Lice are perhaps some of the most feared parasites amongst parents of small children. This is not so much because lice are dangerous, but more because they are so easily contracted and are most commonly found in children.
A child infested with head lice can lead to a family infested with head lice. That said, head lice are probably not as frightening as you may think and there are a number of myths and misconceptions surrounding them you should know about before panicking.
Still, getting rid of head lice is a difficult and complicated process that can take hours and sometimes even days of your time. So, what is the best shampoo to prevent lice? That’s what we are here to discuss.
We have long maintained that practicing prevention is easier, less time consuming, and far less expensive than treatment methods for pest control, and dealing with a lice infestation is no exception.
But before we dive into the best shampoo to prevent lice, let’s first go over some quick facts about lice, what they are, myths versus facts, and discuss products you can use to treat and prevent these nasty parasitic insects.
The Best Shampoo To Prevent Lice – What Are Lice?
Lice are small, parasitic insects that feed on warm blooded mammals and birds.
Common throughout the world, lice are wingless parasitic insects believed to have been evolving with humans since the beginning of time. In fact, evidence of head lice has been found on ancient Egyptian mummies.
There are roughly 5,000 species of lice throughout the world, though there are only three common species known to infest humans and other warm-blooded mammals and birds. These three species of lice include:
Head lice is the most common type of lice to infest human heads. They are most prevalent in school-aged children, though head lice can infest adults as well. Head lice survive on blood hosts and prefer humans to feed on. They do not jump, despite a common myth, and instead are transmitted from person to person via head to head contact.
While head lice are certainly disgusting and greatly feared, they are not known to carry any diseases and their bites are generally painless. In fact, did you know that only half of people who suffer from head lice will experience the itching commonly associated with them?
Pubic lice, also known as crabs, are another common form of lice that have specifically evolved to cling to coarser hair like pubic hair, eyebrows, eyelashes and beards. Like common head lice, pubic lice do not spread disease but they can be responsible for serious itchiness in the nether regions. Yikes!
The most dangerous form of lice are going to be body lice. Unlike their other lice counterparts, body lice are known to transmit dangerous and deadly diseases through infected feces including typhus, trench fever, and louse-borne relapsing fever.
Luckily, contracting body lice is relatively rare in modern day society, though it is possible and most commonly occurs in settings where large masses of people are grouped together for long periods of time.
An example of this was in World War 1, when hundreds of thousands of soldiers grouped together in trenches contracted typhus from body lice and subsequently died.
The Best Shampoo to Prevent Lice – How To Identify Lice In The Hair
Head lice can be difficult to spot because they are small.
Because the most common form of lice in the United States is head lice, we are going to focus on the best shampoo to prevent lice in this article. Prevention is important, especially if you are in a family or have been in close quarters with someone who was recently diagnosed with a head lice infestation.
As we mentioned briefly above, head lice do not jump. They also do not cling to clothing and are not typically transmitted through means other than head to head contact. That said, experts still recommend using the best shampoo to prevent lice and other prevention measures if you or someone you know has been near a person infested with lice.
The reason is because preventing lice is much easier and less time consuming than getting rid of lice.
Getting rid of lice requires the use of a few different processes, from washing and shampooing hair with special products to meticulously combing through hair to remove eggs and dead lice and nymphs.
The most common signs of head lice are generally seeing lice eggs, known as nits, attached to the hair shaft close to the scalp. Nits look an awful lot like dandruff, but can be identified by simply rubbing or moving them up and down on the hair. If they do not move, they are lice eggs. If they do move, they are likely just some kind of debris or dead skin.
Head lice eggs do not move because they are “cemented” to the hair shaft by the adult louse upon being laid.
Another sign of lice is incessant itching, though as we mentioned above, only about half of those infested with head lice will experience this symptom.
You may also notice head lice by finding adult head lice crawling through the hair. However, an adult louse can be difficult to see as they are very small and very fast.
The below video further describes why head lice is so prevalent and the different methods you can use to get rid of them.
