Apple Cider Vinegar for Lice: Does Vinegar Kill Lice or Loosen Nits?
Does Vinegar help with lice? Does vinegar kill lice or loosen lice eggs?
I have been struggling with lice for a long time and nothing seems to be helping. I've heard that vinegar can help with lice, is it true?
Answer from a lice expert:
If you have tried other treatments that have failed, you are not alone, and it’s not your fault. The latest stats say that most parents that use over-the-counter kits still have lice even after multiple treatments!
After no success with lice kits, some turn to home remedies. Vinegar is one that I see a lot of people turn to in desperation, but before going down the vinegar route there are a few things you should know.
So, let's talk about exactly what vinegar can do and cannot do when it comes to helping with head lice in this article and video.
Let me introduce myself...
Hi there! I'm Theresa, I'm a lice expert, lice coach, and Registered Nurse. I help people with lice every day! You can get rid of lice in ONE DAY at home by using the same proven professional technique that I use in my lice center.
Just follow the step-by-step videos and be done with lice by the end of the day.
Vinegar for Lice
Vinegar For Lice Video Tutorial
Why Is It So Hard to Get Rid of Lice?
Now that you know what you're looking for I want to talk briefly about your biggest worry (that your child actually has lice) and the question I get asked by parents around the world that have been battling lice….
Parents around the world are all asking me the same question…. "Why is it so much harder to get rid of lice now?"
Lice have become immune to everything that used to work in the past. Perhaps you remember your mom using a typical lice treatment or mayonnaise and that doing the trick. The new strain of head lice is no longer killed by those treatments, that’s why lice today are termed by people, “super lice,” because they are immune to those treatments.
I’ve cured thousands of people of lice in my lice center and let me tell you, I don't do it with over-the-counter lice treatments.
Most people struggle with lice because they focus all of their attention on killing lice bugs and not enough attention on GETTING RID OF LICE!
If you want to get rid of lice you have to address all 3 of the problems of lice:
- Lice Bugs
- Lice Eggs
- Getting Lice Back
The best way to get rid of lice is to tackle all 3 of these problems at the same time, which is what I teach in my step-by-step video system.
So, if you discover your child HAS lice, don't panic. Just head over to the video system. Follow along with the videos and you'll be done with lice by the end of the day.
Is Vinegar A Good Lice Treatment?
NO MYTHS HERE- ONLY THE FACTS.
There are loads of random people claiming different home remedies "cure" lice circulating the internet.
The purpose of My Lice Advice is to give you the undiluted facts about home remedies and other lice treatments- so that you can make good decisions and get rid of lice as fast as possible.
This article focuses on the facts about vinegar and head lice.
Does Vinegar Kill Lice?
In an attempt to find a natural solution to head lice, some are turning to home remedies, including vinegar.
Vinegar was tested alongside other popular home remedies to test its effectiveness against head lice. How did it do?
Hair was saturated in vinegar and left for 8 hours. Vinegar killed 2% of lice. Just to be clear.... that's less than tap water. Vinegar performed as the VERY WORST of all of the home remedies tested.
Does Vinegar Kill Lice Eggs?
If you are new to lice, you should know that nits and lice eggs are the same things. I will use the two words, interchangeably.
Researchers tested vinegar’s effectiveness at killing lice eggs, and it’s ability to prevent them from hatching. In the study lice eggs were immersed in vinegar for a full 10 days! Here’s what the study found:
Almost every single lice egg drenched in vinegar hatched!
The eggs soaked in vinegar were more likely to hatch than those not! Here are the results:
Lice Eggs in Vinegar: 94% hatched
Lice Eggs Normal: 87% hatched.
Vinegar & The Never-Ending Cycle
Most people that use lice kits and home remedies get caught in the horrible "Never-Ending Cycle of Lice"
First- You Have Lice
When you first discover lice you have adult lice bugs, baby lice bugs, and lice eggs (also known as nits)
You Think You've Gotten Rid of It.
After using an over-the-counter treatment or a home remedy, people think they've taken care of the problem because they aren't finding lice bugs for a while.
