Mayonnaise for Lice Tutorial: Does Mayo Kill Lice?

Is mayonnaise a good alternative to lice treatment? Does mayo kill lice?


I've treated with lice kits TONS of time and lice keeps coming back! I've heard that mayonnaise can kill lice, is it true? 

5 jars of mayonnaise in the cupboard, stacked, presumably to be used for head lice

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. Mayonnaise is one that I see a lot of people turn to in desperation, but before going down the mayonnaise route there are a few things you should know. 

So, let's talk about exactly what mayonnaise can do and cannot do when it comes to helping with head lice in this article and video. 

Let me introduce myself...

Lice nurse helping others

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.

Mayonnaise for Head Lice

large jar of mayonnaise, opened, presumably to be used for head lice treatment

Mayonnaise for Head Lice Video Tutorial

It's explained best in video!
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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….

picture of lice bug under a magnifying glass

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. 

magnifying glass looking at lice eggs and nits in brown hair

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:

  1. Lice Bugs
  2. Lice Eggs
  3. 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.

lice bug under a magnifying glass

Is Mayonnaise A Good Lice Treatment?

the words yes or no


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 treatmentsso that you can make good decisions and get rid of lice as fast as possible. 

This article focuses on the facts about mayonnaise and head lice.

Does Mayonnaise Kill Lice?

woman with white substance in her hair, presumably using mayonnaise as a lice treatment


Mayonnaise is NOT effective at killing lice, even if it's left on for 8 hours!


After trying rounds of over the counter treatments with no success, most people are looking to find a natural home remedy that works to kill head lice. 

For decades mothers have been using mayonnaise as an alternative lice treatment. It’s gross, yes, but if it works, then who cares? But does it work?

Mayonnaise is one of many oils used to “smother” lice. The timeless theory is that lice can hold their breath for 6 hours, so if you leave mayo on the head for 8 hours, then they will suffocate and die. Is it true?

This theory may have been correct for your grandmother’s generation of head lice, but it is NOT true for this generation of head lice.

Here’s what they have found about head lice and oil treatments.

  1. Mayonnaise slows lice down; many lice will become immobile and appear dead.
  2. Lice lay a few fewer eggs if mayo is in the hair (probably because they were moving less).
  3. Lice that appear dead usually “resurrect back to life” in about an hour after rinsing!


Mayonnaise makes lice stop moving temporarily, this "fools" most people.

Crazy right? Many people that use mayonnaise as a home treatment see these “dead-looking” lice and remove them, but the lice aren’t dead!

Studies looking for alternatives to head lice treatment have examined multiple home remedies, including mayonnaise. 

In the very best study of home remedies, hair was saturated entirely in mayonnaise and left for 8 hours.

How well did mayonnaise do?

Mayonnaise HAD NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT on head lice after 8 hours! 

The percentage of lice killed in the mayo after 8 hours was about 20%. If that impresses you it shouldn't. That means that you still have 80% of lice bugs still alive.

Which kills lice bugs?

yes or no mayo 750

Mayonnaise = No!

Step-by-Step Video System = Yes!

Mayonnaise does NOT kill lice bugs. Whereas, doing a professional lice treatment using the Step-by-Step Video System kills 100% of lice bugs in one session without toxic chemicals, pesticides, or lice kits.

Does Mayo Kill Lice Eggs?

brunette with lice and several lice eggs, with a magnifying glass looking at lice eggs. Arrow pointing to lice eggs

Lice eggs and nits are the same thing.

To start off let's get something straight... Nits and lice eggs are the same thing! Don't make this more complicated then it needs to be. The two words (nits and lice eggs) will be used interchangeably in this article.


Mayonnaise does not kill lice eggs/nits and does not prevent them from hatching!

In the same study, mayonnaise was left on the hair for a full 10 days to see what impact it would have on lice eggs. Mayonnaise did affect the ability of lice eggs to hatch. On the hair smothered with mayonnaise for a full 10 days straight, only about 23% of the eggs hatched, as opposed to those with no mayo where the average is about 87% hatch.

First off, who would ever leave mayonnaise in their hair for 10 days straight?!? Nasty.

