If you are looking for a good head lice treatment, 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 mayonnaise contains 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 can be effective against adult head lice and vinegar or lemon juice is effective against head lice eggs. Oil has what we call viscosity properties, which means it can act a bit like glue and may suffocate adult live head lice as well as nymphs (which are young lice).
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.
Of course, there are no scientific studies that prove the effectiveness of mayonnaise as a treatment for head lice.
But many parents have been using it for years and are very satisfied with the effectiveness of this home remedy against adult head lice. You owe it to yourself to do your research.
If you choose to try this home remedy, make sure to remember the following:
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 micro-crystalline cellulose and poly-dextrose.
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 can you 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.
For adults, you can cover with a shower cap or plastic wrap, but this is NOT recommended 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 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 really don’t feel like putting mayonnaise on your children’s heads, you can use an olive oil treatment instead ; this can also be very helpful.