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Can Tea Tree Oil Kill Lice

The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Head Lice

Can Tea Tree Oil Kill Lice? | LiceDoctors

Theyre difficult to spot and are becoming increasingly difficult to treat almost 50% of children in the UK have had head lice in the past five years. But dont despair the battle might be getting harder, but you can still win the war against head lice.

Reviewed byDr Sarah Jarvis MBE
28-Sep-17·3 mins read

We asked expert Ian Burgess, president of the International Society of Phthirapterists to give us the low-down on all the lotions, potions, and treatments on offer, including traditional remedies.

How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Lice Treatment

The lice are tiny parasitic insects that live on the human scalp. If you have young children, it is likely that sooner or later they will catch them at school. The lice are whitish and look like long grains of rice with legs, and their eggs, called nits, are even tinier. They are on the scalp but can spread all over your childs hair but also to other children by touching or simply sharing a hat, comb, or pillow.

This explains why school is one of the privileged places to catch it. Lice spread very quickly. If your child brings them home, the whole family is good for treatment, including pets. Treatment of lice with tea tree Having lice even if there is a negative connotation is not dramatic. It is not synonymous with dirt, you can very well, wash your hair every day and have some Simple treatment, and they will be eliminated. You can, for this, use a shampoo that your pharmacist or doctor will recommend, but these very often contain pesticides such as permethrin or pyrethrin.

Not only is it not supernatural, but in addition, some lice have developed resistance to these pesticides. So you will have to shampoo your childrens heads several times with pesticides !!! It is for this reason that the use of tea tree oil is fully recommended. Its natural, strong enough to kill lice for good, but gentle enough to use on the heads of your little ones and yours.

Tea Tree Oil And Lavender Oil For Lice

Combine lavender essential oil and tea tree oil with any carrier oil to dilute them. Both essential oils are packed with anti-bacterial characteristics that help to efficiently wipe up all types of lice, nits, eggs, and fungal diseases.

Add three drops of tea tree essential oil, two drops of lavender essential oil, and two tablespoons of golden jojoba oil to a small jar. Apply the mixture to your scalp. After two hours, let the mixture sit before washing it off with natural shampoo. Use this technique twice every week.

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Important Points To Remember

The home remedies using tea tree oil go a long way in eliminating head lice. However, there are some points that you need to keep in mind for effective results. These include:

  • Use high-quality tea tree oil.
  • Do a patch test of the tea tree oil on a small area of the scalp. If itching or irritation occurs, discontinue use immediately.
  • Pure tea tree oil is concentrated and strong, so it has to be diluted with carrier oils such as olive oil or coconut oil or as per the recipes. You can dilute it further if need be.
  • Never share your comb with others as this can lead to the lice spreading to other members of your family.

It Works Better Than Rid And Nix

Does Tea Tree Oil Kill Lice?

Unfortunately, some lice have become resistant to these classic insecticides, which means you can put all of that on your kiddos heads and still be dealing with live bugs like we were.

Once I did the initial comb-through with the conditioner/tea tree oil, though, I got all of the mature bugs in one fell swoop, which is WAY more than I can say for Rid and Nix.

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Use Of Tea Tree Oil In The Treatment Of Head Lice

Editor – The management of Pediculus humanus capitis, or head lice,is becoming increasingly contentious due to the reluctance of many peopleto use pharmaceutical insecticide preparations. The emergence ofresistance to many over-the-counter and prescription products furtherconfounds the issue.1, 2 Anecdotal and in vitro evidence suggest that theessential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia and some of itscomponents may be useful in the treatment of head lice.3-5

Tea tree oilis an increasingly popular home remedy with a broad spectrum ofantimicrobial activity.6 Preliminary data from usage trials in whichthirty-two schoolchildren in two classes of a remote, rural schoolcommunity were provided with tea tree oil shampoo and conditioner for twice weekly use at home arereported here. Each child’s hair was also sprayed with 3% tea tree oilsolution at the beginning of every school day. Not all students in theclasses or school were treated. Informed consent was obtained fromguardians for all participating students. Students were examined twiceweekly for 4 weeks by a school health nursefor infestation, defined as the presence of eggs or lice. Students whomissed more than one of the eight evaluations were omitted from dataanalysis . Infestation was recorded after each examination. Thecumulative number of observations of infestation was determined for eachweek.

1 Brainerd E. From eradication to resistance: Five continuingconcerns about pediculosis. J Sch Health 1998 68:146-50.

How You Can Prevent Lice

Prevention is better than cure! To prevent getting head lice, follow these guidelines.

