If you’ve ever had a hair lice infestation, you know how frustrating it gets. Lice are extremely irritating, contagious and can be difficult to treat with home remedies in Nigeria.

Image: Audrey Popov

But how does one even get lice, and how do you get rid of them permanently?

How does the lice problem start?

Lice are tiny parasitic insects that feed by drawing on blood from the scalp. They live in hair, and it’s extremely easy for them to jump from head to head in close contact. In Nigeria, they’re more common with children and can be contracted through school playgrounds or by sharing hair accessories.

You know there’s a lice infestation when the scalp is itchy, and it feels like something is running through your hair. In serious cases, you might find the insects dropping onto surfaces.

Lice also reproduce really fast in hair via eggs (or nits), which makes permanently getting rid of them a challenge, but it’s possible.

Here’s how you can remove lice permanently

Once a lice infestation is confirmed, the first step is to contain the problem. You don’t want to pass it on to others or have the lice on surfaces or hair tools where they can re-infect you. 

Wash items that come in contact with the head with disinfectant and hot water to disinfect them. Then, try any of the following methods to remove the insects from the hair itself:

Wet combing

As the name implies, this method involves combing out the lice and eggs. It’s the easiest method for removing them. You’ll need to wash and detangle your hair with shampoo, and while your hair is damp, go in with a fine-toothed comb to remove the insects.

Something like this

If you have natural 4C hair, consider straightening it before this procedure to allow the comb to pass through. This method can be repeated several times till all the lice have been removed.

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Onion juice

Image: Derma Essentia

Yes, onions. The acidic juice from onions is often used to kill lice. This method involves roughly blending an onion and rubbing it into the scalp. Let it rest for about 30-40 minutes, before going in with a fine-tooth comb to remove the dead lice and nits. Don’t forget to wash your hair after combing. 

Neem oil

Image: Kapiva

Neem oil has antibacterial properties and a pungent smell that repels lice. You can apply this just as described for onion juice. For best results, wrap the hair after putting in the oil and sit under a dryer for about 30 minutes before rinsing and shampooing your hair. Finish the process by combing out any lice eggs remaining.

Tea tree oil

Image: Stylecraze

This essential oil also has an intense aroma that repels lice and can be used just like neem oil.


If you aren’t a naturalista, the chemicals in relaxers are also an option for treating lice. Ensure to apply the relaxer to the base of the hair strand to catch the lice eggs. As with other methods, don’t forget to go in with a fine tooth comb after washing to make sure every egg is removed.

How do you make sure it doesn’t come back?

Infestation starts at contact, so as much as possible, try to avoid sharing hair tools and accessories.

PS: Getting lice doesn’t mean you’re dirty. Lice actually prefer clean hair to lay eggs in. Whatever you do, don’t use insecticide on your hair as a treatment or preventive option.

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