Coconut Oil for Head Lice
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Coconut Oil for Head LiceHead lice infest the scalp and hair and leave the affected person scratching for days. They do not only cause embarrassment but also damage hair greatly.

Avoiding lice-affected people as much as possible is necessary as they are easily transferred. If you unfortunately get head lice, there are several ways to get rid of them. One of the effective ways is to use coconut oil for head lice.

Keep reading to learn some amazing uses of coconut oil for head lice treatment!

What is Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil, a fatty oil or semisolid fat extracted from fresh coconuts, is one of the most cost natural and effective approaches for treating head lice. Used in many soaps and beauty products, coconut oil doesn’t contain harsh chemicals and allows your hair to grow healthily without infection. Coconut oil is also used in the food and medicine industries because of its high saturated fat content and lasts up to 2 years without spoiling.

Is Coconut Oil Good for Head Lice?

Coconut oil treats head lice with its natural properties as it’s fatty content suffocates the lice and makes it harder for them to maintain a grip on the hair follicles. Coconut oil has a lubricating nature that stops lice from moving freely and prevents lice growth. Coconut oil controls head lice infestations and acts as an effective repellent against lice in the future.

How to Use Coconut Oil for Lice?

Try these natural home remedies for curing head lice. Coconut oil rids dandruff in addition to head lice, leaving hair smooth and shiny. Always use organic, virgin coconut oil that is white in color and smells of coconut.

1. Coconut Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar for Head Lice

Apple cider vinegar dissolves the glue which lice eggs use to stick to hair follicles.

  • Coat your hair thoroughly with a bottle of apple cider vinegar.
  • Allow the apple cider vinegar to dry completely.
  • Coat your hair thoroughly with a jar of coconut oil.
  • Cover with a shower cap or towel for 3 – 5 hours.
  • Comb your hair to remove the dead lice and eggs.
  • Shampoo and condition your hair.
  • Repeat if needed.

2. Coconut Oil with Garlic

Garlic has antiseptic properties and a strong fragrance which suffocate and kill lice.

  • Mix 8 – 10 cloves of ground garlic and 2 – 3 teaspoons of coconut oil.
  • Coat your hair thoroughly with the paste and leave for 30 minutes.
  • Comb your hair to remove the dead lice and eggs.
  • Shampoo and condition your hair.
  • Repeat regularly for best results.

3. Coconut Oil with Lemon, Garlic and Green Tea

  • Mix fresh garlic juice, coconut oil, lemon extract, and green tea.
  • Coat your hair thoroughly with the solution.
  • Cover with a shower cap or towel for 30 – 60 minutes.
  • Comb your hair to remove the dead lice and eggs.
  • Shampoo and condition your hair.
  • Repeat weekly for 2 months for best results.

4. Tea Tree Oil and Coconut Oil for Head Lice

Tea tree oil has natural insecticide properties that kill head lice.

Process 1:

  • Mix 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 oz of natural shampoo, and a teaspoon of tea tree oil.
  • Coat your hair thoroughly with the paste.
  • Cover with a shower cap or towel for 30 minutes.
  • Comb your hair to remove the dead lice and eggs.
  • Shampoo and condition your hair.
  • Repeat regularly for best results.

Process 2:

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 3 – 5 drops of tea tree oil.
  • Coat your hair thoroughly with the solution.
  • Cover with a shower cap.
  • Leave overnight.
  • Blow dry your hair over the shower cap for 3 – 5 minutes to suffocate the lice.
  • Apply shampoo the next morning and massage your scalp.
  • Cover with a shower cap or towel for 30 minutes.
  • Comb your hair to remove the dead lice and eggs.
  • Shampoo and condition your hair.
  • Repeat regularly for best results.

5. Coconut Oil with Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

  • Coat your hair thoroughly with coconut oil.
  • Cover with a shower cap.
  • Blow dry your hair over the shower cap for 3 – 5 minutes to suffocate the lice.
  • Leave for 2 – 4 hours.
  • Wash with tea tree oil shampoo.
  • Repeat regularly for best results.

