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Natural Head Lice Prevention

We received the dreaded email from my daughter’s school about lice going around. Instantly I had flashbacks of having to treat these little devils with my twin step daughters a few years ago and went into immediate prevention mode. Not happening — not this time {please, God 😂}.

When the twins got lice the first time in 4th or 5th grade, we did lots of research and trial and error to figure out what would kill off the lice and also what would prevent them from coming back if exposed. Of course, in order for lice to be eliminated from close groups of people (classrooms, day care, families, etc), ALL people need to treat and kill … and unfortunately that wasn’t the case with some of the twins’ classmates. We had to deal with off and on nit sightings for months. Sooo much time was spent combing through their hair, applying natural “masks” and laundering alllll their bedding and stuffed animals. We treated it successfully with natural methods to kill and remove the nits from their hair, bedding, toys, etc. But it was rough!

We are a naturally minded family, especially when it comes to our kids, so we try all the natural treatments before using chemicals. If we can avoid any toxic exposure, we do. Sometimes the natural methods take a LOT longer to work, and when you’re dealing with creepy crawly bugs, ain’t nobody have time for that.

Flash forward a few years later and I have so many more natural tools in my mama toolbox, thanks to essential oils. Essential oils are a powerhouse in so many ways, but especially in dealing the dreaded L word. Essentially, lice are attracted to our human smell and essential oils help mask that smell in a safe, non-toxic way. And they work instantly!

What essential oils are best for lice prevention?

Tea Tree Oil:  (also known as melaleuca oil) has antiseptic properties that is often used in many countries as a repellent against head lice. While it’s great for prevention (that super strong smell makes the lice want to head in a different direction), it doesn’t actually suffocate or kill the lice.

Lavender Essential Oil: often known for its relaxing and healing properties, Lavender essential oils also repelling bugs of all kinds. Using lavender in your lice prevention is key, and it helps the mixture smell pleasant to the human nose too.

Peppermint, Eucalyptus & Rosemary Essential Oils: all are strong scented oils with very potent aromas, which definitely can be used as a deterrent for lice. Personally, I would these in children over 6 years of age because they are so potent.


Where do you get your essential oils?

I exclusively use Young Living essential oils for our family. Whether applied topically, ingested, diffused, used in recipes, etc, I 100% trust their Seed to Seal promise. They are the best on the market, and because I’m a member, I get my oils at a big discount, AND I get cash back on every order.

I’m part of the Wild Thyme Tribe, led by Rachael James, and the info shared in her group is just astounding. I’ve learned SO much from her and others, and it’s a big reason why I share about my journey here on my blog. I wish I knew about essential oils earlier. If you want in this tribe, just shoot me an email or sign up here.

After doing SO. MUCH. research on essential oils, I personally would be very hesitant to use another brand. Many that you get online or from drug stores are not pure, and there’s really no telling what’s in them.

When should I start using lice prevention?

With our preschooler, I’m all about prevention, even without the lice notice from her school. I made up a batch of this Lice Prevention Spray at the beginning of the school year, and we use it almost daily. It’s an easy spritz on her hair most before we fix it for school, gymnastics, dance, going to the Children’s Museum … basically anywhere where other kids are. It’s an easy thing to do, and it’s become part of our daily routine.

That being said, when we got the classroom notice about other kids having lice, I upped the prevention the very next day and added the Lice Prevention Hair Mask (see below). My daughter has long, gorgeous hair, and she loves to wear it down as much as possible, but not with this lice notice!! Lice LOVE grabbing on to loose hair, so I pulled her hair up in a tight bun and used 1 TB of the mask throughout, coating her scalp and hair. The mask is coconut oil based, so it makes your hair look greasy and takes a few washes to completely get it out, so keep that in mind. I’d rather have a greasy (but nice smelling) head instead of lice any day!

I also use the Lice Prevention Spray on her clothes, backpack, jacket and nap mat to act as additional deterrent. It’s pleasant smelling spray that doesn’t stain and is completely natural, so why not!

Daily Lice Prevention Spray

Keep this spray on hand for a daily spritz of essential oils to repel lice from attaching to hair. 


  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops tea tree (melaleuca) essential oil
  • 16 oz filtered water
  • 1 pinch sea salt


  • Mix all ingredients in a glass spray bottle, shake well before each use and spritz on hair
  • Style like normal

Lice Prevention Hair Mask


  • 1 drop tea tree essential oil
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • 1 tbsp organic coconut oil


  • Mix all ingredients together and smooth onto hair and scalp
  • Pull long hair into a tight bun

If your children (or yourself) are allergic or sensitive to any of the oils on the list, move down the list. Lavender and Tea Tree are what we use most of time, but the others listed above can work well too. Of course, essential oils are very powerful and should always be used properly with the proper dilution with a carrier oil or in a properly diluted recipe.

Make sure you’re using glass bottles to store both your spray and mask in. Essential oils can break down plastic, so glass is a must! These are my favorite glass spray bottles and these mini mason jars are great for the hair masks.

If you are curious about essential oils and how they can help you and your family, I’d love to chat and plug you in to my amazing community of oily bad asses. My only regret is that I didn’t start using essential oils earlier.


Have you had to treat your kids for lice? Do you use regular lice prevention too?

Ashley T
Ashley T

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