11 DIY Natural Lice Prevention Sprays, Shampoos & More to Repel Lice

If you want to avoid head lice this year and have amazing, healthy hair pick one of these DIY recipes for Natural Lice Prevention Spray, Detangler, Curl Cream, Hair Spray, Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair Gel, or Household Spray!

There is a natural and straightforward approach to lice prevention, and you don’t have to sacrifice your hair to repel lice. Every DIY recipe here is packed with natural lice-fighting essential oils and will leave your hair feeling amazing.

Prevent Head Lice AND Have Amazing Hair!

Head lice are like sharks…

Lice have a keen sense of smell, and they are attracted to human blood. Just like sharks, they can smell when your blood is near, and your head is within reach.

When lice smell a new yummy head, they instinctively want to go there. And when their instincts kick in, they don’t just meander over, they run, and they run fast, which is how lice spread.

But, the good news is...

You can use lice’s keen sense of smell against them. Your secret weapon is making your child’s hair smell nasty to head lice.

Head lice love the scent of humans, but several essential oils smell horrible to lice. If you have these fragrances in your hair, lice will run the opposite way.

The remarkable thing is that these essential oils that are so nasty to lice smell amazing to humans. Essential oils like this are called lice repellents or lice deterrents.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts. People have used essential oils for their healing and bug repelling properties for centuries, including repelling head lice.

Are they Safe?

Just because essential oils are natural and made from plants does not make them safe to use on children in large doses. Misusing essential oils can cause burns, skin irritation, respiratory problems, and poisoning.

Some essential oils on this list, like cinnamon and peppermint, can cause skin irritation, and others like Eucalyptus oil can cause respiratory or CNS problems in young children.

I have attempted to indicate which oils you should not use on young children, but ultimately when you use essential oil blends, you use them at your own risk. Every person reacts differently to essential oils, and children are even more susceptible to reactions.

DIY vs. Lice Prevention Products

For those that do not own essential oils, jumping in may seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. For the DIYer I recommend Barefut's Essential Oils. Barefut's essential oils are 100% pure, affordable, and GC/MS tested. As an added bonus Barefut is  not a MLM company!

If you are not a DIYer, there are many lice prevention sprays and shampoos made from essential oils that are already on the market and have been tested for both safety for use on children and effectiveness against lice.

Let me be clear... I do not recommend buying just any lice prevention product, they are NOT created equally. Just because something advertises that it prevents lice doesn’t mean it is effective. I have reviewed every prevention product out there, and these are the ones I recommend because they are packed with the best lice repelling essential oils.

I have full reviews of lice prevention products in my articles Best Lice Prevention Shampoos and Best Lice Prevention Sprays. If you’re looking to buy an already made and proven lice prevention product, then head to those articles.

For those that are interested in making your own lice repellents, keep reading.

19 Essential Oils that Repel Lice

Below is a list of the essential oils that have shown to be effective against head lice in scientific studies. For a full rundown on these essential oils and the studies, check out my article 19 Lice Prevention Essential Oils Prevent to Repel Lice.

I recommend Barefut's essential oils. Barefut's essential oils are 100% pure, affordable, and GC/MS tested. As an added bonus Barefut is  not a MLM company!

Essential Oils for Lice Prevention

19 Best Essential Oil Blends for Lice Prevention

Single Essential Oils vs. Blending Oils

You can use any individual lice prevention essential oil as a lice deterrent, but the BEST lice prevention comes from blending multiple lice prevention essential oils together.

