How To Kill And Get Rid Of Lice On Type 3-4 Natural Hair

More times than often, I have someone reach out to me or during my one on one natural hair care consultations to help them get rid of lice on their hair. I hope this detailed post helps you understand how lice works and effective ways to get rid of lice on type 3-4 natural hair. A lot of the solutions I see on search engines only cater to straight hair types so I am more than happy to share this to help my fellow type 3 and 4 naturals. Let’s dig in.

How Head Lice Works

Head lice also known as Pediculus Capitis are small parasitic insects that live only in human hair and feed by sucking tiny amounts of blood on the scalp. The female louse lays approximately ten eggs called nits a day and attaches them to the hair shaft. These eggs hatch in 10 to 14 days, grow for 9-12 days, then mate and repeat the above cycle. So technically, it takes about 2 weeks+ for a full-blown lice infestation. This is when you’ll start feeling something crawling on your scalp and itchiness. These suckers crawl very fast that when you part the hair to pick them out, they move quickly away from your incoming hands. The easiest way to find their location is to look for the little white eggs (nits) using a very good light like the sun or even a very bright torch. If you have very dark coloured hair, the eggs will easily stand out as opposed to lighter hair colours. You would also feel intense itching on the back of your head or around the neck area and this happens when the lice bite and suck the blood out of your scalp.

So How Then Did You Get Lice Infestation?

You’ll typically get lice from someone if you share something the lice have latched on. These things can be combs and detangling brushes, items of clothing, pillowcases, headphones or earpieces, head wraps and several headgears and stuffed animals. Most people I have helped treat lice actually got it from careless salons! Some of these salons don’t wash hair tools like combs and hair parting picks they just used on a customer before using it on another customer! This is how lice conveniently spread from customer to customer and some clients won’t know they have eggs on their scalp till it hatches and starts itching or they pick out a louse from their hair. This is seriously why I go to salons with my own tools.

What Is The Difference Between Lice Eggs And Dandruff?

Well, the outstanding difference is the unhatched eggs ie the nits are darker in colour and turn white when the eggs hatch. The white, hatched eggs stick to the hair when you try to remove them, unlike dandruff which can be easily picked, brushed or washed out. Another difference is dandruff is very visible on the scalp. Lice lay eggs on the hair, not the scalp.

Things You Should Never Use To Treat Lice Infestation.

Trust me when I say I understand the amount of panic one experiences the moment you realize you have lice on your hair. Thinking about it alone creates a psychological unconscious response in me to scratch my scalp. Lol! But please, be careful not to use any of these below in a bid to get rid of it. Multiple people have died, had health complications or had permanent scalp injuries that left them bald from using these harmful products. The things you shouldn’t use are:

  • Sheltox or any insecticide. This absorbs into your bloodstream and poisons you internally. Even if you don’t die immediately, it causes serious health implications that would kill or reduce the quality of your life.
  • Kerosene: Same implication as sheltox.
  • Camphor: Same implication as sheltox and kerosene.
  • Sniper: This kills instantly because guess what? Sniper has super fast penetrative and absorptive properties which get into the bloodstream causing instant poisoning. Don’t even think of using sniper if you value your life.

How To Get Rid Of Lice On Type 3 and 4 Natural Hair.

From my experience with some ladies in my natural hair community that have consulted me for lice infestation, these are remedies that really work and can be done at home. Most salons fear the word ‘lice’ so they never help people who experience this which is too bad. There are two different methods listed below. Each method works so choose whichever one you prefer and within two weeks, the lice are dead gone.


1. The ‘Essential Oils and Heat’ Method.

For this, you’ll be needing:

  • Essential oils like rosemary, tea tree, eucalyptus, citronella and peppermint. These are very efficient in getting rid of those suckers. I recommend not using a mix of the five oils on a first try as it might be too harsh. Start by mixing any three of them and using them on the first try. Then watch how your scalp reacts before venturing to use all five. If you must use all five, dilute with a carrier oil like neem, olive, almond or coconut oil but make sure the mix of the essential oils are more than the carrier oil you are using. What I mean is if for instance, you are adding 3 drops of each essential oil to the bowl you are mixing with, add two drops of the carrier oil to dilute it.
  • A shower cap.
  • Shampoo and conditioner.
  • A clean towel.
  • A blow dryer.
  • A nit comb. This is what a nit comb looks like below. If you don’t have one, use a tail comb that is very close toothed like a nit comb.



