Essential Oils For Lice: 4 Recipes You’ll Want

Wooden hairbrushes on wooden background

A few decades ago, if your child came home from school with the dreaded head lice note, the only way you had to treat it was to shave your child’s head and scrub it with kerosene.   Fortunately, we have much better ways of treating it now!

While head lice can be difficult to eradicate, using essential oils for lice is becoming very popular because it is a natural, rather than chemical approach to the problem. So you feel much safer in the treatment. Also, don’t forget that cleaning your head with essential oils is a great idea to keep critters out. And it smells much better than the chemicals too! Natural remedies for lice can be very powerful, too.

Remember These Essential Oils for Lice

A few things to note, when a child gets head lice, it can be quickly passed to the entire family so everyone will need to go through the treatment to prevent any risk of cross-infection.

All bedding, clothes, towels, combs, and brushes need to be cleaned with a good disinfectant to remove any eggs. Wash all clothes, bedding, towels, etc. in the hottest water the fabric can withstand and use a disinfectant with your detergent.

Head Treatments

This recipe is for one complete treatment for one person. It is applied three times so you will need to store the remainder in a sealed, dark bottle. It can be kept for up to 12 months.

Head Lice Formula 1

  • 2 Tablespoons  of F.C.O. (Fractionated Coconut Oil)
  • 5 drops Lavender
  • 5 Drops Eucalyptus citriodora
  • 5 drops Geranium
  • 3 drops Tea Tree
  • Lice comb

Apply mix over the head and hair, massaging in well. Massage all of the way through to the ends of the hair. Cover head with a towel or shower cap and leave on for at least 4 hours. Overnight would be even better. To remove the oil, massage shampoo completely into hair, all of the way to the ends of the hair, before applying water. Wash and rinse as normal. Comb through hair with lice comb.

Repeat treatment in 24 hours and again in 8 days. This is to treat any lice that hatched after the initial treatment.

As a preventative, you should teach your family to vigorously brush or comb their hair very thoroughly morning and night. Also use the following oils when washing their hair: Rosemary, Geranium, Lavender, Eucalyptus radiata, and Lemon. You can mix equal parts of Rosemary, Lavender, and Lemon and add 2 drops of formula to final rinse after shampooing. These should be used sporadically, not every day.

essential oils for lice helping girl

More treatments 

Head Lice Formula 2

  • 27 drops Rosemary
  • 27 drops Geranium
  • 27 drops Lavender
  • 1 ounce White Beeswax
  • 2 ounces Castor Oil

Melt the Beeswax in a double boiler and add Castor oil until a creamy consistency is achieved. Cool, then add essential oils while stirring well. Rub well into the scalp and leave overnight.

If your child already has head lice and has scratched his/her head so much as to cause inflammation, use this formula to help heal the inflammation.

These can be used as a rinse, added to the Beeswax and Castor oil cream and left in overnight, or in a hair oil treatment made by adding 30 drops of formula to 2 tablespoons F.C.O. and again, leave in overnight.

Head Lice Formula 3

  • 8 drops Geranium
  • 8 drops Rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon Jojoba


Head Lice Formula 4

  • 5 drops Peppermint
  • 6 drops Ginger Root
  • 5 drops Lavender
  • 1 tablespoon Walnut oil

With either one of these, massage the entire formula vigorously into the hair and scalp before bedtime. Wrap towel around the head, and leave it on overnight. Repeat nightly until the lice are gone.

Portrait of lovely little toddler boy of two years  with bath to

Head Lice Scalp Oil and Rinse

  • 10 drops Myrtle or Melaleuca
  • 10 drops Tea Tree
  • 5 drops Clove Bud
  • 10 drops Lavender
  • 4 drops Thyme
  • 5 drops Eucalyptus Radiata

Mix together and store in a dark colored, glass bottle. Put 10 drops of formula into 1 tablespoon Sesame oil and apply to scalp. Do not allow mixture near the eyes, nose, or ears. Cover the hair with a shower cap and leave on for a half hour.

Using a fine tooth comb, gently comb, wiping the comb between each sweep through the hair. Comb the hair in one inch sections. If the hair is long, you’ll need to use clips to separate the hair. When you have combed the whole head, wash the hair with a gentle baby shampoo. Then use the following rinse:

  • 4 ounces Water
  • 10 drops of above lice mixture

If your child’s scalp has become irritated because of the biting and possible infection, make up the following:

Calm Scalp

  • 1 teaspoon Jojoba
  • 1 drops German Chamomile
  • 2 drops Lavender

Apply directly onto the scalp with your fingertips. Gently separate the hair into sections, so you can reach the whole scalp.

And Finally

What ways have you used to treat head lice? Do you have a different recipe of essential oils for lice that you would like to share? Please comment in the section below. We’d love to share your experience with everyone else.



5 thoughts on “Essential Oils For Lice: 4 Recipes You’ll Want

  1. Mae

    Thanks for this! I am a teacher, so unfortunately the creepy crawlies come with the job! Which oils can I use to prevent head lice? I have used lavender and tea tree ( don’t like the smell of tea tree very much). Can I apply these straight to my scalp/ hair? Thanks!

  2. Julie Getty

    Great information! My granddaughter came home with Lice, I had my daughter add melaleuca and lavender to her shampoo, wash all of her lines with melaleuca and also make a spray so she could spray around the house. Thank you for the info!

  3. Karen Miceli

    I am a “nit picker” for the county I live in. The main mistake people make is to comb through the hair with the nit comb. The eggs are laid close to the scalp. If you use the comb you are pulling the eggs throughout the hair. You then aren’t able to remove all the eggs you got on the comb, off the comb so you may put them back in when you comb again. The best most effective way to get rid of the lice is to manually remove all the eggs with your fingers. The oils are a great preventative, they are a help when removing the eggs, and they may kill the bug. But remember it takes one egg to hatch to start the process all over again. As hard as it is for the parent and child nit picking is a sure way to clear up lice.

  4. Shelley Farny

    A faster, more permanent solution involves 3 steps and takes about 2 hours depending on the length and thickness of the hair. The oils will kill the live ones but you must remove every single egg (nit). Having the right comb helps. Metal is best and costs about $18. What I learned is to first make a spray with these oils and polysorbate 20 to keep the oils from separating. Wet the hair then comb to remove dead lice and just dip the comb in a bowl of water after each comb. After going through whole head that way, then spray again going over just a narrow section (1/2 inch by comb width) at a time, wetting and combing thoroughly from root to end. Do this outdoors if you can. The light will help. This step takes the longest. Some of the nits’ “glue” will loosen quickly but some will be more stubborn. Spray again and braid longer hair. Leave this in overnight. It’s not as greasy as full oil applied, and the scent is less intense and more tolerable. This process will need to be repeated after 7-9 days in case any nit was missed, before it can lay more eggs. You can also use the spray as prevention. Keeping the hair braided or in a bun is wise to prevent re- infestation. It’s wise to wash bedding and vacuum the area, but don’t think you have to spend too much time on stuffed toys or extensively removing roaming lice. They don’t hide out like bedbugs and without a host to feed them they will die within 24 hours.


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