Here are 19 unique lice prevention blends:

Crazy About Lice: 5 drops Tea Tree + 5 drops Peppermint + 5 drop Eucalyptus + 5 drops Lemongrass + 5 drops Citronella + 5 drops Rosemary + 5 drops Lavender + 1 tsp *Neem oil

A Little Crazy (For Younger Children): 2 drops Tea Tree + 5 drops Citronella + 5 drops Lavender + 5 drops Geranium + 1 tsp *Neem oil

Simple Lavender & Tea Tree (For Younger Children): 15 drops Lavender + 5 drops Tea Tree

Nuts About Lice: 5 drops Peppermint + 5 drops Citronella + 5 drops Rosemary + 5 drops Lemongrass + 1 tsp *Neem oil

Lemon Drop: 5 drops Lemongrass, 5 drops Lemon Eucalyptus + 5 drops **Lemon

Fresh Bouquet: 5 drops Geranium + 8 drops Lavender + 5 drops Ylang Ylang

Fresh & Sweet: 5 drops Lavender + 5 drops Rosemary + 5 drops Lemon Eucalyptus

Minty Fresh: 5 drops Peppermint + 5 drops Eucalyptus

Cool Down: 5 drops Peppermint + 5 drops Lavender +5 drops Eucalyptus

Candy Cane: 4 drops Peppermint + 3 drops Ylang Ylang + 2 drops cinnamon

Spring Fresh: 4 drops Geranium + 5 drops Lavender + 2 drop peppermint

Clean Blend: 5 drops Tea Tree + 5 drops Eucalyptus +1 drops Peppermint

Fresh & Clean: 5 drops Peppermint + 3 drop Tea Tree + 3 drops Lavender + 3 drops Eucalyptus

Rosemary Mint: 8 drops Rosemary + 3 drops Spearmint

Sweet & Spicy Black Licorice: 10 drops Anise + 2 drops Cinnamon + 1 drop Clove + 1 drop Clary Sage

Simple Tea Tree & Peppermint: 10 drops Tea Tree + 10 drops peppermint

Citrus Blend: 5 drops Lavender + 5 drops Ylang Ylang + 5 drops **Wild Orange

Bubble Gum: 4 drops Ylang Ylang + 2 drops Eucalyptus + 8 drops **Grapefruit

Tutti Fruiti: 6 drops Geranium + 6 drops Lemongrass + 6 drops **Grapefruit

*Add 1 tsp of neem oil to any of these combinations to add extra protection from lice.

**Essential oil that is not a lice repellent.

#1- Simple DIY All Natural Lice Repellent Spray for Hair

A starter lice prevention spray for newbies.

spray-bottles

Ingredients and Supplies:

8 oz spray bottle (This is my top pick because they come with rewritable labels and optional lids)

6 oz of purified water

fractionated-coconut-oil

2 Tablespoons of carrier oil (I recommend fractionated coconut oil for its lice deterring properties)

Your favorite Lice Prevention Essential Oil Blend (list above) or 20 drops of a single essential oil

Neem-oil

1 tsp of neem oil (optional, for added protection)

Directions: 

  1. Add carrier oil and essential oils to an 8 oz spray bottle and swirl to mix
  2. Add water to the spray bottle
  3. Shake vigorously. 
  4. Spray every day in hair for lice prevention, shaking vigorously before each use.
  5. Replace every 1-2 months (This is for bacteria reasons)
  6. Have fun trying different lice prevention essential oil blends!

I recommend Crazy about Lice or A Little Crazy to start.

Crazy About Lice: 5 drops Tea Tree + 5 drops Peppermint + 5 drop Eucalyptus + 5 drops Lemongrass + 5 drops Citronella + 5 drops Rosemary + 5 drops Lavender + 1 tsp *Neem oil

A Little Crazy (For Younger Children): 2 drops Tea Tree + 5 drops Citronella + 5 drops Lavender + 5 drops Geranium + 1 tsp *Neem oil

Many more to come, including house spray and detangler tutorials, but first, let me answer your questions...

What’s neem oil, carrier oil, and fractionated coconut oil?

Neem oil: Neem is a vegetable oil that has serious lice fighting properties. Adding one tsp of neem oil to any blend will pack a lot of punch against lice. It outperforms most lice prevention essential oils. The trouble with neem oil is that it has an awful garlic/nutty smell. You can mask the scent by combining it with essential oils, but be sure you put no more than 1 tsp or else you’ll smell like garlic bread.

