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If you or your kids end up with a head lice problem, you don't necessarily need to invest in expensive and harsh shampoos to solve the problem. A jar of mayonnaise can do the trick. Daniel Packer, writing for frugal living blog Wise Bread, shares his discovery:
A few years ago, I unfortunately got lice. I tried all the products that the local drug stores had to offer and found that nothing worked. Afraid of killing more brain cells than lice, I refrained from using any more toxic chemicals on my hair and resorted to mayonnaise. It is a safe way to kill lice, and it works! Massage mayonnaise into your hair and cover it with a shower cap before you go to sleep. Wash it out in the morning and use a fine comb to comb out any dead eggs. If needed, repeat 7-10 days later.
I read this with a healthy amount of skepticism because it seems a little like a snake oil proposition. As it turns out, snake oil could kill the lice as well because any oil or product with a lot of oil (like mayonnaise) serves to suffocate the little monsters. The Minnesota Department of Health lists mayonnaise as an acceptable suffocant for treating head lice. Oil and petroleum jelly are listed as well. A think coating is necessary, and because you're not actually poisoning the lice you have a higher margin of error. That said, suffocating them with an oily product can and has worked for many people. It's worth a try if you're particularly adverse to using harsh chemicals.
10 Unexpected Home Uses for Mayonnaise | Wise Bread
Photo by Bradley P. Johnson.