What Are Some Homemade Cures for Head Lice?


Quick Answer

Wet-combing, essential oils and smothering agents are all common home remedies for head lice. However, there is no scientific evidence showing that any of these treatments work, according to Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Wet-combing involves wetting the hair of the person with head lice, and then running a fine-toothed comb through the hair. In addition to water, it is important to add a lubricant to the hair, such as hair conditioner. It is critical to comb the whole head, moving from the scalp to the ends of the hair at least two times in a session. Repeating the process every three or four days for a few weeks (at least two weeks after the last louse appears) yields the best results, notes Mayo Clinic.

Essential oils, such as ylang ylang oil, anise oil, tea tree oil and nerolidol, may be toxic to head lice and their eggs. However, because essential oils do not require approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, no studies exist supporting their effectiveness at killing lice, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Items in the refrigerator that may help with head lice include butter, mayonnaise and olive oil. Petroleum jelly may work as well. The common factor for all of these remedies is that they keep the lice and eggs from accessing air, with the hope that they smother overnight, states Mayo Clinic.

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