Carrier oil: To decrease irritation to the skin and scalp, I recommend using a carrier oil with any mixture you plan to put in a spray. Carrier oils that are great for hair are fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, argan oil, and jojoba oil. In a pinch, you can use olive oil.

Fractionated Coconut Oil: There was one study that showed that coconut oil has some lice preventing qualities. Regular coconut oil is not ideal for putting in prevention products because it turns solid at room temperature. If you put it in your lice spray, you’ll need to warm it up every time you use it so that the oil will melt...no thanks. Fractionated coconut oil has the same lice fighting properties as regular coconut oil, but stays liquid, even in cold temperatures.

On to the lice prevention tutorials...

#2- Easy DIY Detangling Lice Repellent Spray

Got Tangles? This spray is for you.

Ingredients and Supplies:

8 oz spray bottle

6 oz of purified water

2 Tablespoons of carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil

2 Tablespoons of your favorite conditioner (more for thick hair)

Your favorite Lice Prevention Essential Oil Blend (list above) or 20 drops of a single essential oil

1 tsp of neem oil (optional, for added protection)

Directions: 

  1. Add carrier oil and essential oils to an 8 oz spray bottle and swirl to mix
  2. Add water and conditioner to the spray bottle
  3. Shake vigorously. 
  4. Spray every day in hair for lice prevention, shaking vigorously before each use.
  5. Replace every 1-2 months (This is for bacteria reasons)
  6. Have fun trying different lice prevention essential oil blends!

Lemon Drop and Citrus Blend are my favorites because I love citrus!

Lemon Drop: 5 drops Lemongrass, 5 drops Lemon Eucalyptus + 5 drops **Lemon

Citrus Blend: 5 drops Lavender + 5 drops Ylang Ylang + 5 drops **Wild Orange

#3- Natural Lice Prevention Spray for your Home and Personal Items

A lice spray for your home and personal items...NOT for your HAIR. This spray is perfect for your child’s backpack or the couch after a lice outbreak

Ingredients and Supplies:

8 oz spray bottle

4 oz of purified water

2 oz of vodka or 70-90% isopropyl rubbing alcohol (or skip this and do 6 oz of water)

Your favorite Lice Prevention Essential Oil Blend (list above) or 20 drops of a single essential oil

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in an 8 oz spray bottle.
  2. Shake vigorously.
  3. Spray on surfaces household surfaces, shaking vigorously before each use.
  4. Have fun trying different lice prevention essential oil blends!

Caution: Do NOT EVER mix rubbing alcohol and bleach together, it is toxic.

The best house cleaning scent combos:

Clean Blend: 5 drops Tea Tree + 5 drops Eucalyptus +1 drops Peppermint

Fresh & Clean: 5 drops Peppermint + 3 drop Tea Tree + 3 drops Lavender + 3 drops Eucalyptus.

Minty Fresh: 5 drops Peppermint + 5 drops Eucalyptus

Spring Fresh: 4 drops Geranium + 5 drops Lavender + 2 drop peppermint

Cool Down: 5 drops Peppermint + 5 drops Lavender +5 drops Eucalyptus

#4- DIY Leave-In Conditioning Spray that Prevents Lice

Want soft hair that’s lice free? Try this one.

vegetable-glycerine

Ingredients and Supplies:

8 oz spray bottle

6 oz of distilled water

2 oz vegetable glycerine

Your favorite Lice Prevention Essential Oil Blend (list above) or 20 drops of a single essential oil

1 tsp of neem oil (optional, for added protection)

Directions: 

  1. Add vegetable glycerine and essential oils to an 8 oz spray bottle and swirl to mix
  2. Add water to spray bottle 
  3. Shake vigorously. 
  4. Spray every day in hair for lice prevention, shaking vigorously before each use.
  5. Replace every 1-2 months (This is for bacteria reasons)
  6. Have fun trying different lice prevention essential oil blends!