  • Get a bowl or applicator bottle and add about 2-3 drops of each essential oil to it. Then add one or two drops of each carrier oil.
  • Divide your hair into five or six sections and hold each section in place with hair clamps or bands.
  • Apply the oil mix generously to your hair and scalp section by section making sure to massage while doing this to make sure it is penetrating immediately into the hair shaft and scalp. After applying the oil mix to each section, please put in a chunky loose twist especially if your type 4 hair is very dense/thick like mine. This will make shampooing easier for you trust me!
  • After application, cover hair with a shower cap for one hour. This enables the essential oils to suffocate the lice and the eggs. I recommend going under a hairdryer for at least 30 minutes within one hour. If you do not have a hairdryer, use a heat cap.
  • After one hour, remove the shower cap and rinse off the oil mixture with warm water. While rinsing, unravel each chunky twist and rinse properly. Then twist it back loosely again.
  • Then, apply shampoo to your hair and scalp and rinse off with cool water. I recommend unravelling the twists and twisting them back as you shampoo just to make sure every strand of hair is properly shampoo. The reason I recommend twisting it back is so you don’t get overwhelmed when shrinkage happens and you can’t easily reach your scalp. While doing this, you’ll notice some of the lice falling off.
  • After shampooing, apply a conditioner with a good slip to enable you to detangle your hair. Twist each detangled section loosely and rinse off thoroughly.
  • Towel dry your hair and proceed to blow dry section by section. The reason I recommend blow-drying as opposed to using a straightener for fellow type 4 naturals is to reduce the chances of heat damage. Blow drying will also be easier because your hair is detangled. The essence of blow-drying is to be able to comb off the dead lice and eggs with the close toothed comb easily from your hair as you know it won’t be feasible if the comb isn’t wide-toothed and a wide-toothed comb won’t get the job done.
  • After blow-drying the hair, increase the heat of the blow dryer (not so much it hurts) and focus the heat on your scalp section by section. Sis! Lice hate the heat! My my! They hate it! Also, run the blow dryer through your hair shaft as well.
  • The next and final step is to use the nit or close toothed comb to comb out your hair from the scalp section by section to get rid of the eggs. While doing this, scratch the scalp gently as if you’re scratching off dandruff and run the comb the rest of your hair.
  • I recommend doing this twice or thrice a week to make sure they’re all gone. It works sis!
  • Be sure to wash the comb and towel you used immediately and basically anything you must have come in contact with to avoid re-infestation.


2. The ‘Garlic’ Method.

I learnt this method from Stress-Free Mommies and it works too! I recommended this to a lady in my natural hair community and she came back days later to share how helpful it was in ridding her hair of lice.

For this method, you’ll be needing:

  • Juice of one medium-size orange.
  • About 1/2 cup of olive oil (or more).
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves finely chopped.


  • Mix all the ingredients together.
  • Divide hair into sections as explained in the ‘essential oils & heat’ method and apply on hair and scalp massaging as you apply. Afterwards, twist each section loosely.
  • Cover hair with a shower cap and leave overnight.
  • The next morning, comb out the lice as much as you can and proceed to shampoo, condition and detangle. Shampoo at least twice. This way, you are making sure to remove the oil, garlic and orange juice completely out of the hair.
  • Towel dry and proceed to blow dry as explained in the ‘essential oils and heat method’. Remember, Lice hate the heat.
  • Repeat this two times in a week and the lice are gone. Some of my students reported the lice disappeared after the second use.
  • Be sure to wash the comb and towel you used immediately and basically anything you must have come in contact with to avoid re-infestation.
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Related: 40 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Transitioned To Natural Hair

Common Misconceptions and Myths About Lice.

I’ve heard people really say funny and unbelievable things about lice and in case you’ve heard any of them, I’m here to tell you they’re all lies sis. Some of these myths are:

  • Getting lice on your hair means you have poor hygiene: This is not true. Anyone can get lice on their hair so far you use things used by someone with lice like combs, headphones, head wraps and gears etc.
  • Lice can jump and fly: They’re not flying anywhere because they don’t have wings okay?
  • People with type 3-4 hair never get lice: Lol! Lice love hair. So long you have hair on your head, you can get infested with lice.
  • You can get lice from your pet: Lice are species-specific. They only need human blood to survive.
  • An itchy scalp means you have lice: Lol! Lice fear is real I tell you! There are so many things that can cause itchy scalps like dry scalp and seborrheic dermatitis or even a reaction to a hair product you used.

I hope this was really helpful. Please share this post. Someone battling with a lice infestation is likely to see it and this would be the best thing you did for them. Also, grab your own copy of this ebook on 40 things I wish someone told me before I transitioned to natural hair. They contain common natural hair mistakes you should never make. I have made those mistakes so please don’t repeat them. I’ll see you in my next post. Shalom!


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