Has your head been itching a bit more than usual? Or have you noticed your child scratching their head non-stop? If either is the case, it is more than likely that head lice is the cause. But not to worry! With the help of natural and home remedies for head lice, you can put a stop to those nits once and for all.

As a proponent for natural sources of medicine and home remedies, I want to share my methods with the world. Head lice is not fun but with the use of home remedies for head lice, you can get rid of the lice quickly, naturally, and safely.


Head lice are very tiny parasites that will feed on the blood of their host. Since they live on the surface of the scalp and the hair shafts they are designed to cling on and breed incessantly. But where do lice come from?

Individuals will get head lice when they come into contact with a person who already has head lice. Contrast to common belief, head lice do not jump or fly from one person to another. To get head lice, you must make direct contact with an infected person or their personal items.

Common causes of head lice include:

  • Sharing hairbrushes or hair accessories
  • Wearing clothing of an infected person
  • Laying on or sharing bedding of an infected person
  • Close head-to-head contact
  • Play, sports, school, or sleepovers


There are a few signs and symptoms that you will need to be made aware. Head lice can develop in just a couple days after initial contact and not everyone will exhibit the same signs and symptoms, including the tell-tale itchiness.

Major signs and symptoms of head lice include:

  • Evidence of adult lice or nits on the hair, bedding, or clothing
  • Intense itchiness
  • Nits on the hair shaft
  • Small red bumps or lesions at the feeding sites
  • Hives
  • Scalp scabs
  • Enlarged lymph nodes

If you have noticed any of the above signs or symptoms of head lice on yourself or possibly your children, you can begin to combat the head lice at once. Home remedies for head lice can effectively and safely kill the adult head lice and the nits so you can stop the itchiness and the further spread of head lice.


11 Incredibly and Fast Home Remedies for Head Lice that Really Work

The following 11 home remedies for head lice are incredible for quickly stopping head lice and nits in their tracks. They can be used separately or you can combine a few, depending on what you have around the house or the severity of the infestation.

Please note, that for all of these home remedies for head lice, you will need a nit comb. These are very fine toothed combs that can be purchased at any drug store or pharmacy and will be essential for removing nits and dead lice. Not to mention, these home remedies for head lice will be what kills lice eggs as well.

1. Directly Apply Tea Tree Oil Mask

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a popular and natural insecticide which can effectively eliminate lice and their nits.

Required Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil
  • One ounce of natural shampoo
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil
  • Shower cap or towel


  • Combine the ingredients until they are mixed well.
  • Apply the solution to the hair and be sure to cover the scalp.
  • Cover the head with a shower cap or towel for half an hour.
  • Rinse thoroughly and comb the hair while it is still wet to remove the head lice and the nits.


Tea tree oil can be harsh on the skin so do not directly apply it to the scalp.

2. Directly Apply a Mayonnaise Mask


Photo Credit: mcdonals.co.nz

Regular store bought or homemade mayonnaise can quickly kill head lice and their nits. This is due to the fact that mayonnaise contains high amounts of oils. These oils have viscosity properties which will suffocate the live lice.

Required Ingredients:

  • Full fat mayonnaise
  • Shower cap


  • Apply the mayonnaise liberally over the scalp and throughout the hair.
  • Cover the hair with a shower cap and leave on for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • Shampoo and comb the hair to remove the dead lice.

Repeat daily for one week.

3. Directly Apply a Sesame Seed Oil and Essential Oil Mixture

sesame seeds

Photo Credit: eatseed.com

Sesame seed oil is an antibacterial, antifungal, and natural insecticide. Combined with the healing powers of essential oils, you can quickly wipe out any adult head lice and their nits.

Required Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of sesame seed oil
  • 1/8 cup of neem oil
  • 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil
  • ½ teaspoon of eucalyptus oil
  • ½ teaspoon of rosemary oil
  • 10 drops of lavender oil
  • Shower cap
  • Apple cider vinegar


  • Combine all of the ingredients-expect the apple cider vinegar.
  • Rinse your hair with the apple cider vinegar
  • Apply the mixed oils throughout the hair and the scalp and cover with the shower cap.
  • Leave overnight.
  • In the morning, comb the hair to remove dead lice and nits and shampoo normally.
  • Repeat daily for one to two weeks.

4. Directly Apply White Vinegar


Photo Credit: heinzvinegar.com

White vinegar is common in nearly every household. It is also an effective and safe way to remove head lice. The white vinegar contains acetic acid which will destroy head lice and nits.

Required Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • towel


  • Dilute the vinegar with the water and saturate the hair and the scalp liberally.
  • Wrap the hair with a towel and leave on the hair for 1-2 hours.
  • Dip your comb in the vinegar and comb the hair, one section at a time.
  • Shampoo normally.
  • Repeat daily for at least one week.

5. Directly Apply Coconut Oil


Coconut oil is very thick and lubricating which can trap the adult head lice and the nits on the hair shafts and the scalp. This will help prevent the head lice from spreading, feeding, breeding, and it can help suffocate them.

Required Ingredients:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Coconut oil
  • Shower cap


  • Rinse your hair thoroughly with the apple cider vinegar
  • Saturate the scalp and the hair with the coconut oil.
  • Cover your head with a shower cap and leave on for 6-8 hours or overnight.
  • Comb the hair to remove the dead lice and nits and shampoo normally.
  • Repeat daily for one week


To make this home remedy for head lice more potent, add a couple drops of essential oils or tea tree oil before you apply the coconut oil.

