Does Mayonnaise Kill Head Lice?
Parents who suddenly discover head lice on their kids’ heads often fly into a panic. How did my child get lice? How do I treat it? What if the rest of my family becomes infested? Desperate to get rid of the infestation as fast as possible, worried moms and dads search online for advice and find all sorts of bizarre home remedies.
One popular “remedy” for head lice is mayonnaise: coat your child’s hair and scalp with it, and their lice will die. But does the popular sandwich condiment actually have a deadly effect on lice, or is this an old wives’ tale?
“It shocks me how many people are even willing to try this method,” says Erin Hawn, owner of Lice Clinics of America – Northern IL. “All that mess and smell, for little to no payoff. Yet somehow it still makes the rounds in Facebook groups, forum posts, and mommy blogs.”
Does It Work?
Mayonnaise as a head lice treatment aims to work by suffocation. The head louse breathes through respiratory openings called spiracles. If a thick substance covers the louse and obstructs its spiracles, it can die. However, this depends on how porous the substance is. As mayonnaise is actually porous enough to allow head lice to breathe, it must harden inside their spiracles before it can actually obstruct their airflow and kill them. And unfortunately, mayonnaise can take up to eight hours to harden completely.
This means a healthy coating of thick, pungent mayo must remain on your child’s scalp and in their hair for eight hours in order for it to have any success in killing their head lice.
Yet that will only address part of the problem. While mayonnaise may help kill some bugs, it has no effect whatsoever on their eggs or nits. Without killing or physically removing every nit in the hair, a new generation of lice will hatch, and the infestation will remain active.
Instead of slathering mayonnaise onto your kids’ heads and crossing your fingers, pay a visit to the experts in lice treatment: Lice Clinics of America – Northern IL. Our patented AirAllé heated air device dehydrates and kills over 99% of lice and eggs in just one hour.
About Lice Clinics of America
Lice Clinics of America has successfully treated more than 850,000 cases of head lice. The company has more than 265 clinics in 20 countries, making it the world’s largest network of professional lice treatment centers. Lice Clinics of America – Vernon Hills is located at 10 W Phillip Rd Suite 123, Vernon Hills, IL 60061, and Spring Grove is located at 2503 Spring Ridge Dr. Suite C1, Spring Grove, IL 60081 and is open seven days a week by appointment. Call 224-433-6087 or visit for more information or to schedule an appointment.