Lice spread quickly from person to person and lay eggs wherever they can to continue the life cycle. The removal of head lice warrants persistent treatment, often including chemical-based shampoos and sprays. When you prefer a safer, more environmentally-friendly method of getting rid of hair lice, a suffocant helps without the need for chemicals. Several different ingredients can be used successfully to suffocate head lice. One such item is petroleum jelly.
Rub 4 tbsp. petroleum jelly over your entire scalp. Work the petroleum jelly through the roots of the hair to coat the hair shafts and scalp where lice and nits are likely to reside. Use your fingers to spread the petroleum jelly over the rest of your hair.
Wear a plastic shower cap on your head for eight hours.
Remove the plastic shower cap and wet your hair with warm water. Pour 1 tbsp. grease-cutting dishwashing detergent into your hand. Work the detergent through your hair down to your scalp to help remove the petroleum jelly from your hair.
Wash the detergent out of your hair, then shampoo your hair with regular hair shampoo. You may have to repeat the shampooing process a few times to remove all the petroleum jelly from your hair.
Condition your hair with hair conditioner to replace moisture stripped by dishwashing detergent and repeated washings. Comb your hair from the roots to the ends to remove lice eggs attached to the hair shafts.
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.