Guido Socher

Treating head lice without pesticides: coconut oil

Treating head lices with coconut milk
Coconut milk in cans

Treating head lices with coconut oil
Coconut oil in jars
We don't like to hear about head lice but they can unfortunately spread quite easily in schools and day care centers. Head lice are quite a nuisance whenever there is close head-to-head contact, in particular among young children.

The most common way of treating head lice is by using pesticides in the form of shampoo. Those pesticides have a problem: Head lice become over time more resistant against those products and the industry needs to increase the concentration every few years. Pesticides can be harmful for small children and pregnant woman.

Coconut milk is not poison at all. It is a "mechanical" treatment of lice. They can not become resistant against it. It's cheap and available in the Asian food section of most supermarkets.

How it works: Coconut milk contains a very fine oil. Coconut oil is at about 30'C (the temperature on your head) as thin as water and it sticks to the body of the lice. They can't breath any more and they suffocate.

Here is how to use it: Take a hand full of creamy coconut milk and massage it into the hair. Leave it there for 20min. Massage the hair every few minutes to prevent the coconut milk from running down. Wash it off with warm water and normal shampoo or soap after 20min. This kills all Nymph (baby louse) and adult louse. To take care of newly hatched lice you need to re-apply it every 4-5 days for two weeks.

You can mix the coconut milk with a bit of vinegar. This will make it easier to remove the nits (eggs) with a comb and results in nice shiny hair.

You can also buy pure coconut oil. It is a creamy substance sold in jars and it becomes liquid when you warm it up in your hands. You can massage it onto hair near the root and cover the head with a shower cap. Pure coconut oil is a bit more difficult to wash off.

->Back to "Mother nature's medicine"

© Guido Socher, guidosocher at,