Cetaphil Lice Treatment: Does it Work?


Discover the truth about using Cetaphil as a lice treatment and whether or not it’s worth your time.

If you have head lice, you probably want to get rid of it and fast! 

Parents around the world are all asking me the same question….

Why Is It So Hard to Get Rid of Lice? 

Lice have become immune to everything that used to work in the past. Perhaps you remember your mom using a typical lice treatment 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.” They aren’t SUPER because they can fly, they’re called SUPER LICE, because they can’t be eliminated with treatments that used to work. 

That’s why lice experts like myself DO NOT use lice treatments. I’ve cured thousands of people of lice without lice treatments and instead of retreating a million times, they get rid of lice permanently in ONE DAY! You can learn more about the technique I use here.

Most people with lice are stuck in what I term the “never-ending lice cycle” that looks like this…

You discover lice, you spend hours treating, nit-picking, house cleaning etc.

You think it’s gone for a few weeks…

But, then it’s back again!

Sound familiar? This cycle will repeat over and over again until you change what you’re doing. 

You may have heard that Cetaphil cleanser can kill lice. But is it true?

This article answers the following questions (clicking takes you straight to that section of the article):

Cetaphil for Lice: Does it Work?

Review of Using Cetaphil as a Lice Treatment

Are There Better Treatments than Cetaphil?

How to Use Cetaphil as a Lice Treatment

Super Lice

lice walking

Firstly, you should know that if you have struggled with head lice, you are not alone and it is certainly not your fault. The current strain of head lice are immune to the pesticides found in over-the-counter treatments and prescriptions. Most of these treatments won’t kill lice, no matter how long you leave them on.

Lice today are called “super lice” because they have genetic mutations that make them immune to most treatments. They are VERY difficult to kill.

Multiple studies prove that lice are immune to treatments that worked in the past, but most parents don’t know that. Sadly, many people try brand name, over the counter products five or six times before finally giving up and trying something new. 

Before talking about whether or not Cetaphil kills lice, you should ask yourself a critical question...

Do you want to kill lice or GET RID OF LICE???

Because there’s a big difference! Killing lice today, does NOT get rid of lice. If you focus all of your energy on killing lice bugs, you will NEVER get rid of lice! 

Here’s why...

When you have lice you have 2 problems, lice bugs, and lice eggs. Often people focus all of their attention on lice bugs, but neglect the much bigger problem- LICE EGGS! Those eggs are full of little lice bugs, just waiting to hatch and start this whole lice cycle all over again! That’s why you keep getting lice back.

There’s no lice treatment or home remedy out there that kills lice eggs, except the technique I use.

It’s the only thing guaranteed to get rid of lice in ONE DAY, without any retreatments, because it kills all of the lice bugs and lice eggs. If you plan on using a home remedy and store-bought lice treatment you can get rid of lice, but you should plan on it taking about 3 weeks and multiple treatments.

Cetaphil for Lice: Does it Work?


If you are not familiar with the Cetaphil lice treatment, here’s a quick rundown of how it works:

You coat your or your kid’s hair with a bottle of Cetaphil, combing it through the hair and then using a blow dryer until it’s no longer damp. The idea here is that the layer of Cetaphil will suffocate the head lice. Some sites even recommend leaving the Cetaphil on for up to eight hours before washing it out. Then, you repeat this process for three or four weeks. 

Working in my lice center, I have helped hundreds of families dealing with lice. All these families had tried multiple over-the-counter treatments and home remedies without success, including the Cetaphil treatment. 

Many have painstakingly applied and blowdried Cetaphil onto their child’s head multiple times over the course of a month, hoping that the Cetaphil would suffocate the head lice. 

However, these parents wind up disappointed and discouraged when at the end of a month of the Cetaphil regime, their child still has a head full of (live) lice.

A lice quickly crawling through a woman's blond hair.

I do believe the Cetaphil treatment regime works for some people, but, I personally have seen the Cetaphil lice treatment fail more than I have seen it succeed.

Lots of lice treatments fail for multiple reasons, but when the Cetaphil treatment fails, you have wasted almost a month of precious time, not to mention resources. 

