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Can coconut oil help us get rid of head lice?
It’s a question we get asked quite often, especially from worried moms.
Here, at Lice Troopers, our goal is to equip you with the right information and tools to help you prevent and treat head lice effectively. To remain true to our goal, we decided to come up with this post to help you understand:
Is coconut oil head lice treatment really effective? If not, why? If so, to what extent?
We won’t guide you falsely by claiming coconut oil head lice treatment does not work.
In fact, in a clinical trial, coconut oil was found to be a much more effective treatment solution against head lice than OTC lice treatment products available at stores.
And this shouldn’t come as a surprise. We all know that head lice have genetically evolved over the years to develop resistance against pyrethrins and pyrethroids. This has made those expensive OTC products ineffective.
How can coconut oil application kill head lice?
Coconut oil relies on its viscosity (attributed to its fatty content) to suffocate head lice by choking their breathing systems, and in the process killing them. There is a documented proof of it.
That being said, when you talk about nits (lice eggs), they are immune to the action of a suffocating agent. They lie in dormant form and the egg has a strong protective covering which acts as a barrier for any agent to penetrate through and kill a dormant head louse.
Therefore, even though coconut oil may help with the big guys (adult lice), they do nothing to eliminate the nits.
A nit can hatch, evolve into a louse, reproduce (a female louse can lay up to 8 nits per day), and thereby the infestation continues.
In answer to the question, we would like to say:
No, coconut oil treatment cannot help you get rid of head lice; it offers some level of control but ultimately, the infestation remains.
Then what works?