How to Get Rid of Lice with Only 2 Natural Ingredients

Lice coming to your home is truly horrible, and if you don’t get rid of them as soon as possible, they will spread everywhere and literally take over everything.

It is important to find a lice treatment that is effective without putting harmful chemicals on the head, that are then absorbed by the body.

The combination of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar is a hair lice remedy used throughout the ages. It is easy to have these two simple ingredients at home.

This all-natural home remedy can banish and repel hair lice. Read on to find out how to get rid of lice and their nits (eggs) from head and hair.

How to Get Rid of Lice with Natural Ingredients

Head lice not only affect school-age children, but anyone, moms, dads, or teachers, can suffer from them. So there is no need to be ashamed of it, we simply have to face it as soon as possible.

This is a suitable treatment for the whole family.

You will need

  • Pure organic or ecological coconut oil
  • Organic apple cider vinegar
  • Lice comb or very fine-toothed comb
  • Plastic shower cap


Step #1 — Apple Cider Vinegar

Soak the hair with the apple cider vinegar, especially in the area of the nape of the neck and behind the ears. Leave it until it dries on the hair.

You can also apply heat with a hairdryer for about 20 minutes at medium heat.

Vinegar is a classic remedy that has been used for generations. It can facilitate the detachment of nits (eggs) as it contains acetic acid, which acts by dissolving the substance that keeps them stuck to the hair.

Step #2 — Combing with a Nit Comb

Then, carefully comb the hair to remove dead lice and eggs, as well as those not killed in the first step.

Step #3 — Choking

Apply the coconut oil generously and massage all over the hair.

The coconut oil should be at or slightly above room temperature so that it is in liquid form and easy to spread through the hair.

Put on the plastic shower cap immediately.

Leave the cap on all day (more than eight hours) or overnight, as it will take a few hours for the coconut oil to suffocate and kill the lice.

Make sure your hair and head are completely covered.

Step #4 — Combing with the Nit Comb

Use the nit comb again to go through your hair thoroughly, combing out dead lice and any nits you can find.

It is essential that you take your time with this step to avoid further infestation as much as possible.

Step #5 — Washing

Finally, wash the hair with your usual shampoo.

Frequency of Use

Smothering with coconut oil will kill active lice but will not affect nits.

Lice do not lay eggs until they are about ten days old, so if you repeat the process every seven days, you are eliminating their ability to reproduce.

After the initial treatment, two more treatments spaced a week or ten days apart should be sufficient.

Everyone is different, and not all remedies work the same for everyone. This treatment can be applied three or four times if necessary, but if you continue to notice lice, you should consider using an over-the-counter or prescription remedy to treat lice.

Coconut Oil for Lice and Some Scientific Studies

Coconut oil in jar with fresh coconut and tropical leaves on blue background.
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Research conducted in Brazil found that pure coconut oil was very effective in killing lice at a fairly high percentage.

This research concluded that this oil is a promising compound for topical treatment against lice.

Another scientific study published in the European Journal of Pediatrics and conducted in the United Kingdom verified the efficacy of a coconut oil and anise essential oil spray against head lice compared to permethrin lotion.

This study found that “coconut and anise spray may be a significantly more effective alternative treatment” than permethrin lotion for curing head lice infestation.

The Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University (Jerusalem, Israel) concluded in a research study that a natural remedy containing coconut oil, anise oil, and ylang-ylang oil was very effective on lice infestations.

Essential Oils to Enhance this Home Remedy

As you have seen in the previous point, essential oils have also been tested with coconut oil for the treatment of head lice.

In addition to anise oil, cinnamon leaf oil, lavender oil, and tea tree oil have shown promising results according to this research.

In other study, eucalyptus essential oil is more than twice as effective as permethrin and pyrethrum in killing lice, so adding it to the oil applied to the hair is believed to accelerate their disappearance.

Mixing a few drops of these essential oils in coconut oil may help kill lice and neutralize their eggs.

Important: Certain oils such as eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil contain high concentrations of 1,8 cineole, which can adversely affect the temperature receptors in children’s lungs and cause respiratory problems. For that reason, use only child-friendly essential oils such as tea tree oil or lavender oil.

When using coconut oil on your children for lice treatment and you want to add essential oils, the amount to use will vary based on their age.

You may also like:

How to Dilute Essential Oils: A Complete Guide

Essential Oils List And Their Uses (Including Precautions)

Possible Risks and Side Effects of Coconut Oil

One of the main reasons coconut oil is used to treat head lice is the relatively low likelihood of side effects.

As long as you do not have an allergy to coconut oil, there is little or no risk associated with topical coconut oil.

In any case, do a patch test on a small part of your skin with an application of coconut oil just to see if you have an allergic reaction before trying to treat lice with this natural remedy.

How to Prevent Lice from Coming Back

Lice do not thrive in the environment if they are separated from our body, so preventing reinfestation is relatively easy with a few guidelines:

  • Place brushes, combs, rubber bands, and other hair-related items in a sealed bag or container and place them in the freezer for 24 hours.
  • Wash and dry bed linens and towels in hot water and then place them in the dryer, if you have one.
  • At the end of the drying cycle, you can set it to “high heat” and let it run for 20 minutes before removing the linens.
  • If possible, clean the headrests and seats of the car.


By applying apple cider vinegar before coconut oil, there is a better chance of getting rid of annoying lice and their nits. In addition, coconut oil will make the hair look nicer and shinier.

On the other hand, by adding some essential oils to coconut oil, you can enhance the effect of this natural home remedy.

To get rid of lice and nits, you will need a little patience and repeat the process, if necessary, to make it work.

If, after repeated applications, the lice do not go away, talk to your doctor about other ways to get rid of lice. For some people, this remedy may not be effective at all.

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