Head Lice Myths

It does not matter your income level anyone can get an infestation of  head lice.  It is also not a sign of poor hygiene. Lice affects children across all levels of income, social class, and cleanliness. Lice can survive underwater for up to 6 hours, so even kids who bathe regularly are just as vulnerable. The good news is lice don’t carry diseases.

Someone has probably told you to put Mayonnaise to kill lice, but does this really work? 

Mayonnaise is not specifically designed to kill lice like many OTC products.  To effectively get rid of lice, you need to get rid of both the parasites and the nits. The theory behind mayonnaise is that the ingredients  will help “suffocate” the lice so that they die off, but there is  no solid proof that mayonnaise treatment will actually suffocate all the nits.  At best,  you might see reduced activity on your scalp, but the lice will likely come back. Furthermore, mayonnaise has no effect on nits. This means that the nits can hatch in the near future, and you’ll have to start your lice treatment all over again.

Do I have to worry about lice in my home?

Although lice do not survive long when they are not on a human, it is best to wash the bedding of anyone being treated for lice. Clothing worn in the past 48 hours should also be washed in hot water, this also includes any hats that have been worn by anyone being treated for lice. While parents are sometimes told to clean and quarantine all of a child’s stuffed animals, experts say this is not necessary. However, we recommend as a special precaution to place all stuffed animals in a bag for two weeks.  Alternatively,  if your child has to sleeps with his or her favorite plush toys, put them in a hot dryer for 30 minutes. Please read the label before placing any stuffed animal in the dryer as this can ruin the fur.   A simple light wash with soap and hanging dry should be enough to  kill any creepy-crawlies.

Can you kill lice with a blowdryer? 

You are in luck a standard home blow dryer will kill up to 96.7% of eggs with the proper technique. For the best results the blow dryer must be used repeatedly every 1 to 7 days, since it takes eggs 7 to 10 days to hatch. Continue to repeat until the natural life cycle of the lice is over, for about 4 weeks.

Can you kill lice with vinegar? 

We hate to disappoint you, but  vinegar was the least effective treatment method for getting rid of lice.  And if you thought you were suppressing the hatching of nits you are out of luck. However, vinegar is rumored to dissolve the glue that keeps nits stuck to the hair. So maybe there is hope with the combination of Mayonnaise, vinegar and blow drying after all.  If you give it a try, be sure to let us know the results. 

How about Coconut Oil? 

This might be the best natural home remedy thus far, because the lauric acid in coconut oil may actually help kill lice. While this treatment is still not as effective as other over-the-counter (OTC) products,  it’s certainly  less toxic. Coconut oil might be a viable option for people who can’t tolerate the stronger treatments. Although coconut oil may kill lice, it does not completely kill the nits. Mixing a few drops of aniseed, cinnamon leaf or tea tree oil in coconut oil have shown promising results and could help kill the lice and neutralize their eggs.