6. Coconut Oil

  • Coat your hair thoroughly coconut oil and massage your scalp. You can also add neem to it.
  • Cover with a shower cap or towel for 1 – 2 hours.
  • Comb your hair to remove the dead lice and eggs.
  • Shampoo and condition your hair.
  • Apply coconut oil to dry hair and massage your scalp.
  • Cover with a shower cap or towel and leave overnight.
  • Comb your hair to remove the dead lice and eggs the next morning.
  • Shampoo and condition your hair
  • Repeat 1 – 2 times weekly for best results.

7. Coconut Oil with Oil of Oregano

  • Mix 5 parts coconut oil and 1 part oregano oil.
  • Coat your hair thoroughly with the solution.
  • Comb your hair to remove the dead lice and eggs.
  • Shampoo and condition your hair.
  • Repeat regularly for best results.

8. Coconut Conditioner with Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Add apple cider vinegar to coconut conditioner and mix well.
  • Coat your hair thoroughly with the conditioner and massage your scalp.
  • Leave for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Comb your hair to remove the dead lice and eggs.
  • Shampoo and condition your hair.
  • Repeat twice weekly for best results.

Have you tried any of these methods? Do you know any other methods to treat head lice? Share your experience with us!

 

47 comments
  1. The oil is fine.. the less oily like Virgin Olive Oil & combing is key.. Every other day w/combing and washing.

    Something else that isn’t ever told is Hair Dryer… Heat kills Lice… Daily, throw your pillow case’s in the dryer or anything your concerned about.

    The Lice kit at the Drug store is great but it’s pesticide and can only be used once.. do you want this on your kid? and what do you do in the meantime? It’s expensive & it’s not enough… So forget the Drug store… Lice dies in 24-48 hours if not in contact w/human hair. Your dog or cat cannot get lice from humans either. The lice eggs looks like dandruff but sticky to the hair so it’s obvious what it is!

    Get the little comb!! If your daughter has long hair like mine, have her sit on a step stool w/her hair over her head and cut starting from the middle across.. It keeps the length but thins it out so you can get a comb through it. I call it the upside down hair cut, or “Charlie’s Angels” hair cut (if you remember that show). It’s so pretty 🙂 w/perfect layers.. You think your cutting a lot off but your not so don’t be scared to cut off 4 to 5 inches.. it’s all just layers, no length.. This way you can get that comb through the hair w/out chopping it off. So blow dry and use your dryer daily! My added tip from a nightmare Lice experience…

    1. omg thank you so much for all this info! My daughter is 11 and has lice! We have thick black long hair and after a failed treatment with the drug store posion I felt pretty defeated and was on the verge of chopping off my daughters hair. We used the apple cider vinegar and coconut oil ? so amazing and she is lice free!

      1. Sounds great and congrats 🙂 how about the eggs? Does this kill them too? How many times you used this recipe? Thanks for giving me hope 🙂

        1. Yes! Coconut oil kills the eggs. As they say, start off with vinegar to soften it’s attachment to the strand of hair, then coconut oil and you will get rid of them all!
          Another thing to do once they have gone is to run geranium oil through the hair daily. They avoid that, and children really like the smell

      2. Mouthwash works really good also. Keep it in their hair for about 2 hours with a shower cap on.

    2. We are using the coconut oil treatment now for a beginning infestation, I noticed her scratching and found a few big ones when checking with the lice pick after conditioning her hair. My girls had it several years ago and because their school did not take precautions to prevent it (all kids bags, hats, jackets etc. piled into a plastic bin daily) it was a huge PItA to get rid of. It took about a year and didn’t fully go away until we moved, I’m sure changing schools helped a lot. What finally did it was a hot oil treatment (left in overnight) using olive oil, followed by washing with Prell shampoo and conditioning with Pantene. I picked the dead ones out while the Pantene was in their hair, after washing we blow dried & used a 430 degree hair straitener on their hair. All bedding & stuffed animals were washed and dried on the hottest setting. We did the hair treatment weekly, shampoo/condition/picking was daily and bedding was washed weekly but run thru the dryer daily. We also steamed their mattresses with a clothing steamer. Luckily it was during the summer otherwise daily treating, washing, picking & straitening would’ve been a pain in the butt. Heat kills them, don’t give up ??

  2. I use half olive oil and half coconut oil. I add a few tablespoons of tea tree oil. I buy a quality comb and a spray bottle. I spray the hair until it is fully oiled. I cover her head with a plastic grocery bag for about 3 hours. Then comb and comb and comb away. This works perfect. FYI the bottles are about 6 oz bottles. It’s best to retreat again twice 2-3 days apart.

