Vaseline for Lice: Does it Work?

Is Vaseline or Petroleum Jelly a good alternative to lice treatment? Does Vaseline kill lice?


I have tried EVERYTHING to get rid of lice and it won't go away. Does Vaseline or Petroleum Jelly help with lice?

woman holding a jar of Vaseline with one hand


If you're struggling with lice, you're not alone! Studies show that 98% of lice are resistant to over-the-counter lice treatments!


In desperation, many are turning to home remedies. One home remedy touted as a cure for lice is Vaseline. While there is one study that showed that Vaseline can be helpful, there are some major ways it can go wrong. So let's talk about Vaseline and head lice in this article.

Let me introduce myself...

Lice nurse helping others

Hi there! I'm a lice expert, lice coach, Registered Nurse, and the creator of My Lice Advice. I help people with lice every day in my lice treatment center, in school districts, and in government work. But the thing I love the most is empowering parents to get rid of head lice in ONE DAY at home! 

You can eliminate lice in one day using the same proven professional technique I use in my lice center on your child. Follow along with the Step-by-Step Video System, and when you're done with the videos you're done with lice. PERMANENTLY!

a jar of vaseline next to a woman combing her hair presumably doing a vaseline lice treatment.

Vaseline for Lice Video Tutorial

It's explained best in video!
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Why Is It So Hard to Get Rid of Super 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

Does Vaseline Kill Lice?

jar of vaseline

After trying rounds of over the counter treatments, most parents are desperate to find a home remedy that works. What about Vaseline?

Researchers tested Vaseline (a brand of Petroleum Jelly) alongside 5 other home remedies for effectiveness against head lice, here’s how it did.

In the study, Petroleum Jelly killed about 62% of head lice. It outperformed many other home remedies such as mayonnaise, olive oil, butter, and vinegar. It also beat the most popular over the counter treatments. But still, 62% isn’t an impressive number, especially with all of the downsides of Vaseline, which I will talk about in this article.

What About Lice Eggs and Nits?

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.

A lice egg (nit) is attached to a hair strand. A finger in behind the nit and a white arrow points at the nit.

Lice eggs are tiny (about the size of a poppyseed), and they blend in pretty well with hair. If you aren’t looking closely, you are likely to miss them. Lice eggs and dandruff are often mistaken for one another, but some of the key differences are that lice eggs are tear-drop shaped and glued to the side of the hair strand.

The tell-tale sign that what you are finding is a nit is that a nit cannot be flicked, blown, or brushed away. Aside from a high-quality lice comb, the only way to remove a lice egg from the hair strand is to squeeze it between two fingers and manually drag it down the entire hair strand.

A lice egg (nit) is shown on a hair strand. A woman tugs at the nit repeatedly, attempting to make it move.
Lice eggs are stuck on the hair strand.

Does Vaseline Kill Lice Eggs?

There is evidence that Vaseline can prevent many lice eggs from hatching if Vaseline is left on the head for 10 days straight.


That’s insane, who is going to do that? Although, maybe it’ll take you that long to wash all of the Vaseline out of your child’s hair anyway....

hundreds of lice eggs/nits in dark hair

Vasoline & 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.

Should You Use Vaseline as a Lice Treatment?

Before slathering your child’s head in Vaseline, consider the disadvantages:

Vaseline in hair

#1- Petroleum Jelly is EXTREMELY difficult to get out of hair

Vaseline is not just a little sticky. Coating the scalp and hair with Vaseline is like taking a handful of chewing gum and rubbing it into the hair. Because Vaseline is thick and not water-soluble, once you put Vaseline in the hair, it is likely to take weeks to remove!

How to Get Vaseline Out of Hair

If you’ve already made the mistake of putting Vaseline in your child’s hair, I am sad for you. Here are the best things I have found to help get it out.

  1. Wash hair with Dawn dish soap multiple times, rinsing between each round.
  2. Wash hair with baby shampoo multiple times, rinsing between each round.
  3. Slather hair in baby oil and comb through it with a metal lice comb.

#2- Vaseline treatments can be dangerous and lead to suffocation

ambulance with sirens responding to an emergency

Vaseline lice treatments require you to slather the hair in Vaseline, 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 lice home remedy gone wrong:

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

The girl was left unattended and apparently fell asleep, allowing the bag to slip down over her face, suffocating her.”

#3- Vaseline treatments waste your time and energy

Vaseline doesn’t work. Coating the hair in Vaseline and then painstakingly trying to remove it is a total waste of your time and energy. It’s better to spend your time, energy, and money on using a treatment that works!


Vaseline Lice Treatment

If you’re still dead set on doing a Vaseline lice treatment, here are the steps, although I do not recommend it because it’s dangerous, and you will spend hours trying to get it out of the hair. And, it doesn’t get rid of lice.

  1. Slather your child’s scalp and hair thoroughly with Vaseline. Be sure to cover the scalp.
  2. Cover the head with something plastic such as saran wrap. (Again, plastic on a child’s head is hazardous!)
  3. Leave Vaseline in the hair for at least 8 hours (or 10 days if you want it to kill lice eggs).
  4. Wash Vaseline out of the hair (good luck, my friend!). Try baby shampoo or dawn dish soap. 
  5. Repeat the treatment every 5 days AT LEAST 3 weeks.
  6. Or... You can ditch the Vaseline entirely and get rid of lice the right way and be done in one treatment here.

If you choose to go with Vaseline...

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!

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!

Summing it Up

I can not in good conscience recommend Vaseline as a lice treatment to anyone. While it may kill a percentage of lice (62%) that's not an especially impressive number. And leaving Vaseline in your child's hair for 10 days straight HOPING that it'll help with lice eggs is insane! And Vaseline is insanely difficult to wash out of your hair so your child will look like a wet dog for weeks! No thank you.

If you want to get rid of lice fast, in less than day then check out my Step-by-Step Video System here.

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.

woman wiht hands in a jar of vaseline or petroleum jelly, presumably doing a vaseline lice treatment or a petroleum jelly lice treatment
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