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Dangerous Home Remedies for Head Lice

When looking for ways to treat head lice, some parents turn to home remedies that they’ve heard from a friend or read on the internet. Sure, some seem pretty harmless—like olive oil or certain essential oils. But some of the head lice treatment suggestions out there are downright dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

DON’T use flammable substances to treat head lice.

One of the most hazardous home remedies you can find online calls for using kerosene or gasoline to kill head lice. Children have been severely burned and disfigured when hair that has been soaked in these flammable substances has caught on fire. As the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly states, “Highly flammable substances, such as gasoline or kerosene, or products intended for animal use, are never appropriate in the treatment of head lice in humans.”

Be cautious with “natural” remedies.

While more natural home remedies for head lice treatment seem benign at first glance, they can also pose a terrible risk. Using oils like mayonnaise and olive oil in an attempt to suffocate head lice usually involves wrapping the child’s head with some type of plastic wrap or bag. Unfortunately, this can result in accidental suffocation.

The use of essential oils like tea tree oil may also be toxic if not used properly. says that tee tree oil can be poisonous when ingested, and it should not be used around the mouth or nose. If a child accidentally swallowed a small amount of tee tree oil, the results could be tragic.

DON’T use pesticides.

Another dangerous remedy that has been used to attempt to treat head lice at home is the use of pesticides. Whether they are pesticides designed for insects or actually designed to treat human head lice, they should never be used. Some of the ingredients in these pesticide treatments, such as lindane, are extremely toxic and have been shown to cause headaches, cancer, seizures, and even death.

Safe Options

Before you throw in the towel, there are safe head lice treatment options out there that work! One of the most effective treatments is called AirAllé. It’s a device that uses warm air to dehydrate and kill head lice, and it has been clinically proven to kill live lice and more than 99% of their eggs. The treatment lasts about an hour and it has been cleared by the FDA. It’s safe and gentle enough to treat small children.

It’s never a good idea to use toxic and potentially hazardous methods to treat children for head lice. For more information about the completely safe and effective AirAllé head lice treatment, visit our Facts and FAQ page

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