How to Use Mayonnaise to Treat Head Lice Effectively

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If you are looking for natural lice treatments and home remedies, you’ve probably heard of it and maybe it made you smile…mayonnaise to treat head lice?

Some studies say it doesn’t really work, but many parents have tried this method with great success. If you are skeptical, read on; you’ll learn why and how you can be using mayonnaise to treat this condition and get rid of these parasites for good.

What is mayonnaise exactly?

Mayonnaise contains the main following ingredients: oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and egg yolk. Homemade and commercial mayonnaises contain between 70% and 85% fat.

Low fat mayonnaise products contain starches, cellulose gel, or other ingredients to simulate the texture of real mayonnaise.

Can mayonnaise treat head lice?

When it comes to treating head lice, oil is effective against adult head lice and vinegar or lemon juice is effective against head lice eggs. Oil has viscosity properties and will suffocate adult live head lice as well as nymphs.

It will not, however, kill any live lice eggs. As mayonnaise contains a lot of oil, this is why it can be used against head lice just as olive oil or vegetable oil.

There are no scientific studies that prove the effectiveness of mayonnaise as a treatment for head lice, but there are many parents who have been using it for years and are very satisfied with the effectiveness of this home remedy against adult head lice.

Make sure you remember the following two very important points if you don’t want your head lice mayonnaise treatment to be a failure:

1. You should not use low fat mayonnaise, as it will not have enough oil in it to kill adult lice. A low fat or no fat mayonnaise comprises less than 10% by weight edible oil, water, egg white, up to 5% by weight microcrystalline cellulose and polydextrose. Make sure you use full fat commercial mayonnaise, or even better, homemade mayonnaise.

2. The vinegar contained in mayonnaise will not play any role in killing head lice eggs, as its concentration is far too low. So if you choose mayonnaise as a home remedy for head lice, expect to only get rid of adult lice and nymphs. To kill the eggs, you’ll need to apply a vinegar lice treatment.

How to use mayonnaise to treat head lice?

Apply the mayonnaise on the hair, coating very well and insisting on the scalp area, the neck area and behind the ears. This is where adult lice are more likely to be found. Wrap the hair well in a plastic wrap or a shower cap (maybe safer for children).

Leave on for about 8 hours, this is what pediatricians recommend. You cannot leave it on for just a few hours, like olive oil, because it would not be efficient enough. This will depend on the grade of your infestation and how well you coat the hair with the mayonnaise.

It should not be left overnight though on children, as they might grab a hair and eat the mayonnaise, which would not be safe, as the mayonnaise turns rancid after a few hours out of the fridge.

Then, you’ll have to remove the product with several normal shampoos, and start your treatment against the head lice eggs, that have not been killed by the mayonnaise.

And if you prefer mayonnaise with French fries and really don’t feel like putting it on your children’s heads, you can instead use an olive oil treatment, this will also be very effective.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Lyna Runfola October 5, 2011

I’m a mother of 7, 5 girls and 2 boys, boys are easy and I don’t have a problem with lice with them however my girls are another story; we all have very long hair and due to our religion cutting our hair is not an option. Now being a grandmother I know that Rid and other shampoos for the treatment of head lice don’t work and my daugther is having the same problem with her 7 year old daughter.

I have passed this website on to her in hopes that some of the remedies that you have illustrated in your website will be helpful for my granddaughters. Every time you come to her to check for the lice and even combing her hair is a traumatizing experience for her so thank you and I hope this works. I will be letting you know either way. Thank You.

Bizz the bed bug guy November 24, 2011

My grandfather used mayo to treat all sorts of scalp issues, and we all thought he was amusing, if not a bit certifiable. Perhaps he was on to something. He remained the picture of health for nearly 90 years…


head bug expert November 28, 2011

My Grandmother read about this several years ago and it was the BEST thing ever!!! I did not leave mine on my head for 8 hours though. 3 Hours was plenty of time for me! Not only did it get rid of my bugs, it conditioned my hair as well.
****3 hours covered with a shower cap and a nice shampoo afterwords, was the best for my hair!

Dianne January 29, 2012

One of the main things that I used in addition to the mayonaise and the vinegar, is the terminator lice comb on Amazon (for about 9 dollars). It’s a great help in combing out both needs and adults. It’s really amazing what you find when using one of those combs, even when you think you’ve gotten them all.

