Lice infestation can be a hassle for the whole family. With the best shampoo to prevent lice in this article, you will find a safe and effective solution.
Summer and fall are seasons where lice thrive the most because the temperature and humidity levels are high. The relaxing weather also encourages children to gather for outdoor activities, which causes lice infestations to spread quickly.
As lice are highly contagious, an infested child can spread to the family within a few days. One of the safe and effective methods for families is using the best shampoo to prevent lice.
In this article, you will dive into the top 10 products on the current market to understand their highlights and limitations. We’ve included a detailed buying guide to help you identify the key factors and get the right product.
Our Top Picks
|Best Overall: Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Lice Shampoo||
|Best For Heavy Infestations: NatulabUSA Lice Shampoo And Combs||
|Best For Budget: Vamousse Head Lice Daily Defense Shampoo||
|Best For Post-Treatment Hair Care: Babo Botanicals Lice Repel Shampoo||
|Best For Families: LiceLogic Head Lice Shampoo||
Things To Consider When Buying The Best Shampoo For Lice
Types Of Shampoo
How does lice prevention shampoo work?
Head lice are attracted to the scent of human blood like mosquitoes, so this type of shampoo covers your scalp and strands with the scent that lice hate. This scent drives them away but the fragrance is pleasant to humans.
Apart from chemical repellents, some products have natural repellents such as essential oils from herbs to avoid allergies. Another plus point for natural ingredients is the rich source of hair nourishment.
Lice-repellent shampoos are great for users with sensitive skin. Some products are also gentle enough for young children. But it is important to note that lice-repellent shampoos can only prevent infestations instead of killing existing lice.
The formula in this shampoo has a small amount of pesticide to kill lice. Upon exposure to the lice, the shampoo attacks the nervous system and paralyzes them. You can remove the lice bodies from your hair by combing them out.
This type of product is suitable for immediate lice removal, which is handy for heavy infestations. However, the high level of chemicals bears an allergy risk, and the formula may cause a burning scalp. Due to these risks, remember to consult with your doctor before using this shampoo.
The scalp is one of the most sensitive parts of the human body, so understanding the ingredients is essential to avoid allergies.
Chemical products use pyrethroids, malathion lotion, or benzyl alcohol to kill lice quickly, but this substance can cause itchy skin, rash, or even acne. Therefore, users need to follow the directions closely when using the shampoo.
Although the rash is a common side effect, it’s advisable that you seek medical attention immediately if the condition persists for a long period.
Natural formula, on the other hand, may take time to work, but it is safe for human skin in the long run. It’s important to note that natural ingredients can only prevent lice, not kill them.
It’s best to pick the shampoo with a safe ingredient profile, including essential oils like tea tree, peppermint, lavender, rosemary, and coconut. The fragrance from these oils keeps lice away while giving a pleasant feel to your scalp.
10 Best Shampoo To Prevent Lice Reviews
Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Lice Shampoo – Best Overall
- Volume: 12 oz
- Dimensions: 2.25 x 2.25 x 8.25 inches
- Hair types: Oily, dry, normal
- Rating: 4.7/5
With a natural profile and a nut-free, dairy-free formula, this product eliminates the risk of allergies for all skin types.
The superstar of this shampoo is the tea tree and lavender combo. A study has proven that these two are both lice-proof and even can kill lice eggs. This powerful combination can help you with a lice-free scalp after only 4 washes.
The high effectiveness of Fairy Tales has been verified by the returning users. After using this shampoo for his son during a lice outbreak at school, Charlie noted: “It’s amazing how fast the shampoo works, now I’m relieved to know my son can stay lice-proof whenever the outbreak happens again.”
Another plus point is the moisturizing result that matches the manufacturer’s promises. The chamomile extract hydrates the scalp, which is especially soothing for children whose scalp is weaker than adults. Moreover, a hydrated scalp is linked to a decrease in dandruff.
In short, Fairy Tales stands out from this list by offering a gentle treatment at the lowest risk of allergies. However, we’ve noticed some leaking when receiving the product.
- Gentle organic ingredients for all skin types
- Fast-acting formula
- A relaxing scent from lavender
- A moisturizing effect from chamomile oil
- A gentle solution for children and adults
- Dandruff reduction
- Some leaking issues
NatulabUSA Lice Shampoo And Combs – Best For Heavy Infestations
- Volume: 16 oz
- Dimensions: 7.28 x 3.78 x 3.35 inches
- Hair types: Dry, normal
- Rating: 4.1/5
NatulabUSA provides a combo of shampoo and combs to combat lice and nits completely, making it the best shampoo to treat lice that have stayed on your hair for a long time.
