How Does the Mayonnaise Lice Treatment Work?


Quick Answer

The use of mayonnaise as an alternative to prescription head lice treatment is often tried when conventional treatment does not work, reports the Minnesota Department of Health. It is possible to suffocate head lice by applying mayonnaise to the hair and scalp; however, there is no evidence of this treatment's effectiveness.

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Full Answer

This form of treatment usually involves mayonnaise, olive oil or petroleum jelly, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Apply the mayonnaise directly to the scalp and hair, fully saturating the hair. Cover the hair and head with a shower cap for approximately eight hours, and then wash the hair thoroughly with shampoo and warm water until all of the mayonnaise is gone. Individually remove all nits and remaining live lice, and then shampoo again.

A metal head lice removal comb or fingernails are both effective to remove nits, explains the Minnesota Department of Health. Place the lice comb as close to the scalp as possible and slowly comb through 1-inch thick tufts of hair. Wipe the comb clean to remove accumulated nits or any live lice. Keep the combed sections of hair separated from uncombed hair by using hair clips. Continue the process until all of the hair is combed through and the ears and nape of the neck have been checked.

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