11 Best Lice Prevention Sprays Proven to Help Avoid Lice in 2020
It’s estimated that 12 million kids will get head lice this year. How can you ensure that your child isn’t one of them? The answer is lice prevention spray. This article details the 11 best lice prevention sprays.
(A quick disclosure: these are affiliate links, and I do earn a commission from qualifying purchases; however, all of my reviews are based on the quality of these products, and the decision to purchase through these links is completely up to you.)
Smells Like: Citronella
This product can be good for people on a budget and you can often find it at places like walmart or target. It's great at preventing lice, but the smell is very strong (You get what you pay for) It has 5 lice prevention essential oils: citronella, rosemary, lemongrass, cedar, and geraniol.
Smells Like: Tea Tree and Rosemary
SoCozy is salon quality products for kids at a fraction of the cost. This fresh scented lice spray has tea tree, peppermint and rosemary to ward off head lice.
Smells Like: Peppermint
The Hair Genies professional lice salon has been helping people with head lice for years. And, they just recently put out their own prevention and treatment line for the public. Their detangling spray uses peppermint as the primary lice deterrent.
Smells Like: Peppermint and Lemongrass
This leave in spray combines peppermint, lemongrass, eucalyptus, tea tree and rosemary to ward of unwanted lice.
Smells Like: Peppermint
If you want to keep things simple, this detangling spray is primarily a scent of peppermint. It is great at detangling hair on a sensitive head.
Smells Like: Spearmint
This is the same great product of Ladibugs Detangling Spray, but without the detangler. It also contains spearmint and neem oil. If you’re some one that likes to keep things simple and don’t need a detangler then this is the spray for you.
Smells Like: Spearmint
Similar to other lice prevention products, this detangling spray smells like mint, but this product also contains neem oil. Neem oil is a well-documented bug deterrent and, in my opinion, is one of the better deterrents out there. The Ladibugs line is one of the only prevention products with neem oil in it. This spray is a great detangler helping you easily comb through your child’s hair and protect from lice at the same time.
Smells Like: Rosemary and Roses
This is different than the Rosemary Repel Conditioning Spray. This is a hair spray. One of the most important prevention measures for preventing lice is keeping hair up in a braid, bun or ponytail. Rosemary Repel Hair Spray is the perfect way to keep small wispy hairs kept back when styling your daughter’s hair and at the same time protecting her from lice. This hair spray has all of the same preventative scents as Rosemary Repel Conditioning Spray, but instead of conditioning it keeps hair in place all day.
Smells Like: Rosemary and Roses
This is likely the most well known and kid friendly lice prevention spray out there. It is relatively inexpensive and sold at many standard beauty supply stores. Although the name is Rosemary Repel, it is actually packed with several preventative scents: rosemary, citronella, cinnamon, peppermint, anise, tea tree, and geraniol. Even with all these scents, it smells primarily like rosemary and roses. For this line, I’d highly recommend getting the shampoo, conditioner, and spray for the added protection.
Smells Like: Lemon
If you hate the smell of mint and tea tree oil, this is the lice prevention shampoo for you! This is one of the few prevention lines that doesn’t have tea tree in it and instead has a fresh, lemony scent. Head Hunters is packed with multiple lice repellents, the top active ingredients being lemon eucalyptus oil and geraniol oil. Both eucalyptus and geraniol have proven to deter lice longer than other lice repellents. This line is especially good for those with thick, course, or curly hair because it simultaneously deep conditions your hair. Best of all, it leaves your hair smelling like lemony-goodness, reminiscent of freshly baked goods!
Smells Like: Rosemary Mint or Lavender
LiceLogic’s lice prevention line is one step above all other lice prevention products. All lice prevention lines contain essential oils that repel lice, but LiceLogic takes it a step further by adding lice-killing enzymes to their prevention line. These all-natural enzymes are actually capable of killing lice on contact, but are completely safe to humans. LiceLogic Conditioning Hair Spray comes in two scents: Rosemary Mint or Lavender. Either scent will effectively repel lice. This product is great for all hair types, but because it contains these enzymes, it is not recommended for children under the age of two.
