How To Treat Head Lice Safely & Easily Using Essential Oils

If you have children you may be familiar with the dreaded head louse. In this post I’ll show you how to get rid of them safely using essential oils and without dangerous chemicals or pesticides. I myself have been infested with them on two occasions and have lived to tell the tale. I used essential oils from Young Living.

There are two problems with most over the counter preparations to treat head lice. They are

  • dangerous because they contain chemical pesticides, and
  • the lice have developed resistance to them and so they flat out don’t work.



Anybody can get head lice. If you’ve got them just remember that they don’t like dirty hair. So if you’ve got them it’s because you have nice clean hair. Unlike body lice which can spread diseases such as typhus, head lice are not the vectors of any known disease.

However, they are very contagious and can spread easily. And it really ISN’T COOL to have blood sucking parasitic insects making their home in your hair!



Pediculus humanus capitis

Head lice are tiny wingless insects that spend their entire lives on the human scalp feeding only on human blood. They cannot hop like fleas or fly, but they do crawl quickly.

They are usually found close to the scalp, especially at the nape of the neck and around the ears, but may be found on the eyebrows or eyelashes.

  • Head-to-head contact is by far the most common route of lice transmission.
  • Their average life span is about a month.
  • An adult female head louse lays approximately 100 – 150 eggs a month.
  • The eggs are usually attached 1/2-inch from the scalp.
  • Eggs hatch within 7-10 days of being laid.


Head lice are resistant to prescription and over-the-counter shampoos and lotions. That’s why there is an epidemic of them in our school system.

The National Pediculosis Association warns: “There are NO over-the-counter or prescription treatments to kill lice that are totally safe and scientifically proven to be 100% effective against head lice and nits. These treatments are potentially harmful pesticides and reliance on them promotes repeated use and contributes to ongoing infestations, outbreaks and resistant strains of head lice.”

They further warn against the use of chemicals, “designed to kill or destroy head lice in any individuals who have a pre-existing illness. This would include, but not be limited to, those with asthma, epilepsy, brain tumors, cancer or AIDS. Those on medication, OR who have been previously treated for head lice, as well as pregnant and nursing mothers may be more vulnerable to side effects and should AVOID chemical lice treatments for use on themselves OR applying them to others.”



1. Pyrethrins, obtained from the chrysanthemum flower, sound like they all natural and have nothing but good vibes. These are safer than the chemical pesticides, yet they are known to cause respiratory problems, headache, nausea, incoordination, tremors, convulsions and skin reactions.

2. Permethrin and other pyrethroids are synthetic versions of pyrethrin and have a much greater potential for causing toxicity. Animal studies have shown they can suppress the immune system and be toxic to the liver.

3. Lindane, an organochlorine insecticide. Look for the name Gamma-Hexachlorocyclohexane or Benzene Hexachloride (BHC). These are neurotoxins and are structurally similar to banned DDT & chlordane.

4. Malathion, an organophosphate insecticide. You can find online reports saying it has very low toxicity and breaks down quickly. Don’t believe them. The truth is that one of its breakdown products is a chemical called malaoxon which is more toxic than the malathion itself. My advice is to avoid it totally.

5. Inert ingredients, and that does NOT mean it is non toxic. One, Piperonyl Butoxide, can pose a distinct health risk for pregnant women.



1. Remove all nits using a special fine tooth NIT COMB. Nits are most easily removed by combing while the hair is slightly damp. Adding conditioner or a 50:50 vinegar-water solution to the hair will make combing easier.

2. Use therapeutic grade essential oils. I use Young Living Essential Oils. Proper use of essential oils will kill not only the adults, but also the nits. Try one of the following formulas.

Formula 1. In 1 ounce of olive/almond oil add the following essential oils :

10 drops each of Eucalyptus, Geranium, Oregano and Thyme oils

Formula 2. In 1 ounce of olive/almond oil add :

  • 10 drops – Eucalyptus
  • 8 drops – Lavender
  • 5 drops – Geranium

Formula 3. In 1 ounce of olive/almond oil add:

  • 10 drops – Tea Tree (Melaleuca)
  • 5 drops – Rosemary
  • 5 drops – Lavender
  • 5 drops – Lemon

Apply 1 teaspoon or more as needed of mixture to scalp and hair nearest scalp. Massage over entire head and into hair. Leave in for at least 30 mins. After that shampoo hair or just leave mixture on.

Repeat once a day for 10 – 14days. I used Formula 1 above only every second day.

