Can Using the Right Shampoo Prevent Lice?

Looking for Simple Solutions for Lice Prevention

Head lice, in the eyes of parents, can be an absolute nightmare. Without proper treatment, lice and linger on your child’s head and continue to reproduce. Because lice can only be spread from head to head contact, it is easy for children to get lice from the games they play with other children. Therefore, first and foremost, it is vital to teach your children to avoid head to head contact. But is there more you can do to prevent your children from getting lice? Some say there are shampoos and oils on the market that can help prevent lice, but let’s take a closer look.

Theory Behind Shampoo Helping Prevent Lice

coconut shampoo

Because lice are spread through head to head contact, the only certain way to prevent lice is to avoid activities that involve head to head contact with another person. But we understand that it’s difficult to tell your kids to not play their favorite games with their friends, so we look for other options for lice prevention.

Lice are parasitic insects that feed off of human blood. They attach to the scalp because they can cling on to hairs as a way to stay secure and reproduce. They are, as a whole, attracted to the smell of humans because they know that humans have the nutrients in their blood that lice need to survive and thrive.

The idea behind certain shampoos being able to prevent lice is that they mask the human smell that lice are attracted to. This strong smell does not come just from your favorite Herbal Essences scent, but in the form of essential oils in the shampoos. Since essential oils have such strong fragrances, they can to some extent prevent lice. Essential oils, for the same reason, are a commonly-used natural insect repellent. Of course, there is no scientific evidence that the use of essential oils can prevent lice, but there is some logic behind their ability to prevent lice.

Preventative Shampoos

Coconut Shampoos

coconut shampoo lice prevention

Coconut oil has become increasingly popular as a home-remedy for a variety of ailments, ranging from an antifungal, to a cold sore treatment, to an excellent skin moisturizer. Because of its multitude of uses, coconut oil is, in many countrie, a natural home remedy for lice prevention.

Coconut shampoos, because of their strong scent, may be a great first step in lice prevention. You can easily go the extra step and add a few drops of coconut oil to your shampoo to utilize its beneficial properties. Best of all, coconut oil has no side effects and is safe to use regularly and on children

Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

tea tree oil shampoo lice removal

Tea Tree Oil - a natural oil used in natural skincare products - contains terpenoids that contain antifungal and antiseptic properties: properties that have been known to have the ability to kill lice and nymphs. Because it kills the lice in an existing infestation, it does less prevention than it does treatment. Tea Tree oil will not repel lice from you scalp, but has the capability of killing lice if you do get an infestation on your scalp.

Purchasing tea-tree oil infused shampoo or adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your soft shampoo can have these lice treatment effects. However, many people can have an allergic reaction to tea tree oil that causes itching, blistering, and irritation to the skin. Additionally, it should not be used on children or pregnant or breastfeeding women. For everyone else, it’s worth spot testing a tea tree oil product on the crook of your elbow before use.

Lavender Oil Shampoo

lavender oil shampoo lice removal

Much like tea tree oil, lavender oil contains terpenoids, but in much smaller concentrations. Lice can be prevented due to the same antiseptic properties through the use of lavender shampoo or by adding lavender oil to other shampoo. Because of the lower concentration of terpenoids, lavender oil shampoos are much safer to use than tea tree oils and provokes very few skin irritations. However, it’s important to note that lavender oil should not be used frequently or on a daily basis, just as a preventative measure after sleepovers and other  activities that could involve head to head contact.

What Else Should I Know?

shampoo lice removal

First, it’s important to note that repeated use of lice treatment shampoo will not prevent lice. It will simply work to kill existing lice. Due to how powerful the chemicals in lice treatment shampoo are, there can be side effects from frequent use or for prevention. Additionally - though there is no proof that using shampoos like Head & Shoulders can prevent lice - many parents find it to be effective at prevention and treatment. This is because it contains dimethicone: an ingredient that can stop lice from being able to breathe, and thus killing them.

However, the most trusted and sure way to get rid of lice is by hand. If your child does contract lice, combing through their scalp and picking out nits and lice is the best way to get rid of an infestation. For thorough service, get in contact with a professional lice removal company. The Hair Whisperers - the most trusted lice removers in Los Angeles- can remove lice during an in-home visit in as little as an hour. For stress-free, trusted care, make sure you contact the best of the best for you child’s lice removal needs


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