Elizabeth March 2, 2012

I have used mayonaise in the past and it worked when the RID treatment didn’t. I left it on my kids’ heads for a few hours, covered with a shower cap, then shampooed their hair with Dawn dish soap to eliminate the “grease” left by the mayo. After treating 3 girls, 1 boy, and myself this way, we were very satisfied by the results.

susanne June 8, 2012

I have a 14 year old and a 13 year old daughter. We only had to do mayo twice one week after the other and it was amazing work. Their lice was gone after a week, not even pretty much.
Its the brushing with a nit comb that kills us moms ;)

Sheila August 11, 2012

My daughter came home with head lice recently after a visit with cousins. I tried using the Rid on her hair several times with no luck. My mother told me to use mayo and stop wasting my money on the shampoo. Having never had a child with lice this was an experience. I had no idea on how long to leave the mayo in, and stumbled across your website in a search for an answer.

I felt horrible pulling the comb through my daughter’s hair as it always made her cry, and was long and tedious as she has long thick hair. I kind of worked the excess mayo off brushed her hair while it was still in, which helped a lot as it was easier to comb. I combed it again after washing and the difference in the amount of adults and eggs being left was amazing.

Lucy August 20, 2012

Worked great, my doctor recommended this, three nights mayo or olive oil with a bag over the head to protect bedding. And on the forth night drench hair with vinegar and comb with lice comb. Yes it took longer to treat fully but it worked. Store treatments did nothing.

Kristy December 9, 2012

my daughter came home with lice. we used the rid for her, and our 3 kids. we realized it wasnt working so we cut her hair. now sec time around we r trying mayo. my friend used it for her kids and it wirked great. hopefully it wirks for us. i will let u know. so far so good.

Rebecca December 21, 2012

This is the first day and first time ever dealing with lice. We are trying the mayo on my 6 year old daughter. At least it smells good. I’m not sure how much I am supposed to use. I will let you know what happens.

Valerie January 8, 2013

Received a call from my girls’ school saying my oldest had lice, my youngest was also checked and I was told she only had a few…..the nurse told me about mayo treatment, however, I had bought Rid shampoo before going to pick them up to get right on the job at hand.
My oldest has very thick hair and I ended up using all of the Rid on her alone… I was combing through I noticed some of the lice were coming out still a little bit alive. I then treated with shampoo and leave in hair “lice treatment” conditioner. I will be checking her again tomorrow and treating her with the mayo treatment.
My youngest I treated for 2 hours with mayo and the shower cap…..the lice that I combed out of her hair were all dead with the exception of one….I sprayed it with the lice leave in conditioner just to see if it really worked…..the lice dies instantly.
Tomorrow both will be treated again with the mayo and shower cap for a few hours before bed….I’ll run the lice comb through just to see what I get…..but I just have to say, I am so very much more pleased with the mayo treatment than the Rid shampoo!!!

Jessica February 9, 2013

I am trying the Mayo treatment today on my 6yr old daughter. We have long thick hair so I am dreading the comb. I called the doctor’s office and they told me to leave it over night and again in a couple of days. I am hoping for the best and buying more Mayo tmrrw. :)

adan February 12, 2013

amazing, new treatment, i spend alot of money only to treat kill the lice but no any method is helpful, so today i will try it for my daughter. hope it will work. also thanks for sharing expereiences. it motivated me

Shannon May 5, 2013

My daughter is in 1st grade :-/ she keeps coming home with lice and it is so frusterating putting all them chemicals in her hair. I heard about using mayo from my cousin, I am willing to try anything! I will let you know how it goes.

Jess June 2, 2013

My daughter is 8 and is always rolling around on the floors in her classrooms at school as well as furniture at friends etc. She has had head lice three times in two years. The first time I used RID and it did okay. She did not have many and we caught it early. The second time her head was covered with lice eggs and nits. We used the RID again and got rid of many but a day later I checked and she was still covered so I tried mayonaise with olive oil. It worked like a charm. So when she got lice the third time we went straight for the mayonaise with olive oil. I combed out her hair using vinegar and the nit comb pulling out thousands of eggs, nits and several adults. I then coated her head with the mayo, wrapped her hair tight with a plastic shower cap squeezing out all of the air and tying the back so it fit snug. 8 hours later we shampooed several times and combed through pulling how a few hundred more nits and eggs as well as two adults. I checked a few days later and from what I can tell she is lice free. :-) Mayo works. :-)

Sharon July 30, 2013

Mayonnaise works! My 8 year old just had it. We used Nix the first time and the lice came back. This time we saturated her hair completely in the mayo. We put a shower cap on it. She played that evening then went to bed. The next morning we rinsed and shampooed. The lice were gone. Most of the nits washed out!! We are going to do vinegar and the comb after the next follow up mayo wrap, as a precaution.

Erica September 22, 2013

I hope these steps help. Thank you!

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