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.