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20 Ways to Kill Head Lice

Don't freak out if your child has head lice, there are lice treatments that actually work.

Credit: Getty Images

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Hair styling gel/petroleum jelly

There's not a lot of research that proves that applying thick, hair-stiffening styling gel or petroleum jelly (Vaseline) kills head lice, although like olive oil, many moms swear by it. The goo supposedly suffocates the bugs by clogging their breathing holes.

One study found petroleum jelly worked better than other home remedies. However, the National Pediculosis Association cautions that Vaseline may not work and is difficult to remove. (Styling gel should be easier to wash out.)

Here's one approach: Coat the hair and scalp, cover it overnight with a shower cap, and wash out the next morning. Comb for nits. Repeat the treatment one week later.

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