6. Directly Apply Garlic Paste


Garlic is a potent natural remedy that can be used for several ailments, including head lice. The strong scent of the garlic will suffocate and kill the head lice present.

Required Ingredients:

  • 8-10 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 teaspoons of lime juice
  • Shower cap


  • Grind the garlic cloves into a paste and add the lime juice.
  • Apply the mixture onto the scalp.
  • Leave on for 30 minutes before rinsing with hot water.
  • Repeat daily for up to 2 weeks.

7. Directly Apply Baby Oil Mixture

Baby Oil

Photo Credit: Johnsonsbaby.com

Baby oil is great for moisturizing the hair and the scalp which can soothe the itchiness and any irritation caused. At the same time, the baby oil will suffocate and kill the head lice and the nits.

Required Ingredients:

  • Baby oil
  • Laundry detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Shower cap


  • Apply the baby oil to the hair and comb the hair slowly until the lice fall from the head.
  • Wash the hair with hot water and the laundry detergent.
  • Place white vinegar onto the scalp and hair and cover with a shower cap.
  • Leave on for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Repeat daily for 3-4 days.

8. Directly Apply Olive Oil

olive oil

Photo Credit: choice.com.au

Olive oil will be able to smother the adult head lice and nits. This will kill them and the thickness of the olive oil will enable easy removal of lice eggs and any dead lice as well.

Required Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Shower cap


  • Directly apply the olive oil to the scalp and throughout the hair. Be liberal with the application.
  • Place the shower cap on your head on leave on overnight.
  • Comb the hair to remove the dead lice and nits.
  • Repeat once daily for at least one week.

9. Directly Apply Salt


Using salt will enable you to desiccate the head lice on contact. When salt is combined with white or apple cider vinegar, you can give your hair and scalp a powerful treatment against the head lice.

Required Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of salt
  • ¼ cup of either white or apple cider vinegar
  • Shower cap
  • Spray bottle


Combine the salt and the vinegar and mix thoroughly and place into the spray bottle.

Gently spray the solution on the hair until it become slightly wet.

Place the shower cap on your head and leave on for 2 hours.

Comb your hair followed by a normal wash.

Repeat once a day for at least three days.

10. Directly Apply Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum Jelly

The thickness of the petroleum jelly will help to prevent the roaming of the nits and the adult head lice. At the same time, the petroleum jelly will be able to suffocate the head lice.

Required Ingredients:

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Shower cap
  • Baby oil


Apply a thick layer of the petroleum jelly to the hair and scalp before bed.

Cover the head with the shower cap and ensure it is on tight.

Leave on overnight.

In the morning, use baby oil to remove the petroleum jelly and then comb the hair to remove the dead lice.

Repeat this nightly for at least 5 nights.

11. Directly Apply an Onion Paste


Onions contain sulfur which will kill head lice on contact. The odor will also help to suffocate the head lice.

Required Ingredients:

  • 6 medium sized onions
  • Blender
  • Sieve
  • Shower cap


Peel and chop the onions and place them into the blender

Blend until a smooth paste forms

Remove the paste and place it on a sieve to extract the juice

Massage the scalp with this juice

Put on the shower cap and leave on for 2 hours

Comb the hair and shampoo normally.

Repeat each day for 3 days. Then use it once per month for two months to prevent re-infestations.


While head lice is easily transmitted, it can also easily be prevented. Prevention comes with effort and education in regards to personal hygiene and awareness.

If your child has contacted head lice, it is imperative that you let their school, daycare, and/or any activities they participate in know. It might feel embarrassing, but it will help prevent the further spread of the head lice.

Prevention of head lice can include the following:

· Teaching children not to share or borrow hats, combs, headphones, brushes, or helmets and to report any intense itchiness.

· Keep long hair tied up and off of the face.

· Check the hair regularly, especially if there is a lot of scratching occurring.

· Washing personal items at the time of initial outbreak, during, and after. This includes towels, bedding, hats, pillowcases, and clothing in temperatures of 151 degrees for washing and drying in a very hot dryer for a minimum of 15 minutes.

· Dry clean or seal any stuffed toys or bedding for 10-14 days to kill any lice.

· Soak brushes and combs in hot water for 5-10 minutes.

· Thoroughly vacuum rugs, mattresses, carpeting, pillows, furniture, or anywhere else someone could lay their head. Don’t forget car seats!

· Be diligent after the infestation with these measures to be sure the head lice do not reappear.

I hope my love of natural home remedies have helped you and your family. Head lice is no joke but with the help of home remedies for head lice, you can quickly get back to enjoying your life. If you have enjoyed this article or found it helpful, please share with others! Sharing these natural home remedies for head lice can help others gently and safely remove these parasites from their lives.

A qualified doctor, Dr. Kyra Russel Jr. is someone who wears many hats, working also as a health writer, author, researcher, and media medic. She is a master communicator who is passionate about putting convoluted health information into words that make the information widely accessible. Her primary interests are child and adolescent health, women’s well-being, beauty, and nutrition.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Emery Jean Chambers

    It sure was nice how you mentioned using apple cider vinegar and salt as a powerful treatment for removing head lice. I really do like your tips, especially this one since we have a lot of them at home. Though because my little girl wants the pests off her head asap, I think we will try a professional treatment for now. Then I will keep that for maintenance.

  2. [email protected]

    i love your home remedies. growing up my moma done 7 heads with mayo and it does work and also gives your hair a good treatment also.

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