  3. I just recently had to go through this, and have went through it many times in the past with nieces and nephews. I have always used the otc chemical stuff, but have recently been eliminating chemicals and toxins from my life and household. As soon as I realized we had the outbreak, I immediately pulled out my third party reference guide, and mixed up a coconut oil mask with tea tree oil and purification oil. I had everyone in the house slather it on their heads, wrapped plastic bags around them, left it sitting for several hours while taking care of the linens. I made a spray with vinegar, water, tea tree oil, lavender oil, purification oil, and peppermint oil to spray all beds, pillows, couches, etc. and also vacuumed the floors. It literally killed the bugs almost immediately, and I knew this because they fell out of the hair and onto neck/shoulders, and when I ran my fingers through my son’s hair, the bugs and nits were sliding right out of the hair and was visible on my fingers. I cut his hair, then he got in the shower. I rechecked his hair to comb the nits out after his shower, and his hair was as clean as it could be. I think I only saw and picked about 3 nits out of his hair! The coconut oil worked wonders, allowing them to just wash right out of the hair. (I was able to see the nits in the bottom of the bathtub when he washed the oil out of his hair…it works that well!) It is so much better and easier than using the store bought chemical filled medicine that doesn’t loosen up the glue!

  4. Im a woman dealing with this on my own. Other than itching scalp for days, havent seen any lice or nits yet with regular comb. Getting Nit comb tomorrow. I was just at hairdresser AND movie theatre before the itching started 🙁 so guessing lice.

    So, when applying coconut oil & tea tree oil, is it best to apply on DRY hair or WET hair after shampooing? Confused about when to shampoo, apply coconut oil mixture & condition??? Bought both shampoo & conditioner with Tea Tree Oil.

    Also once I use Nit comb tomorrow & if find evidence of lice, how often do I need to do this routine?

    Also at what point do you stop needing to put clothes, pillows & bedding in hot dryer & is that enough? Ie need wash in hot water also. Assume must do this daily with whatever is touched/ worn?

    1. Apply coconut oil and tea tree oil on dry hair. After few hours of application, rinse off with shampoo followed by conditioner. Repeat the process 3 times a week. Wash your clothes daily in hot water. Pillows and bedding in every 3 days. You can also spray diluted tea tree oil on pillows, mattress and furniture.

  5. I dont even nit pick when I use Coconut oil and Tea tree oil. I put it on once a week for 3 weeks. It takes a week for the eggs to hatch. Then 2-3 more weeks for the louse to lay eggs. So if you do this every week you are catching the bugs and killing them before they mature to laying eggs. Plus I use a hair dryer for 30 minutes with the stuff in our hair which helps make the eggs less viable and less likely to hatch to begin with. This is our second trip through this lice crap because her school refuses to check. However I caught it early this time. She has tiny lice maybe 5 and very few nits. So I probaly nipped it in the bud this time. But we still have 2 more weeks of this.. I also wash our bedding once a week in a teaspoon of tea tree oil and every other day throw it through the dryer. I put tea tree oil in her conditioner and shampoo. I try to use heat as much as possible. I also only have her wash her hair 2x a week. It took so much out of me to come to that but during these next few weeks to avoid a reinfestation from friends and such it is best to have dirty hair. They like clean hair and it helps. It takes a day a week of legit lice prevention and it seems to work. I feel like the only reason she got it is because I got laxy and have not been putting it in her shampoo as often as I did the first time this happened. Plus she has had sleep overs and friends here so that doesnt help either

  6. I had one of my daughters friends over a couple months ago. She is notorious for having lice and I usually check her before I bring her over, this time I didn’t. I got a call from her grandmother the night I took her home (she stayed 3 days!) And she said the girl has lice. My husband was unemployed at the time and I had no way of getting any treatment, so I just washed everything and checked their heads. Everything was fine until about a week later when my son complained of itching. We got over the counter stuff and rewashed everything. A week later I still see nits. So we got prescription strength. Still didn’t work. We got another batch 2 weeks later. And they seem to be gone on my children, but I swear I can still feel them crawling on my head. It is driving me nuts. I have very long and thick hair. I’m sitting here with coconut oil slathered on my head as I type this. I didn’t put teatree oil in so I hope it still works. Wish me luck!