3. All personal articles that have been in contact with the person’s head should be deloused. Normal laundering with hot, soapy water (125 degrees F for 10 minutes), or dry cleaning will kill lice and nits on clothing, bed linens and towels. Combs and brushes should be soaked for 10 minutes in a pan of very hot water. As an added precaution, car seats, furniture, and carpeting contacted by infested individuals should be vacuumed and the vacuum bag discarded.

4. Children should be instructed not to share hats, clothing or brushes with their classmates.


PRECAUTIONARY NOTE on using essential oils, especially with children or during pregnancy:

To avoid any possible adverse reaction to any essential oil, first test the mixture to be used by applying only a drop or two on the skin. If you are pregnant, please consult with a professional health care practitioner before using essential oils.



Have fun!




May there be peace in our hearts.

May there be peace for all humanity.

May there be perfect peace on earth.

About Dev Khalsa

Welcome my friend! My name is Dev Sarang Khalsa and I am a visionary scientist, yogi, master kinesiologist and entrepreneur. I have a passion for following the path of the heart.


  1. Greetings Dev! THanK You for posting that great video re essential oil remedies to cure lice. Used it on Kayenne the other night and it worked wonders!!!

    Stay awesome 🙂


  2. I have had a problem with my skin for over four years that causes very painful lesions that will not heal unless they are debrided several times over the course of a few weeks. This process makes them gradually shrink in size until they finally heal. Although this is terribly painful, it is the only thing that has worked.

    My faith in doctors has been completely destroyed by their ignorance of this condition (demodicidocis), their egotistical attitude, and their total disregard of my competence and knowledge of animal science (my minor in college). I have been wrongly accussed of being psychotic and intentionally making the lesions by a excoriating my skin with my nails. I will never again waste my time or money at a so-called skin specialist.

    A few weeks ago, I purchased an endoscope and now have proof that the cause of my lesions is the demodex mite. I apperently “seeded” my scalp after I foolishly used the flea comb on myself after using it on a puppy we were given, because I felt like I had fleas crawling in my hair as well.

    They began on my scalp and face, and in time have affected my whole body. The worst is on my face, shoulders, arms, and torso especially where clothing fits snugly ie, waistband, shoulders, and seating area of buttocks. When looking at the skin on my face under magnification, it has a waxy appearence, which is one of the symptoms of demodex on canines.

    Do you think the remedies for head lice could possibly help me? I have tried slightly diluted tea tree oil, applied directly to the lesions, which did not help.

    Also, when I have used coconut oil to moisturize my hair, they go crazy and my scalp becomes unbearably itchy. They apperantly love the coconut oil as a food source, so I’ve stopped using it! This makes me leary of using any other oils, fearing they could create the same result. I would also need to cover my whole body with any treatment and don’t know if that’s a good idea with essential oils.

    Any ideas you might have to help me will be greatly appreciated!

  3. I have signed up with Young Living oils. I am not able to find some of the oils you recommend. Did you get all the oils from Young Living and if they do not carry them is there another combination you can recommend that they do carry??? Thank-You!!! 🙂 <3

    • I just talked to someone at Young Living, the oils are available. There seems to be some issues getting some of the oils shipped to Canada. The people at Young Living I talked to helped me out an enormous amount and I was able to order all the oils you recommend. Thank-You for all your help!!! 🙂 <3

  4. Excellent, as it is ridiculous in some schools, But please warn people that some oils shouldnt be used with pregnancy as can cause miscarriage, also other medical conditions. Check essential oils before use even if burning.

    • Hi Wendy

      Thank you for your comment. It is good to exercise caution at all times, especially during pregnancy. In the video I did include a warning about medical conditions, however, as far as I know NO essentials are actually known to be abortifacients. The following is a comment by Dr. Gary Young.

      “The statement in aromatherapy books that clary sage is an abortant factor came about through sloppy research at Warwick University. They took the uterus out of a rat, leaving it attached, turned it inside out and put a drop of cold clary sage oil on the exposed internal wall of the uterus and it contracted. Thank God they didn’t put a drop of cold water on it or no one would be able to drink cold water today because it would cause abortions. Dr. Harkess began to label every oil that contained sclerol as an abortant factor. There has never been an abortion known or documented in the history of mankind caused by essential oils. Yes, clary sage and sage and fennel contain sclerol. Clary sage has the highest level. Use it with caution. I have used clary sage with pregnant women right through their entire pregnancies and use it in greater amounts to encourage dilation and delivery. However, all substances can be toxic if you overdose.”

      That being said it would be safest for pregnant women to consult with a health care professional before using essential oils.


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