Vaseline for Lice: Does it Work?
If you’ve tried other lice treatments with no success, it may tempt you to try Vaseline. Does Vaseline kill head lice?
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,” because they are immune to old treatments that worked in the past. And that's why so many people are turning to home remedies. Some claim that Vaseline can help with lice... Is it true?
Vaseline for Lice Video Tutorial
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 Vaseline.
This article answers the following:
The newest strain of head lice is immune to almost all over-the-counter and prescription treatments. These lice are called “super lice.” Super lice and regular lice are precisely the same, except it, super lice, are very difficult to kill.
Over the last 30 years, weak lice have been killed by pesticides, leaving behind only these very strong super lice. Super lice have a genetic mutation that is unphased by pesticides, so over the counter treatments don’t kill these lice nor their lice eggs no matter how long you leave them on.
A recent study shows that about 98% of lice today have this 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 Vaseline 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!
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 people keep getting lice back! So, be sure that you address both problems: lice bugs and lice eggs. Otherwise you'll jut go around and around with lice.
Does Vaseline Kill Lice?
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.
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.
VASELINE ON THE HEAD FOR 10 DAYS?!
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....
What's the FASTEST Way To Get Rid of Lice?
The purpose of My Lice Advice is to help parents get rid of lice as fast as possible. And the fastest way to get rid of lice is to get rid of lice in one day, no re-treatments. This is how lice professionals like myself get rid of lice in lice centers. Most people assume that lice professionals use some kind of crazy strong lice product or something. But the truth is that's not how lice professionals get rid of lice so fast....
When I treat lice in my lice center I don't use any toxic chemicals or special treatments. In fact, you can do a professional lice treatment at home without buying any lice products. I teach parents how to do this professional technique on their children at home, on my page Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro!
In Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro! you learn how to get rid of lice in less than a day by doing what the pro's do. And it's gone permanently- there are no re-treatments, and no messing around with lice kits. You do the professional technique on your child at home, you kill all of the lice and the lice eggs in one session and then you're done with lice.
That's the FASTEST and MOST EFFECTIVE way to get rid of lice. You can learn how to do it by clicking here.
Should You Use Vaseline as a Lice Treatment?
Before slathering your child’s head in Vaseline, consider the disadvantages:
#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.
- Wash hair with Dawn dish soap multiple times, rinsing between each round.
- Wash hair with baby shampoo multiple times, rinsing between each round.
- Slather hair in baby oil and comb through it with a metal lice comb.
#2- Vaseline treatments can be dangerous and lead to suffocation
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!
Better Home Remedies
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 I teach on my page Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro!
If you're set on doing it on your own and you want to hunt around for a home remedy then you can find a list of much better home remedies in my article 37 Home Remedies for Lice. In that article I evaluate every home remedy for lice and let you know how many lice and lice eggs they kill.
You should know that even the best home remedies only kill 80% of lice bugs and no home remedies kill lice eggs. If you decide to go that route then plan on retreating and nit-picking for about 3 weeks.
You can find the Home Remedies article here.
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.
- Slather your child’s scalp and hair thoroughly with Vaseline. Be sure to cover the scalp.
- Cover the head with something plastic such as saran wrap. (Again, plastic on a child’s head is hazardous!)
- Leave Vaseline in the hair for at least 8 hours (or 10 days if you want it to kill lice eggs).
- Wash Vaseline out of the hair (good luck, my friend!). Try baby shampoo or dawn dish soap.
- Repeat the treatment every 5 days AT LEAST 3 weeks.
- Or... You can ditch the Vaseline entirely and learn how to get rid of lice the right way and be done in one treatment here.
These are the biggest reasons why I'm not a fan of doing a treatment that requires re-treatments and why I encourage people to get rid of lice in one day in Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro.
Reason #1- You’ll have lice for AT LEAST 3 weeks. I’m not a fan of any idea of living with lice for weeks on end, and that’s what you’ll be doing. Lice eggs will be hatching on your child’s head every day, which means she will have head lice crawling on her head until you do another treatment.
Reason #2- Eggs hatch at variable times. Eggs will not hatch all at once. Many lice eggs hatch in about 7-10 days from when they were laid. But, some lice eggs hatch sooner (4 days) and others take longer to hatch. Some studies shows lice eggs hatching 15 days later. So, you’ll need to repeat these treatments for AT LEAST 3 weeks to ensure they’re effective.
Reason #3- Lice eggs are your first sign of lice. Early in an infestation, you don’t usually see lice bugs; you see lice eggs. If you do not remove lice eggs from previous outbreaks you won’t figure out your child has lice until she’s had it for a very long time because you’ll assume the eggs in the hair are “old eggs.”
Reason #4- Having lice for weeks can spread it. The longer your child has lice, the more likely she is to spread it to others in the home. Let’s say a few lice hatch the day after the treatment. What’s to keep lice from spreading to her siblings and friends?
If you choose the “repeat treatments” method, your child will have lice for several weeks, because every day new baby lice will hatch from the eggs left in the hair.
If you want to get rid of lice fast, skip the re-treatments, and move on with your life then learn how to do the professional technique I teach on the Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro page.
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 use a home remedy for lice then check out my home remedy article and find a better one. But, know that even the best home remedies only kill about 80% of lice bugs and none of them kill lice eggs.
If you want to get rid of lice fast, in less than day then check out Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro!
All the best,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Theresa is a lice expert with years of experience curing children of lice. She currently works with government agencies and non-profit organizations to help children with the most severe head lice infestations in the US.
Originally trained as a Registered Nurse, she changed specialties to study lice. Later, she opened a lice treatment center where she perfected the PRO technique she teaches in the Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro online course. She now works helping those struggling with lice around the world.
She is the creator of MyLiceAdvice.com, one of the top lice informational websites in the world and she teaches parents around the world how to get rid of lice in less than a day in the Get Rid of Lice Like a Pro online course.
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