Natural Treatments and Remedies for Lice

Lice, specifically head lice, is one pest that terrifies parents everywhere. The good news is that an infestation of head lice doesn’t mean that you or your child is following an unhygienic lifestyle. Such pests go with both clean and dirty hair, so thorough washing is not going to get rid of them either.

However, if you or any family member does have a case of head lice, this is not the time to get worried, embarrassed, or play the blame game. This is the moment to get busy with some natural treatments and remedies for doing away with lice. We’ll discuss a few of the best ones below:

Anise Oil

When your children show signs of scratching, acting fast can help stop the spread of any lice infestation. Quick work is essential here, as siblings often share a room and can spread the lice around much more easily. With anise oil, we have a treatment that kills off the existing lice and also does away with any eggs they might have laid.

This oil works by coating the lice and suffocating them. This way, they won’t be able to produce more of their kind. You’d still have to use a fine-tooth comb to get the lice bodies and eggs out, but there’d be no insects crawling everywhere or escaping.

In fact, anise oil is among the very few oils that result in the permanent elimination of lice. Any other herbal remedy allows the lice to come back after some time. So grab a bottle of anise oil and start using it for anyone around you who has head lice.

Olive Oil

This type of oil has similar benefits to the first option. It suffocates the lice when applied on the hair properly. If you really want to pack a punch to those lice, see if you can combine the two types of oil.

There are also several other benefits you get when olive oil is applied to your hair and scalp. Since this ingredient is readily available in most stores, many people might want to try this natural remedy before anything else.

Coconut Oil

Sometimes, it seems like coconut oil is a remedy for just about everything. The same is true when it comes to head lice. Some studies have shown that this oil is almost as effective as OTC treatments.

In a trial, it was found that pure coconut oil managed to kill off about 80 percent of head lice within four hours after application. The top medicated shampoos managed to kill off about 90 percent of lice in the same amount of time.

Tea Tree Oil

A bottle of tea tree oil

Many claim that adding a few drops of tea tree oil in your shampoo and conditioner will do away with the lice for good. Tea tree oil is also good for the skin due to its antimicrobial properties.

However, the best way to use tea tree oil is to dilute it with another substance. This precaution is due to tea tree oil’s strength, which may also irritate the skin if you don’t dilute the drops.

In 2010, a blend of lavender and tea tree oil was tested on over 40 people with head lice. After a weekly treatment for about three weeks, all but one of the participants didn’t have head lice anymore. This is a success rate that outputs most OTC and prescription medications.

Petroleum Jelly

This remedy might surprise you, but the method of usage makes it seem more logical. Like the oils, petroleum jelly can also be spread on someone’s head to suffocate the lice as well as the eggs.

After application, things might get a bit greasy. Still, hosing off and a long bath sound a lot better than having fleas crawling in your child’s head, on the bedding, or any other corner of your home.

After you’ve put the petroleum jelly on your hair, place a shower cap over your head to protect the bed linen. Spend the night, or about eight hours, with your hair inside the cap. You can rinse off the jelly in the morning but be prepared by a freaky, slimy mess. Don’t lose hope, but keep washing until you get every last trace of petroleum jelly out of the hair.


Again, applying mayonnaise to the hair might seem strange and uncomfortable. Still, the ingredients of this condiment are all good for your scalp and locks–there’s egg, mayonnaise, and oil all mixed together. This is why many people are applying mayonnaise to the hair in order to get shiny, smooth strands.

However, the American sitcom ‘The Office’ once used mayonnaise as a means of killing off lice (as a part of the story, not in real life). Since this still is a well-loved show, its viewers also tried the practice out and found that it worked.

Those who swear by mayonnaise for treating hair lice say that the slipper substance makes it much easier to comb the lice out of the hair. Plus, the mayonnaise may also help to ease scalp itching or irritation.

Other Options

The remedies and treatments discussed above may not be readily available or affordable for everyone. For these people, the same results might come with options like sesame, thyme, and garlic oil.

However, keep in mind that lice infestations have come back after being treated with these oils. So don’t compromise; get pure and organic oil that kills off your lice and makes their descendants stay away for good.


If any of the home remedies and treatments you read about contain some ingredients you haven’t tried before, don’t use it fully right away. Conduct a patch test on yourself or whoever has the lice infestation. You may also consult your doctor and see if a particular substance is safe or not. Since these are natural options we’re talking about, the health risks shouldn’t be too large.