But what they don't realize is they've missed the lice eggs and the baby bug. Lice kits and home remedies don't kill eggs, and each of those little lice eggs has a bug inside just waiting to hatch and re-infest your child again.
Then- Those Eggs HATCH!
Just like lice eggs are tiny, when lice first hatch they are teeny-tiny. In fact, they are almost invisible to the naked eye! So, it typically takes a few weeks for them to grow big enough for you to see them.
And before you know it you are infested with more baby bugs then you may have started with!
And Lice Is Back Again!
How to Avoid the Never-Ending Cycle
Does Vinegar Loosen Lice Eggs? My Experiment
As with every home remedy out there, there are a few online claims that vinegar is “magical” and makes lice eggs fall off the hair strand.
The untested claim is that the high acidity of vinegar breaks down the glue that holds lice eggs in place on the hair strand.
Because I have my own lice center, I have seen hundreds of children whose parents have tried using vinegar to loosen lice eggs and failed, so I was pretty sure I already know the answer.
But, before publishing this article, I wanted to be sure. And, I’m in a perfect position to experiment on this kind of thing because I help kids with lice every day and can easily snag some lice eggs to test in vinegar.
I placed several hairs in 3 types of vinegar: Apple Cider Vinegar, White Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar.
Each hair had 1-2 nits on it. Because different people have encouraged leaving vinegar in the hair for different periods, I checked the lice eggs at three-time intervals:
15 minutes ---1 hour---12 hours
At each time interval, I removed the hairs from the jars and attempted to remove the lice eggs on them to determine if they were any easier to remove.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Lice- Video!
Apple cider vinegar is the most commonly claimed “miracle” at loosening lice eggs. I did not experience any “miracle” in my experiment, even after leaving the nits in vinegar for 12 hours.
None of the nits “fell off” the hair strands, and I had to drag them down the entire hair strand using two fingers.
I thought maybe there was a slight difference on two of the nits in the apple cider vinegar after an hour, but that’s not enough to even make a small dent when it comes to removing lice eggs.
If you’re hoping that lice eggs will be easier to remove after soaking the hair in vinegar you’ll be very disappointed.
Here are my results after soaking nits in vinegar for 12 hours...
It doesn't work. They're still stuck on there like they were before.
How to Get Rid of Lice With Vinegar
You can't get rid of lice with ANY kind of vinegar. Period. Vinegar does not kill lice bugs, vinegar does not kill lice eggs, and it does not loosen lice eggs. It failed in all of the scientific experiments and as you can see above in the video, it also failed in the experiments in my lice center.
If you choose Vinegar for Lice...
Perhaps you are saying to yourself, "Nah, I think I'll give it a try anyway."
If that's your plan, then I genuinely wish you the very best. Lice is horrible, and no one should have to endure it for months on end. And I hope you don't.
But, I will caution you... that's most likely what will happen to you. Most people go from lice kit to lice kit and then from home remedy to home remedy. They think it's gone for a week or two, and then it comes back again. That's likely to be your story as well.
Summing It Up…
Vinegar is not a “miracle” cure for lice. It performs the very worst of all of the home remedies tested. Vinegar does not kill lice, and it may increase the chances of lice eggs hatching in the hair. In my experiments with vinegar and lice eggs, apple cider vinegar did not do enough to see a big difference. And in studies, vinegar made lice eggs more likely to hatch.
There is no home remedy or treatment out there that kills all lice bugs or lice eggs or magically will loosen lice eggs. If you want to get rid of lice I'd recommend following along with my Step-by-Step Video System and being done with lice by the end of the day.
All the best!
Theresa is a Registered Nurse and lice expert with years of experience curing children of lice. She owns a lice treatment center in the US which is where she perfected the Step-by-Step Video System proven to get rid of lice. She also works with government agencies and schools helping those with the worst head lice cases in America.
Her greatest passion is empowering parents by teaching parents online how to do a professional lice treatment on their child at home. She is the Lice Coach for the My Lice Advice Step-by-Step Video System.