  7. Is okay to use coconut oil on babies to keep them from getting it? I have a 3 month old and my 2 older girls have lice. And do i have to use anything else with the oil or can it just be the oil?

    1. Coconut oil is safe to apply on babies. You can just apply coconut oil without diluting it with any other ingredients.

  8. So I have heard that they can’t survive in extreme cold either. Living in an apartment with coin op laundry and it being the Holidays we are broke. I put all of her stuffed animals, bedding and clothes in bags and put them out on the deck. It has been 10*F and below every day and below zero at night so I’m hoping 48 hours out there will do the trick. I’m going to do the vinegar and coconut oil on her hair and my hair (because better safe than sorry.)

  9. My niece and nephew have had issuses with head lice … so im using mayo with olive oil and coconut oil mixture how long to i leave it on and do i wash it then leave the conditioner on for 30 minutes or the shampoo??

    1. Leave it on for at least 2 – 3 hours. Rinse with shampoo and water. Now apply conditioner and leave it on for 30 minutes. Take a head lice comb and brush the hair thoroughly to remove the dead head lice. Again rinse the hair with normal water.

  10. Im a Teen who is a victim who also has lice ! I’ve tried coco oil all over my head/scalp and putting a shower cap overnight for past week and a Nit comb with the help of my close member. It has been working but still want to continue with this coco oil and apple cider vinegar for another 2 weeks to make sure I’m Lice free !! Btw I have not been scratching but will this kill nits too ?????

    1. No, it will not kill the nits. The shell of the nits are too strong that any home remedy cannot penetrate into it and kill the head lice inside. That is the reason, we have to follow this remedy regularly. Once the nit hatches, the baby head lice can be killed with the help of coconut oil application.

  11. From what I understood the coconut oil smoothered and killed the adult head lice & also made it easier to remove the nets. And tree oil mixed with lavender oil killed the nets, along with putting a bag over your head and blow drying the bag holds the heat in.
    And ofcouse repeat and clean clean clean and keep checking heads
    Also you can make a spray with the oils mixed with water to spray on head to prevent from getting lice

  12. I just tried this treatment on my daughter tonight. I hope it works. This will be the 5th treatment. I hope it works. This is exhausting to say the least.

  13. UGH!!! I have been battling this for years now my daughters are grown and my 2 year old granddaughter has it bad. HELP!!!
    She has a fit when I get the comb out and hates her hair washed anyway.

    Any suggestions would be helpful. I never dealt with a 2 year old and lice my kids were in school when they got it. She doesn’t live with me but I am trying to help my daughter get it under control as I do watch her often.

  14. We got lice from school. First my son, which was an easy fix. One night covered in mayo and plastic; then we shaved his head. He has been lice free since.

    Now, 3 months later, my daughters have it. The morning I discovered an infestation on my 6 year old I had just treated myself to a coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and raw honey over night wrap hair treatment for my poor dry aging hair. I felt confident I was lice free. I found 2 nymphs on my 5 year old. So, I covered the girls in mayo and plastic over night. The next morning when I washed their hair with coconut oil shampoo and conditioner the dead lice washed out easily. However, I reapplied another coat of mayo and plastic for the day. I combed their hair this time before washing, with the coconut oil shampoo, and more dead lice washed out. It seemed to me that the lice did not like that coconut oil shampoo at all. Now I know why.

    In the meantime, I started washing everything in hot water and drying it all on high heat. What I couldn’t wash, I bagged.

    I also just happened to have a doctor’s appointment for the 5 year old, so I took both girls in. When the doctor checked their heads we saw what looked like dead nits still attached to the hair shaft.

    Still, I had the overwhelming urge to run to the store and buy something. I got a solution to kill eggs, a comb, and something resembling a pesticide to spray on the non-washables. Then I jumped online.

    After reading this and many other articles and looking at the ingredient list of several non-toxic products, I think i am going to take back the solution and pesticide, keep the comb, and continue with the mayo/plastic (maybe add some heat) and coconut oil shampoo. I am also going to try adding tea tree and lavender oils, which I already have, to the apple cider vinegar, honey, and coconut oil mix and apply for all us girls tonight. I will then spend the rest of my weekend doing more laundry, with some tea tree oil too, and vacuuming.

