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How To Use Olive Oil To Treat Head Lice

How To Use Olive Oil To Treat Head Lice May 23, 2018

Here’s the thing about lice – once you’re infested, there’s a long battle ahead of you to get rid of them. That’s something you probably don’t want to hear considering they make your head extremely itchy and are quite an embarrassment to bear. Now, there are quite a few over-the-counter head lice treatments that you can buy. However, these contain mild insecticides like permethrin and pyrethrin that can cause mild to severe skin irritation. This is why it’s best to use a natural ingredient to get rid of those pesky little buggers! Which one, you ask? Olive oil, of course!

How To Use Olive Oil To Treat Head Lice Pinit

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Here’s how olive oil works at killing head lice. Harvard School of Public Health conducted a test that found that lice that were submerged in olive oil died of asphyxiation after 2 hours. Similar studies found that it took at least 8 hours for head lice to die of suffocation after being coated with olive oil. So, the key takeaway here is that you need to apply olive oil over your hair and scalp to ensure that you’re coating the head lice in this process and cutting off their oxygen supply. And how exactly do you do that? Here’s how…

How To Use Olive Oil For Head Lice

How To Use Olive Oil For Head Lice Pinit

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What You Need
  • Olive oil
  • Clarifying shampoo
  • Nit removal comb
  • Paper towels
  • Trash bag
  • Blow dryer
What To Do
  1. Start off by washing your hair with clarifying shampoo to remove any product residue from your hair. This step is important as this residue prevents olive oil from sticking to your hair shafts and reduces its effectiveness.
  2. Apply olive oil all over your hair and scalp, making sure they are completely saturated. You can divide your hair into several sections while doing this to make the job easier for you.
  3. Tie your hair up in a bun and put on your shower cap. Make sure that the elastic of the shower cap is tight enough to sit securely around your head. This will prevent the lice from escaping.
  4. Leave your oiled hair in the shower cap for 4-6 hours.
  5. Remove the shower cap and comb out the lice with a nit removal comb. Keep cleaning the comb with paper towels at regular intervals and dispose them off in the trash bag to prevent the lice from escaping.
  6. Once you’re certain that you’ve removed all the lice that you could, wash and shampoo your hair twice.
  7. Divide your hair into sections and blow dry it close to the scalp in medium heat to kill the nits.
  8. Follow this routine 2-3 times a week until your hair is completely free of head lice.

Top 5 Ways To Use Olive Oil To Get Rid Of Head Lice

While olive oil by itself is a pretty effective remedy against head lice, there are a few other natural ingredients that you can use it with that can increase its anti-lice benefits. So, here are a few that you can try out!

1. Olive Oil And Eucalyptus Oil

1. Olive Oil And Eucalyptus Oil Pinit

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While olive oil kills head lice by cutting off their oxygen supply and suffocating them, eucalyptus oil goes about this business in an entirely different way. Eucalyptus oil contains a component called eucalyptol that works as an antiseptic and an insect repellent, thus making it a great natural ingredient to use with olive oil.

What You Need
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 15-20 drops eucalyptus oil
  • Shower cap
  • Nit removal comb
What To Do
  1. Mix the olive oil and eucalyptus oil in a bowl.
  2. Apply this oil mixture all over your hair and scalp.
  3. Tie your hair up, put on a shower cap, and leave it on for 2-3 hours.
  4. Remove the shower cap and comb out all the lice and nits.
  5. Wash and shampoo your hair.
  6. Follow this routine thrice a week.

2. Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, And White Vinegar

2. Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, And White Vinegar Pinit

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Olive oil and coconut oil work in pretty similar ways when it comes to getting rid of head lice. They both coat the lice to suffocate them and obstruct their ability to move and lay eggs. White vinegar, on the other hand, dissolves the glue that helps eggs stick to your hair shaft, making it easier to remove them.

What You Need
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • White vinegar
  • Shower cap
  • Nit removal comb
  • Anti-lice shampoo
What To Do
  1. Mix the olive oil and coconut oil together in a bowl.
  2. Apply this mixture all over your hair and scalp.
  3. Put on a shower cap and leave it on for an hour.
  4. Remove the shower cap and comb out all the lice and eggs that you can.
  5. Wash and shampoo your hair.
  6. Now, apply some white vinegar all over your hair and scalp and leave it on for an hour.
  7. Pick out all the eggs that you can and wash your hair with an anti-lice shampoo.
  8. Follow this routine twice a week.

3. Olive Oil And Tea Tree Oil

3. Olive Oil And Tea Tree Oil Pinit

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A mixture of olive oil and tea tree oil works as a pretty lethal weapon against head lice as the former cuts off their oxygen supply while the latter works as a natural pesticide, effectively killing them.

What You Need
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon tea tree oil
  • 2 tablespoons herbal shampoo (to dilute the otherwise harsh tea tree oil that can cause skin irritation)
  • Shower cap
  • Nit removal comb
What To Do
  1. Mix the olive oil, tea tree oil, and shampoo together in a bowl.
  2. Apply this mixture all over your hair and scalp and put on a shower cap.
  3. Leave the mixture in your hair for 30 minutes.
  4. Wash your hair with hot water and the same herbal shampoo.
  5. Comb out all the dead lice and eggs while your hair is still wet.
  6. Follow this routine twice a week.

4. Olive Oil And Sesame Seed Oil

4. Olive Oil And Sesame Seed Oil Pinit

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The antibacterial, antiseptic and insecticidal properties of sesame seed oil work effectively in conjunction with olive oil to get rid of head lice and their eggs.

What You Need
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
  • Shower cap
  • Nit removal comb
What To Do
  1. Mix the olive oil and sesame seed oil together and apply it all over your hair and scalp.
  2. Put on a shower cap and leave it on overnight.
  3. The next morning, comb out all the dead lice.
  4. Wash off and shampoo your hair.
  5. Follow this routine every day.

5. Vinegar Wash And Olive Oil

5. Vinegar Wash And Olive Oil Pinit

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When it comes to removing lice eggs that are stubbornly stuck to your hair, white vinegar is your best option to loosen up the adhesive that makes them stick to your hair. So, rinse your hair with a vinegar wash and follow it up with an olive oil massage to solve your head lice problem.

What You Need
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • Olive oil
  • Nit removal comb
What To Do
  1. Mix the white vinegar and water together and pour it all over your hair.
  2. Let the vinegar solution sit in your hair for 15 minutes.
  3. Wash it off with warm water.
  4. Massage some olive oil into your hair, then comb out all the lice and eggs.
  5. Wash and shampoo your hair.
  6. Follow this routine every alternate day.

Does Olive Oil Kill Nits?

Does Olive Oil Kill Nits Pinit

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The short answer – no. Olive oil does not kill nits because the protective shell of a lice egg is impenetrable. So, the only way to get rid baby lice is to wait until they’ve hatched from the eggs and then suffocate them with olive oil.

You may never have thought of using olive oil to kill lice. But now that you know how effective it is against those pesky little buggers, it’s time you tested it out yourself! So comment below to let us know how it worked out for you!

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

What does vinegar do to lice?

While vinegar cannot kill adult lice, it can kill young lice (nymphs) and dissolve the adhesive that makes their eggs stick to your hair.

Do head lice go away on their own?

No, head lice do not go away on their own and continue to live and procreate on your hair as long as you let them.

Can lice live on color treated hair?

Lice can live on any type of hair, regardless of whether it’s color treated or not.

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