  • Make it a practice to wet comb your hair after every few washes. To detect any nits or lice, make sure you use a fine-toothed comb.
  • Lice are tiny insects that feed on human blood. They can be difficult to eradicate because they live in such close proximity to the scalps surface. If you discover any lice, its an ironclad indication of a head lice infestation and should be treated as soon as possible.
  • If you do find a louse, check the entire family. The sooner an infestation is treated, the less likely it will get worse and be able to be eliminated from the house.
  • If your kid has head lice, inform the school. This allows the school to issue a notification to other parents and employees to check and deal with their children appropriately if they have head lice in order for head lice to be quickly eradicated, lowering the chance of re-infestation.
  • Tie your hair up if its long and tangle-prone, as this might make crawling lice from one persons head to another impossible.

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Homemade Remedies To Kill Head Lice

  • One of the most common lice treatments is using shampoos that contain special chemicals that are known to kill lice and their eggs. The ability of shampoo to kill eggs is very essential because even if the lice are eliminated but the eggs are left intact, there is the chance that the problem will recur.
  • There are chemicals such as insecticides that can now be applied in the head as a means of lice treatments. Such chemicals include lindane, malathion, and carbaryl. Though generally poisonous, these substances are created in a milder form in order to make them effective for use against head lice. However, these substances are slowly losing its luster because there have been reports if head lice resistance to the use of these chemicals.
  • There are various natural products that one can try for lice treatments. Such natural products include coconut, aniseed, neem, and tea tree oil. What makes these natural products nice in lice treatments is that these do not cause harmful effects on the scalp even with frequent use.
  • Blowing hot air into the head through a blower is one of the popular lice treatments that one can do at home. Hot air can kill both the lice and the eggs, thus making this procedure truly effective with 100 percent mortality of eggs and a near hundred percent mortality in head lice and hatched eggs.

Tea Tree Oil And Olive Oil

Removing LICE with TEA TREE OIL? – Watch this Before You Try!

The insecticidal properties of olive oil kill the head lice. The combination of tea tree oil and olive oil makes it hard for head lice to crawl on the scalp.

  • Mix few drops of tea tree oil into 2 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Apply the solution onto the scalp and hair.
  • Leave the application for 30 60 minutes and rinse with water.
  • Rinse your hair again with vinegar to further prevent lice.
  • Comb your hair to remove the dead lice.
  • Repeat the process for several days until you get rid of head lice completely.

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How Long Does It Take For Tea Tree Oil To Kill Lice

Tea tree oil in particular required the shortest amount of time until all lice were killed at a concentration of 1 percent, whereas nerolidol appeared to be the most effective oil for killing louse eggs, as it provided 75 percent abortive eggs 5 days after treatment. Tea tree oil required the shortest amount of time .

Are Essential Oils Safe

Essential oils are overall safe to use when diluted with a carrier oil and used in accordance with directions. The majority of essential oils can irritate the skin when applied directly onto the skin without the use of a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. Lotion can also be used to mitigate skin irritation from essential oils when mixed before application. Essential oils are very potent, so diluting them is crucial to preventing rashes and adverse reactions.

That being said, essential oils can stimulate allergic reactions in certain individuals or those with sensitive skin, even when diluting the oil. If you or your child has a history of allergic reactions to topical products, it is best to avoid essential oils as they are more likely to cause allergic reactions. We recommend consulting a physician or an allergist to discuss the risks of essential oils for those more prone to allergic reactions. For the sake of full disclosure, the symptoms of allergic reactions to essential oils mainly include – but are not limited to – rashes, bumps, hives, redness, and itchiness.

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What Are Essential Oils

First things first, let’s get clear about what essential oils are. John Hopkins Medicine asserts that essential oils are plant extracts made by steaming or pressing various parts of a plant to capture the compounds.

Therefore, essential oils are concentrated, plant-based oils that are potent, as well as very aromatic. Essential oils are often described as capturing a plants scent or essence.

Essential oils are most commonly used for aromatherapy to help alleviate anxiety, depression, and even insomnia. They are never meant to be swallowed or ingested, but usually inhaled through diffusers or other various methods.

Keep in mind that whenever you read about the essential oils, you will most likely encounter, repetitively, that their efficacy has yet to be confirmed in studies or that research is inconclusive, or simply lacking.

This Is Really Important To Understand:

Tea Tree Oil For Lice: How Does It Work?

Even if I did miss a nit or two, and those nits hatched, it was going to be quite a simple matter to catch any of them before they reached reproductive age.


The conditioner/oil immobilizes them and that pretty much guarantees that theyll get caught in the comb.


This is SUCH an easy way to tell if any other kids in the house are infested. If you have a fresh infestation, there will be live bugs, and they are super super easy to see when you do the conditioner/comb combo.

The first go-round with lice, I treated everyone in the house blindly without actually knowing if everyone had lice.

But the second time around, I did the conditioner/tea tree oil thing on all of the kids and was able to confirm that only one kid actually had lice.

