How to Treat Lice Nits During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a difficult time, without having to worry about lice and nits (louse eggs) infestation. Using chemicals to treat lice during pregnancy isn’t safe, since chemical shampoos contain pesticides. 

Commercial lice treatments like Nix even contain permethrin, which has been linked to autism and brain damage during fetal development. So, can you safely treat the lice and nits while pregnant?

Here are some at home remedies for lice pregnancy that are safe to use during any trimester:

Mayonnaise or Olive Oil, and Shower Cap: Both mayonnaise and olive oil contain omega-3 fats. Not only are these fats super healthy for your hair – they make your scalp and hair roots slippery, making it hard for adult lice to hang on. These fats also weigh your hair down, suffocating lice and nymphs. As for nits, mayo and olive oil loosen the “glue” holding the nits to the hair shaft, letting you comb them out easily. You can also put Vaseline in your hair place of mayo or olive oil. To apply, simply lather hair in mayonnaise and olive oil, roll the hair into a shower cap, and leave on at night while sleeping – repeat as needed.

Liceguard Zap Comb for Lice: Since chemicals are not safe to use while pregnant, you might have to use the old fashioned lice comb and nitpicking method. But picking out nits and lice with a nit comb isn’t as painful as in the past – electricity is on your side. The Liceguard Zap Comb uses one double AA battery, which sends a small pulse of electricity down your hair as you comb out the nits. You won’t feel any pain, since hair is just dead skin cells, but the lice and nits will be zapped dead by the electric comb.

Cost – This method costs under $30 at most pharmacies

Kill Them With Conditioner: Buy any brand of conditioner (not shampoo with conditioner) from the local drug store – generic brand conditioner is fine. Apply the conditioner liberally to wet hair after a shower, and leave in (don’t rinse!) for 1-2 hours. After the 2 hours are up, still without rinsing the conditioner, use a lice comb to rid hair of lice and nits. The conditioner makes the hair slippery for nits and lice to hold onto – making combing them out a breeze. Repeat the conditioner method for 2 weeks, or until the nits and lice are gone.

Use Neem or Tea Tree Oil: Both Neem Oil and Tea Tree oil are natural cures for lice nits, which have been historically used with great success to get rid of lice. Best of all, using oils is an all natural herbal method that won’t harm your baby. Both Neem Oil and Tea Tree oil contain an herbal enzyme called polythenals, which interrupts the development and reproductive growth of lice. If they can’t reproduce, lice can’t infest your scalp with itching and bites. Oils have the additional benefit of making hair slippery, which can prevent a female louse from laying new eggs and reinfesting you. To apply, simply mix into your shampoo bottle, or apply to wet hair and leave in after conditioning.

Get Rid of Remaining Lice Nits

Once you’ve gotten rid of lice on your scalp, use heat (not chemical sprays) to kill lice on sofas, mattresses, pillows, carpeting and sheets. Drag everything you can out into the sun to bake, which kills lice hiding there. Everything small enough (like clothing and sheets) should be bagged up, suffocating lice and their nits. Finally, big items like sofas and couches require a chemical spray to kill remaining lice. If you’re pregnant, have someone you trust spray lice preventing chemicals, and avoid breathing them in yourself.

To prevent lice infestation in the future, check your children thoroughly for lice at the first signs of itching and scratching. Avoid sleeping in strange beds, if possible, and as always avoid sharing hats, combs and hair clips. These tips will help you treat lice during pregnancy, and prevent it from coming back for a future pregnancy.