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A child or even an adult scratching the head is not an uncommon thing to watch. They are scratching due to the presence of head lice. It’s a tiny, wingless parasite that lives in human hair.

Though not a health hazard, they are highly contagious. Getting the head rid of head lice is a tricky affair.

There are many treatments out there that talk about getting rid of the lice without the associated trouble. Common among them is the use of oil, especially olive oil, extra virgin.

This brings us to the moot question – Does olive oil help in addressing head lice?

How Does it Work?

Like any other available home remedy, removing head lice with olive oil can be a frustrating experience. It can also be very messy, and yes, expensive. Olive oil works like all other home remedies – apply enough oil for a long time – to smother the active lice.

To ensure that the head lice are completely suffocated, the hair has to be saturated with the olive oil and left for nearly eight hours.

Since this is effective only against the active lice, you need to undergo this treatment repeatedly until the entire lice have been removed. This treatment can last for weeks, if not days or months.
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Given the length of the treatment, olive oil seems to a sensible treatment choice. If one has to soak the hair in a foreign substance numerous times a week, there cannot be any better product than olive oil.

It’s also good for the skin, and there is no strong smell. Most importantly, it is natural!

Steps in Lice Treatment

You cannot depend only on olive oil to remove the head lice. You will need a good lice comb. Good or bad lice comb is the difference between a successful treatment and unsuccessful lice removal.
  • Liberally apply oil to the scalp and the hair
  • Wait for 7 – 8 hours for the oil to start working and suffocate the lice
  • After 8 hours, thoroughly comb the hair using a lice comb
  • Clear the lice comb of any head lice that attaches to it after brushing. Clean the comb using a paper towel or rinsing in soapy water
  • Repeat the steps from two to four till the lice stop appearing on the comb
  • Repeat all the steps mentioned above twice a week for 3 to 4 weeks

Drawbacks of Olive Oil Lice Treatment

Despite its’ so-called success against head lice, the use of olive oil is plagued by a significant drawback. It is costly. One opts for a home remedy for treating head lice as it helps in saving costs, but using olive oil negates the whole “saving cost” factor.

A regular bottle of olive oil (extra virgin) costs around $15 to $20. This roughly translates to nearly $7 to $10 for every single treatment. Since the eggs of the lice are not treated, you will require several applications of the oil to complete the treatment.

A ballpark calculation shows that one successful home treatment for head lice using extra virgin olive oil will cost around $50 to $60 plus the amount of time spent.

There is also a very good chance of the lice spreading to other family members, who might also prefer using home remedies like olive oil, which means the whole process starts all over again.