How To Treat Head Lice In Nigeria

How to Treat Head Lice in Nigeria

Head lice are a common problem in Nigeria, especially among children. These tiny parasites live on the scalp and feed on blood, causing itching, redness, and sometimes even infections. While head lice are not dangerous, they can be annoying and difficult to get rid of. In this guide, we will explore the different methods for treating head lice in Nigeria, including home remedies and medical treatments.

What are Head Lice?

Head lice are tiny insects that live on the scalp and feed on blood. They are usually spread through close contact with an infected person, sharing personal items like combs and hats, or sleeping on the same bed. Head lice are more common among children, but anyone can get them. Symptoms of head lice include intense itching, redness, and small bumps on the scalp.

Home Remedies for Head Lice Treatment

Many people in Nigeria prefer to use home remedies to treat head lice, as they are cheaper and safer than medical treatments. Some popular home remedies for head lice treatment include:

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Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a natural insecticide that can kill head lice and their eggs. To use tea tree oil for head lice treatment, mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil and apply the mixture to the scalp. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes before washing it off with a mild shampoo.


Garlic has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can help kill head lice and soothe the scalp. Crush a few cloves of garlic and mix them with coconut oil. Apply the mixture to the scalp and leave it on for at least 30 minutes before washing it off with a mild shampoo.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer that can help suffocate head lice and make it easier to comb them out. Apply coconut oil to the scalp and hair, and cover the head with a shower cap. Leave it on for at least 8 hours, or overnight, before washing it off with a mild shampoo.

Medical Treatments for Head Lice

If home remedies do not work, or if the infestation is severe, medical treatments may be necessary. Some common medical treatments for head lice in Nigeria include:

Over-the-Counter Medications

There are many over-the-counter medications available in Nigeria that can help kill head lice and their eggs. These medications usually contain insecticides like permethrin or pyrethrin. Follow the instructions on the package carefully, and repeat the treatment after 7 to 10 days to kill any newly hatched lice.

Prescription Medications

If over-the-counter medications do not work, a doctor may prescribe stronger medications like ivermectin or malathion. These medications should only be used under a doctor's supervision, as they can have serious side effects.

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Manual Removal

Manual removal of head lice involves combing the hair with a fine-toothed comb to remove the lice and their eggs. This method is time-consuming but effective, especially when combined with a home remedy or medication.

Preventing Head Lice

Preventing head lice is the best way to avoid an infestation. Some tips for preventing head lice include:

  • Avoid sharing personal items like combs, hats, and hair ties
  • Do not sleep on the same bed as an infected person
  • Regularly clean bedding, towels, and clothing
  • Tie long hair in a braid or ponytail
  • Use natural repellents like tea tree oil or peppermint oil


Head lice can be a nuisance, but they are not dangerous. Home remedies and medical treatments are available to treat head lice in Nigeria, and prevention is the best way to avoid an infestation. If you or your child has head lice, be patient and persistent in treating them.


Q1. Can head lice be treated with vinegar?

A. While vinegar is often touted as a home remedy for head lice, there is little scientific evidence to support its effectiveness. Tea tree oil and coconut oil are better alternatives.

Q2. Can head lice jump from one person to another?

A. No, head lice cannot jump or fly. They can only crawl from one person to another through direct contact or sharing personal items.

Q3. Can head lice survive on furniture or bedding?

A. Head lice cannot survive for more than 1-2 days away from a human host. However, it is a good idea to wash bedding and clothing in hot water to kill any lice or eggs.

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Q4. Can head lice cause hair loss?

A. Head lice do not cause hair loss, but excessive scratching can damage the scalp and hair.

Q5. Can head lice be prevented?

A. Yes, head lice can be prevented by avoiding close contact with infected individuals, not sharing personal items, and using natural repellents like tea tree oil.