Peppermint Oil for Lice. Does Peppermint Prevent or Kill Lice?

peppermint featured image

Discover if you can use peppermint oil to prevent and treat head lice. Can peppermint oil kills lice and nits?

12 million kids will get head lice this year. Is your child one of them?

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’ve heard peppermint can be a powerful tool against lice. Is it true?

This article answers the following questions:

Does Peppermint Oil Prevent Lice?

Does Peppermint Oil Kill Lice?

Peppermint and Tea Tree Oil for Lice

Peppermint Spray Lice Tutorial

Super Lice

A super lice bug at high magnification.

First, you should know that if you are struggling with head lice, it is not your fault. The current strain of head lice is immune to pesticides found in over the counter treatments and prescriptions. So most treatments won’t kill lice, no matter how long you leave them on.

Multiple studies have proven that lice are immune to treatments that worked in the past. Yet, many parents unaware of the research, try big named products 5 or 6 times, before finally giving up and trying something else.

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

Are you better off using a home remedy like peppermint oil?

Before talking about whether or not Peppermint Oil 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 Peppermint Oil Prevent Lice?

red-lice-after-feeding

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.

essential oil sniff

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.

Can Peppermint Oil Kill Lice?

peppermint drop

Peppermint oil is an excellent weapon in the fight against head lice in terms of prevention, but that’s as far as it goes. Lice don’t want to be near the scent of peppermint, but that doesn’t mean it’ll kill them.

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, tea tree oil, the only essential oil that can kill lice, although it’s not the best lice killer.

Peppermint oil by itself is not an effective lice killer, but if mixed with other essential oils such as tea tree oil or lavender, it may be helpful in the fight against head lice.

Peppermint or Tea Tree Oil for Lice

essential oils coconut

Tea tree oil alone can be effective at killing head lice, but if you would like to use a combination of peppermint and tea tree together, that’s fine too.

Don’t run out and buy some tea tree shampoo at your local salon that will not kill head lice. Tea tree oil must be used in high concentrations to kill lice, and the concentrations in tea tree shampoo are not adequate.

In one study, scientists compared highly concentrated tea tree and lavender essential oils to traditional pesticide treatments. Tea tree oil killed most lice, whereas the pesticide treatments only killed about 25% of lice. 

The major disadvantage with both tea tree oil and peppermint oil is that when it is applied directly to the scalp, it can cause burning and other reactions. You need to dilute both of these oils with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, argan oil, etc. before use. I recommend coconut oil because coconut oil kills lice, whereas olive oil does not.

coconut featured

I recommend tea tree over peppermint oil for young children because peppermint is not recommended for children under the age of six as it can, on very rare occasions, cause trouble breathing.

Also, peppermint oil in high concentrations on the scalp can severely irritate and even burn the skin. Whereas tea tree oil is less likely to do that.

I outline exactly how to kill lice with tea tree oil in my article Tea Tree Oil For Lice: How to Kill and Prevent Lice Using Tea Tree Oil.

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!

Peppermint and Lice Eggs

severe infestation

If you’re new to head lice: Lice eggs and nits are the same thing. I use the words interchangeably.

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.

Lice Eggs Cycle

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 (Peppermint Oil 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.

Peppermint Oil For Lice Prevention

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:

Not all Essential Oils Are Equal

Be careful to use essential oils that are pure and undiluted. Many sell knock offs and “scented” oils that are not essential oils. To prevent lice, you need legitimate essential oils that are quality tested.

Peppermint Oil for Lice Prevention Spray Tutorial

spray hair

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Directions: 

  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)

Tried and True Lice Prevention Sprays

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. I review all lice prevention sprays in another article.

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 plan to use a home remedy for lice then I DO NOT recommend you use Peppermint. 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 Courseand get rid of it in ONE DAY.

Here are some other articles that I think you’ll be interested in...