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Does mayonnaise kill lice?
By shari from Wichita, KS
Yes, so does baby oil, Vaseline, Brylcreem, and VO5 in the tube. You still have to comb it to get the eggs out. Anything with a oil or grease in it.
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Instead of using pesticide based methods to rid my daughter of head lice, we applied mayonnaise to her hair. Apply before bedtime and cover hair with plastic cap, like those sold in dollar stores. Next morning, wash, rinse, and comb out nits. This method is more time consuming than using Nix, but is safer for the child.
Also, to help prevent re-infestation, we gathered my daughter's long hair into a ponytail.
By C. Nelson from Mountain Home, AR
In the past I have used olive oil to remove lice and their eggs with great success. Just soak scalp and hair with oil and let sit for at least an hour. You also get really good conditioned hair out of it. Then wash out and comb out.
kmcl59 from Pensacola, FL (06/22/2006)
Lice like clean hair, so don't wash it too often. (06/22/2006)
Mayo does "not" kill eggs, and the mayo method will only get about 80% of the eggs. In two weeks, the rest of them will hatch and you will be right back at this all over again (and spreading them all over your house). I have dealt with head lice for years since my ex-husband has them and won't take care of it, my kids come back infested every time they visit.
We found a better solution. Denorex shampoo. It is made with coal tar. Wash daily with this shampoo, for at least one week, two if you can. When you put it on, lather it up and wait ten minutes, then rinse. You will be lice-free, and your child will be pesticide-free too. A bottle of Denorex will last two full weeks, and costs less than a bottle of lice shampoo. The Denorex works by killing off any lice that have hatched that day, before they can lay eggs. So by being consistent and washing every day for a week (or two) you get the whole cycle of hatching nits.
Also, you "must" clean bed clothes and pillows. Simply running them through the dryer on the hottest cycle for 30 minutes will kill any lice on the bedding (you can do this with pillows and most stuffed animals too). You will also need to do this daily as well, until the infestation stops.
Additional measures to try: lice like coarse hair. If your child has coarse hair, try applying a good creme rinse or conditioner after the shampoo. The lice are unable to attach their eggs to the hair because the hair is now "slick". Also, the use of styling products and hairsprays also prevents lice from laying eggs that attach.
Any nits you can see and that are further than 2 cm from the root are "empty" or "dead" nits. These are eggs that have already hatched. There is no need to remove them or otherwise bother with them, they will fall off after a few shampoos (looks likes dandruff). The nits that will hatch are the ones right at the root and no more than 2 cm away from the root. They tend "not" to be white and you can't really see them unless you have really good light and a magnifying glass. These are the nits you're trying to get rid of, these are the eggs that have been laid, but not hatched yet. Denorex does work on those nits. (06/22/2006)
I have posted here before about the mayo method, here's what I said, 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 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:
I will add that just combing to get nits out doesn't get them all, it works better to pick them out with your fingernails. In answer to another question here, mayo does not kill eggs it suffocates the lice only. Eggs (nits) left on the hair strand will hatch. Also, as mentioned here putting the bedding in the dryer will do the trick. I would go back and be sure you have gotten all the nits out of their hair now and then go back again in a week, check again and do the mayo thing again. Good luck and good job on not using chemicals. Hope that helps.
Please note that on the bottle of Denorex shampoo is a warning that it has been known to cause cancer. (07/05/2006)
I have used the mayo method and the olive oil treatment on my daughter and they both work great. I believe it worked better than the chemicals. But at our school you have to wash their hair with the chemical and bring the box with you to see the school nurse to prove that the hair has been treated and combed. I really don't like that but rules are rules. (07/24/2006)
I have found that hair dye will kill the lice and the eggs come off easily. (12/07/2006)
I used the mayonnaise method for my child years ago with success because I didn't want to use chemicals. According to the pediatrician, you must use "regular real mayonnaise" not light. We had to start over 3 hours into it, but it worked. (03/18/2008)
My younger sister's hit a patch of lice infestation, so all the kids just kept passing it back and forth. My parents used the pesticide/chemical treatments from Shoppers, but eventually they don't work anymore.
Mayo, or oil and vinegar definitely work. It suffocates them, and the vinegar helps loosen nits. To be on the safe side then also comb through her hair with white vinegar after to get rid of any other nits. Then repeat the mayo treatment about a week to 10 days later to catch any that may have hatched, etc. (05/06/2008)
I am a hairstylist and this is what I tell my customers, and what I did for my child.
The mayo does work to kill lice, and make the eggs come out easier. I used it on my daughter, after the shampoo, and hours of picking out the eggs, and I was shocked at the amount of "sandy" like things all over her neck in just a few minutes. They (eggs) seemed to be sliding off of her hair. Now keep in mind, I have spent countless hours, over 3 days prior, picking and combing.
Also, using tea tree shampoo and conditioner (or just the conditioner if it is a young child) will help prevent them. They do not like it at all. Paul Mitchell did research with this. Many salons sell their own cheaper version. Also, using a silicone based gloss (for frizz control) will help to prevent them as well, by making the hair to slippery for the eggs to stick. You do not need much of this product, a little goes a long way.
Good luck, and the key to not getting them back, is getting all of the eggs out.
Try the new treatment called Nuvo Treatment. Google it and it shows you what to do. I tried it on my daughter and so far so good. It's 3 treatments for 3 weeks and does not contain harsh chemicals. Get this, you use Cetaphil Facial Cleanser. Yes, and you won't get the smell like mayo.
You blow dry and the critters get wrapped into a cocoon and suffocate. Like I said you must do this for 3 weeks, once a week. It's the easiest and best way yet. nuvotreatmentforheadlice.com, I think. Google it, it's the best thing ever invented. When I called my doctor because I couldn't take it anymore she recommended this. Hope this helps. (09/24/2008)
I just fought the lice battle for 2 plus weeks, the RID and the NIX were a waste of money. I did some research online and tried the Denorex. It works great, I'm on day 3 and my 2 kids are totally clean, but because this was a horrible experience, I will continue for the whole week. (10/13/2008)
The heat from a hair straightener works too to kill lice, type it in on youtube. (01/26/2009)