    It is a comfort to know that lice like clean heads and they are not life threatening. My biggest complaint is the time it will take me to treat, comb, wash, treat, comb, wash, treat, comb, and wash!!! That is time I could have spent in the garden. At least i can still enjoy the sunshine and the company of my children while combing hair out doors.

    If my children did not have to return to school, I would be convinced that we were lice free for good.

  15. We are renting a house that the kids before us had head lice. My son has been itching. I have seen nits and now a couple tiny lice. His head is wrapped in plastic wrap with coconut oil. I will be picking up some essential oils today. He’s never had lice! If we shave his head, will they go away? Is there a spray to kill them on bedding? I wash his sheets and blankets every three days now.

    1. Instead of shaving the head, we recommend trying any remedy to get rid of head lice. Add few drops of tea tree oil into 1 cup of water and spray it on the bed, soft toys and other furniture to remove head lice infestation. Wash the bed sheets and blankets in lukewarm water.

  16. My two daughters 3 & 2 year old have lice like crazy and keep getting it.
    I have coconut oil and Apple sided vinegar.
    How do I even begin the process? And how often should I do it? Is there anything like shampoo or something I can use after to prevent them from getting it again??

    1. You can find a detailed description of the combination (coconut oil and apple cider vinegar) in the first method mentioned in the above article. You can follow it as specified to remove the head lice. You have to do it 2 – 3 times in a week until the head lice are completely removed. You can use any tea tree oil based shampoo to prevent head lice.

  17. So, I have been battling lice for the second school year in a row now. My daughter brought it home last fall and then infected everyone else with long hair. We treated, reapted and tried to keep it in check. Finally, we were free and clear for Winter break! As soon as school started up again, we were all infested again. Same situation during Spring break, so I called all the schools, spoke with the nurses, demanded a head check. They passed it off that it was either (A) my failure to quarintine and sanitize everything or (B) they were resistant and I needed to get a prescription from my pediatrician. They “checked” my daughter and they told me she was like free. She wasn’t. They told me that school policy was to keep kids in school if no live bugs had been found. She had live ones. I checked CDC guidelines and the guidelines state that kids do not need to be sent home if there aren’t any live lice. Nurses are supposed to nit comb through each child’s hair to confirm whether or not they have live ones. I asked my daughter and she said they just eye balled it. I was mad and cried out of frustration, but school was almost over. So, we enjoyed a bug free summer only for it to start up again. I have been treating her hair and combing her every other day with still no relief. It is now fall break so we are trying the apple cider and coconut treatment. I am hoping to have everything cleaned and sanitized, but finding a good repellant is really key since it is very clear that the school is going to do nothing. I have tried the shampoos and they are useless, I have tried tea tree oil, which I will have to try again (everyone complains at the smell). We will try lavender oil, I just hope this treatment works! I’ll check back in when we are done!

    1. Apple cider vinegar and coconut oil worked pretty good! About 80% of the eggs came out in the wash and anything living was killed! So, we will be doing this again if needed!

  18. Hi I am using the Apple vinegar and coconut remedy on my daughter now, I have only seen one live head lice and no dead ones , but she has got the nit shells stuck to her hair. I have been combing and picking them out( we are on day two of this process) . I have also treated my hair and her sister’s we have had dead lice wash out (one on her sister and three on mine-but we’ve got no nits, yet?) . I’ve been bitten all over my neck and even though my head it still feel itchy. Any advice please? This is really laborious , everything has been washed, boiled disinfected. Thanks in advance

  19. All of these experiences are super helpful!! We are on our second infestation in 6 weeks!!! I really don’t want to use toxic pesticides on myself or my 8 yo, so all of these ideas are great! I wish I would have read about the coconut oil first…typically use it for everything…however, this time I used extra virgin olive oil, tea tree oil, rosemary essential oil, and citronella essential oil. Put plastic grocery bag over saturated hair, bandanna over that, and have been letting it sit while I continue cleaning. Before I take off the bag, I’m going to blow dry!
    My daughter is at her dad’s and he has hired someone to come over and treat their hair!!!! For maintenance I plan on oil treatments once a week and also using Fairytale brand lice repel shampoo, conditioner, and detangling spray!!!!
    Thanks again!!!

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