Vinegar For Head Lice

Vinegar For Head LiceAlmost 6 to 12 million kids are affected by head lice infestation in the United States. It is one of the common problems and has no relation to poor hygiene. Though the head lice infestation can occur at any age, it is seen common in children of age up to 14 years.

They stay close to the scalp laying eggs and feed on blood for surviving. They can live up to 24 hours without human contact and stay alive for up to 8 hours in the water.

They spread easily from one person to another person through a head to head contact, using contaminated beds or furnishing, using hair accessories and combs of an infected person.

Itching, scratching, red bumps and rashes on the scalp are the symptoms of head lice infestation. If one person in a family is infested with head lice then the whole family should take enough measure to get rid of them and prevent them.

There are many over the counter solutions to get rid of head lice but they have side effects. If you are looking out for natural solutions that don’t have side effects then this article is for you.

Here we have written about an amazing ingredient that helps to get rid of the problem successfully without any discomforts. It is none other than vinegar.

Is Vinegar Effective for Head Lice? Read on to know…

  • Vinegar contains high amounts of acetic acid which kill the head lice successfully.
  • It loosens the grips of nits or lice eggs that are present on the hair shaft. This makes it easy to remove them with a nit comb.

How to Use Vinegar for Head Lice?

There are various methods of using vinegar for head lice. You can use white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar or malt vinegar for treating head lice. Choose any of them as per availability and try it regularly without fail.

1) White Vinegar with Water

  • Dilute vinegar in enough amounts of vinegar.
  • Wash your hair normally with regular shampoo.
  • Rinse your hair with diluted vinegar and leave it on for 10 minutes.
  • Wash your hair again with fresh water.
  • Repeat the process 2 – 3 times a week.

2) White Vinegar with Mineral Oil

  • Combine equal amounts of white vinegar and mineral oil.
  • Apply the solution onto the scalp and hair before going to bed.
  • Cover your hair with shower cap and leave it on overnight.
  • Wash your hair with your regular shampoo and comb thoroughly while it is still wet.
  • Repeat the process twice in a week.

3) Vinegar with Lemon Juice

The acidic property of lemon juice removes the head lice. It also helps in preventing the infestation.

  • Mix freshly squeezed lemon juice and vinegar.
  • Apply it onto the scalp.
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes.
  • Wash your hair normally.
  • Now rinse off with fresh water.
  • Repeat the process once in a week.
  • For extra benefits, you can use egg yolks.

4) Vinegar with Salt

The desiccation property of salt eradicated head lice. It also helps to prevent the itching and any scalp infections.

  • Combine 1/4 cup each of salt and vinegar.
  • Spray the solution into the scalp and hair until wet.
  • Cover the head with shower cap or towel.
  • Let it stay for 2 – 3 hours.
  • Wash your hair with regular shampoo.
  • Follow the process 2 – 3 days in a week.

5) Apple Cider Vinegar with Coconut Oil

The lubricating nature of coconut oil stops the lice from crawling freely and reproducing. Apart from that, it heals the scalp from any infections caused by scratching.

  • Wash your hair with apple cider vinegar.
  • Pat dry the hair completely.
  • Apply coconut oil onto the scalp and along the hair.
  • Cover the hair with a shower cap and leave it overnight.
  • In the next morning, comb the hair thoroughly to remove dead lice.
  • Rinse off your hair with regular shampoo.
  • Alternatively, you can use tea tree oil instead of coconut oil.

6) Apple Cider Vinegar with Listerine

Head lice don’t like the smell of Listerine which repels its crawling and ability of reproduction.

  • Apply Listerine into the scalp and along the hair. Make sure the scalp and hair are completely wet with Listerine.
  • Cover with shower cap and leave it on for an hour.
  • Remove the shower cap and rinse off your water.
  • Apply enough amounts of apple cider vinegar and massage it very gently.
  • Leave the application for another hour.
  • Wash your hair normally with regular shampoo.
  • Repeat the process regularly.

7) Vinegar with Baby Oil

The application of baby oil makes the scalp smooth which makes it difficult for head lice to crawl freely. The baby oil repels it from feeding on the blood.

Process 1:

  • Combine enough amounts of baby oil and apple cider vinegar.
  • Mix thoroughly and apply it onto the scalp and along the hair.
  • Leave it for an hour and comb with a comb meant to remove lice.
  • Wash your hair with regular shampoo.
  • Repeat the process twice a week.

Process 2: With Rubbing Alcohol

  • Combine equal amounts of vinegar, rubbing alcohol and baby oil.
  • Apply the mixture onto the scalp and along the hair.
  • Tie the hair and cover with a shower cap.
  • Leave it on for an hour and brush thoroughly outside in the sun.
  • Wash the hair normally.
  • Repeat the process regularly for at least 2 weeks to see the results.

8) Vinegar with Olive Oil

Olive oil suffocates the lice and deprives it of taking oxygen which makes it easy for us to remove them from the hair by combing.

  • In a bowl, combine equal amounts of vinegar and olive oil.
  • Mix well and apply it into the scalp and along the hair.
  • Cover the hair with a shower cap and let it rest for an hour.
  • Remove and comb thoroughly to remove the head lice.
  • Wash your hair with regular shampoo followed by conditioner.
  • Repeat the process once in a week.

9) Vinegar with Shampoo

  • Combine vinegar with your regular shampoo.
  • Apply the mixture onto the scalp and leave it for an hour.
  • Now, comb the hair using a nit comb to remove the head lice.
  • Wash your hair normally.
  • Repeat the process 2 times a week.

