Lice are a parent’s nightmare. Tiny, hard to find and frustrating to remove, it would be a lot easier if you just prevent them from infesting your child’s hair in the first place.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes, and it’s certainly true when it comes to lice. There are shampoos and treatments you can use to keep lice away from your children or stop an infestation before the head lice can reproduce.
Although our emphasis here is on prevention, some of the shampoos we’ll cover can also be used to eliminate lice if your child winds up with them despite your best efforts (kids do that). That’s a lot to cover, so let’s get going.
In this Pest Strategies product review you can expect to learn:
- What are lice-preventing shampoos?
- How do they work?
- Are they safe?
- And our overall #1 pick
And if you're short on time, you can click here to immediately jump to our favorite lice-preventing shampoo!
Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Daily Kid Shampoo
|View on Amazon|
Maple Holistics Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
|View on Amazon|
Botanic Hearth Essential Oils Herbal Shampoo
|View on Amazon|
Nix Lice Killing Creme Rinse
|View on Amazon|
RID Lice Treatment Complete Kit
|View on Amazon|
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
(updated as of 12/18/2018)
Fairy Tales is a well-known manufacturer of children’s products and their shampoo contains a blend of rosemary, citronella, peppermint, lavender, tea tree and geranium oils to repel lice without using harsh chemicals.
It’s an effective lice repellent that’s also gentle enough to use every day. It stops the infestation before it begins. Some people may have allergic reactions to the essential oils so test it on a small patch of your child’s skin before washing their hair with it.
Top 5 Best Shampoos to Prevent Lice
What Are Shampoos to Prevent Lice?
Lice preventing shampoos are products that you use to wash your child’s hair to clean away lice or make your child’s hair an unwelcome place for lice to set up camp. Some are based on essential oils that produce odors lice find offensive and try to avoid.
Others are insecticidal shampoos with chemical pesticides in them for killing lice that have infested your child’s hair. These can be used in a preventative manner if you have reason to suspect your child has been exposed to head lice.
How Do Shampoos to Prevent Lice Work?
Lice prevention shampoos work in one of two different ways; by repelling them or by killing them. Let’s look at each one.
Researchers in Australia tested three different over-the-counter lice treatments and discovered that a combination of lavender oil and tea tree oil was an effective repellent for head lice, with a success rate of 97.6%.
It didn’t kill the lice, it simply drove them away. There wasn’t any follow-up research done to determine if the lavender oil or tea tree oil was mainly responsible for repelling the lice or if it was the combination of the two.
Other essential oils such as rosemary and coconut oil have shown some repellency properties as well.
Killing head lice is achieved the same way killing any other pest is done, with a pesticide. Small concentrations of pesticides are included in the formula for a shampoo or conditioner and the infected person washes their head with it.
Lice are fond of the occipital region of the head at the back of the skull near the spinal column and behind the ears. They will travel to any section of the skull, but those are their favorite areas.
How Do You Find The Best Shampoos to Prevent Lice?
There is plenty of information on managing or eliminating head lice after they’ve become a problem, but not as much on prevention. This is where Pest Strategies comes in. We’ve researched them for you and the results are presented here for your benefit.
For more information on how to prevent lice, check out the video below!
Are Shampoos to Prevent Lice Effective?
Yes. A big part of prevention though starts at the school or daycare your child attends. Lice can’t fly or jump so they have to spread by head-to-head contact. If you’ve ever seen children huddled up whispering to each other, you know how lice could move from one to another.
Since children for not listening to (or ignoring) parental discussions on safety, and the employees at schools and daycare centers are too busy to notice everything, a good lice prevention shampoo is essential for your peace of mind.
Essential oils produce odors that people like but many insects, including lice, can’t stand. Given a choice between an area with essential oils in it and one without, they’ll choose the one without. For this reason, many of the shampoos below are essentials oil-based.
How To Use A Shampoo to Prevent Lice
Wash your child’s hair the same way you normally would with a regular shampoo. Make sure it doesn’t get in their eyes, nose, or mouth, and pay special attention to the base of the skull near the spine and behind their ears.
Are Shampoos to Prevent Lice Safe Around My Pets And Children?