Fresh Bouquet and Fresh & Sweet are the top floral blends:

Fresh Bouquet: 5 drops Geranium + 8 drops Lavender + 5 drops Ylang Ylang

Fresh & Sweet: 5 drops Lavender + 5 drops Rosemary + 5 drops Lemon Eucalyptus

 

#5- Natural Lice Prevention Conditioning Spray Made With Aloe Vera

A conditioning spray made with all natural aloe vera.

Here is a great leave-in conditioner. With natural aloe vera.

Ingredients and Supplies:

8 oz spray bottle

4 oz of purified water

1 oz aloe vera

Your favorite Lice Prevention Essential Oil Blend (list above) or 20 drops of a single essential oil

1 tsp of neem oil (optional, for added protection)

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in an 8 oz spray bottle.
  2. Shake vigorously.
  3. Spray every day in hair for lice prevention, shaking vigorously before each use.
  4. Replace every 1-2 months (This is for bacteria reasons)
  5. Have fun trying different lice prevention essential oil blends!

Try this with Spring Fresh or Rosemary Mint

Spring Fresh: 4 drops Geranium + 5 drops Lavender + 2 drop peppermint

Rosemary Mint: 8 drops Rosemary + 3 drops Spearmint

#6- DIY Crazy about Coconut Moisturizing Leave-In Spray that Prevents Lice

Love coconut? This recipe only lasts about a week, so use it fast!

Organic Aloe Vera Gel Image

This recipe only lasts about a week, so make it in smaller quantities.

Ingredients and Supplies:

4 oz spray bottle

2 oz coconut water

2 tablespoons aloe vera

2 tablespoons fractionated coconut oil

HALF of the essential oils from your favorite Lice Prevention Essential Oil Blend (list above) or 10 drops of a single essential oil

Directions: 

    1. Add fractionated coconut oil and essential oils to an 8 oz spray bottle and swirl to mix
    2. Add coconut water to spray bottle. 
    3. Shake vigorously. 
    4. Spray every day in hair for lice prevention, shaking vigorously before each use.
    5. Replace within a week, this does not keep long.
    6. Have fun trying different lice prevention essential oil blends!

#7- Shea Butter Curl Cream DIY with Lice Deterring Essential Oils

Got curly hair? Try this curling cream, it prevents lice and leaves you with defined curls.

shea-butter

Ingredients and Supplies:

8 oz container with a lid (NOT spray bottle)

Hand mixer

2 oz aloe vera

3 oz regular coconut oil (not fractionated)

2 oz shea butter

Your favorite Lice Prevention Essential Oil Blend (list above) or 20 drops of a single essential oil

Directions: 

  1. Heat coconut oil in the microwave until liquid (this will help things to mix well)
  2. Mix essential oils blend in with coconut oil
  3. Combine coconut oil/essential oil mixture with shea butter and aloe vera in a large bowl 
  4. Whip ingredients with hand mixer until light, fluffy and thick, similar to meringue
  5. Leave at room temperature, it will harden as the coconut oil solidifies 
  6. Use on “curly hair” days for lice prevention
  7. Replace every 1-2 months 
  8. Have fun trying different lice prevention essential oil blends!

Simple blends like Fresh Bouquet or Fresh & Sweet will go well with the shea butter smell.

Fresh Bouquet: 5 drops Geranium + 8 drops Lavender + 5 drops Ylang Ylang

Fresh & Sweet: 5 drops Lavender + 5 drops Rosemary + 5 drops Lemon Eucalyptus

#8- Easy DIY Lice Prevention Hair Spray (for holding hair in place)

Slick back fly-aways and prevent lice.

Ingredients and Supplies:

8 oz spray bottle

6 oz of your favorite hair spray

Your favorite Lice Prevention Essential Oil Blend (list above) or 20 drops of a single essential oil

1 tsp of neem oil (optional, for added protection)

Directions:

  1. Add essential oils to your favorite hair spray
  2. Shake vigorously
  3. Spray every day in hair for lice prevention, shaking vigorously before each use.
  4. Have fun trying different lice prevention essential oil blends!