For those people that this regime works for, I believe it is not the Cetaphil cleanser that cures lice, but the combination of intense lice combing and blow drying that actually gets the job done.

Cetaphil is not a terrible home remedy, and it’s fortunately not dangerous like some others. It also has some good principles, like combing and blow drying.

The major issue with the Cetaphil method is that most people waste about a month on this home remedy when they could have treated their lice in a day or two using a better treatment regime. Even worse, at the end a month of the Cetaphil regime, many people still have head lice. 

I do not recommend Cetaphil as a lice treatment for the following reasons:

#1: There are better treatments and home remedies that’ll cost you less than Cetaphil (see below).

#2: Cetaphil will take you at least three weeks, and often doesn’t work.

#3: You’ll continue to have lice for a month.

#4: The Cetaphil treatment is complicated and easy to “mess up.”

#5: The Cetaphil treatment is time consuming.

#1: Cetaphil Will NOT Save You Money!


Don’t go the Cetaphil route thinking that you’re going to save some money on more “expensive” lice treatments--you won’t! For the Cetaphil treatment, you need several bottles of Cetaphil. For someone with crew cut or short hair, it requires 8oz. Someone with shoulder length hair will need 12oz, and someone with long or thick hair may require two full bottles!

A bottle of Cetaphil cleanser usually costs around $10, but remember you have to repeat this process at least 3 times! 

cetaphil cost

For someone with long, thick hair, it may cost you $30-$50 to buy all of the Cetaphil you need for multiple treatments and it likely won't work for you.

How to Get Rid of Lice Fast!

Many people struggle with lice for a very long time before finally getting rid of it, if you want to speed up the process then take some advice from others who have been in your situation. Here’s what Sarah did that finally helped her get rid of lice for good.

The How to Get Rid of Lice Like a Pro! Online Course promises 3 things:

  1. You’ll get rid of lice fast! (In ONE DAY)
  2. You’ll get rid of lice permanently (meaning it’s not going to come back a few weeks later)
  3. And, you’ll gain all of the knowledge and skills you need to prevent a lice infestation like this from happening ever again!

Blow Drying

blow dry one hand

Blow drying can be a helpful tool for getting rid of lice because hot air blown at the roots at high speeds can kill lice eggs. 

Blow drying, however, cannot be a treatment in and of itself because blow drying is not effective at killing lice bugs and can actually spread head lice if done with live lice in the hair.

For blow drying to effectively help get rid of lice, you must first treat head lice with a product effective against super lice, then remove as many eggs as possible, and finally, blow dry the hair in small sections. For a full tutorial, check out my article, Blow Drying To Kill Lice and Nits.

#2: Cetaphil Takes At LEAST 3 Weeks


Remember, in my experience, the Cetaphil treatment does not kill lice. However, let’s say that it does kill lice every time... This whole process still takes at LEAST THREE FULL WEEKS!

I know there are some out there who have been struggling with lice for a very long time, so three weeks may not seem like a big deal. For most people, though, having lice in your house for three weeks is absolutely unbearable. Why struggle for so long with something that could be treated within a day or two?

#3: You Continue to Have Lice Almost a Month

The Cetaphil idea is that you leave lice eggs in the hair, wait for them to hatch, and then keep killing them once a week for about a month. 

You do realize that means that you’ll have lice for a month, right?

Baby lice, adult lice, it’s all the same. There are little bugs crawling in your hair for a full month. Meanwhile, you’re contagious, spreading lice to your family, friends, and classmates.

Even if all of that were acceptable to you, it would be unbearable when, after going through this process for a month, you still have lice.

This is what most people I have met experience: a month of torture and still having a full blown lice infestation after the month is over. It’s just not worth it, is it?

#4: It is Complicated and Easy to “Mess-Up”

frustrated mom

It is possible that many people are unsuccessful with the Cetaphil lice treatment because they are simply “doing it wrong.”

Honestly, though, the instructions are pretty intense and unforgiving. Many sites promoting Cetaphil as a lice treatment say:

“We have seen the treatment fail when parents do not follow instructions.”

pointing blame

A statement like this is discouraging to parents who follow the instructions and still have lice.

