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Does Olive Oil Kill Nits?

Updated on July 23, 2020

Does Olive Oil Kill Nits

We, at LiceDoctors are fans of olive oil as it does a wonderful job of killing lice. The oil is thick and when it gets into the breathing apparatus of the louse, the bug dies. Olive oil is also an excellent tool for helping to loosen the nits from the hair shaft. But, does olive oil actually kill the nits (eggs) asked a potential client from Maryland who called our Baltimore lice treatment service a few weeks ago to learn about our in-home service. She was having a debate with a friend in Potomac who insisted that olive oil kills the eggs. The answer to that question is an unequivocal no. Nothing penetrates the hard shell of the nit, including olive oil. The nit, which is the egg that houses the baby bug, has an impenetrable shell. Once the baby bug, also called a nymph, matures it will break out of its shell. Without the protection of the nit shell, the louse is now vulnerable to suffocation by olive oil, however when it is inside the nit, it is impervious to anything you put in the hair.

Chemicals Also Unable To Penetrate Nit Shell

Olive Oil Loosens the Lice and Eggs

One of the reasons that the over-the-counter lice shampoos and prescription lice chemicals fail to do their job of eliminating head lice infestation is that the chemicals cannot get through the shell of the nit. If nits are left in the hair, without a consistent follow-up application process, they will hatch. The bottom line is that olive oil is very helpful as part of a lice treatment protocol. It will loosen eggs and kill active bugs. The next step is critical and that is why lice professionals are so helpful in eradicating head lice. LiceDoctors lice professionals come into your home and physically extract the nits from the hair shaft. That is the only way that you will be lice free.


As a postscript, we treated the family in Baltimore and the mom sent us a note saying, “After three infestations of head lice, I finally understand how to get rid of them thanks to LiceDoctors. I kept leaving nits in the hair untreated. Now I understand the value of having someone who knows what they are looking at come in and clean us up and I also knowthat I need to do an at-home follow-up. I also understand why!”

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