This formula with tea tree oil combined with coconut oil eliminates lice within only 3 days, offering an immediate solution for users with recurring infestations.
As heavy infestations involve tough nits to remove, the comb has a special design to solve this problem. With metallic spiral teeth, you can remove sticky nits on the scalp and strands easily. Plus, the nit comb is separated from regular combs, so it halts the spread to other family members.
Each bottle has a generous volume of 16 oz, so you can utilize it for up to 10 washes to completely get rid of the many-day-old lice.
The lotion has a subtle hint of lemon, which is comfortable for users. The formula also integrates aloe vera to soothe the itchy scalp after treating lice infestation.
While the chemicals in this product are non-toxic, they still give a slight burning effect when exposed to the skin for a long time. When you’re using NatulabUSA, wrap a towel around the nape and shoulders to minimize allergies.
- Quick lice and nits removal within 3 days
- Specialized comb included for effective nit removal
- Easy-to-use lotion
- High soothing effect with aloe vera
- Risk of allergies in long exposure to the skin
Vamousse Head Lice Daily Defense Shampoo – Best For Budget
- Volume: 13.5 oz
- Dimensions: 3.25 x 1.6 x 7.9 inches
- Hair types: All
- Rating: 4.6/5
Though Vamousse doesn’t offer a large-size bottle, its shampoo is a good value for the money. Apart from its affordable price, the shampoo’s texture is easy to lather with water, which means you just need a small quantity for each wash.
This feature has been proven by feedback from long-time users. Rachel, who has been using this product for her daughter’s curly hair, stated: “I imagined I’d waste the shampoo on the curls but turns out it works great! I’d just mix a little shampoo with water and it covers the strands completely.”
Its efficiency is also worth the money. Vamousse uses eucalyptus extract as a natural lice repellent, meaning the formula is gentle enough for both adults and children from the age of 2.
With the paraben-free ingredient list, the formula is also applicable for all hair types. This feature combines with the quick effect of fewer than 3 days to give you a full lice prevention effect. On the flip side, the product may leave your hair dry.
- Eucalyptus extract included repelling lice in a safe way
- Easy-to-blend formula
- Paraben-free ingredients for all hair types
- An affordable price for a large volume
- Can make your hair dry
Babo Botanicals Lice Repel Shampoo – Best For Post-Treatment Hair Care
- Volume: 16 oz
- Dimensions: 7 x 6 x 5 inches
- Hair types: Oily, dry, normal, dandruff, color-treated
- Rating: 4.3/5
Infused with tea tree and shea butter, Babo Botanicals combats lice while soothing and restoring the scalp after you’ve used lice removal remedy.
An itchy scalp is a common side effect of lice infestation, leaving you with clogged follicles and infection when scratching. The scalp will degrade over time and cause other issues such as dandruff, hair loss, etc.
By understanding this, the manufacturer added tea tree oil to remove dirt buildup and deep cleanse follicles.
Tea tree oil is prized for its antibacterial properties, which not only scare away lice but also supports hair recovery after medical treatment better and quicker than regular shampoos. Not to mention, the shea butter extract seeps into the follicles with vitamin F for an extra moisturizing effect.
Unlike regular lice shampoo that needs 10 minutes to settle, you will need only 5 minutes for this product. We’d recommend using the product every day for 1 week to lock the prevention potency.
Like the Vamousse shampoo, this one also exposes your hair to dryness. Maybe the potency of tea tree oil is too high, and it strips out too much natural oil from your locks. Also, you have to wait from 3 to 4 weeks before seeing a good result.
- Tea tree oil included preventing lice and soothing the scalp
- Rich source of shea butter for hair nourishment
- A sulfate-free formula for a boosted moisturizing effect
- Sometimes dry your hair
- Slow effect
LiceLogic Head Lice Shampoo – Best For Families
- Volume: 8 oz
- Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 7.5 inches
- Hair types: Dry, normal
- Rating: 4.3/5
Since LiceLogic uses natural enzymes to kill lice and nits on contact, the formula is guaranteed to be non-toxic for both children’s and adults’ skin. With proper usage, you can also use this shampoo for children starting at the age of 2.