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Just because one family member has lice does not mean the whole family will get it, especially if you take preventative measures and look into the best shampoo to prevent lice. Furthermore, lice are fragile and cannot live long without a blood meal. They often die relatively quickly upon being separated from their host.
Certain products and home remedies can work to protect your head from head lice if you’ve been around someone recently diagnosed. And with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best shampoo to prevent lice below.
What Is The Best Shampoo To Prevent Lice?
The best shampoos to prevent lice use essential oils and other natural ingredients
There are a number of products for prevention and treatment of lice, but one of the easiest methods you can use is a shampoo specifically designed for lice control. The best shampoo to prevent lice is going to work one of two ways. The first is by preventing head lice and the other is by killing head lice.
The best shampoo to prevent lice can be used on a head that is not infested as well as on a head that is infested in order to get rid of lice.
How does the best shampoo to prevent lice work? The shampoos that work best to prevent lice generally work using essential oils and other natural ingredients.
This is great news since most head lice is contracted by children who require gentle, safe products to be used on their sensitive skin and hair. However, for a particularly nasty head lice infestation, sometimes pesticide shampoos are needed to kill the lice.
Pesticide shampoos can be a bit harsher on the heads of both children and adults, and should only be used under the guidance of a medical professional. Typically, before the best shampoo to prevent lice or kill like containing a pesticide is recommended, most experts will recommend using a quality conditioner along with a lice combing kit to attempt to remove the lice first.
This is generally the safest and most gentle way to remove head lice, especially where children are concerned.
That said, when on the hunt for the best shampoo to prevent lice, we are here to help. Let’s take a look at some of the products most highly recommended by experts for lice removal below.
Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Lice Prevention Shampoo
First on our list of best shampoo to prevent lice is a kid friendly shampoo called Fairy Tales. This lice prevention shampoo contains natural essential oils and plant-based ingredients that are safe for children and adults to prevent and repel lice.
The active ingredients include rosemary oil, citronella oil, and tea tree oil. The product also includes Jojoba and chamomile to revitalize the scalp and provide extra hydration. This way, along with preventing lice, you are also keeping your hair and scalp moisturized and healthy.
Hair Genies Lice Prevention Shampoo
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Another shampoo we like for our list of the best shampoo to prevent lice products is made by a company called The Hair Genies. The above shampoo is made with peppermint oil and is safe enough to use on both children and adults. It can also be used every day, which is great if you want to start the school year out one step ahead of any potential lice infestation.
The product is all natural, has a nice peppermint scent, and doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or toxins that can be harmful on the scalps of kiddos or burn their eyes.
Lice Shield Shampoo and Conditioner 2 in 1
With a name like Lice Shield, you already know this is going to protect you and your loved ones from those nasty lice. Again, this shampoo and conditioner 2 in 1 is made with all natural ingredients including a number of essential oils.
These oils include lemongrass oil, cedar oil, rosemary oil, citronella oil, and geraniol oil. The product is safe for kids and adults of all ages and can be used routinely to prevent head lice.
Tea Tree Rosemary Lice Prevention Shampoo
If you are looking for the best shampoo to prevent lice that is specifically geared towards adults, you’ll want to take a look at the Tea Tree Rosemary lice prevention shampoo by Honeydew.
This shampoo not only has an elegant design, but it is made with tea tree oil and rosemary oil and is designed for adult scalps and hair. It works to prevent and remove head lice while also revitalizing dry, damaged hair with botanical keratin and jojoba oil.
Not only does it remove and repel lice, but the above shampoo can also help alleviate dandruff and oily scalps.
Majestic Pure Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner
Last on our list of best shampoo to prevent lice is another shampoo and conditioner duo that is made with essential oils. Rich in tea tree oil, this is another shampoo geared towards adults. Both men and women can benefit from it’s moisturising qualities as well as its protection against lice.
This shampoo also prevents dry scalps and dandruff. Best of all, it is not tested on animals, it is made with natural ingredients, it does not contain any sulfates, and it is gentle on skin.
