I have so many customers coming into the clinic that have read about and tried various head lice remedies including tea tree oil, mayo, mouthwash, vinegar....to be honest the list is endless. They are in-effective and the only part that will get rid of the lice and eggs is because of the combing with these products. I am always at a loss that people will put astringent and painful products such as vinegar, alcohol and mouthwash on their child's heads after reading some old wives tale on the internet. Please do not do this.
I know from the amount of customers I speak to that have tried various home remedies that they just, DO NOT WORK, but I have been sent this very interesting scientific paper to back this up. To read the full report follow the link at the bottom.
Home Remedies to Control Head Lice:
Assessment of Home Remedies to Control theHuman Head Louse,
Pediculus humanus capitis
Miwa Takano-Lee, PhD John D. Edman, PhDBradley A. Mullens, PhD John M. Clark, PhD
Here is the results
a) It appears to be nearly impossible to drown lice on a host. Lice must be unable to respire for at least 8 hr
b) Treating hairs did not interfere with egg laying,as Nuttall (1918) had already noted. Oils (example Mayo and olive oil) may aid combing, because they can temporarily immobilise or slow down lice and may suffocate some. For an oily remedy to be effective, however, multiple treatments and a great deal of combing are required
c} Many lice survived past 24 hr in all treatments, suggesting that lice are rather hardy. In addition, keeping home remedy products on the hair for extended periods, for getting them off, can be time-consuming, uncomfortable, and stressful for the children and parent.