Results of clinical neem head lice shampoo trials are promising. Neem shampoo can be a very effective head lice remedy indeed...
Neem oil for head lice?
Whether neem shampoo is a home remedy for head lice is a popular question.
Head lice are such persistent little pests and the usual chemical head lice shampoos are rather nasty.
Do you really want to wash your hair with insecticide? Some over the counter and prescription remedies are so toxic that you can only use them once every ten days.
And as if that wasn't bad enough, head lice are also resistant to many of the commonly used chemicals! Most people find that out the hard way...
Wouldn't it be great if there was an effective, natural home remedy for head lice?
If you could just wash your hair with a nice neem shampoo and that's it? All fixed?
It is common wisdom that neem oil shampoo prevents head lice.
Preventing head lice is great, but an existing infestation? That's a different cup of tea. Most people think that neem shampoo won't be enough.
The recommendation used to be to use undiluted neem oil for head lice. Yep, a head lice infestation is the only condition where the use of undiluted neem oil is recommended. It's a messy and smelly operation.
(Although, no matter how smelly, a natural remedy for head lice is still much preferable to the nasty chemicals you would otherwise need.)
But there is good news. Already in January 2007 Egyptian researchers published the very promising results of a small clinical trial of a head lice remedy:
Sixty children, all heavily infested with head lice, were treated with neem shampoo. The study showed that if the hair is washed with 20 - 30 ml of neem shampoo and the shampoo is left in the hair for at least 10 minutes, then neem shampoo is highly effective against all stages of head lice.
The head lice shampoo used in the trial contained neem seed extract. If a neem shampoo is to be effective against head lice it should contain neem seed oil or neem seed extract at a fairly high concentration.
Many neem shampoos contain neem leaf or bark extracts, and often they don't contain all that much. So please do not misinterpret that study. It does not mean that ANY neem shampoo will totally clean up a head lice infestation just like that. But it is a promising trial.
(Also, you can increase the power of any neem shampoo by simply adding a few drops of neem oil in the palm of your hand when using it.)
Even if the neem shampoo didn't kill the head lice eggs, it shouldn't matter. Such a natural, herbal head lice shampoo can be used daily. Any remaining eggs that the nit comb missed would be dealt with as soon as they hatch. Using the neem shampoo would also prevent re-infestation via contaminated clothing, bedding etc.
This trial followed a 2006 laboratory experiment on Australian head lice. The results there had been the same. The neem oil shampoo was highly effective against head lice, more effective than a conventional head lice treatment containing permethrin (a common pesticide).
The Australian researchers even predicted that plant based treatments will over time replace conventional treatments if resistance to those increases.
(Sadly, well over ten years later, doctors still prescribe the toxic, conventional treatments.)
Want to give it a go and use neem to treat head lice at home naturally?
Here is the info you need:
Have you used neem oil, neem shampoo or other neem products to deal with head lice? Other readers would love to hear about your first hand experiences with neem.
Both good and bad experiences are more than welcome. It's easy to share your experience with us. Just fill in the form below. You can also use the form to ask a question.
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Click below to read about other readers' experiences and questions about neem and head lice.
Daily Neem Head Lice Spray
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Neem oil worked for head lice where nothing else did
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So Far, So Good (Neem oil keeps headlice away)
Since the weekend before the last day of school we have been fighting and fighting head lice. We have spent my soon to be second graders entire school …
Head lice! I was so infested with the nasty little bugs!
My sisters and I were both infested with head lice and were devastated. We had tried everything. Even the oddest of home remedies to get rid of the lice. …
Neem Seed Oil Recipe for head lice
After my daughter was constantly getting head lice from school and I got sick of the the chemist products not working and costing me a fortune, I started …
Can you add neem oil to your existing shampoo?
If so how much should I add? I have a coconut milk shampoo with coconut oil in it and I added tea tree oil about 10 drops, I wanted to mix the neem in …
Neem oil doesn't work against head lice
Neem oil does not work, I looked into it with an open mind, but it just doesn't, neither does shampoo though. The best luck I've had has been cutting the …
My boys were riddled with head lice - until finding neem.
My little boys regularly came home with a head full of lice. We have both the Metallic Long Comb and an Electronic Comb, which were good whilst we used …
Neem Oil loosens nits
I have four girls - the oldest is 8 - all with lice. We used chemical pesticides first only to find live lice the next day. Tonight I applied neem oil …
Lice love my hair
No kidding, I have had head lice at least three times in my life, they love certain types of hair. I am Caucasian/Italian with med course hair. A moving …
Undiluted Neem oil best to get rid of lice
This is my experience using neem oil from my childhood. A single night is enough to completely get rid of lice. Procedure: Apply huge amount of undiluted …
Nothing worked like the neem
My daughter used a dual treatment of two organic products, one was called the nit kit by www.wellinhand.com and the other was Theraneem shampoo by Organix …
Neem oil does work
I discovered neem oil in India where there is a product called Licel and it is basically neem oil. I have got rid of a massive head lice infestation with …
Undiluted neem oil for head lice--now what?
After 2 Nix treatments and countless hours of combing with lice combs, she had discovered a live bug this morning in her hair. So I switched to neem oil. …
Neem oil for head lice on baby
I have five month old baby and she got head lice. Can I use neem oil for her? If yes, then please send me the procedure. Thanks, SM
Parasitol Res. 2007 Jan;100(2):329-32. Epub 2006 Aug 10. Efficacy of neem seed extract shampoo on head lice of naturally infected humans in Egypt.
Parasitol Res. 2006 Sep;99(4):353-6. Epub 2006 Mar 28. A new shampoo based on neem (Azadirachta indica) is highly effective against head lice in vitro.