What Is The Best Shampoo To Prevent Lice and Kill Lice?
A large infestation of head lice, like in the image above, may require more intensive treatments.
Not all shampoos that prevent lice will kill lice. With that in mind, if you are looking for the best shampoo to prevent lice and kill lice, you will need to look at more medicated solutions and products like those listed below.
Of course, remember that medicated products for head lice should be used only as directed and with caution. Refrain from getting medicated shampoo for lice in the eyes, nose or mouth and use only the amount recommended on the instructions list.
Clearlice Lice Treatment Shampoo for Kids
Not all shampoos and products that kill lice contain harsh chemicals and pesticides, which is great when it comes to treating head lice in children. One of the products we like as not only the best shampoo to prevent lice but also to kill lice is made by Clearlice.
This shampoo and conditioner is made with natural essential oils and enzymes that are gentle on the scalp and non toxic. That said, it is effective against lice and eggs and uses peppermint oil as opposed to pesticides to kill lice quickly.
Nix Ultra Lice Shampoo Kit
Another pesticide free shampoo we like is Nix. This shampoo is one of the best shampoos to prevent lice and kill lice because it includes a lice removing comb, removes eggs and adult lice, and is free of toxic pesticides that can be harmful to children.
This is a pediatrician recommended brand as well. That said, it is made to specifically remove lice and should only be used to do so and not as a daily shampoo unless otherwise recommended by your child’s pediatrician.
RID Lice Treatment Kit
RID has long been touted as a reliable lice treatment, which is why we’ve included it on our list of best shampoo to prevent lice. This is a three step process and the kit includes a lice removing comb.
That said, we should note that sprays and fumigations are not always needed nor are they recommended for when it comes to getting rid of head lice. Remember, lice cannot survive long without a blood meal and need to feed several times a day. For that reason, often the most effective way to kill them is to simply remove them from their host.
How To Make The Best Shampoo To Prevent Lice At Home
Olive oil can help remove lice in the hair.
Because most of the best shampoo to prevent lice products above contain essential oils as their active ingredients, it comes as no surprise that you can make your own prevention products at home to keep lice at bay.
Some of the best essential oils you can use to prevent lice include:
- Peppermint Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Neem Oil
- Clove Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Cinnamon Oil
- Aniseed Oil
- Thyme Oil
- Citronella OIl
- Rosemary Oil
- And Nutmeg Oil
You can make the best shampoo to prevent lice at home using the above essential oils by following the below instructions:
- 2 ounces of olive oil
- 15 – 20 drops of the essential oil of your choice
Mix the olive oil and essential oils together and then massage the solution into the infested scalp. You can use your hands or cotton balls to do this. Put a showercap over the head and then leave the product on the scalp for at least 12 hours.
It is best to put this on the head a few hours before bed. In the morning, use a lice comb to comb through the hair carefully and then rinse the hair with shampoo and conditioner. Repeat this process and necessary.
Smother The Lice With Olive Oil or Almond Oil
Some people find that, along with using the best shampoo to prevent lice, smothering lice using olive oil or almond oil also works.
To use this method properly, you can either pour the oil directly on the scalp or saturate the lice comb beforehand. Both options require a lice comb, so don’t forget this vital tool.
Once the head is coated or the comb is coated with oil, part the hair into sections and begin combing carefully to remove eggs and lice. Once you are done, wash the hair thoroughly with shampoo and conditioner, then dry the hair with a hair dryer on high heat.
Any towels or clothing worn during this treatment should be immediately washed on high heat as well to kill any potential lice or lice eggs.
Wet Comb The Hair With Conditioner
Using conditioner and a comb to get rid of lice in place of the best shampoo to prevent lice has been one of the oldest and most commonly used methods for head lice removal.
That said, do not use conditioner along with a medication for head lice as it will be counterproductive to the process.
