Olive oil happens to be one of the most beneficial treatments for head lice, while being a natural remedy, it evades many side effects of products like shampoos and hair masks.
How does olive oil kill lice and eggs
Olive oil acts as a suffocating agent by coating the skin of adult lice, thereby blocking the supply of oxygen, which eventually kills the bug. It is recommended to use virgin olive oil as it is not chemically refined.
Olive oil is unable to penetrate the hard egg shells or nits. Once the baby bugs breaks out from the shell, they are exposed to suffocation by olive oil. So, to smother the lice, repeat the treatment several days later to get rid of all the new bugs breaking out from the shell.
Using olive oil for lice treatment
How to get rid of lice with just olive oil
Place a towel around your shoulder and apply a liberal amount of olive oil on the head. Rub or massage it well, and pile all the hair on top of the head, covering with a plastic sheet and then wrapping a towel tightly to ensure nothing leaks out. Leave it overnight, next morning uncover the hair and start combing the hair with a metal comb to remove as many nits as possible. Wash the hair with a mild shampoo, repeating the treatment after several days to get rid of all the newborn bugs emerging from the nits that might have stayed back.
Olive oil in combination with other ingredients for treating head lice
With essential oils
Mix three tablespoons of olive oil with one teaspoon each of tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils to your shampoo and apply onto the hair. Fit a tight shower cap and wash it after an hour.
Mix a little lavender oil with olive oil to make a lice repellent glosser and spray it onto the hair each morning. You can also use the treatment as prevention against head lice.
Apply ample amounts of olive oil on your hair, wipe a metal nit comb well with a vinegar soaked towel and comb out as many lice and nits as possible. Rinse the olive oil with a regular shampoo.
Another method using vinegar is to apply a mixture of olive oil, coconut oil, tea tree oil, leaving it overnight and wash it with vinegar or alcohol the next morning. The oil drowns the lice, preventing them from crawling and depositing eggs, while vinegar dissolves the glue that keeps the eggs attached to the hair. Use a fine tooth comb to comb out the lice and the eggs.
With baking soda
Dust the head with baking soda, massage olive oil and cover with a towel. Leave it overnight and apply hair conditioner in the morning. Use more baking soda and use a pick to comb through the hair. Repeat the process several times to get optimum results.
With neem oil
Mix 10% diluted neem oil with olive oil and massages it onto the scalp and hair. Leave the mixture for about an hour and shampoo as usual. Repeat the treatment for two months. Chances are there that the lice will be killed within a week or two.
Although the treatment with olive oil can be a bit messy, it is still better than using substances like petroleum jelly, which takes a long time to wash out, or mayonnaise which can become sticky by morning and can develop a bad odor. While using olive oil for treatment, it should be remembered to use inexpensive grade as it is much easier to wash out.