Natural Head Lice solutions (Ukus)

Natural Head Lice solutionsDear Aunty Tina, I am having a nightmare with ukus (head lice). I don’t want to use chemicals on my keiki’s head but I really want to get rid of them! Can you suggest a more natural way that works?

Ah, the dreaded Uku! The word alone is enough to make skin crawl and head itch! I can sympathize ukus are not fun to deal with; I know I had nine children, and after they start school it is kind of inevitable. But don’t worry, I do know of a great way to get rid of them.

Mix your regular shampoo with a quarter teaspoon of 100% tea tree (Melaleuca) oil (Melaleuca kills ukus ) and half a cap full of original Listerine – the orange/yellow kind (the alcohol in the mouthwash is toxic to ukus). Then saturate your child’s hair and cover with a shower cap for an hour. Wrapping your child’s shoulders with a towel is a good idea so they can readily wipe away any drips before they reach their eyes. The smell is pretty noxious so applying on a deck or well ventilated area is well advised. After the hour wash out, condition (will help combing) and the using a lice comb (the bamboo or plastic kind with thin teeth and barely any space between) run through the hair to retrieve the dead bugs and any eggs they may have left behind.

For safe measure repeat this in a week incase any eggs survived the first treatment. In the mean time you need to wash all bedding and recently worn clothes in hot water and then dry on high for at least half an hour. If you don’t have a dryer or have large comforters that need delousing you can also bag and tie up in garbage bags and leave for a month. This should kill all the eggs. You also need to vacuum regularly especially the floor in the living space and bedrooms where your child may like to roll around and lie down. After you have deloused the house and gone through this experience I would advise making a spray with water, tea tree oil and Listerine and spray it on your child’s hair weekly to keep any re-infestations from happening again and/or purchase some tea tree shampoo.

Another simple natural solution for boys is the buzz cut. This avoids any mess or smells and on the bright side helps your son’s hair grow back even thicker.

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Tina Garzero CPM, LMT. practiced midwifery for 40 years and lived on Maui for over 35 Years. She was the mother to 9 children and lived in Haiku. She is the heart of the Mauimama and will be sorely missed. (Tina Garzero 1951-2015). We love you Tina. This website is dedicated to Tina's life and service on Maui.