I see this statement made by professionals all the time. 

They say it’s YOUR FAULT when you can’t get rid of lice because you didn’t follow the instructions.

It’s not your fault. The issue truly lies with the treatment itself being too ineffective to work anywhere close to 100% of the time. 

#5: It is Time Consuming

I already mentioned that this process is going to take you at least three weeks to a month. However, when I say time consuming, I am talking about blow drying your child’s Cetaphil-saturated hair.

Blow drying your child’s hair from wet to dry is usually no big deal. However, blow drying your child’s hair, saturated in thick, globby, Cetaphil cleanser, is going to take you a VERY LONG TIME.

One of my clients said it took her three hours to blow dry the Cetaphil on her child’s head. Even after all that, her daughter still had tons of LIVE LICE crawling in her hair when I saw her the next day.

Blow Drying Without Cetaphil

blow drying mom

Blow drying does help with lice, and though it doesn’t kill most lice, it can decrease the chances of lice eggs hatching. If you want to blow dry your child’s hair, go for it, but skip the Cetaphil! Here’s my Blow Drying for Lice Tutorial.

Why Some Well-Intentioned People Recommend Cetaphil

well intentioned friends

People that recommend Cetaphil as a lice treatment are well intentioned and trying to be helpful. However, the claim that if you slather Cetaphil on your child’s hair for a month, you don’t “have to” use a lice comb winds up being negative for most parents. Frequently, at the end of the month, many children will have more lice eggs than when they started, and it will be even more difficult to get rid of them.

My experience in the real world is that people that have Cetaphil “cure” their lice have one thing in common:

They combed the hair with a lice comb for three weeks.


Combing your child’s hair with a high-quality lice comb for three weeks straight will usually get rid of head lice, but give the credit to the lice comb, not the Cetaphil cleanser!

In my experience, Cetaphil cleanser DOES NOT kill head lice. I have seen this home remedy in action, and most head lice are alive and well after a round of Cetaphil. 

How to Use Cetaphil as a Lice Treatment

cetaphil hair

I pride myself in keeping my website honest. I only recommend treatments I believe in, and Cetaphil is not one of them.

I do want you to be well informed, though. So, here is a brief summary of the Cetaphil process...

Here’s how you accurately use Cetaphil as a lice treatment:

  • Buy at least 3 bottles of Cetaphil cleanser (remember, this’ll cost you around $30)
  • Put half a bottle of Cetaphil in a squirt bottle and apply it in an exact zig-zag pattern on the head.
  • Apply the other half of the bottle of Cetaphil until all of the hair is completely saturated (this may require more than one bottle depending on the thickness of your hair).
  • Blow dry the hair with the Cetaphil in it (this can take up to three hours or more for someone with thick, long hair)
  • Leave it in the hair all day (at least eight hours)
  • Repeat the process over and over and over again for three weeks.
  • This is just a summary; the instructions are pretty hefty, and you can find them here. 

http://nuvoforheadlice.com/?page_id=9 (Be sure that you read the reasons I DO NOT recommend Cetaphil as a lice treatment first.) 

This is what my treatment plan looks like:

Today: Kill all lice and lice eggs

No retreatments.

Never get lice again for the rest of your life.

Learn how my treatment plan works in this article.

Summing it Up…

The Cetaphil process is time-consuming, requires multiple treatments over the course of a month, takes at least three weeks to work, and even then often doesn’t get rid of lice. 

The major issue with Cetaphil is that most people waste about a month attempting this home remedy when they could have cured lice within a day.

Cetaphil is not the worst home remedy out there because it’s not terribly dangerous. 

If you plan to use a home remedy for lice then I DO NOT recommend you use Cetaphil. Instead I’d recommend you use a more effective home remedy like the ones I cover in this article. But, understand that there is no home remedy or treatment out there that kills all lice bugs or lice eggs, so it’s going to take you several weeks to get rid of lice using a method like that.  If you want to get rid of lice quickly, you should check out the How to Get Rid of Lice Like a Pro! Online Course and get rid of it in ONE DAY.

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