohol as I combed.

We also used vinegar on one severely affected head to loosen the nits. Then we shampooed the hair with extra strength Denorex. Sure, it was labor intensive, but it was also cheap, safe and effective.

A. We suspect that the alcohol in old-fashioned amber Listerine kills lice. We would discourage spraying it on, though, as the fumes might be inhaled. Gently massaging the mouthwash into the hair and covering for a few minutes with a towel should do the trick.

Combing out nits is laborious but essential for permanent success. Vinegar helps loosen the glue that holds lice eggs (nits) to the hair shaft.

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  1. Lsc
    Reply

    We had been battling head lice for months. I have 3 girls 2/3 with thick, long curly hair the other straight medium length. I have used several over the counter items Rid, Nix and generic and perscribed. My daughter now has flakes from them :( . I found this article and it helped so much. I was killing the bugs but having trouble getting all the nits out. I soaked their hair in vinegar for an hour then combed through and the nits came out so easily my girls didn’t complain. I plan on getting some amber Listerine and the denorex and olive oil lotion today. Then putting tea tree oil in their hair to hopefully keep them away! THANK YOU!!!!

  2. AV
    Reply

    This is my first time with lice. I almost freaked out when I saw moving bugs in my daughters head. I have no idea how long she had it because she has a very dry flaky scalp typically. My first reaction was to make her stand in shower til I went to the pharmacy to get Rid. I wish I never wasted my time.. When I combed her hair after I still found bugs moving. I went online and found a clinic a few towns away that do lice removal with all natural stuff.
    My daughter has long thick hair. They inspected her combed her out treated her and I have to go back in 1o days. You still have to comb hair out and I have found 2 lice and plenty of nits since 5 days ago. I brought dennorex, I brought tee tree oil, I brought cocunot oil and the best was the olive oil moisturizing lotion. most of those things were near the African American beauty products.
    We have not see any lice since using those products. The olive oil lotion was the best all the nits became unglued. It is important to comb. The lice place told me once a day. I did three times a day! I just checked my daughters head and nothing. I did another dennerex treatment just now. Because I may not have time to check her head before school. Also, every morning I strip her bed and put stuff in wash. They told me at lice clinic for 10 days to do it every morning when she wakes. It’s a pain, but I made her a simple bed just fitted sheet and blanket and one pillow. I was not washing what she normally sleeps with every day.
    Lice don’t like coconut or tree oil. I as prevention for any chance of this having again purchased shampoos with these ingredients. Trader Joe’s makes a god tree tingle shampoo with tree oil. I will also be putting gel in her hair the clinic says lice don’t like hair with gel because they cannot attach themselves.

  3. S.Z
    Reply

    Petroleum jelly will smother the lice faster and safer then any other treatment. My daughter had come home after a week long beach trip with a case of the worse head lice I had ever seen. I didn’t know head lice could be so large that you can see them scutter! It was horrible. I treated every member of my family, washed the bed sheets how they tell you to, fumigated the entire house vacuuming the furniture and spraying toxic chemical’s all over my home. Not to mention the ones I put on all of our head’s.
    The lice kept coming back. I think I spent close to $275.00 on Rite and every other bottled treatment. I keep a jar of $5.00 African Magical Hair Grow in my cabinet as an occasional treatment for split ends. In sheer desperation I smothered my scalp as well as my daughters. In no time at all the itching stopped.
    I wrapped our heads in shower caps and went to sleep. The lice never returned. The main component in the hair treatment is petroleum jelly. Shampoo and a lot of conditioner will get it out.

  4. Karen S.
    Reply

    Your recent article about the use of vaseline treatment to get rid of head lice and the having trouble getting rid of the vaseline brought back memories. Several years ago our daughter thinking she was buying hair color brought afrosheen and applied it to her hair. It was like putting liquid oil on her hair. After many failed attempts to remove it with shampoo and with no noticeable difference we contacted a local african-american beauty shop and they advised us to mix one cup of table salt with one cup of dawn dish detergent. Mix well and apply it to hair for 15 minutes and wash out. It took a couple of times but finally her hair was back to normal. Good news as she had a big interview the next morning and all went well. She got the job. Hope this helps others.
    KS Evansville, IN

  5. TLB
    Reply

    We’re on round two of treating my daughter for lice. The first time I tried two treatments of RID, a 2 hour soaking with Listerine, followed by 2 hours with Vinegar. 2 days later I found 4 bugs in her hair. I called the Pediatrician and was told to try Cetaphil. I rubbed in in her dry hair,then dried it with a hair dryer until it hardened. Put a shower cap on her and had her sleep with it. The next morning I washed it out and spent 3 hours picking out all of the nits. I thought we were done with it.
    Here we are a month later and they’ve re-appeared. We’re not even in the same house as where the original lice began and I am scratching my head wondering how they’ve managed to re-appear. I’m assuming I missed an egg or two and the problem started over.
    Now I’m heading out to get the extra strength Denorex and will try that. Back to washing everything in the house again as well! What a chore!!!

  6. SMK
    Reply

    We solved a recurrent lice problem with extra strength denorex. My children came back from their father’s every two weeks with a new infestation, so we just used denorex as a regular shampoo, and it would kill any lice that were in the hair, and also killed any nits that were left to hatch. I sweat by it as a lice treatment.

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