How to Use Coconut Oil For Lice?

One of the best natural ingredients to manage lice and nits is coconut oil. Don’t believe it? Find out the truth here!

It can be a nightmare to deal with an itchy scalp and thus, quite irritating to deal with a lice infestation. Though there are medications to deal with a lice problem, most people tend to use natural remedies. One such natural resort could be using coconut oil for lice and nits. But is it effective enough? Let’s learn below!

Why Coconut Oil For Lice?

How to Use Coconut Oil For Lice

Head lice can be more than just an annoyance, residing on the scalp, feeding on blood, and laying eggs known as nits. Not only do they cause itching and irritation, but they can also lead to more severe issues if not treated effectively. Moreover, lice are highly contagious, spreading easily among people.

As lice become increasingly resistant to conventional treatments such as permethrin, many are turning to natural alternatives. Coconut oil has become a popular option because it contains compounds thought to effectively combat lice.

Research from Brazil has shown that coconut oil can outperform traditional chemical treatments. Additionally, a study in England found that a combination of coconut oil and aniseed oil is particularly effective, providing a potent remedy with minimal side effects.

If you’re looking for a gentler alternative to over-the-counter medications, or if conventional treatments haven’t worked, coconut oil might be your best bet for tackling lice.

How To Use Coconut Oil For Lice?

Oil For Lice
shutterstock/Maryna Pleshkun

If you have decided to treat lice with coconut oil, you will need a few things first, such as a shower cap, enough coconut oil to cover your hair thoroughly, and a fine-toothed comb. Here are the steps that you would then need to follow.

  • First, rinse your hair with lukewarm water and let it air dry. Ensure that the coconut oil you use is at room temperature or slightly above that. It should be liquid so that it is easy to spread throughout your hair.
  • Massage the coconut oil into your scalp, generously coating all throughout your hair. Finally, put on the shower cap as soon as you are done and leave it in for eight hours or overnight to suffocate the lice.
  • The next morning, use your fine-toothed comb to run it from scalp to tip, combing out the dead head lice and any nits (eggs) that fall out. This step is quite critical. You must be diligent with it, especially the part of combing out the nits, as leaving them in would lead to another infestation.

Ensure you follow through with treatment at least for three to four applications. If, after that, you find that there is no change, you must consult a medical professional about other remedies.

Things to Remember Before Using Coconut Oil For Lice

The only thing that you must take care of when using coconut oil is if you’re allergic to it. Since you are already using a natural product like coconut oil, there is a relatively very low chance of risks or side effects. Unless you are allergic to coconut oil, there is no risk of applying it topically or leaving it on, even with bigger quantities.

If you are unsure about using coconut oil, spot-test it on a small patch of your skin with a thick application and leave it on for a day or two to see if you get an allergic reaction with redness or irritation.

Other Remedies For Lice

Remedies For Lice
shutterstock/ PPK_studio

Although coconut oil may be successful in getting rid of lice, sometimes it may not be enough to get rid of nits (lice eggs) as well. This is why you may need to use something else along with coconut oil to completely get rid of lice and nits.

For example, an effective treatment for treating lice and nits together would be to rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar before applying coconut oil. You could also opt for some essential oils such as tea tree oil, cinnamon leaf, or aniseed to mix with your coconut oil for lice treatment. Just mix a few drops of any of these essential oils while massaging coconut oil into your eggs to kill both the lice and nits.


While studies have been conducted on the efficacy of coconut oil, and you may get results, it may not completely eradicate its infestation. But with patience and a little improvisation with different essential oils and/or apple cider vinegar, you can see it work after a few applications. As mentioned before, you should know when to understand that this method is not working and consult a doctor instead.

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