Can Apple Cider Vinegar Kill Head Lice?

A bottle of apple cider vinegar with apples around.
A bottle of apple cider vinegar with fresh apples

If you feel itchy and find yourself scratching your head a lot, it is important to check your scalp, as it can be a sign of a head lice infestation. Lice are a tiny, blood-sucking wingless parasite that lives on human hair and can easily spread through head-to-head contact or by sharing items like hats, clothing, or hairbrushes. 

A full-grown louse is as small as a sesame seed, thus it can be pretty hard to spot. Plus, it has different colors that range from white to brown, which adds up to its ability to camouflage itself on the scalp or in between the fine fibers of bedding and clothing.  

Head lice can be treated using a variety of methods, and applying Apple Cider Vinegar is one of them. But, does this home remedy really work? Let’s find out and dig a little more!   

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Effective in Getting Rid of Head Lice?

While there are anecdotal reports that suggest apple cider vinegar as a remedy to kill lice and stop lice infestation, there is no scientific or clinical evidence that supports this claim. As a matter of fact, a 2004 research study compared six famous home remedies for eradicating head lice, including:

  • Vinegar
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Mayonnaise
  • Olive oil
  • Melted butter

After conducting the research, it was found out that vinegar was the least effective natural lice treatment when it comes to suppressing the hatching of nits or getting rid of the lice. However, if you still want to try the apple cider vinegar method, the following steps can guide you.  

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar in Eradicating Head Lice

As mentioned above, no clinical or scientific basis proves the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar in getting rid of lice. But, if you still want to give it a try, here are different ways of using apple cider vinegar in treating lice infestation and possibly making yourself lice-free!

Mix Apple Cider Vinegar and Mineral Oil

In a bowl, mix equal amounts of mineral oil and unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Then, apply the mixture to your hair and scalp before going to bed. After the application, cover your head with a shower cap and let the mixture sit overnight. The next morning, wash your hair with regular shampoo and rinse it thoroughly. Then, comb your wet hair with a nit comb to get the lice out of your hair. You may repeat this process once a week until you get rid of the lice completely. 

Make an Apple Cider Vinegar and Salt Mixture + Oil 

Another way of using apple cider vinegar in treating lice infestation is by mixing it with salt and getting a little help from oil. To do this treatment, you just have to warm ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar with ¼ cup of salt—remember to stir it properly so that the salt will be completely dissolved. Then, pour the mixture into a spray bottle for easier application.

Once the mixture is ready, spray it all over your hair and scalp. Let the liquid sit into your hair strands. When your hair is fully dry, coat your hair and scalp with warm olive or coconut oil. Leave it on for at least two hours or if possible, overnight, to suffocate the lice. After a couple of hours or in the morning (if you choose to leave it on for the entire night), comb out the lice using a nit comb. Finally, wash your hair with lice shampoo and rinse it thoroughly. 

Try the Apple Cider Vinegar and Olive Oil Tandem

For this treatment, you need to add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil into ¼ cup of lukewarm olive oil, then apply it generously to the hair and scalp. After the application, cover your head with a shower cap and let the mixture sit for one hour. After an hour, comb out your hair using a nit comb and pick out the lice and their eggs.

Wash your hair with a little shampoo and rinse it with warm water. After that, soak your hair with the apple cider vinegar then cover it with a shower cap. Leave it on for an hour and comb it again to get rid of any lice and nits. For the last step, wash your hair with your favorite shampoo and rinse it thoroughly to wash away the smell of vinegar. 

Stop Lice Infestation with Licefreee!

While these at-home treatments may be helpful in some cases, they are not guaranteed, and may not get rid of the entire infestation. It is always recommended to choose a treatment that is guaranteed to kill lice and nits the first time, every time. 

Licefreee is a safe, effective, non-toxic alternative to traditional lice shampoos containing harsh chemical-based pesticides. In 1999 we launched our Original Non-Toxic head lice treatment, Licefreee Gel, and have expanded our product line in the last two decades while maintaining our reputation as one of the most trusted and reliable products on the market. 

If you or someone you know is dealing with head lice, don’t wait, shop our online store today!


©2024 Quest Products LLC
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
Claims based on traditional homeopathic practice, medical evidence not accepted. Not evaluated by the FDA.
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