Healthy

Does Mayonnaise Kill Head Lice?

4 Mins read

Mayonnaise is not only effective as a dip or a salad dressing – but it also is a popular remedy for head lice. While using mayonnaise for head lice may sound crazy, most people claim it to be effective. There is no scientific evidence to prove this statement. But anecdotal evidence does support its use.

This article discusses how mayonnaise works to kill head lice and how you can use it right. We also talk about the precautions you need to take while using mayonnaise. Continue reading.

In This Article

Does Mayonnaise Really Work?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that mayonnaise may help eliminate head lice. However, there is no scientific proof of its efficacy.

Mayonnaise, popularly known as mayo, combines vegetable oils, vinegar, and egg yolk and is a perfect accompaniment to nachos, fries, burgers, and sandwiches. However, full-fat mayonnaise is often used to kill head lice.

One possible reason is that mayonnaise works as a suffocating agent when applied liberally and left for over 12 hours. However, it cannot eliminate the nits that may stay in the hair for six months and cause re-infestation (1).

Mayonnaise is not a proven way to deal with head lice. It is best to consult a doctor and use medicated shampoos and topical lotions for treating head lice. However, if you want to try mayonnaise for lice management, here are a few ways.

How To Use Mayonnaise For Managing Lice Infestation

1. Mayonnaise With Coconut Oil

Mayonnaise and coconut oil may suffocate the lice and help kill them.

What You Need

  • Full-fat mayonnaise (adjust the quantity as per the hair length)
  • A few drops of coconut oil
  • A shower cap

Directions

  1. Combine the mayonnaise and coconut oil in a bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture right from the scalp to the hair ends.
  3. Cover your head with a shower cap and leave it on for at least 12 hours or overnight.
  4. Shampoo your hair the next day. For best results, use a medicated shampoo.
  5. Comb through your hair to remove the dead lice.
  6. Wash your hair and repeat the process thrice a week.

2. Mayonnaise With Vinegar And Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil can effectively kill head lice. However, it may not work on the nits (2). Vinegar can help prevent the nits from sticking to the hair.

What You Need

  • Full-fat mayonnaise
  • 5-10 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon of vinegar

Directions

  1. Mix the mayonnaise, vinegar, tea tree oil.
  2. Apply the mixture from the scalp to the hair ends.
  3. Leave it on for two hours.
  4. Shampoo your hair and comb the dead lice out of the wet hair.
  5. Repeat the process twice a week.

Here are a few tips you should remember when using mayonnaise for head lice.

Tips And Precautions

  • Use a tight-fitting shower cap. Never use plastic wraps or bags.
  • Mayonnaise cannot remove the nits. Post mayonnaise treatment, use lice comb to remove nits from the hair. Clean the comb after using it.
  • The overnight treatment must not be used on children as they may pull strands out of the shower cap and chew on them. Mayonnaise turns rancid after a few hours and is not safe to be ingested.
  • Low-fat mayonnaise will not have enough oils to suffocate adult lice. Hence, always use full-fat mayonnaise.

Mayonnaise is not meant for topical application and may cause adverse reactions. Take a look at a few risks in the next section.

Risks Associated With Mayonnaise Application

  • It may trigger allergic reactions in people who are allergic to eggs.
  • Mayonnaise turns rancid in a few hours and may emit an unpleasant smell.
  • Rancid mayonnaise may make its way into the mouth and upset the stomach or cause food poisoning.
  • If you have oily skin, mayonnaise may cause breakouts around the hairline, face, and neck as it contains fat and oils.

Using mayonnaise to kill head lice is not a proven treatment method. It may act as a suffocating agent and thereby reduce lice infestation. Despite some people’s positive experiences with it, mayonnaise may cause unwanted reactions on the skin. It may trigger allergies, turn rancid and unpleasant, or cause acne breakouts. The use of this kitchen ingredient for lice remedies is not recommended, but if you must, use it along with other natural ingredients, such as tea tree oil. Use medicated shampoos to kill lice and nits if you or your child has head lice.

Key Takeaways

  • Full-fat mayonnaise is often used as a home remedy to eliminate head lice.
  • It may suffocate the lice and provide temporary relief. However, there are chances of reinfestation.
  • Using mayonnaise to kill head lice also increases the risk of allergic reactions.

References:

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  • Prevention and treatment of head lice in children,
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10937452/
  • Activity of tea tree oil and nerolidol alone or in combination against Pediculus capitis (head lice) and its eggs,
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3480584/

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Arshiya Syeda

Arshiya Syeda is an editor at StyleCraze. Prior to that, she was a content writer and combined her writing and… more

Vd. Babita Sharma

(BAMS)Dr. Babita Sharma, an Ayurveda specialist, has 10 years of experience. She is currently working as MD and Consultant at… more

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