Coconut oil is a natural way to kill lice, but it’s also not very effective on its own. It is more effective when mixed with other ingredients that have anti-parasitic and antibacterial properties. It can also be easier to use than other methods. To be effective, it must attack the life cycle of head lice.
Coconut oil can kill lice more effectively than many OTC medications. But before using it to kill lice, it must be applied to all hair. You should also make sure you cover all the hair and scalp thoroughly. This is necessary because coconut oil can kill both live and dead lice. Alternatively, you can use tea tree oil, which has strong antimicrobial properties. This home remedy is also effective, and you can find it at health food stores.
Coconut oil can kill head lice by occlusion, a process thought to kill them through suffocation. But, it’s not entirely clear how coconut oil actually kills them. Some scientists believe it’s not as effective as some others. One study involving 42 children and adults found that 1% of fractionated coconut oil applied to the scalp had a 50% efficacy rate. The study was registered in a controlled trial database.
However, coconut oil does not kill lice eggs or nits. You’ll also have to keep in mind that head lice are passed on by direct contact with another person. In order to kill them, you’ll need to leave the oil on for at least a few hours. The problem is that it won’t work as well if you’re covering your head with plastic, which could cause suffocation. Moreover, heavy oils are difficult to wash out of hair. They also clog up scalp pores and attract bacteria and dirt.