How To Kill Head Lice

how to kill head lice

Learn how to kill head lice with olive oil, essential oils, and other natural remedies. Killing head lice can seem like a daunting task. Some people seem to battle them for months or even years.

It's true. But, if you discover hair lice on your head or on the heads of your children, you just want them dead and gone.

There are different types of lice. Head lice, body lice, and pubic lice (crabs) are the three main kinds found on humans.

The kind of lice that get in your hair don't crawl to the rest of your body. They live off the blood they draw while biting your scalp. That's what makes them parasites.

Head lice are very tiny, only about the size of sesame seeds. That can make it difficult to get rid of them completely. You need to be sure that you get them all, or like in the movies, "They'll be back!"

How To Kill Head Lice

There are really two basic ways to kill hair lice.

  1. Poison them
  2. Suffocate them

Poisoning Head Lice


Poisoning head lice is very popular. There are plenty of over the counter insecticidal shampoos and head lice treatments that contain pesticides that are meant to kill lice on contact.

The trouble with these treatments for head lice is two-fold. First of all, you have to apply these chemicals to your scalp which really can't be that healthy for you in the long run.

Secondly, because these pesticides have been in use for a few decades now, lice have built up a resistant to the chemicals and they are no longer as effective as they were in the early days.

Some people will use these same substances over and over again, in hopes of killing the head lice. Sadly, if the lice are tolerant, it's not going to work no matter how many times you use it. You are more likely to be hurting yourself!


Another method of poisoning that has become popular in recent years is the use of head lice herbal treatments that combine particular essential oils with your own normal shampoo.

This treatment for head lice can be very effective. The only caution I would give you is to not overuse this solution on your children. I'm not 100% certain if this is true or not, but I have read that prolonged use of some essential oils can cause a hormonal change and may interfere with your child's natural development.

Suffocating Head Lice


Probably the safest head lice cure is to suffocate them. Each louse has little openings on their sides that allows them to breathe. By 'plugging' those openings, you are able to smother the live lice.


Olive oil is great for plugging up the holes. You don't need to use extra virgin olive oil or any particular brand. The cheapest you can find will do the job nicely.


Some people have used other smothering agents like mayonnaise, peanut butter, or conditioner. Those may work in some cases, but I think the most success comes with the use of the olive oil.


The main drawback with this method is that it takes a little longer to perform. You need to leave the oil on the head for several hours. Lice can 'hold their breath' for quite a long time. It's almost like they hibernate or shut their system down for a bit. If you wash the oil off to early, they can actually revive themselves and start populating all over again.


Read more about how to kill head lice using this home remedy for head lice. If you plan to use this method, you want to be sure you do it right.

how to kill head lice nits in hair

Whichever method you choose for killing head lice, don't forget about the nits (lice eggs). The nits are protected inside their little shell. They need to be removed with a head lice comb or treated shortly after they hatch.

Because of the life cycle of hair lice, you need to go through the how to kill head lice process every 4 days for about 3 weeks to be sure you've killed them all.


Yes, it is a hassle and time consuming, but you don't want to end up having to deal with them for months or years because you didn't do the job properly.


Well, if you have anything helpful to add about how to kill head lice, I value your input. This is a difficulty most parents face at one time or another. It's great if we can help each other out.

To your good health!

Comment Or Question
About Head Lice Treatment?

If you have any questions about head lice treatment feel free to ask them here. Be as specific as possible, including what you have already done, so that we can do our best to help.

You might have an experience of your own to share that will encourage and help others get rid of the little creepy crawlies.

What have you found that works for you in getting rid of lice? What absolutely DID NOT? Please take a couple of minutes to tell us about it.

Questions and Comments by Other Visitors

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