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Head lice are a common occurrence, yet many families don’t know how to handle an infestation. The fastest and easiest route often seems like an over-the-counter solution. While convenient, the products that sit on the store shelves often contain harsh ingredients that you probably don’t want to use on your child. 

Permethrin is a common ingredient found in most over-the-counter head lice products. Part of the pyrethroid family, this synthetic chemical does have risks. When it gets on the skin, it can cause irritation, burning, tingling or itching. If it gets in the eyes, it can cause redness, pain or burning. Even breathing in permethrin can have side effects, as some people have experienced irritation in the nose and lungs, trouble breathing, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. 

With this in mind, it’s important to consider what you want to use on your child. The good news is that you don’t have to rely on these products only. There are safer alternatives, such as the head lice products from My Hair Helpers that contain natural ingredients. They are safe for sensitive skin, as well as for kids and adults of all ages (most OTC products are only for 2 years and up). 

One ingredient that you will find in many of our products is peppermint. However, it’s important to know that lice only avoid peppermint—the scent alone is not enough to stop an infestation. 

Why Do Lice Hate the Smell of Mint? 

Due to its strong menthol properties, many bugs hate the smell of mint. Insects with a strong sense of smell especially despise this scent, and not surprisingly, head lice are one of them! This makes them even less tolerant of menthol. There are other essential oils that may be used to detract head lice, such as lavender and tea tree, but mint is most hated! 

Does Peppermint Execute Lice? 

Unfortunately, you can’t use mint to stop an already active infestation. Peppermint is to be used as a repellent only. The reason why it doesn’t stop head lice is because it’s not actually harmful to them. Lice will avoid this scent, but if there’s already an active infestation going on, the mint will do nothing to get rid of them. 

To stop lice, you need to halt their breathing and keep it this way for a long time so that they eventually die. This is what dimethicone does, and it’s used in our Lice Removal Oil. Once the lice are gone, you can then use a repellent, such as our Mint Spray

Will Mint Oil Take Care of Nits? 

Nits are lice eggs, and they are extremely stubborn because they attach to the hair shaft with a glue-like substance. Therefore, peppermint oil will not be enough to wipe them out. In fact, nits are well-protected by their shells, which don’t let anything through. To eradicate nits, it’s best to use My Mint Foam Mousse to loosen the glue and our Eliminator Lice Comb to drag them out. The key is making sure that the eggs don’t hatch, as this can start a new infestation. 

Are you ready to tackle a case of head lice? Count on the products from My Hair Helpers as they are made from natural ingredients that you can feel good about!