Head lice, formally known as pediculosis, are wingless insects that often reside in human hair. While head lice is quite common in children, people of any age can get it. Children are more susceptible to head lice simply because it spreads quickly in schools. The best way to prevent head lice is to avoid close contact with those who have it. If you get head lice, you can treat it with a variety of medicines that kill the lice. You can also use vinegar to prevent head lice.

Things You'll Need

Mix equal parts water and vinegar. Use the solution as a rinse on your hair after you wash it. The vinegar’s acidity will discourage head lice from taking up residence in your hair.

Apply 1/2 cup of vinegar to your hair. Work the vinegar into your scalp, where head lice often lay eggs. Cover your hair with a plastic bag and leave the vinegar on it for 30 minutes before rinsing. This more intense vinegar treatment is wise if you have been in direct contact with people who have head lice.

Dip a fine-toothed comb in vinegar and comb your hair. Begin at the roots and work your way down to the ends. Repeat until you have combed your entire head of hair. The comb will help to evenly distribute the vinegar throughout the strands.

Use vinegar on your hair daily for three to five days after you have been in contact with those with head lice.

Do not shampoo or condition your hair after applying the vinegar. While you can lightly rinse your hair with water, hair products will reduce the vinegar’s acidity, which is keeping the head lice at bay.


  • Wash all linens in hot water to kill any head lice or eggs that may be on them.

References and Resources

Head lice
More information on prevention