Does Mayonnaise, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, or Tea Tree Oil Kill Head Lice?
Can you guess our short answer here? NO! The idea behind these home remedies is that these oils might suffocate the bugs. In theory, this is a good idea, but there are major problems with using mayonnaise, olive oil, coconut oil, or tea tree oil to kill head lice. Here’s a little lesson: Head lice breathe through their backs. They have tiny tubes on their backs called spiracles that act as their respiratory system. The idea with using these oils to kill lice is that you can clog those spiracles, and the lice will suffocate. But here’s the problem: Lice can actually cut off those spiracles and hold their breath for up to eight hours! Because these oils are relatively thin, the bugs are easily able to shut those breathing tubes before the oil has a chance to seep into them to block them. Again, there is not a smidgen of scientific data to back the use of any of these oils as an effective means to kill lice. Further, as with hair dye, these oils will not do anything at all to the lice eggs (nits).
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