Yes. However, some can be used on children as young as two months old while others can only be used on children who are two years old and older. Check the label before using any of them.
Best Shampoo to Prevent Lice Reviewed
Fairy Tales is a well-known manufacturer of children’s products. Their shampoo contains a blend of rosemary, citronella, peppermint, lavender, tea tree and geranium oils to repel lice. It also contains aloe, chamomile, and jojoba but no harsh chemicals.
This prevention shampoo and conditioner is an effective lice repellent that’s gentle enough to use every day. It’s important to note it doesn’t kill lice. It’s a repellent that keeps them from attaching themselves to your child. It stops the infestation before it happens.
This is a head lice prevention treatment with no side effects from harsh chemicals. Some people may have allergic reactions to the essential oils so test it on a small patch of your child’s skin before washing their hair with it.
Tea tree oil, lavender oil, and rosemary oil are the active ingredients in this dandruff shampoo that controls dandruff and dry, itchy, and flaking scalps in addition to preventing a head lice infestation. It also promotes hair growth on your child’s head.
It will leave your hair feeling clean and rejuvenated, with a clean, fresh scent. It promotes good hair care while preventing a lice outbreak. There aren’t any harsh chemicals or pesticides in it either.
This is a shampoo and conditioner set containing lavender, tea tree, peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, and lemongrass oil as the active ingredients. It prevents a head lice infestation by saturating your child’s hair with scents the head lice try to avoid.
It helps restore dry, dull hair and restore its luster at the same time it repels lice. It’s free of sulfates and paraben and leaves a fresh clean scent in your child’s hair or yours if you want to use it on yourself. It’s made for the whole family.
This is a lice killing shampoo that kills lice because the active ingredient is permethrin, a man-made synthetic pyrethroid. It also kills the lice eggs (nits) and includes two lice combs. It is safe to use on children over two months old.
This lice shampoo has a good residual impact for up to 14 days after each use. This pediculicide has been approved by the FDA as a lice treatment. It will also kill super lice that have built up a pesticide resistance.
After each shampoo, use the nit comb to remove the nits that stick to the individual hairs and can’t be removed with your fingers.
This is another head lice treatment that kills lice using a pyrethrum extract (pyrethrins) as the active ingredient. The CDC warns that this natural extract from chrysanthemums that might cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to chrysanthemums or ragweed.
The kit contains the lice shampoo, a comb out spray, and a nit comb. It kills lice and gives you the tools you need to get rid of the nits as well. You’ll need to repeat the treatment after 7-10 days to ensure you got everything. It can only be used on children over 2 years old.
Bonus Products for Hair Care Against Lice
It’s not a shampoo but it makes a good addition to an essential oil-based shampoo. This nit comb is combined with a vacuum that sucks up the nits as you break them loose with the metal teeth on the comb. Once you’re finished, empty the nits down the drain.
This is an FDA registered device that comes with four capture filters in the box. It plugs into a wall socket so you never have to worry about changing batteries. If you suspect your child might have been exposed to lice, this will help nip the infestation in the bud.
This stainless steel comb is an excellent addition to any essential oil-based shampoo and conditioner. If your child might have been exposed to head lice, this comb will help you check their hair and clean off any nits that might have been attached.
Combing with this nit comb is an effective method of exposing and removing any nits. Once you’re finished, you can clean the corrosion-resistant comb in boiling water to get rid of any nits or contaminants remaining on it.
Our Top Pick: Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Daily Kid Shampoo
Fairy Tales is a well-known manufacturer of children’s products. The shampoo contains a blend of rosemary, citronella, peppermint, lavender, tea tree and geranium oils to repel lice without harsh chemicals.
This prevention shampoo and conditioner set is an effective lice repellent that’s gentle enough to use every day. It stops the infestation before it starts.
Final Thoughts On Shampoo to Prevent Lice
The best shampoo to prevent lice is one that never lets them get a foothold to begin with. Combine our top pick with one of the nit combs we listed for a sure-fire lice prevention solution that will keep your children lice-free for years to come.
Other Lice Guides
Curious about other Lice-related products? Check out our other detailed guides to help you deal with your pest problems.