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Home Remedy for Head Lice

White Vinegar: A Common Home Remedy

White vinegar is one home remedy that is often recommended. It can be used to loosen the nits (lice eggs) from the hair before you begin nit-picking. However, it will not kill lice or the nits.
To use white vinegar for getting rid of head lice, soak the hair with white vinegar, and then apply a damp towel that has been soaked in the same solution. Leave the towel on the hair for 30 to 60 minutes, and then begin to pick the nits using a special comb.
Recent studies have shown that white vinegar deactivates Nix®, a common medication for head lice. So when white vinegar is used as a home remedy for head lice, it should not be used in conjunction with Nix.

Oil-Based Treatments as Head Lice Home Remedies

Oil-based treatments, like mayonnaise or olive oil, are another type of home remedy. These products make it difficult for head lice to breathe. If you saturate the hair with an oil-based product and leave it on for at least 30 minutes, this will cause the head lice to slow down. As a result, it's easier to remove live head lice and nits.
In order to use oil-based treatments for head lice, you will need the following:
  • Olive oil or mayonnaise (do not use homemade mayonnaise, low- or no-fat mayonnaise, or salad dressing)
  • Hair dryer
  • Special nit-removing comb
  • Shower cap or plastic wrap
  • Regular baby shampoo or regular shampoo without conditioner, detangler, cream rinse, or oils
  • Sink to wash hair in.
Then do the following:
  • Cover the infested head completely with olive oil or mayonnaise.
  • Place a shower cap over the hair, or wrap the hair with plastic wrap.
  • With the cap on, briefly blow-dry the hair. The heat will help kill the head lice.
  • Leave the cap on for at least 30 minutes -- up to two hours is best.
  • Using a special nit-removing comb, like the LiceOut™ comb or the LiceMeister™ comb, remove the head lice and nits (see How to Get Rid of Head Lice).


  • Shampoo the hair. It may take more than one shampooing to remove all of the mayonnaise/olive oil.
  • Use the special nit-removing comb to remove any remaining nits. Continue to remove nits twice a day for two weeks.
A Dose of Reassurance for Parents of Picky Eaters

About Head Lice

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