Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) through a process of steam distillation. Used for centuries as a natural healing agent for conditions from skin burns to psoriasis, tea tree oil can also be used as a preventive treatment for lice. When various essential oils were tested against head lice and dust mites, the oil that was most effective was tea tree oil, according to a study conducted at the University of Reading in Berkshire, UK, and published in the December 2007 issue of "Fitoterapia."
Purchase pnly 100 percent pure tea tree oil. It can be found in most health food stores and in some pharmacies.
Squeeze a quarter-size amount of shampoo into your hand, and add three drops of 100 percent pure tea tree oil. Incorporate it with your finger, then shampoo and rinse your hair as usual.
Put a quarter-size amount of conditioner in your hand, and add three drops of tea tree oil. Stir the mixture up with your finger and apply your conditioner to your hair. Leave the conditioner in for three minutes, then rinse as usual.
Add tea tree oil to your laundry to prevent lice from remaining on your clothing. Add 6 to 8 drops of tea tree oil to a standard size laundry load. Put it right in with your detergent and wash clothing as usual.
Spray your hair with a diluted solution of tea tree oil. Place a cup of water in an empty misting bottle, and then add 6 drops of pure tea tree oil. Shake well. Spray your hair before styling, and then once again after styling if the moisture will not ruin your hairdo. To protect children at school from lice infestation, spray the head and neck area lightly every day. You can also spray your comb or brush directly, and then run the comb or brush through your hair.