Does Mayonnaise Kill Head Lice?

Specialty: Ayurveda

Dr. Babita Sharma, an Ayurveda specialist, has 10 years of experience. She is currently working as MD and Consultant at Atharva Ayurveda Ayurdhama Hospital Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Ayurveda, Medici... more

  • Does Mayonnaise Really Work?
  • How To Use Mayonnaise For Managing Lice Infestation
  • Tips And Precautions
  • Risks Associated With Mayonnaise Application

Does Mayonnaise Really Work?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that mayonnaise may help eliminate head lice. However, there is no scientific proof of its efficacy.

Mayonnaise, popularly known as mayo, combines vegetable oils, vinegar, and egg yolk and is a perfect accompaniment to nachos, fries, burgers, and sandwiches. However, full-fat mayonnaise is often used to kill head lice.

One possible reason is that mayonnaise works as a suffocating agent when applied liberally and left for over 12 hours. However, it cannot eliminate the nits that may stay in the hair for six months and cause re-infestation (1).

Mayonnaise is not a proven way to deal with head lice. It is best to consult a doctor and use medicated shampoos and topical lotions for treating head lice. However, if you want to try mayonnaise for lice management, here are a few ways.

How To Use Mayonnaise For Managing Lice Infestation

1. Mayonnaise With Coconut Oil

Mayonnaise and coconut oil may suffocate the lice and help kill them.

What You Need

  • Full-fat mayonnaise (adjust the quantity as per the hair length)
  • A few drops of coconut oil
  • A shower cap


  1. Combine the mayonnaise and coconut oil in a bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture right from the scalp to the hair ends.
  3. Cover your head with a shower cap and leave it on for at least 12 hours or overnight.
  4. Shampoo your hair the next day. For best results, use a medicated shampoo.
  5. Comb through your hair to remove the dead lice.
  6. Wash your hair and repeat the process thrice a week.
2. Mayonnaise With Vinegar And Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil can effectively kill head lice. However, it may not work on the nits (2). Vinegar can help prevent the nits from sticking to the hair.

What You Need

  • Full-fat mayonnaise
  • 5-10 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon of vinegar


  1. Mix the mayonnaise, vinegar, tea tree oil.
  2. Apply the mixture from the scalp to the hair ends.
  3. Leave it on for two hours.
  4. Shampoo your hair and comb the dead lice out of the wet hair.
  5. Repeat the process twice a week.

Here are a few tips you should remember when using mayonnaise for head lice.

Tips And Precautions

Mayonnaise is not meant for topical application and may cause adverse reactions. Take a look at a few risks in the next section.

The Final Word

Mayonnaise is not a proven way to treat and kill head lice. Although some people have found it beneficial, it is better to steer clear of it as it may cause unwanted skin reactions. If you or your kid has head lice, consult a dermatologist and use medicated shampoos to kill lice and nits.

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