Everything You Need to Know About Tea Tree Oil and Lice

Do you have head lice, but don’t want to use harsh chemical treatments? Tea tree oil may be the answer! This natural health remedy has been used for centuries as a safe and effective way to treat lice. In this article, we’ll discuss how tea tree oil works against head lice, what the results are like, and why it’s becoming a popular choice. Get all your questions answered about using Tea Tree Oil and Lice and get rid of those pesky bugs for good!

Looking for a natural remedy to add to your collection? Tea Tree Oil Uses are extensive and impressive. From skincare to household cleaning, this essential oil has been praised for its antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. You can use it to acne treatment, bug bite relief, and even to freshen your laundry. A few drops of tea tree oil can make a world of difference in elevating your at-home DIY game. So, whether you’re a self-proclaimed clean freak or looking for a natural solution for annoying skin problems, tea tree oil is definitely worth a spot in your medicine cabinet.

tea tree oil and lice

What is Tea Tree Oil?

Tea tree oil is a type of essential oil that’s derived from the leaves of the tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), a plant native to Australia. It has a fresh, camphor-like scent and its color ranges from pale yellow to nearly clear.

This oil is well-known for its powerful antiseptic properties and ability to treat wounds. It’s often found in a variety of skincare products like creams and lotions because it’s thought to be beneficial for skin conditions.

using tea tree oil on hair and scalp

Tea tree oil is also used in other personal care products, and is popular in aromatherapy. However, it’s important to note that tea tree oil should be used topically only and not ingested. It should also be diluted before use as it can cause skin irritation in some individuals. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment.

Safety Measures to Follow When Applying Tea Tree Oil to Treat Lice 

Sure thing, here are some safety measures to keep in mind when using tea tree oil to treat lice:

  1. Dilute It: Tea tree oil is potent. You should always dilute it with a carrier oil like olive or coconut oil before applying it to your scalp.
  2. Patch Test: Before applying the mixture all over your head, do a patch test on a small part of your skin. This is to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction to it.
  3. Avoid Eyes: Be careful not to get any tea tree oil in your eyes. It’s powerful stuff and can cause serious irritation.
  4. Don’t Swallow: Tea tree oil is for external use only. Never ingest it as it can be toxic.
  5. Store Safely: Keep your tea tree oil out of reach of children and pets. It can be harmful if swallowed or applied undiluted.
  6. Consult a Professional: If you’re pregnant, nursing, or dealing with a serious health condition, talk to your doctor before using tea tree oil. And remember, while tea tree oil can help, it’s not a guaranteed cure for lice, so consider reaching out to a healthcare provider for advice.
essential oils

Essential Oils That Can Be Used in Combination with Tea Tree Oil and Lice

In addition to tea tree oil, several other essential oils are often used in home remedies for lice treatment. They can be used in combination with tea tree oil, but remember to always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before use. Here are a few:

  1. Lavender Oil: Lavender oil is believed to soothe the scalp and may help to kill lice.
  2. Peppermint Oil: This oil’s strong scent can repel lice. It also provides a cooling effect that can soothe an itchy scalp.
  3. Coconut Oil: While not an essential oil, coconut oil is often mixed with tea tree oil to suffocate lice and make combing them out easier.
  4. Olive Oil: Like coconut oil, olive oil can be used as a carrier oil and can smother lice.
  5. Eucalyptus Oil: Eucalyptus oil is often used in anti-lice shampoos and conditioners due to its potential pesticidal properties.
  6. Neem Oil: Neem oil can disrupt the life cycle of lice, making it harder for them to grow and reproduce.

While these natural remedies can help with treating lice, they may not fully eliminate an infestation. Always consult with a healthcare provider for appropriate lice treatments.

How Do You Use Tea Tree Oil to Get Rid of Lice?

To use tea tree oil for treating lice, follow these steps:

  1. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil (like coconut or olive oil). The usual ratio is about 5 drops of tea tree oil to 2 tablespoons of carrier oil.
  2. Apply this mixture directly to the scalp using a cotton ball. Be sure to saturate all areas, especially the back of the neck and behind the ears where lice like to hide.
  3. Wrap your hair in a towel or put on a shower cap and leave it on overnight. This gives the tea tree oil ample time to work.
  4. In the morning, comb out your hair thoroughly with a fine-toothed comb specifically designed for removing lice and nits (lice eggs).
  5. Wash your hair as usual to remove the oil and dead lice.
  6. Repeat this process every night until no more lice or nits are found in your hair.

Remember, while tea tree oil can help repel lice and possibly kill some, it may not be 100% effective at eliminating an infestation. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider for appropriate treatments if you’re dealing with lice.

How Long Does it Take for Tea Tree Oil to Kill Head Lice?

Tea tree oil’s effectiveness and the time it takes to kill head lice can vary. Some sources suggest that a 1% tea tree oil solution can kill all head lice within 30 minutes, while others indicate that regular application over two weeks may be necessary to fully eradicate lice.

It’s important to note that while tea tree oil can help in dealing with lice, it may not completely eliminate an infestation, particularly because it might not kill all nits or lice eggs. Therefore, repeated treatments along with combing out the nits are often necessary. Always consult with a healthcare provider for appropriate lice treatments.

life cycle of lice

Why Does Tea Tree Oil Work on Lice?

Tea tree oil is believed to be effective against lice because of its natural insecticidal properties. It contains compounds like terpinen-4-ol that have been found to kill lice and their eggs. Plus, the strong scent of tea tree oil can also repel lice, preventing further infestation.

However, while tea tree oil can help in dealing with lice, it’s not a guaranteed solution for a full-blown infestation, especially because it might not kill all nits or lice eggs. Therefore, repeated treatments along with combing out the nits are often necessary.

As always, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment, including natural remedies like tea tree oil.

As always, remember I am not a healthcare professional nor do I pretend to be one.

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I love Rocky Mountain Oils because of their quality 100% pure essential oils that require no minimum purchase and always gives FREE shipping! Plus they always have specials going on!

Rocky Mountain Oils’ essential oils are verified by a third-party, independent lab. GC/MS tests verify purity and quality of the oils sold so you can look at the bottom of the bottle to find your individual batch code and then input that number into our website to pull up the GC/MS test results.

Rocky Mountain Products can be returned for any reason, even if opened, for up to 90 days. RMO also pays for our customers’ return shipping expenses to make our ordering process completely risk-free.

RMO includes three different icons for recommended use on each bottle for easy reference: Diffuse, Topical Application and Household. So you can look at the bottle and know in what way it’s intended for use.

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1. Norris, J. A., & Hart, B. J. (2017). Tea Tree Oil: Uses and Benefits for Skin and Hair Care. International Journal of Trichology, 9(4), 116-121.

2. Guenther, K., & Donaldson, D. (n.d.). How to Get Rid of Lice With Tea Tree Oil. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/head-lice-tea-tree-oil

3. Sharma, S., & Gupta, P. (2013). Tea tree oil: A superficial review of medicinal properties and mechanism of action. Indian Journal of Dermatology, 58(6), 476–481. https://doi.org/10.4103/0019-5154.122951

4. Essential Oils for Lice: Benefits, How to Use, and Safety Precautions. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/essential-oils-for-lice

This content should not be used to replace the advice of a healthcare provider. Consult your doctor before using any natural remedy, including tea tree oil, for lice treatment.

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