Treating head lice without pesticides: coconut oil
We don't like to hear about head lice but they can unfortunately spread
quite easily in schools and day care.
Head lice are quite a nuisance whenever there is close head-to-head contact, in particular among young children.
Coconut milk in cans
Coconut oil in jars
The most common way of treating head lice is by using pesticides in the form
of shampoo. Those pesticides have a problem: Head lice become over time more resistant
against those products and the industry needs to increase the concentration every few years.
Pesticides can be harmful for small children and pregnant woman.
Coconut milk is not poison at all. It is a "mechanical" treatment of lice.
They can not become resistant against it. It's cheap and available in the
Asian food section of most supermarkets.
How it works:
Coconut milk contains a very fine oil. Coconut oil is at about 30'C (the temperature on your head) as thin as water and it sticks to the body of the
lice. They can't breath any more and they suffocate.
Here is how to use it: Take a hand full of creamy coconut milk and massage it
into the hair. Leave it there for 20min. Massage the hair every few minutes
to prevent the coconut milk from running down. Wash it off with warm water and
normal shampoo or soap after 20min.
This kills all Nymph (baby louse) and adult louse. To take care of newly hatched
lice you need to re-apply it every 4-5 days for two weeks.
You can mix the coconut milk with a bit of vinegar. This will make
it easier to remove the nits (eggs) with a comb and results in nice shiny hair.
You can also buy pure coconut oil. It is a creamy substance sold in
jars and it becomes liquid when you warm it up in your hands. You can
massage it onto hair near the root and cover the head with a shower cap.
Pure coconut oil is a bit more difficult
to wash off.
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© Guido Socher, guidosocher at