While this is helpful information to know, it doesn’t fix the problem with lice eggs. All it takes for lice to reinfest your head is 2 lice eggs hatching (one male, one female). So, having 23% of lice eggs hatch instead of 87% doesn’t make a difference. Either way, you will get reinfested with head lice.

Also, who plans to have mayo on their head for 10 days straight?

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Mayo Lice Treatment- How it is Helpful

Head lice are perfectly designed to maneuver through the hair with ease and speed. But, putting an oil in the hair can slow them down significantly. Saturating the hair in oil usually puts them into a “play dead” mode, so they are immobile. Making them a lot easier to remove since they won’t be running away. So, if you're set on using Mayonnaise then be sure that you remove every last bug from the head.

Mayo Lice Treatment- How it is Harmful

In most cases, mayonnaise lice treatments do more harm than good, which is why I do not recommend them.

ambulance with sirens responding to an emergency

#1- Mayo treatments can be dangerous and lead to suffocation

Mayonnaise lice treatments require you to slather the hair in mayonnaise, place a plastic cap on it, and then have your child sleep in it. This is actually incredibly dangerous and can lead to death. Here’s a small part of a news story about a tragedy caused by a mayonnaise lice treatment:

“Massachusetts police are investigating the death of an 18-month old child who suffocated, apparently because of a home remedy for head lice involving mayonnaise and a plastic bag.

Sgt. John Delaney says the little girl’s scalp was covered in mayonnaise, and a plastic shopping bag was placed over her head, a common home remedy for head lice. The girl was left unattended and fell asleep, allowing the bag to slip down over her face, suffocating her.”

young child scratching their head presumably related to head lice

#2- Mayo wastes precious time and energy

Mayonnaise doesn’t work. Many people see lice “playing dead” and think that they’ve killed them. So they do the treatment over and over again and struggle with lice for weeks or months before wising up and trying something else.

#3- It’s messy and disgusting

Just to state the obvious...mayonnaise smells horrible if left on a warm head for hours. You and your child will likely not be able to eat a sandwich again for months without gagging.

#3- There's some trauma

Ask anyone who's had to endure a mayonnaise lice treatment...they're scarred for life. 

Mayonnaise & The Never-Ending Cycle

Most people that use lice kits and home remedies get caught in the horrible "Never-Ending Cycle of Lice"

Three arrows pointing down

First- You Have Lice

lice eggs, baby lice, and adult lice with arrows labeling them

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.

arrows pointing to lice eggs left in hair

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 the bigger problem is the lice eggs that are left in the hair. 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!

baby lice bugs with arrows labeling them

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 by the time you notice your head is infested all over again!

And Lice Is Back Again!

full lice infestation representation with lice eggs, baby lice bugs, and adult lice bugs

How to Avoid the Never-Ending Cycle

If you want to avoid this never-ending cycle and get rid of lice fast then check out my Step-by-Step Video System. Follow along with the videos and you can be completely done with lice in ONE DAY, no retreatments necessary.

How to be lice-free by the end of the day...



Get rid of lice the same way the experts do. Your personal lice coach walks you through each step of doing a professional lice treatment at home in a series of videos.



Follow along with the videos on your child in your home. No lice kits or toxic chemicals involved!



When you're done with the videos, you're done with lice. And it's gone permanently!

If you choose to go another route...

discouraged mother dealing with head lice

Perhaps you are saying to yourself, "Nah, I think I'll give another home remedy a try."

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.

I created the My Lice Advice Video System so you can avoid struggling with lice for months, instead, just follow along with the videos and be done with lice by the end of the day!

Summing It Up…

Head lice today are extremely difficult to kill because of the new super lice mutation, which has many parents turning to home remedies to smother lice. 

Mayonnaise is not an effective smother and does not kill head lice even after being left on the head for 8 hours. Head lice usually lice “play dead” when covered in oil or mayonnaise, but “resurrect from the dead” an hour after being rinsed. 

If you plan to use a home remedy for lice then I DO NOT recommend you use Mayonnaise.  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 or months, or even years to get rid of lice using a method like that. If you want to get rid of lice quickly then follow along with my Step-by-Step Video System and get rid of it in ONE DAY.


All the best,

lice expert

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.

a large jar of opened mayonnaise, presumably to be used as a head lice treatment.
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