Mayonnaise for Lice: Does Mayo Kill Lice?

What's in your cupboard?

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

Anyone struggling with lice today knows that it is no small feat. Perhaps you’re looking for a natural approach to lice treatment, or you’ve already tried a few rounds of treatments that have failed.

If you have tried other treatments that have failed, you should know that you are not alone.

It’s not your fault!

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. Perhaps that’s why you’re researching using mayo of all things.

This article answers the following:

Does Mayonnaise Kill Lice?
Does Mayo Kill Lice Eggs and Nits?
Mayo Lice Treatment

Super Lice

A super lice bug at high magnification.

Super lice are the newest strain of head lice, and they are becoming increasingly common. This new type of lice is immune to the pesticide treatments that come in the kits at your local drug store. 

These super lice have a genetic mutation that makes them unphased by pesticides, so over the counter treatments don’t kill these lice or their lice eggs no matter how long you leave them on.

A recent study shows that about 98% of lice today have the super lice mutation.

If you’ve tried treatments and still have lice, assume you’re dealing with super lice.

Before talking about whether or not Mayonnaise 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.

Does Mayonnaise Kill Lice? (2)


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!

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%.

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!

Petroleum Jelly For Head Lice


Petroleum Jelly and Vaseline are significantly better at killing lice than mayonnaise (killed 62%). It also has more effect on helping lice eggs not hatch than mayonnaise.

But I don’t recommend it.

It is nasty, and it is difficult to get out of the hair. You’ll be spending a full week just trying to rinse it out. I do not recommend it. But, if you’re still interested in it, then read my article Petroleum Jelly and Vaseline for Head Lice.

Does Mayo Kill Lice Eggs?

coconut hair parted

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.

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?

Mayo Lice Treatment- How it is Helpful

Mayo slows lice down significantly

Have you seen how fast lice move in the hair? 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 completely immobile. Making them a lot easier to remove since they won’t be running away.

3 Week Plan To Get Rid of Lice

Obviously this is not the regime I use, because I get rid of lice in one day, but it is possible to get rid of lice without my technique, but  prepare for it taking you a VERY LONG TIME. But, many people struggle with lice for weeks, months, or years, trying one lice treatment and home remedy after another and I don’t want that to be your story, so let me get you on the right track...

If you're going to get rid of lice using a home remedy, then plan on being extremely disciplined and focused on retreating, combing, and nit-picking for at least 3 weeks. 

Even the best home remedies and lice treatments do not kill all lice. They only kill the weakest lice, leaving the strongest lice live on, breed with one another, and create even stronger lice! (Gross I know). Also, although many lice eggs hatch in 1-2 weeks, different studies have shown that lice eggs can hatch anywhere between 4 days and 21 days, depending on the temperature and other factors. So, you'll need to keep retreating every 5 days to ensure that you kill lice bugs as they hatch, before they can start laying eggs of their own.

To give yourself the best chances of getting rid of lice you need to be obsessive for 3 weeks.

Here's what you'd do:

Today: Treat with a home remedy that kills some of the lice like the ones in this article (Mayo is NOT one of them!). Comb with a lice comb or nit-pick, and try to remove as many lice eggs as possible. Do house cleaning that I recommend in the House Cleaning - Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of Lice in Your House.

Day 5: Retreat with a home remedy or treatment that kills most lice and comb with a lice comb or nit-pick and try to remove as many lice eggs as possible. Do house cleaning that I recommend in the House Cleaning - Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of Lice in Your House.

Day 10: Retreat with a home remedy or treatment that kills most lice and comb with a lice comb or nit-pick and try to remove as many lice eggs as possible. Do house cleaning that I recommend in the House Cleaning - Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of Lice in Your House.

Day 15: Retreat with a home remedy or treatment that kills most lice and comb with a lice comb or nit-pick and try to remove as many lice eggs as possible. Do house cleaning that I recommend in the House Cleaning - Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of Lice in Your House.

Day 20: Retreat with a home remedy or treatment that kills most lice and comb with a lice comb or nit-pick and try to remove as many lice eggs as possible. Do house cleaning that I recommend in the House Cleaning - Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of Lice in Your House.

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.

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.


#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.”

#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.

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. 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! article and get rid of it in ONE DAY.

Best of luck on your lice journey! (1)

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