Peppermint Oil for Lice

Can peppermint oil kill lice and nits? Does peppermint oil prevent lice?


I've heard that peppermint oil can help with head lice, is it true? Can peppermint oil kill lice? 

peppermint oil and peppermint leaf presumably to be used for treating or preventing 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. Peppermint oil is one that I see a lot of people turn to in desperation, but before going down the peppermint route, you should know a few things. 


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

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.

Peppermint for Head Lice

peppermint oil and peppermint plant surrounded by several lice bugs
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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 Peppermint 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 peppermint and head lice.

Can Peppermint Oil Kill Lice?


Peppermint oil does NOT kill lice.

Peppermint oil can be used for lice prevention(read more about that below).

Once you have a head lice infestation, it’s too late to try to use peppermint to deter them. They’ve already made a home on your head, and they aren’t going to leave your head just because you put peppermint oil in your hair.

Although a good lice deterrent, peppermint is not a lice killer.

In one study, researchers tested peppermint along with 54 other essential oils in its effects on head lice, and peppermint oil did not kill lice. Even though peppermint shows a significant ability to repel lice.

Peppermint does NOT kill lice. 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.

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Peppermint and 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.

Nits have a strong impenetrable shell on them. This shell protects them from any chemicals, solutions, or toxins. So lice treatments and home remedies can not kill them or prevent them from hatching.

Both tea tree oil and peppermint oil have little to no effect on lice eggs. Lice eggs WILL hatch after treatment unless you remove them from the head.

Those that don’t remove lice eggs from the head will find themselves in this endless cycle of head lice.

Peppermint Oil & 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.

lice eggs (nits) and baby lice bugs

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!

baby lice bugs

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!

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.

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Can Peppermint Oil Prevent Lice?

woman smelling a peppermint essential oil bottle, presumably to be used to prevent head lice

Head lice are like sharks…

Lice have a keen sense of smell, and they are attracted to human blood. Just like sharks and mosquitoes, they can smell when blood is near.

When lice smell a new yummy head, they instinctively want to get there and begin their feast. This is why lice spread to so many unsuspecting individuals. And once you have lice, peppermint oil will do you no good whatsoever.


Peppermint can help PREVENT lice, but it does not kill lice.

The good news is...

As it turns out, you can use lice’s keen sense of smell against them. Because lice are so sensitive to smell, they will instinctively run away from any scent they don’t like.

Believe it or not, your secret weapon lies in essential oils--the same essential oils that smell amazing to you. If you have these scents in your hair or on your head, quick as lightning, lice will run the opposite direction to get away from you.

Even though lice hate these scents, they smell wonderful to humans. Essential oils like this are called lice repellents or lice deterrents.

Peppermint oil is one of these scents. In multiple studies, peppermint was one of the most effective lice deterrents. It appears in studies that most types of mint act as a bug deterrent.

Other essential oils that have shown lice repellent qualities include tea tree oil, lavender, rosemary, geranium, and citronella. For a full list of the 19 essential oils that deter lice check out my other article here.

If your child doesn’t have lice and you are just looking for prevention information, click here to skip to the Peppermint Oil For Lice Prevention section of this article.

Peppermint Oil For Lice Prevention

peppermint essential oil dropper surrounded by peppermint leaves, presumably to be used to kill head lice

In studies, peppermint, along with several other essential oils act as lice repellents.

But, using peppermint oil alone as lice prevention is a mistake. I see hundreds of people in my salon who have been using tea tree or peppermint shampoo for years, yet still, wind up with head lice. 

Peppermint alone is better than not using any lice deterring scents, but it is not adequate for preventing lice on its own for most people. You are much better off using a variety of essential oils proven to ward off head lice.

Here are the most lice repelling essential oils:

Peppermint Oil for Lice Prevention Spray Tutorial

woman spraying her hair with essential oils to prevent head lice

The most important word of caution here is that some people, especially young children, can have reactions to peppermint oil. It’s not recommended for kids younger than 6 years old because it can cause respiratory problems. Peppermint can also cause skin irritation for some people, so be careful.

You can add peppermint oil to your shampoo or conditioner, but better lice prevention comes from having the scent of peppermint in the hair at all times. This is best done by spraying the scent in the hair and NOT washing it out.


      • 8 oz spray bottle
      • 6 oz of distilled or purified water
      • 2 Tablespoons of carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil or olive oil
      • 10 drops of Peppermint Oil (or use a blend in my other article for better protection)


      1. Combine ingredients in an 8 oz spray bottle. 
      2. Shake vigorously. 
      3. Spray every day in hair for lice prevention, shaking vigorously before each use.
      4. Replace every 1-2 months (this is for bacterial reasons)

More About Lice Prevention

two girls hair, with title 21 ways to prevent head lice

If you're serious about lice prevention, then check out my article 21 Ways to Prevent Lice.

There are some very effective lice prevention sprays already on the market. These sprays are a combination of all of the best prevention essential oils. Instead of making one yourself, you can buy one. Check out my article on the best lice-prevention sprays

Better than Peppermint Oil

lice expert vs peppermint oil

If you are looking for an all-natural way to get rid of lice, then the very best and FASTEST way to do that is by learning how to do a professional lice treatment on your child at home. You don't need to buy any lice kits or lice products, and you can be done with lice in less than a day. That's what you'll do with my Step-by-Step Video System. Just follow along with the videos and be done with lice by the end of the day.

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

Lice is horrible, and no one should have to endure it for months on end. And I hope you don't.

Many 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.

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…

Peppermint can be a powerful tool to protect yourself from head lice, but it is not an adequate lice killer.

If you want to get rid of lice quickly, you should check out my step-by-step videos 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.

peppermint oil and peppermint leaf presumably to be used for head lice
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