If you’re making this for a younger child try A Little Crazy or Simple Lavender & Tea Tree

A Little Crazy (For Younger Children): 2 drops Tea Tree + 5 drops Citronella + 5 drops Lavender + 5 drops Geranium + 1 tsp *Neem oil

Simple Lavender & Tea Tree (For Younger Children): 15 drops Lavender + 5 drops Tea Tree

#9- Homemade Natural Lice Prevention Hair Spray (for holding hair in place)

All natural hair spray that prevents lice.

This is an excellent leave-in conditioner. With natural aloe vera.

Ingredients and Supplies:

8 oz spray bottle

2-4 Tablespoons sugar (2 tablespoons for light hold, 4 tablespoons for max hold)

6 oz purified water

Your favorite Lice Prevention Essential Oil Blend (list above) or 20 drops of a single essential oil

1 tsp of neem oil (optional, for added protection)

Directions:

  1. Heat water in a saucepan.
  2. Add sugar and stir until dissolved, and then allow it to cool.
  3. Add essential oils
  4. Pour into a spray bottle and shake well
  5. Spray every day in hair for lice prevention, shaking vigorously before each use.
  6. Replace every 1-2 months (This is for bacteria reasons)
  7. Have fun trying different lice prevention essential oil blends!

#10- All Natural Lice Repelling Spray Gel (Great for Curls!)

The perfect lice spray for curly hair!

Ingredients and Supplies:

8 oz bottle or container with a lid

2 oz aloe vera gel

4 oz purified water

2-6 tablespoons of sugar (2 TBS for soft hair, 6 TBS for crunchy hair)

1 tablespoon of carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, argan oil)

Your favorite Lice Prevention Essential Oil Blend (list above) or 20 drops of a single essential oil

Directions: 

  1. Heat water in a saucepan (just warm, not boiling)
  2. Add sugar and stir until dissolved 
  3. Remove from heat
  4. Add carrier oil, essential oils, and aloe vera
  5. Stir until mixed well
  6. Pour into a spray bottle
  7. Spray every day in hair for lice prevention.
  8. Replace every 1-2 months (This is for bacteria reasons)
  9. Have fun trying different lice prevention essential oil blends!

#11- Easy DIY Lice Prevention Shampoo and Conditioner

Ingredients and Supplies:

8 oz bottle

6 oz of your favorite shampoo or conditioner

Your favorite Lice Prevention Essential Oil Blend (list above) or 20 drops of a single essential oil.

Directions: 

  1. Add essential oils to your favorite shampoo or conditioner
  2. Shake vigorously
  3. Wash and condition every day for lice prevention.
  4. Have fun trying different lice prevention essential oil blends!

Tea Tree feels great in shampoo, but using Tea Tree oil alone as lice prevention is a mistake. I see hundreds of people in my salon who have been using Tea Tree in their shampoo and yet still get head lice. 

Tea Tree alone is better than not using any lice deterring scents, but it is not adequate to prevent lice for most people. To prevent head lice you are better off using a variety of essential oils, including Tea Tree proven to ward off head lice.

Other Natural Lice Prevention Strategies

Discover 21 proven lice prevention strategies you can start implementing today to prevent head lice this year and avoid lice for many years to come.

While using one of these lice repelling recipes will help prevent lice, it is only one of the many natural ways to prevent head lice.

If you’re serious about lice prevention, be sure to check out my other article and discover the 21 ways proven to prevent head lice after you read this article.

If all of this is feeling overwhelming to you, remember you do not have to make your own lice prevention spray. There are several good ones out on the market.

If you are interested in learning more about the studies that involved lice and these essential oils, they are at the bottom of this article in references and explained in the article 19 Essential Oils Proven to Repel Lice.

Profile-with-Elijah

Theresa is a Registered Nurse and lice expert. She owns a top lice treatment salon where she helps families battling lice every day. Disappointed by the false information about lice and lice treatment on the web, Theresa created MyLiceAdvice.com to empower families to get rid of lice on their own--and fast. Read more about Theresa and her lice journey at “From Cardiac Nurse to Lice Expert”.