Natural Remedies for Lice

Olive Oil, Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Grace (Nassau, Bahamas) on 07/29/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I used the traditional lice shampoo the minute my son began itching. I combed after and didn't see more than a few nits and no lice. About 5 days later I could see live lice, so I decided to use a home remedy since we couldn't apply our second dose of shampoo until day 7. I mixed 1/2 cup olive oil with 2 TBSP tea tree oil, massaged liberally into his hair and waited one hour. Next I combed dozens of dead lice from his hair, which tooked about 90 minutes. The next day I repeated the olive oil application and got only about a dozen dead lice. I can't comment on the nits b/c I cant see any. Hopefully it means that the lice were in the nymph stage and not mature enough to lay new eggs.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Angie (Los Angeles, CA) on 05/29/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Mayonaise, acv and tea tree oil got rid of headlice

My daughter when she started kindergarten she came home with lice one day. I bought the lice shampoos and did every possible thing I could do to get rid of them. I was so devastated I did't know what else to do for her. I would get rid of them only to find out she got them again within less than a month. This was my struggle for a whole year. Then one day my sister came accross a site, not sure which one but she told me to mix some Mayonaise in a bowl and to mix it with ACV to a consistency of pancake batter. Then to add some drops of tea tree oil and to put it on her hair. I put it for 1/2 an hour and then while she still had it on I combed her hair out with one of those nit removal combs and washed her hair. I kid you not but the day after when I checked her hair she did not have one single nit or headlice on her hair. It's been three years and she has not had a single headlice in her hair. After spending so much money on all the stuff I bought for her hair, I was so relieved to have found something so simple and so inexpensive that actually works and it is safe for her. Anyway, just thought this might help.

Pure Alcohol, Aka Rubbing Alcohol
Posted by Demina (Athens, Greece) on 12/08/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Hello, in Greece in order to deal with lice we wet the hair with a very common disinfectant, a form of pure ethanol, the name here is "pure alcohol", I think the name in UK is "surgical spirit", is the kind of alcohol or ethanol we use for disinfecting hands, in its clearest transparent white form. As this, in many countries, is considered alcohol it might have a high price, so we can used also a mixed an unedible- form of that with glycerine etc - very cheap.

We wet the hair with it, put a towel for 20 min and repeat every day in the beginning for 3 days and then every other day. The lice suffocate and die instantly. They cannot develop resistance to this as even larger insects (cockroaches) also suffocate and die instantly if you spilt ethanol on them.

As the normal use for this is for disinfection and the pure form is used in all alcoholic beverages, well I guess is not very bad to put lets say a very strong vodka in your hair.

EC: surgical spirits = rubbing alcohol.

Mineral Oil and Vinegar
Posted by Charlotte (Federal Way, WA) on 11/16/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have had long hair since I was a teenager and worked for 6 and 1/2 years as a residential counselor with young children. I would freak out every time any of the kids got lice and would immediately use that horrible shampoo from the drug store to try to keep from getting it. That stuff is totally toxic, kills my hair, gives awful dandruff, etc. One day, I was reading a parenting magazine to get ideas for arts + craft projects and noticed an article on lice treatment. Several months later my little sister (who was living with me at the time) came home with lice, and it was bad. I could see them jumping off her head and her hair was also long! I remembered the recipe, used it, and will swear by it from now on.
It consisted of first saturating the hair with mineral oil and vinegar (4-to-1 mix). Leave it in an hour, then lightly rinse it. Do not shampoo or try to remove all of the mineral oil yet. Instead, put on a shower cap overnight. Rinse out after 24 hours and utilize a vinegar rinse again while using a fine comb to remove as many nits as possible. This is a miracle cure for long-haired folks. I believe they said it works because the oil suffocates the bugs and the vinegar dissolves/loosens the glue that holds the nits on. Hope this helps somebody!

Neem Oil
Posted by Diane (San Francisco, CA) on 10/06/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have used neem oil very successfully to prevent head lice. My daughter caught them at school. I used an over-the-counter insecticide to kill the lice that were on her head. Then I used the special comb included with the insecticide to remove as many of the eggs as possible. Then I applied neem oil (heated until it was liquid) to her scalp, generously, then massaged her scalp to make sure the oil covered her scalp completely. After this treatment, she had no more lice. The other kids in her class continued to get lice, but she never got lice again. I understand that neem oil kills the eggs and also makes it difficult or impossible for the living lice to drink blood from the veins in the scalp, so they die without laying more eggs.

