Prevention vs. Treatment
There is an important distinction to make between the use of tea tree oil as a preventive measure and its usefulness in treating head lice. As a repellent, tea tree oil is great to keep in the medicine cabinet and use in the event of an outbreak. It is 100% natural, soothing on the scalp, and completely safe when using just a few drops. In fact, because of its natural qualities, many of Hair Fairies’ own lice products contain tea tree oil as a key ingredient for the prevention of head lice! In a recent segment on Dr. Oz, we explained how tea tree oil can be used to “ward out” lice during an outbreak: Unfortunately, although head lice find the smell of tea tree oil repulsive, it is not enough to make them leave their cozy new home on your scalp. The reason tea tree oil does not work as a standalone lice treatment is twofold:
- It does nothing to suffocate existing lice
- Its active lice-fighting ingredient, anticholinesterase, has been rendered almost irrelevant due to lice having already developed a resistance to common insecticides (e.g. Permethrin) and various over-the-counter treatments
When to Use Tea Tree Oil for Lice
- When you hear about an outbreak at school or camp
- When one family member has an active outbreak or has been exposed to an outbreak
- If you feel you may have been personally exposed to a lice outbreak
- Does tea tree oil kill lice?No, not on its own.
- Does tea tree oil prevent lice?Yes, it helps.