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Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

My daughter has problems with one of her children with head lice. She hates using the chemical cure once a month for this. Would normal cooking oil work and smother them?


Sandie from Cape Coral, FL


Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

We, too, had a serious problem. We bought a product for this, all natural, from a company online: You would only need one set (2 step process). A little goes a long way. They have a lot of info on headlice to read also. Olive oil, may just work too, as it is one of the ingredients in their product. They are a good, reliable company, fast service and dedicated to natural products for a number of ailments. Use the regular mail, it came in 2 days. Good luck. (04/03/2006)

By Memere

Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

A friend of mine said that mayonnaise worked. I have lost contact with her but I believe it was mayonnaise. Just let it sit awhile. (04/03/2006)

By mominga

Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

I just read on another list that using mayonnaise on the hair will kill head lice. When needed I always used Campho-Phenique, which I know works wonders. I had a long haired daughter just full of the critters, but had her back in school the next day all cleared up and fine by using Campho Phenique liquid. Not sure if you can buy the liquid now, though. I saw it was coming out in gel. If you can, put on the campho and let it sit on the hair for about half an hour and then shampoo out. The nits will still be attached to the hair shaft, but they will be dead and see through. Don't forget to wash everything with very hot water to kill them on clothing and bedclothes.


Good Luck (04/03/2006)

By jaxi3

Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

I have always heard that mayonnaise would work. Slather it on the roots of the hair and let sit. How long I'm not sure. The mayo will smother the lice and the oil will help dislodge the nits.


By Cheryl from Missouri

Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

Shampoo with a good strong shampoo, rinse with vinegar, and comb and comb with comb with an extra fine comb. The head lice are killed by shampooing. Its the eggs that have to be removed to keep them from hatching and reinfecting the child. The vinegar help release them from the hair. But the child's bedding and clothing must all be washed and put in a dryer to kill any lice and eggs in it. (04/03/2006)

By Donna

Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

Best cure ever - Extra Strength Denorex Shampoo, vinegar hair rinse, conditioning hair detangler spray, lice comb. Once a day for a week, then just have her use the Denorex a few times a week. Worked like a charm for us after many false starts. Also, I would run her pillow through the dryer everyday for a week for 15 minutes each morning, just to kill anything that may have fallen off and reinfect. You could do jackets or coats too, if you are still wearing them. (04/03/2006)


By Kathy

Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

Somewhere online recently I read about olive oil smothering lice. The article said to use it daily for three days to kill them all.

Like the others wrote, remember to sanitize all her bedding, clothing and bookbag/purse, just in case a beastie is lurking. (04/03/2006)

By gator10tx

Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

Tea tree oil, which can be bought at Wal Mart in the drugstore dept. Do not use it full strength, as it is highly concentrated. Type tea tree oil into your browser and you should be able to find the ratio. It is a natural antiseptic which can be used for a multitude of problems. It is the only thing that will get the sting and itch out of mosquito bites for me. Also is great for stinky feet fungus, etc. No, I don't sell it, I just use it for everything! It is good to kill off lice, fleas, etc. too. (04/03/2006)


By PrairieLady

Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

Yes, I am a nurse who used to do a head lice program, and you can use either olive oil or mayonnaise. Put it on, put on a plastic shower cap, leave it overnight (put a towel on the pillow) and shampoo out in the AM. Please wash all bedding, coats, stuffed animals, etc. in hot water. Treat everyone in family.

TC in MO (04/03/2006)

By TC in MO

Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

Yes, the mayo works really well. Like the nurse said it needs to be coated all over the head and then put a shower cap on. We left it all day and make sure you pick out all the nits. If it is a warm day go outside, you can see them so much better. Also the metal combs work so much better getting the nits out. Good luck to the lil girl. (04/03/2006)


By Michele

Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

WOW! Thank you all for the great help! My daughter will be very happy. My granddaughter has had to endure the dumb chemical treatments and I know that isn't good. She may be getting them from her school. At least once a month all winter this has been going on. Again, thank you all for your input. You are wonderful. (04/04/2006)

By Sandie

Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

I am a hair salon owner and I would never ever use any of the chemical treatments on a child!! It isn't necessary and is not safe. Remove the actual bugs which is what the mayo treatment does by suffocation, the overnight bagged method does work. And then pick, pick, pick and get those nits out of there. Once laid, it takes 7-10 days for a nit to hatch. It is important to keep going back and checking the head until the cycle has been broken!


Head lice are a human parasite therefore will not survive off of their human hosts more than 24 hours. As I said previously, nits off the head are doomed. So you don't need to go berserk cleaning the house like a frenzied molly maid. A thorough vacuuming of the entire house will do the trick. Check out

Hope that helps.

