Is Olive Oil An Effective Treatment For Lice? June 25, 2016

Are you sick of those small insects crawling on your scalp that cause itching? Lice are a continuous nuisance and mostly affect the kids. If you are or your child is suffering from lice, then it is high time you did something about it. Something like, using olive oil.

Why olive oil? This post gives you the answers. Go ahead and read.

Facts About Olive Oil Treatment

Vegetable oils have been found to be extremely useful in treating lice. Over the years, research has proved that olive oil can effectively treat the lice problem, and it is natural and without any side effects (1). Also, according to a test conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, the lice, when submerged in olive oil for more than two hours, die due to asphyxiation. The olive oil works by coating the skin of the adult lice and deprives them of oxygen. Since their breathing stops, they die.

Olive Oil For Lice

For this treatment, use olive oil of good brands that comes enriched with its natural greasiness. If you want to remove the lice from the head of a small child, saturate his scalp with olive oil and wrap a plastic wrap around his head (2). Make sure that the plastic cover tightly wraps the scalp so that no amount of air can enter. Leave on the oil with the wrap for at least 3 hours within which the lice will be asphyxiated and dead.

[ Read: Anti Lice Shampoos Available In India ]

Wash the hair with mild shampoo and rinse well so that all the traces of the oil and the shampoo are completed cleaned. Comb the wet hair gently to remove the dead lice from the head. Since you are using lots of olive oil on the scalp, you may have to use the shampoo at least twice so that the oil is removed completely. Although this remedy removes a lot of lice, you need to keep on repeating the treatment until your hair is free from lice.

Can The Olive Oil Treatment Remove Nits?

Until now, the efficiency of olive oil treatment for nits has not been tested, and hence, it is not considered effective in removing nits. But you can always use olive oil to kill lice and loosen the grip of nits on the hair shaft by applying vinegar to the hair after the hair wash. A rinse of homemade or good quality vinegar immediately after the shampoo will help loosen the grip of nits, and then, it is easier to remove them using the comb.

Adding Essential Oils To Olive Oil

Essential oils are fragrant and highly volatile. These oils are obtained by steam distillation of the flowering plants (3). Depending upon the surrounding conditions at the time of the harvest, such as the climatic conditions and the distillation quality, some exclusive essential oils may contain around 300 different molecules. These essential oils are loaded with antibacterial, antifungal and more importantly, insecticidal properties (4). While using essential oils for eliminating lice, try to use oils prepared from organic farming.

Adding a few drops of any essential oil such as lavender oil to olive oil for lice treatment increases the therapeutic properties and is extremely helpful in preventing another infestation. The essential oils also promote healing, and the kids will love the pleasant smell.

[ Read: How To Use Tea Tree Oil To Get Rid Of Lice? ]

Lice And Nits Removal With Olive Oil And Essential Oils

  • Take warm olive oil in a large bowl and add a few drops of your favorite essential oils such as jojoba, lavender or almond.
  • Massage the oil into the scalp. Make sure that every area of the scalp and each hair strand are covered with olive oil.
  • The scalp, thus, should be saturated with the oil, as the lice will start sucking it to gain nutrition. That is why the use of oil in a good amount is necessary.
  • Pile the hair on the top of the head and wrap it using a shower cap. If you want to avoid the messy, sticky and oily feel, put a towel around the neck or use a cotton bandana or absorbent gauze to keep the cap in one place.
  • Leave the shower cap for 3 to 8 hours. The longer, the better, especially if you have many lice on the head. Studies show that lice can survive for minimum two hours when submerged in oil or other types of liquid agents.
  • Place newspapers or towels on the floor under the chair. Keep the chair positioned under the light so that you can see even the smallest lice properly.
  • Prepare a soapy and warm water bowl, keep it nearby, and use it to swish the lice comb in between the combings. You are sure to see many nits and dead insects floating in the water.
  • Remove the shower cap and let the excess oil drip on the covered areas of the flooring.
  • Separate the hair into four parts and use Bobby pins or clutches to keep them in a separate place just as you do when cutting the hair.

[ Read: Can Mayonnaise Kill Lice? ]

  • Comb each hair part thoroughly, and once you are sure that all the lice have been removed, make a rope like a loop and pin it on your head. You can use a Lice Meister or any other metal lice comb to ensure that your comb reaches every area of the scalp and brings down the lice.
  • In this way, continue combing until all the nits and lice have been removed.
  • Wash your hair with dish detergent to remove the excess of olive oil and lastly wash off with a good shampoo.
  • Dry the hair using a dryer so that the heat of the dryer will kill the left out lice or nits.
  • Repeat the process at least twice a week so that all the lice are removed completely.

Have you ever tried olive oil treatment for lice? How has that helped you? Do let us know by commenting below. We would love to hear from you.

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