First, wet the hair completely and then part it into sections. Use a spray bottle with diluted conditioner or a liquid conditioner spray and saturate the hair before combing it out with a wet comb. Using a conditioner helps slow the lice down and can help loosen eggs from hair shafts.
The Don’ts Of Removing Head Lice
Use medications only as directed to prevent damage caused by head lice removal.
Removing head lice is a tedious process, which can tempt many people to try and cut corners and try to use “extra” medications and shampoos to get rid of the lice quickly. The truth is, doing this can backfire and even be potentially dangerous or harmful.
Here are the don’ts for how to remove head lice with the best shampoo to prevent lice.
Don’t Use Conditioner and Medication At The Same Time
Trying multiple methods at once like using conditioner as well as a medicated treatment to get rid of headlice will be counterproductive, as the conditioner will simply create a barrier to the head lice and thus protect them from the medication.
Do Not Use The Same Head Lice Treatment More Than Three Times
Lice are resilient and known to become resistant to certain pesticide and medicated lice treatments. Even the best shampoo to prevent lice can become ineffective if used too often.
Only Use The Directed Amount Of Head Lice Medication
If you have a serious lice infestation, you may be tempted to saturate your head in the medication or shampoo. Do not do this. Doing so will not get rid of the lice any faster and can potentially cause harm to you or the person infested.
Do Not Skip The Combing Process
Even if you are using the best shampoo to prevent lice and have used all the above methods and tricks, there is no way around the most tedious part of dealing with head lice, which is the combing.
The combing out of headlice is the most important step as it ensures you have removed all the lice, eggs, and nymphs infesting you or your loved ones’ scalp. You may need to use the combing method multiple times to ensure you get all eggs and lice. If you miss even just one egg or louse, the infestation could begin all over again.
Other Tips On Preventing Lice
Avoid head to head contact to prevent lice.
Head lice is very common and has nothing to do with personal hygiene, which is important to keep in mind if someone you know has become infested or if you yourself have become infested.
Furthermore, lice do not jump or fly, and the most common forms of transmission are through head to head contact. So, along with using the best shampoo to prevent lice, there are a few other steps you should take to keep these parasites out of your hair.
Avoid Head To Head Contact
Teach young children to avoid head to head contact at school, during sports games, sleepovers, or even while taking photographs. Of course, remember that children are not the only ones to fall prey to head lice.
We adults are often guilty of pressing our heads together while taking selfies or even just snuggling with the ones we care about and love.
Do Not Share Clothing, Hats, or Hair Brushes With People Infested With Lice
It’s very rare that head lice is transmitted through clothing or bedding, but it is possible that loose hairs with unhatched eggs or live lice can lead to a secondary infestation.
To prevent future infestations of headlice, use the best shampoo to prevent lice while also avoiding sharing clothing, hats, hair brushes and pillows with people you know to be experiencing a head lice infestation.
Wash and Dry Bedding and Clothing After Coming Into Contact With Someone Infested
If you find that you have been in contact with someone that has been infested with head lice, it is important to immediately wash the clothing, bedding, towels and other fabrics you were wearing or that were around the infested person.
Wash these items on high heat or place them into the dryer immediately on high heat to kill any potential lice.
Sanitize Your Home Or The Areas In Which An Infested Person Was Sitting Or Sleeping
While routine home cleanings are not necessary to prevent lice, you can help capture any loose lice that potentially fell from an infested person in your home. For example, if your child is diagnosed with head lice, clean their room thoroughly, wash their bedding according to the directions above, vacuum furniture, and sanitize thoroughly. Then move on to using the best shampoo to prevent lice on your entire family.
Last but not least, keep in mind that head lice are not as “catchy” as once originally thought and are simple to prevent so long as you follow the proper methods. That said, head lice can be problematic if not taken care of immediately upon diagnosis.
Remember to use the best shampoo for head lice as directed and to contact a medical professional for any questions or concerns regarding head lice.
So, what do you think? Would you prefer to use home remedies to get rid of and prevent lice or would you purchase the best shampoo to prevent lice instead? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.