10) Vinegar with Alcohol and Bleach

This process will suffocate and kill the head lice. When we comb the hair, the head lice will easily come off the hair.

  • In a bowl, combine 4 tablespoons each of bleach, vinegar, and alcohol.
  • Add enough amounts of water and mix well.
  • Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
  • Shake the bottle well and spray it onto the scalp and hair thoroughly.
  • Cover the head with a shower cap and leave it overnight.
  • In the next morning, comb the hair thoroughly to remove head lice.
  • Wash the hair normally.
  • Repeat the process 2 – 3 times a week.

11) Vinegar with Conditioner

Conditioner makes crawling and breathing difficult for head lice. You can use any conditioner for this process.

  • To a spray bottle, add 1 ounce of vinegar, a big squirt of conditioner and 2 cups of water.
  • Spray the solution onto the scalp and along the hair.
  • Leave it to dry for 20 minutes.
  • Comb the hair using a flea comb.
  • Wash the hair normally.
  • Repeat the process once in 2 days.

12) Vinegar with Mayonnaise and Tea Tree Oil

Mayonnaise suffocates the lice which make it easy to wash them out of the hair. As per some scientists, mayonnaise keeps the louse in a dormant state. Tea tree oil is also considered one of the effective treatments for head lice because of its pesticide property.

  • Combine mayonnaise, a splash of vinegar, 10 drops each of tea tree oil and neem oil.
  • Mix the ingredients well and apply it onto the scalp and along the hair.
  • Wrap the hair with towel or shower cap.
  • Leave it for 2 hours and wash thoroughly with shampoo.
  • Comb the hair well and remove the dead head lice.
  • Repeat the process twice a week.

13) Vinegar with Dawn

  • Combine 2 ounces of vinegar, six ounces of Dawn (dishwashing detergent) and 2 tablespoons of tea tree oil.
  • Mix well and pour into a bottle.
  • Use this mixture instead of regular shampoo.
  • Wait for 10 minutes before rinsing off the mixture.

14) Apple Cider Vinegar with Borax

There are various ways of using apple cider vinegar and borax for removing head lice. We have listed them below. Borax is safe to use for topical applications.

Process 1: As Shampoo

  • Warm 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar.
  • Dissolve 1 tablespoon of borax in the vinegar.
  • To this mixture, add 3 drops each of tea tree oil, lavender oil and eucalyptus oil and 2 caps full of food grade hydrogen peroxide.
  • Use this mixture as regular shampoo and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse off your hair with water (add some baking soda into the water for extra benefits).
  • Repeat the process 2 times a week.

Process 2: Hair Mist

  • Warm 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and dissolve 1 tablespoon of borax in it.
  • Let the mixture cool down.
  • Now add 5 – 10 drops each of eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil and tea tree oils.
  • Stir well and pour into a spray bottle.
  • Spray the mist on the hair and brush every morning before going out.
  • For extra benefits, you can add 5 drops of citronella oil and 1/2 cup of colloidal silver).
  • Repeat the application daily before going out.

What Kind of Vinegar is used for Treating Lice?

For treating lice, any vinegar can be used which include apple cider vinegar, distilled white vinegar, balsamic vinegar, malt vinegar, red vinegar and others. The most important thing to consider while using any vinegar is acetic acid. The acidity level of the vinegar should be 5-7%.

Is Vinegar Safe to Use for Treating Head Lice?

Vinegar is an old age remedy used for treating head lice. Vinegar is a bi-product of fruits, grains or vegetables. Therefore, it is edible and biodegradable. It doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals that cause discomforts. It is completely safe to use on the family especially people with asthma and kids.

Note: If vinegar enters into the eyes, it will sting eyes but does not cause any serious medical damage. Unfortunately, if vinegar gets into the eyes, wash them immediately to avoid stinging. Avoid rubbing your eyes as it can increase the irritation.

Warning: Due to severe infestation and scratching, open sores develop on the scalp. If you have open sores on the scalp, avoid using vinegar. It is better to use oil based solution for this problem.

Tips and Precautions:

  • Vinegar application will sting a little but if it is unbearable then avoid using it.
  • Use apple cider vinegar that contains mother in it. And vinegar that contains 5 % of acetic acid.
  • It is very important to follow the process regularly to get rid of head lice permanently.
  • Using vinegar once in a while also helps to prevent the infestation.
  • Head lice spread from one person to another so avoid head to head contact and sharing personal belongings of an infected person.
  • Clean your hair accessories and combs regularly.
  • Wash and sub dry bed sheets, clothes, hats, scarves, and towels.

Wash this article helpful for you? Do you have any suggestions to share with us? Feel free to write them in the comments section below.

3 comments
  1. On the procedure using vinegar, baby oil, & rubbing alcohol it says to brush hair thoroughly in the sun. It’s the only one that mentions brushing it out in the sun so I thought the sunlight or warmth may have something to do with positive results. Can you explain further? I’d really appreciate any advice!

  2. very helpful . But I was looking for the combination of M S M and vinegar and information on preparation and its use. I have a very worrying infestation of miniature lice that defies ( all conventional remedies about a dozen so far) for scalp to sole I used neat apple vinegar once and slept with it on but no results but a refreshed skin I think they may spend some time under the skin . have you any suggestions norm

    1. on the head there is plenty of hair to concentrate the mixture but not on the body the mixtures dries in minutes instead of hanging around to kill them?

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