View Full Version : Olive Oil Treatment for HEAD LICE

August 13th, 2006, 05:51 AM
For those unforturnate enough to have to deal
with Head Lice, whether on yourself or
someone else, I am re-submitting this post (with a
few links added) that I made a while
back. (earlier post) (
(thanks Ursula for the suggestion :flowers: )


my niece had lice before too;
one thing my sister said was if it ever happened
again, she heard that smothering the hair
with Olive Oil will kill them.

I'm going to see if I can find it online...

Besides insecticidal treatments (, olive oil treatment is a safe
and effective way to kill head lice.
Olive oil, or cooking oil, smothers and kills adult head lice
and makes them easier to comb out.
The oil also makes it easier to comb out the eggs (nits)
which are glued to the hair shafts near the scalp.
Whichever treatment is used, daily inspection for and removal
of eggs for 3 weeks is necessary to prevent reinfestation.

The Olive Oil Treatment
To kill lice the oil should be applied according to
the following schedule:

Apply oil on days 1, 2, 5, 9, 17, 19, 21

The treatment days coincide with the life cycle of
the louse. You may do the treatments more often
if you like but try not to miss any of these days.

The treatment can also be started with an
insecticide which should be washed out before
applying the oil. In this case, Day 2 can be
omitted from the schedule.

Apply Oil to the Hair
Apply enough oil to the hair to coat all of it
thoroughly. BE GENEROUS. Cover head with a
shower cap and leave overnight.

Comb out the Nits
The next day, comb out any dead lice and eggs
with a nit comb (
(metal is best; link has some
more good pictures of actual lice and more info)
Layer the hair into sections and
carefully comb over the entire scalp. The oil will
slow them down, enabling them to be caught in
the nit comb. After combing, wash out the oil
with regular shampoo.

Check for Nits
Check dry hair under a bright light for any eggs
you may have missed.

Clean the Environment
Head lice cannot survive for long away from the
scalp (1 to 2 days). Regular washing of bed linen
and brushes and combs in hot soapy water will
kill any remaining lice. Hats and caps can either
be washed in hot soapy water or left for 1 week in
order to give any attached lice time to die.

The Health Department recommends that
children be excluded from school until treatment
has been commenced and live lice removed. It is
important to note that finding eggs after treatment
does not indicate reinfestation and does not
require exclusion.

Important Note
If live lice are found the day after insecticide
treatment, the lice could be resistant to the
insecticide. In this situation, the olive oil
treatment may achieve better results.


( info found at ( )

I found another link for a children's book while on
my search-----> Those Itsy Bitsy Teeny Tiny Not So Nice Lice ( :lol:

here is another link with good information (
Lice scuttle about on the scalp between hairs with much more speed than expected of a small, soft, wingless insect with slender hair grasping claws on the end of blunt legs. They are very sensitive to dry heat, so we advise saunas and/or hair dryers rather than poison head/hair treatments. They are sensitive to oil, so we also advise adding a conditioner and/or soaking the hair with olive, coconut or baby oil to kill the lice and help remove the nits. Pestisafes® such as Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with or without Peppermint or Lice R Gone® contain basically dish soap, peppermint oil and meat tenderizer, all things to which lice are sensitive. (Be sure you are not sensitive too!) Salt water will also kill lice, but will not remove the nits.

(emphasis mine)

interresting quote, again from the above site (somewhat off-topic)
under the heading, "Head Louse Control":
Caution: 90% of all commercial soap shampoos use a detergent called sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and/or sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) that can be retained in tissues up to 5 days even after a single drop. Dr. Keith Green noted (SLS) causes improper eye development in children. SLS has a tendency to react with other ingredients to form NDELA, a nitrosamine and potent carcinogen. Researchers actually estimate the nitrate absorption of one soap shampoo is equal to eating a pound of bacon! The FDA has recently warned shampoo manufacturers of unacceptable levels of dioxin in products containing SLES. SLS is a skin irritant that can penetrate and impair the skin barrier. SLS can also enhance the allergic response to other toxins and allergens per "Dangerous Beauty" by David Lowell Kern.

from same site: The punctures the lice make while feeding and people make by scratching will transfer bacterial infections, which explains the statement "feeling lousy."

I hope this collection of links and information will
help anyone who has to deal with this problem.

Good Luck !

October 7th, 2006, 10:57 PM
That's very interesting!

I had head lice a lot as a child, so it's nice to know that I won't have to resort to chemicals [necessarily] if I get them again. My dad likes to add tea tree oil [which they don't like] to conditioner to ward off infestation...I wonder if adding tea tree oil to the oil you use to smother them would be more effective than simple oil?

October 25th, 2006, 03:21 AM
I'm glad you made this an article. I took the liberty of adding a link to this article to Wikipedia's page on Head Lice. (Way down at the bottom in the section for "External Links.")