Can children’s head lice be treated with mayonnaise or oil? Experts reveal the truth.

Have lice been bugging your family lately? You’re not alone.

Professional delousers say they have seen an unfortunate uptick in outbreaks of these icky, hair-residing insects. 

“There was a resurgence of lice last year. But this year it’s been worse than ever.

Adding insult to injury, recent infestations are affecting a larger population of children than usual.


Although the CDC states that it “does not have clear scientific evidence” that olive oil is an effective lice remedy, some medical experts and health departments lean in favor of making scalp salad dressing.

Olive oil can smother and kill lice. Users should wear a shower cap overnight to suffocate the bugs, which can survive without breathing for hours.

The oil also helps remove lice eggs from hair. White vinegar can go a long way to dissolve the adhesive a female louse uses to lay her eggs.

Using olive oil should coincide with a three-week life cycle of the lice. The agency recommends using olive oil on days one, two, three, nine, 13, 17 and 21.

Hold the mayo?

Like olive oil, the CDC can’t back up that mayonnaise is proven to kill lice, but it can come in handy because thick, jelly-like substances clog lice breathing holes.

Many say applying it overnight and topping with a shower cap before washing it out the next morning and restarting the process a week later.

Other Remedies

Vaseline or styling gel makes a fine — and perhaps more tasteful — substitute, according to some.

Research has shown Cetaphil cleansers to be 96% effective in the treatment of lice. Some recommend waiting two minutes after application, combing through the hair and then blow-drying it until it’s completely dry. These steps should be repeated within one to two weeks.

Torrance Lice Removal offers a one and done solution that has a 99%+ success rate and takes about 90 minutes