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How to Use Coconut Oil to Get Rid of Lice

How to Use Coconut Oil to Get Rid of Lice

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Everyone knows coconut oil is good for you, but did you also know you can use it to treat head lice? Getting rid of lice using coconut oil is a bit more involved than prevention, but it is a far safer process than using toxic over-the-counter treatments on your scalp.

Prevention of Lice

Coconut oil is helpful in the prevention of head lice because its oily nature does not allow the little creatures to easily attach their eggs, or nits, to the hair. If a louse’s egg won’t stick to the base of the hair shaft, the continuation of its life cycle is effectively terminated. The nits will come out of the hair with normal washing and combing and be lost down the drain or in the waste bin—and if the little egg manages to survive all of that, the louse that emerges will not be in a position to get the blood meal it needs in order to survive.

Get Rid of Lice

Follow these steps to naturally rid the hair of head lice using coconut oil:

  1. Completely saturate the hair and scalp with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 3 to 5 drops of tea tree oil.
  2. Cover the treated hair securely with a plastic bag for 12 hours or overnight.
  3. Sit in the sunlight until the bag feels warm to the touch. Alternatively, you could heat the hair with a warm hairdryer, being very careful not to melt the bag.
  4. Remove the bag and apply 6 ounces of shampoo directly to the hair without wetting it first. Massage into the hair very well.
  5. Use the plastic bag to cover the scalp and hair again for about 30 minutes while the oil begins to break down.
  6. Rinse your hair as thoroughly as possible. (It will still feel a bit oily.)
  7. Comb through the hair to remove tangles.
  8. Beginning at the nape of the neck and working over the entire area of the scalp, use a lice-removal comb to remove nits, one small section of hair at a time.
  9. Rinse the comb and wipe it with a clean tissue after completing each section.
  10. When finished, you can wash the hair again to remove the remaining oil, but know that any lice that may be lurking around will have a harder time attaching nits to oily hair shafts.

Not only is coconut oil good for treating a lice outbreak, it’s good for preventing one, too—just incorporate it into your daily hair regimen by using our Quick Guide How to Use Coconut Oil as a Hair Treatment. Lice don’t stand a chance when coconut oil is around! Good luck!

From The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Coconut Oil Diet by Maria Blanco, CFH, and James Pendleton, ND, NMD