For added protection at school and play, spray Lice Clinic’s Pure Repel on your child’s backpack, jacket, and other items. This peppermint scented spray will keep lice away from his or her favorite things.
Since you’re here learning about lice prevention, here’s another item I think you’ll be interested in. That’s right--lice repellent hair bands! These hair ties have peppermint and tea tree oil infused in them, so you can add an extra layer of protection every time you do your child’s hair. This product is a game-changer in lice prevention, especially for school or camp.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do lice prevention sprays work?
Almost all head lice cases are passed by head to head contact. Just like sharks and mosquitoes, lice have a keen sense of smell and are attracted to the scent of your blood. When you’re child’s head is within reach, lice follow the scent and crawl quickly into the hair. Soon, they’ll have a full blown head lice infestation.
Fortunately, there are scents that are proven to prevent lice. If you have them in your hair then lice won’t go near your head. The best lice prevention sprays are packed with the top “lice repellent” ingredients like eucalyptus, citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, lavender, tea tree, geranium, neem oil, anise and several forms of mint.
Just like you use a mosquito repellent when you go camping, using a lice repellent spray every day makes you less desirable to head lice and therefore less likely to wind up with an outbreak!
Which is better: lice prevention shampoo or lice prevention spray?
Using all three of these products together--lice prevention shampoo, conditioner, and spray--is the absolute best preventative measure. But, if you have to choose just one, then pick a lice prevention spray.
Do these prevention sprays kill lice?
To be absolutely clear, lice repellents are not “lice killers,” and do not kill lice (with the exception of the LiceLogic Repel Conditioning Spray). If you are looking for the best lice killing shampoos, simply check out our other article, 7 Best Lice Treatments.
Does tea tree shampoo prevent lice?
Tea tree shampoo alone will not be as effective of a lice repellent as any of the shampoos listed here, although it is better than nothing if you either can’t find one of these shampoos or are waiting for it to arrive.
Can I add essential oils to my own lice spray?
You can add these lice prevention oils to your standard shampoos. The essential oils most commonly used for lice prevention are eucalyptus, citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, lavender, tea tree, geranium, cinnamon, neem oil, anise (aniseed), and mint. A combination of any of all of these will help keep lice away! Read my article 19 Essential Oils to Repel Lice to find out more.
Why do some people get lice over and over again?
In cases where lice return within a month or less, the most likely reason for the comeback is that they never really went away. It's fairly common for people to use an over-the-counter treatment and think that they're finished with head lice, but they are very wrong. 98% of lice in the US are resistant to traditional over-the-counter and even prescription lice treatments. Often these treatments will kill the weakest lice, tricking people into thinking they've killed them all. What they don't know, however, is that the strongest lice survive these lice treatments and continue to lay more eggs.
People continue to think they are in the clear for a few weeks because they can’t see the remaining lice bugs, and, with fewer bugs on the head, the itching stops. Within a month, though, those lice eggs hatch and grow into adults, which is when people usually discover that the lice "is back" when the truth is that it never was really gone. People will say, "My child keeps getting lice back from school," but the truth is that their child has gotten lice “back” from themselves because they never got rid of it.
If you want to actually get rid of lice, check out my online course How to Get Rid of Lice like a Pro!
What do some people get lice frequently? (Like every 6 months-1 year)
Lice simply prefer certain blood over others. Have you ever been out camping with friends, and some friends get eaten alive by mosquitos while others don't get touched at all? Lice are similar; they prefer certain blood over others. Some people's blood isn't appealing to lice, while other people's blood smells delicious.
People that get lice frequently like this should ABSOLUTELY use a lice repellent shampoo and spray in their hair every day.
Best Lice Prevention Sprays
There are lots of myths about what prevents head lice, but if you’re serious about preventing lice this school year then I highly recommend using one of these lice prevention sprays. Combining a good lice prevention product with good prevention measures is the best way to keep your child lice free this year.
(Honestly, I hope you never have to deal with lice. It really is horrible. If you do, make sure you use an effective treatment on your child. I’m not talking about one of those “popular” treatments off the shelf of your local drug store--those simply don’t work. If you want to get rid of lice fast, like a professional, check out my online course How to Get Rid of Lice Like a Pro!
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”.