It has now been 9 months since I used this combo on my kids lice-infested head, and there has been absolutely no recurrence, so I know this really did work!

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Does Tea Tree Oil Dry Your Hair

Does Tea Tree Oil Cause Hair to Dry? No, because tea tree oil is a natural extract, it will not cause your hair to become brittle. Try combining a few drops of tea tree oil with carrier oils such as coconut oil or olive oil to treat dry skin disorders such as dry scalp. This will restore moisture to the hair, roots, and scalp while also promoting hair growth.

How Do You Dilute Tea Tree Oil For Lice Prevention

Tea tree oil may be added to your shampoo. 3 to 5 drops of tea tree oil per 1 oz of shampoo is a good starting point. In the shower, apply the product to your hair and rinse it off. After that, comb your hair with a fine-toothed comb to finish it off. Make use of the comb to remove any lice or nits that may be present .

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Topical Applications Can Cause Side Effects

It applied to the skin can irritate significantly if it isnt diluted well or used in higher amounts. It can cause skin irritation.

Tea tree oil can cause allergic reactions in some people. This is known as allergic contact dermatitis. It can lead to a skin reaction that causes redness, swelling, itching, and blistering. These reactions are often caused by the oil that has been stored improperly or is old. However, fresh oil can also cause these skin reactions.

In 2007, a study showed that excessive breast growth was linked to regular tea oil and lavender oil in young boys. After he stopped using these products, the condition was resolved.

Lavender And Tea Tree Oil

Lice Treatment | Apple Cider Vinegar & Tea Tree Oil

Why This Works

The aroma of lavender oil may help you overcome the strong smell of tea tree oil. Also, lavender oil is claimed to relieve insect bites, and may have the same effect on lice too .

You Will Need

  • 3 to 4 drops of lavender oil
  • 5 to 6 drops of tea tree oil
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil

What You Have To Do

What You Have To Do

  • Add the oil to the vodka or rubbing alcohol and mix well.
  • Apply the mixture to your hair and scalp using a cotton ball.
  • Leave it on overnight.
  • Rinse your hair in the morning with shampoo.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this twice a week.

The effects of tea tree oil on lice are yet to be widely studied. While the oil is generally safe and can be used on the scalp, it may cause certain adverse effects too. Be wary of those.

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Using Essential Oils For Lice Infestations Can Also Have Some Downsides

Keep in mind that essential oils are incredibly potent, so using them directly on the skin can pose some problems, says Patricia Garcia, M.D., a pediatrician at Connecticut Childrens. First, theyre not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration so different oils or the same oil from different companies could have completely different components, she says.

Because of these factors, essential oils can also be irritating. A childs scalp is already irritated from the lice and from itching, so the oils can make this worse, Dr. Garcia says.

How Do You Apply Tea Tree Oil To Hair

What is the effect of tea tree oil on hair follicles? It does not dry out the hair because tea tree oil is a natural extract. Try combining a few drops of tea tree oil with carrier oils such as coconut oil or olive oil to treat dry skin issues such as dry scalp. This will restore moisture to the hair, roots, and scalp while also strengthening the hair.

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Side Effects Of Tea Tree Oil

As per National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health , tea tree oil is considered safe for topical application. However, it does have some risk factors

  • The compounds present in tea tree oil can irritate the skin. In some people, it can even lead to contact dermatitis.
  • As per NCCIH, using tea tree oil hair products has led to development of enlarged breast tissues in prepubescent boys.
  • Consumption of tea tree oil is highly toxic. It can lead to loss of muscle control, rash, disorientation, drowsiness and even coma.

Do You Put Tea Tree Oil On Wet Or Dry Hair For Lice

4 Amazing Benefits Of Tea Tree Oil For Lice Treatment At Home!

1. Coat the hair with the mixture of conditioner and tea tree oil. I used an inexpensive conditioner , added a small bit of tea tree oil to it, and then poured it all over my damp hair. The goal is to fully coat each and every strand of hair with this substance so that the lice are rendered unable to move.

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More Studies Needs To Be Done Before Companies Can Claim That Essential Oils In Lice Products Are Effective

Even though these smaller studies have led to interesting results, Alan points out that the evidence in using essential oils as a lice treatment still isnt that strong, as the sample sizes have been smalland the most promising research isnt very recent.

In fact, the Federal Trade Commission cracked down on one company in 2014 after it claimed certain products, which were infused with citronella and other essential oils, could dramatically reduce the risk of head lice infestations. The FTC eventually negotiated a settlement with the makers of Lice Shield, as it had not been scientifically proven to shield anyone from infestations.

And for doctors who see cases of lice all the time in their practice, essential oils havent been a reliable method in clearing the problem, according to Robert C. Hamilton, M.D., a pediatrician at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, CA. His simple take: They dont work that well.


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