Neem Oil
Posted by Cindy (Pflugerville, Tx) on 05/21/2009

Neem oil is toxic though. Your little girl didn't get a headache or anything?

EC: Neem has been used in India and Bangladesh for centuries!

"Neem oil has an extensive history of human use in India and surrounding regions for a variety of therapeutic purposes. Puri (1999) has given an account of traditional uses and therapeutic indications and pharmacological studies of this oil, in his book on neem."


Neem Oil
Posted by Stuman (Oceanside, Ca) on 12/30/2016

I noticed your post is seven years old and things have changed. Yes, wiki does mention neem may be toxic to pregnant women and children when consumed. However, for topical applications there are many over the counter soaps and shampoos available. On a side note the OTC toothpaste do not have neem oil. It is neem leaf and or neem bark.

Tea Tree Oil
Posted by alisha (mineral wells, wv) on 09/04/2007
5 out of 5 stars

we are a family of 5 and if one of the kids bring home head lice, its costly and not effective. this works. cover scalp in tea tree oil, let sit 10-20 min. covered if possible. it takes only 1 treatment and it works.cost around 5.00 for the whole family. tip is to put some oil in a spray bottle & some water and spray on. can also add small amt to shampoo to use as prevention.

Posted by Amanda (Tampa, FL) on 05/09/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I got lice a few days ago and began to panic. I had decided it would be smart to look on the internet and see what it said to do. I had tried those CVS brands of lice shampoo and they didn't seem to work. I read about vinegar and thought i would try it. It works well and all pharmacists say that it is a splendid way to get rid of the lice. I also wanted to add in that while using vinegar or whichever treatment you chose and leaving it in your hair for a while try wrapping saran wrap tightly around your head and it is an easy way to keep your hair up and out of your way while letting the treatment work.

Olive Oil
Posted by Ann G. (Tampa, Florida) on 04/23/2007
5 out of 5 stars

In Florida head lice are almost a certainty if your children are in public school. Beware of head sets in the media centers and sharing MP3's just like sharing your comb.

After getting the head lice that wouldn't die, the kind that are resistant to the OTC stuff they tell you to buy, I found out that the cure of the desperate was petroleum jelly. Yes, that certainly did work however, it is just awful to try and get out of your hair! The next time the kids brought lice home from school, we tried olive oil. Generously douse the hair with it in and put a shower cap on their head and leave it on as long as you can stand it, sleep in it if you can. The next morning, shampoo it all out, go over their hair with a nit picker comb and you are done with the lice. Check back every day or so to make sure none of the eggs are still in the hair. The oil simply suffocates the bugs. I have never had to reapply the olive oil. Added benefit, the olive oil leaves their hair really soft and shiny. While the hair is being treated of course, wash all the bedding in HOT water and spray the lice spray on the bed. Pack all their stuffed animals and pillows that can't be washed in a trash bag, tie it up tight and put it out in the garage for about two weeks to kill off the lice. They can't live without biting and they die of starvation!

EC: And if we might add -- people should always avoid using shared headsets, especially the ones found at the music stores that let you sample CDs before buying them.

Posted by Candice (Victorville, U.S.A) on 03/20/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Hello. I just wanted to let you guys know of a remedy that worked for me as a child. I had super thick hair and unfortunetly got head lice IT WAS LIKE THE PLAGUE! I went to the doctor and got the perscription TWICE but like Ted said, I simply didnt work! So after spending my summer vaction battling these nasty bugs my grandma told my mom to try distilled vinegar to rinse (wash my hair) leave it on for a tiny bit while in the bath/shower. Then conditon with a coconut conditioner thick so that you can comb out the eggs afterward. After you treat your hair with Vinegar you will see MANY dead lice rinse out. Its really gross! This is the only thing that worked for my family after spending nearly a 1,000 dollars on over the counter and perscription medications. My mom also never had to treat my little brothers hair because she simply baby oiled his hair and he never got lice! So I suggest using oil, vinegar (as a rinse) and a good conditioner. Also lice hate tea tree oil so you can dillute some in a spray bottle with water and use it to spray on head rests in cars, bedding, anything that your hair comes in contact with. *Dont use if you have cats though* Be sure to also clean bedding, clothing, etc. throughly! This is the most important!!! Make sure to iron mattress' daily and if your tired of washing your bedding and clothing daily then throw them in the dryer while you clean the house for at least 30 minutes to kill the eggs! Good luck!

Coconut Oil
Posted by Lon (Stanhope, Nj) on 09/07/2010

I add vinegar to shampoo to remove oils from my hair.

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