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?

Question:

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

holding a jar of Vaseline with one hand

Answer:

While there is one study that showed some promise with Vaseline, there are some major ways it can go wrong. So I'd recommend reading this article or watching the video below before putting Vaseline or Petroleum Jelly on your child's head

Let me introduce myself...

lice expert

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!

Vaseline for Lice Video Tutorial

It's explained best in video!

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….

problem #1

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. 

problem #2

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.

Copy of the solution long arrow (1)

Super Lice

A super lice bug at high magnification.

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.

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?

lice eggs magnifier

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.

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....

hundreds of lice eggs/nits in dark hair

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.

I created step-by-step videos so you can just follow along with them and be done with lice by the end of the day. Check out the videos here.

woman holding a phone that says, "get rid of lice in one day"

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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

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!

nope

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.

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,

contact me pic epic (2)

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.

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