LiceLogic is safe for daily use or whenever the infestation happens again. For residue effect, you can reapply the product once after 7 or 10 days.
Each purchase comes with a nit comb that you use after lathering the shampoo on your hair. This step makes sure the shampoo covers every strand for the best effect. The comb is especially handy when you’re working with thick hair.
Its potency for thick hair has been proven by a lot of users’ feedback. Melissa, a mom of 2 daughters, has commented: “Both my daughters have long, thick hair, so it took forever to get all the nits out. I feel secure with LiceLogic because it’s pesticide-free and works amazingly fast.”
The shampoo integrates aloe vera and camellia oil to moisturize hair, but the moisture level may grease your hair if overused, which is a major drawback.
- Natural enzymes for safe lice prevention effect
- Suitable for both adults and children starting from age 2
- Long residue effect up to 10 days
- Nit comb included for thorough lice removal
- Leave greasy hair if overused
- Quite pricey
Ladibugs Lice Prevention Shampoo – Best For Oily Hair
- Volume: 8 oz
- Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
- Hair type: Oily
- Rating: 4.5/5
The biggest issue for users with oily hair is the dirt and excess oil buildup that clog the pores. When the clogged pores combine with the itchiness from lice, it leaves an unpleasant sticky feel. Ladibugs solves this issue by offering a formula with citric acid.
Once you lather the shampoo on the scalp, this acid seeps into the pores to deep cleanse all the buildups. With citric acid balancing the pH level on oily hair, it guarantees a clean, fresh scalp. Plus, the esters from this acid also moisturize the strands to restore healthy hair.
After rinsing the shampoo, the spearmint oil remains on your hair to ward off lice and leaves a relaxing scent.
On a side note, Ladibugs shampoo has a watery texture, so you’ll need to handle it carefully to avoid wasting the quantity. For treating long hair, you may need 2 bottles to compensate for the small volume.
- Deep cleansing effect for oily hair
- Natural lice repellent with spearmint oil
- Relaxing scent
- Watery texture
- Small volume for long hair
RID Daily Defense Lice Shampoo & Conditioner – Best For Dry Scalp
- Volume: 10.1 oz
- Dimensions: 8.5 x 2.44 x 1.34 inches
- Hair types: Dry, normal
- Rating: 4.9/5
One of the factors that make RID stand out is the nurturing formula for dry scalps.
The formula starts with sunflower seed oil and a gentle version of sodium laureth sulfate that prevent lice 24/7 while removing buildups and relieving the dryness. With no paraben in the ingredients, this product won’t cause any dry, itchy flakes.
After each wash, the essential oil also soothes the itchy symptoms that you got from lice infestation. Then, the sodium laureth sulfate residue lingers on your hair to keep lice away for good.
Your hair can also benefit from glycine soja oil, which works in stopping hair loss and restoring the strands back to a vibrant state. Soft hair strands make it easier to style and comb.
The only complaint about this shampoo is its packaging. The plastic bottle is so hard that you can’t squeeze out the shampoo easily.
- Soothing effect for itchy scalp
- Lice prevention with gentle sodium laureth sulfate
- Hair loss solution with glycine soja oil
- Nourishing ingredients for soft hair
- Hard-plastic bottle makes it difficult to take out shampoo
Rite Aid Lice Treatment Shampoo – Best For Multiple Treatments
- Volume: 8 oz
- Dimensions: 10.63 x 7.01 x 2.44 inches
- Hair types: All
- Rating: 4.5/5
With 1 pay, you get a combo of shampoo and 2 nit combs. Though the volume is in the average tier, you can utilize the combs along with the 7-to-10 day impact to extend the effect.
This product offers pyrethrum extract to remove lice without the need for frequent applications. Isoparaffin in the shampoo takes effect in softening the strands. As for the combs, the fine-toothed design eliminates tough nits and even nymphs with ease.
Once applied, the formula takes effect in 7 days for short hair. As for thick hair, the duration may last 8 or 10 days.
Rite Aid combo enhances the benefits further with an easy-to-blend formula. You can lather the shampoo to apply to any hair texture, including curly strands and even dyed hair.
However, you will need to handle the shampoo with care because it is not a tear-free formula.
