Clearly this indicates that olive oil can kill head lice. However, Pollack is quick to state that additional testing is warranted before coming to any further conclusions. Although Pollack has received a fewer number of calls from people saying that olive oil was ineffective during their head lice infestation, he has also had dozens of phone calls from people saying that olive oil cured their head lice infestation.13
In addition, five Israeli studies were performed upon a product called Chick-Chack in Israel (marketed under the name of HairClear 1-2-3 in the U.S.) made of coconut oil, isopropyl alcohol and two essential oils. Researchers reported that the solution created a synergistic combination that effectively killed all the head lice and about half of the nits.14
A Parent's Choice: Toxic or Non-toxic Treatments
As new head lice treatments using these non-toxic oils hit the market, they will be followed closely with clinical trials to support their effectiveness. Today, there are several clinical trials testing these treatments that are already in progress. Until these results are public, parents must make a choice: to treat their children with lesser known, non-toxic head lice treatments which have some evidence of efficacy and pose no threat to their children; or to treat their children with well known head lice products which are clearly not effective and contain pesticides which do poison children.
Pesticide-Free Products & Treatments For Head Lice Infestation
Nonits®, developed by Changes and Company, is a new product which effectively eliminates head lice infestation through an olive oil based solution and a coconut oil based shampoo. As the Harvard School of Public Health test indicates, the olive oil in Nonits® controls head lice. In addition, essential oils, including lavender and tea tree oil, have been added to prevent reinfestation, promote healing, as well as provide a pleasant fragrance that children like.
The Nonits® package comes with a finely tooled metal tooth comb specifically designed for manually removing nits and lice, an 8 oz. bottle of treatment solution as well as an 8 oz. bottle of head lice shampoo. With this 16 ounce package, a family can be completely treated for $24.95. Nonits is recommended by the New York Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NYCAP).
Hair Clear 1-2-3 by Quantum uses coconut oil, isopropyl alcohol, ylang ylang oil and anise oil to fight head lice. One ounce size sells for $16.95 and provides two full treatments. The two ounce size sells for $24.95 and provides four full treatments. Each size includes a metal lice comb.
LiceMeister developed by National Pediculosis Association is a uniquely tooled metal lice comb which the NPA says makes lice and nit removal easier, passes through hair without pulling or tearing, collects lice and nits as it goes, enables parents to screen regularly and detect head lice and their nits as early as possible. The LiceMeister sells for $14.95.
Clear ® Total Lice Elimination System is advertised as a non-toxic head lice treatment which contains a natural extract of chrysanthemum flowers. However, according to the New York Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NYCAP), the chrysanthemum extract (pyrethrum), even in a natural form, is a pesticide with moderate to high oral toxicity that may cause asthmatic reactions and liver damage and should not be considered "non-toxic."15