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Does Mayonnaise Really Kill Head Lice? – LiceBusters Lice Removal

Does Mayonnaise Really Kill Head Lice?

Many people try mayonnaise to treat head lice, but it’s not very effective. At LiceBustersNYC, we use safe, professional treatments that really work to get rid of lice quickly.

What Draws People to Use Mayonnaise Against Lice?

Accessibility and Cost of Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise, a common household item, is cheap and readily available, which makes it an appealing quick fix for a lice problem. Its thick, oily nature supposedly suffocates lice by blocking their breathing.

The Theory Behind Mayonnaise for Lice Treatment
The main theory is that mayonnaise covers the lice’s breathing passages, supposedly suffocating them if you leave it on the scalp under a wrap overnight. This method is a natural, chemical-free way to tackle lice.

Does Mayonnaise Kill Lice Effectively?

The Biological Basis

How Lice Breathe Lice breathe through small holes in their bodies that can close, allowing them to survive without air for several hours. Therefore, for mayonnaise to potentially work, it needs to remain on the head for a very long time.

Limitations of Mayonnaise While mayonnaise seems like it could suffocate lice, it doesn’t kill the eggs (nits) which cause ongoing infestations. Experts suggest combing and other methods as more effective. Since new lice can hatch soon, a full removal strategy involving professional treatments is crucial.

Research Findings

Expert Opinions Experts and organizations like the CDC have stated there isn’t enough scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of mayonnaise as a lice treatment. It’s not a recommended solution due to its ineffectiveness and the risks involved.

Scientific Studies Research has shown that while household items like mayonnaise might kill some lice, they do nothing to eliminate nits, allowing the cycle of infestation to continue.

Risks Associated with Using Mayonnaise for Lice Treatment

Health Risks

Danger of Suffocation Using mayonnaise involves covering the head with a plastic wrap, which poses significant suffocation risks, especially if used incorrectly or left on a child’s head overnight.

Risk of Food Poisoning Mayonnaise can spoil quickly, especially when left at room temperature for many hours. This creates a risk of food poisoning from bacteria growth.


Failure to Kill Nits One of the biggest downsides of using mayonnaise for lice treatment is its complete ineffectiveness against nits. These lice eggs are tough and are glued to hair strands, making them resistant to simple smothering tactics.

Effective and Safe Alternatives to Mayonnaise

Proven Lice Treatments There are many over-the-counter and prescription treatments that are scientifically proven to be effective against both adult lice and nits. These products often include ingredients specifically designed to kill lice at all stages of their life cycle.

Preventive Measures To avoid getting lice in the first place, it’s important to practice good hygiene and avoid sharing personal items like hats, brushes, and headgear. Regular checks and using preventive products can also help keep lice at bay.


Despite its popularity as a home remedy, mayonnaise is neither a safe nor effective method for treating head lice. It does not kill nits, poses health risks, and is not supported by scientific evidence. For effective lice treatment, it’s best to turn to products that are specifically designed to fight lice or consult a healthcare professional if the infestation persists. Remember, dealing with head lice effectively ensures a quicker return to comfort and normal daily activities for anyone affected.

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