How to Treat Head Lice with Apple Cider Vinegar

Updated on March 11th, 2020
Apple Cider Vinegar for Lice

When was the last time you doused with a foul, tar-like shampoo after a wave of lice hit you? Lice are no less than a nightmare for all of us. And continually scratching the head in public is equally humiliating. This might be the time to bring out the big guns(1). Who wants to fight this stuff for weeks, right?

Using harsh chemical remedies can actually damage your hair without helping you get rid of the lice. So, you can brush aside this agony with a dose of apple cider vinegar for lice. Shampooing the hair and then rinsing it with apple cider vinegar can get rid of the irritation, itchiness, and the eggs and lice as well.

Read on to find out more about using apple cider vinegar for lice infestation in the scalp.

Almost 6-12 million children between the age of 3-11 years in the United States suffer from lice infestation in the US annually

How Does it Apple Cider Vinegar for Lice Work?

Apple cider vinegar works like magic for the natural treatment of infestation of lice in the scalp. Rinsing the hair with apple cider vinegar works to kill the lice by dissolving the glue that the lice secrete. The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar kills the larvae of lice, and the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of the ACV help to cure the sores on the scalp.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Lice?

apple cider vinegar benefits

Apple cider vinegar is an excellent home remedy for the elimination of head lice. It works by removing the nits or lice eggs that stick to the hair strands. Apple Cider Vinegar prevents the hatching of eggs and infestation of new lice on the hair and scalp. If your hair has tiny nits, then you can apply apple cider vinegar to the scalp and hair to get rid of them quickly.

Apple Cider Vinegar contains acetic acid, which helps to loosen the eggshells and makes them fall off from the hair strands. However, apple cider vinegar is not strong enough for the lice. Thus, the mature lice survive despite repeatedly rinsing the hair with apple cider vinegar.

[Also Read: Vinegar: A Natural Lice Treatment]


1. Use a Medicated Shampoo

Since apple cider vinegar is not effective enough for the complete elimination of lice and eggs, you must begin the process by using a medicated shampoo. The shampoos that are for specifically made for killing lice are pediculicides.

Rub your scalp thoroughly with the shampoo to remove the stubborn nits and lice. The medicated shampoo helps to kill the mature lice and prevents the spread of the infestation. Apply the apple cider vinegar after shampooing to remove the dead lice and nits.

[Also Read: Coconut Oil For Lice Treatment]

2. Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Every type of apple cider vinegar possesses acetic acid, but some types of apple cider vinegar contain a more concentrated amount of acetic acid than the others. Apple cider vinegar that contains about 5% of acetic acid is right for the elimination of lice and nits from the hair. This type of apple cider vinegar is not only strong enough to get rid of the nits but is gentle on the scalp as well.

  1. Moisten your hair with water to make it slightly damp.
  2. Pour 2-3 cups of apple cider vinegar on the scalp and massage your hair and scalp gently with it. Massage every strand of hair from the roots to the tips to get rid of the nits.
  3. Wear a shower cap and let the apple cider vinegar sit for about 10-12 minutes. Take care that the vinegar does not get into your eyes.
  4. Comb the hair with a lice comb to get rid of the remnants and then rinse off the vinegar with fresh water.

A high level of acetic acid in the vinegar can irritate the scalp and cause hair breakage. Rinsing the hair with apple cider vinegar helps in doing away with the louse saliva, which makes the scalp itchy and triggers hair fall as well.

[Also Read: Use Olive Oil to Kill Head Lice]

The infestation of the scalp and hair with lice and nits is the most annoying and disturbing dermatological condition ever. It occurs due to poor scalp health, caused due exposure to unhygienic conditions. Apple cider vinegar for lice is an effective home remedy(2). It soothes the irritation, helps get rid of the lice and eggs, and ensures the health and beauty of the hair and scalp as well.


1. Can Vinegar Damage Your Hair?

Apple Cider Vinegar has ample benefits, yet, it could dry your hair. Apple cider vinegar is an acidic solution that could make your hair more brittle and lighter.

2. What Is the Best Home Remedy for Lice?

Of all the home remedies available, you can use Lavender oil to treat head lice, a variety of insects, and even fungi, but it does not kill nits. Dissolve two drops of lavender oil in 10 milliliters of water and apply it on the hair once per week for three weeks.

3. How to Prevent Lice Infection?

You can prevent the infestation of lice on the scalp by following a hygienic hair routine like shampooing the hair thrice a week and maintaining general cleanliness of the hair and scalp.

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