By Justanothercowgirl

Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

Lice like CLEAN hair. Don't wash her hair everyday and apply mousse in the morning before school. (06/06/2006)

By Katmommy

Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

I am not sure of a non chemical way to get rid of them, but I do know what will prevent re-infestation. Have your daughter use a blow dryer every time she washes her hair, the heat will kill the nits. Wash everything in HOT water that she comes in contact with. I got this tip from a doctor where I work (06/20/2006)

By Billie Jo

Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

I also have heard mayonnaise slapped on your head and covered with Saran Wrap or a shower cap for a couple of hours will help kill lice and make it easier to get out nits. I am using tea tree oil in my shampoo because I work around kids and am paranoid. I have vacuumed my entire house and washed everything in hot water. Hopefully I won't have any problems, tis the season! :) (11/02/2006)

By Ashley

Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

Our local health dept. told us to use mineral oil, wrap your head in a towel for 1 hour then wash out with Dawn dishsoap. It worked. (11/02/2006)

By imaqat1962

Non-Chemical Cures for Head Lice

I wanted to clear up some misconceptions on head lice, for those who have ever had ANY contact with and for those who have had NONE.

If you find your child/self infected, don't be afraid to tell people. It can/will happen to anyone from any walk of life! You must let others know/the people your child/you were in contact with so they can start checking! If you child says they have an itchy head and you don't see anything, don't assume it is dandruff, keep checking daily for 10 days, and if you see nothing go to a doctor, better to be safe than sorry! For the first 7-10 days they are invisible to see, it is when they become 7-10 days old that they start to become visible to the naked eye.

Above all else, if you get notices going home from your school. Check, check, check. Early detection is better and easier to manage.

First of all, the little critters are MORE attracted to a CLEAN head than a DIRTY one as it is easier for them to bite the scalp of a clean person, rather than THROUGH the dirt and oil of an unclean head.

If you follow the instructions of the treatment, and yes I DO have to say the ONLY WAY to EFFECTIVELY get RID of them is by USING the NIX or similar treatment.

Follow the instructions do the treatment, pick out anything moving, even if it takes you 5 hours do it, and do it thoroughly, while you are looking for any live buggers which are a lightish grey and 1-2 mm long, look for the nits. They are a very small oval shaped brown in colour egg. They are actually clear and you are seeing the insect through it. Thy will be found within 1/4 cm of the scalp and they are really tiny, like 1/2 the size of the head of a pin. They are well stuck to the hair shaft with a special cement the adult uses when laying the egg. They are very hard to remove so if you find something and it comes off easily, it is probably not a nit. Also look for white segments of the open egg sack. Once they HATCH, they turn white and almost look like dust or dandruff. They are also hard to remove because they are still cemented to the hair. The further they are away from the scalp the longer you have had them as the hair as grown with it.

Check extremely thoroughly daily for the first 3 days after treatment. If you find anything moving after day 2 you NEED to TREAT with SOME OTHER BRAND of head lice removal to kill the adults that didn't die from the first treatment.

If you don't have movement after the 3 days, continue checking daily for the remainder to day 7. That is when any nit eggs that have hatched during the course of the treatment you have missed will be able to be detected, and you have to pick them out. When they hatch they are microscopic but that is usually when you start to get an itchy head. If you have been really diligent and have gone through the hair with a fine tooth nit comb and also looked everything over and see nothing for the 7 days, you still NEED to do the SECOND PART OF THE TREATMENT and still check daily for the next 8 days. This is where INFESTATION REOCCURS because people don't see anything and think they are in the clear.

YOU MUST KEEP CHECKING for the full treatment OF 15 DAYS.

Once you have treated and there is nothing alive in the hair, you can go about you routine.

All blankets and beddings the infested person has come into contact with must be washed in hot water and dried on hot cycle for a minimum of 20 minutes. The HEAT will KILL anything.

If something can't be washed then it must be dry-cleaned or placed in a garbage well sealed for 10 days to kill anything and then it can be washed as normal.

Vacuum the bed of the infected person/s and around the house and anything they have been on.

If you are still reading this I hope I have helped with some concerns, I have just gone through this with my 7 year old daughter. She had 4 notices come home from school and I have checked each and every time this last week her head was itchy, I checked every day, and on Sat. we saw some live ones crawling around, we did the NIX treatment and changed all the sheets in our beds vacuumed top to bottom of all the beds and the sofas and kitchen chairs and the carpet.

We picked one area in the house for our "nit picking" and vacuum after each session. We have been lucky, the first treatment seems to be a good one and we found nothing moving on day 3. We are still checking and we are all clean. Everyone in the house must be checked until the end of the treatment on a daily basis.

Another classmate in my daughter's class is not as lucky. They have 3 children, all of which are infected. The mom thought her daughter had dandruff and was treating for a week with Head and Shoulders so was pretty badly infested. They tried one treatment RC which did not kill everything in the first treatment and had to go do another one with the NIX in the 2 days after.

But in between that, she tried the home remedy route and went to the mayonnaise and the olive oil. They did not work for her even after she had them on for overnight.

In scientific studies they immersed lice in olive oil and removed them after one hour they survived, after 2 they were dead, but that is sticking them right in the stuff.


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