- Active formula to prevent lice on all hair texture
- Lice repelling effect within 7 to 10 days
- Hair softening effect with isoparaffin
- Easy-to-blend formula
- No tear-free feature
Lice Shield 2-in-1 Shampoo And Conditioner – Best For Kids
- Volume: 10 oz
- Dimensions: 2.8 x 1.7 x 6.6 inches
- Hair type: Normal
- Rating: 4.5/5
The manufacturer utilizes a combination of natural oils to repel lice and remain harmless to human skin.
To enhance the safety level, Lice Shield offers a lightweight cream that parents can dilute with water easily for kids. This feature highlights the product’s potential as a gentle choice for sensitive skin.
Plus, as a 2-in-1 product, Lice Shield limits exposure to hair care products, lowering the risk of allergies. Now you can benefit from both shampoo and conditioner in just 1 wash.
To maximize the lice prevention effect, use this shampoo twice a week in between washes with your regular shampoo.
The ingredients should have given off a relaxing scent with citronella and rosemary oils. However, we found that the smell is strong like candle wax.
- 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner to limit exposure to chemical products
- Citronella and rosemary oil included as gentle repellents
- A suitable prevention method for children from the age of 2
- Strong scent
RID Lice Treatment Complete Kit – Best For Immediate Treatment
- Volume: 12.8 oz
- Dimensions: 5.69 x 2.22 x 5.88 inches
- Hair types: Normal
- Rating: 4.4/5
Pyrethrins in the RID formula remove lice upon contact without damaging the hair. This effect stays strong for up to 10 days, and children over 2 years old can use this product and feel free to take part in outdoor activities at school like camps or sleepovers.
When applying RID, the nit comb detangles hair to help you remove nits completely, which prevents future infestations.
The manufacturer also included hydrogenated castor oil to strengthen hair, making it soft and frizz-free even after high-energy games. The final result comes with a relaxing fragrance.
However, it can dehydrate your hair if used daily. It’s best to pair with your regular shampoo to maintain your hair’s moisture and keep it healthy.
- 10-day residue effect before reapplication
- Hydrogenated castor oil included nurturing soft hair
- Nit comb included for removing eggs completely
- A relaxing fragrance after each wash
- Leave a dry scalp if used every day
Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Other Ways To Prevent Lice In Addition To The Shampoo?
Apart from using lice shampoo, you can follow these methods to prevent lice from coming back to your scalp:
- Guide children on avoiding head-to-head contact at school or public playgrounds.
- Avoid sharing hairbrushes and hats with anyone infested with lice.
- Sanitize beddings and furniture after eliminating lice at home.
Is The Lice Comb Necessary After Using The Shampoo?
Yes, the comb has an important role in repelling lice. Even though you’ve used all of the best products we recommend above, you still have to use combing. Using a lice comb to comb wet hair will help remove all nits to ensure your hair is lice-free. And you should repeat this method several times to make sure the lice and nits are completely gone from your hair.
Does Shampoo Kill Lice Right Away?
The shampoo is not strong enough to remove lice right away. The formula normally takes from 7 to 10 days to kill lice. An example option with this duration is the LiceLogic Head Lice Shampoo from our top list.
But there are some lice shampoo products with a strong profile that can shorten the period to 3-4 days like the NatulabUSA Lice Shampoo And Combs.
Can You Use Lice Prevention Shampoo Daily?
Depending on the ingredients, there are daily lice prevention shampoos and shampoos that you follow a certain frequency.
The daily shampoos contain essential oils as natural lice repellents such as tea tree, rosemary, peppermint, or a combination of these oils.
Since these ingredients have a low risk of allergies, you can use them daily without damaging your hair. Natural repellents are recommended for both children and adults.
As for shampoos with harsh chemicals, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s directions on the frequency. You can reapply the shampoo once every 2 to 10 days to maintain the lice repelling effect. Make sure you follow the directions closely to avoid drying your hair or scalp.
Can I Remove Lice With A Hair Brush?
It’s best to use the shampoo and a nit comb to remove the lice and nits completely. Avoid using your regular hairbrush to remove lice because it will spread the infestation to other family members.
Overall, our premium choice of the best shampoo to prevent lice is the Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Lice Shampoo. The tea tree oil kills lice and eliminates the risk of allergies.
Our runner-up is the NatulabUSA Lice Shampoo And Combs that remove infestations within 3 days. And finally, the Vamousse Head Lice Daily Defense Shampoo is a good deal for the price with an easy-to-blend formula.
When you’re choosing lice prevention shampoos, start with the type you need, and remember to go for a natural formula.