Updated on July 31, 2019
A group of students from UC Irvine in Orange County called us to say that they had heard that applying tea tree oil for lice was an effective treatment. They were calling us to see if this was true. There is some truth to that but there is also some fallacy. Tea tree oil acts as a suffocant much as other viscous products do like mayonnaise or other oils. To that end, tea tree oil may be helpful in killing bugs. There is no evidence, though, that the scent of tea tree oil is particularly effective in repelling or killing bugs or that tea tree oil is more effective than other occlusive products which get into the breathing apparatus of lice and suffocate them. In fact, LiceDoctors technicians generally prefer olive oil, which is thicker and, therefore, more effective in killing the bugs.
How About Nits?
The other piece to the question is regarding tea tree oil being effective in killing nits. The answer to that question is “no”. Nits have a very hard shell and the tea tree oil can not penetrate them at all. To eradicate a case of lice, you have to pull out all of the nits; leaving nits in the hair is a recipe for the lice hatching from these nits and the case continuing. Therefore, tea tree oil is not an answer to ending a lice problem. It may help to kill the bugs but a trained expert is the best way to get rid of nits. LiceDoctors has been out in the field eliminating nits from over 250,000 heads. An expert lice technician will get rid of your lice problem today..safely and naturally.