Does Coca Cola Kill Head Lice? (The answer might surprise you)

You're tired.

You're frustrated.

Maybe you don't want to spend a lot of money.

Either way, you're sick of your head lice and have turned to the Internet to find a cheap, easy solution to your problem.

does coca cola kill lice

Many articles, testimonies, and websites designed for people to ask questions keep mentioning Coca Cola as the solution to your problem.

But, does pouring soda on your head really kill head lice?

Let's find out!

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What is in Coca Cola?

Coca Cola keeps its recipe secret to protect it from competitors, but that doesn't mean we don't have a rough idea of what's in there. The basic recipe includes the following:

  • High fructose corn syrup or sugar for sweetness
  • Caffeine
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Citric acid
  • Caramel coloring

We don't recommend Coke to get lice out of your hair, but we do recommend RID Shampoo and the Lice No More products. Check them out!

Why are the ingredients important when considering lice removal?

Nits are notoriously hard to remove.

A nit is the egg of a head louse. It is bound to the strands of hair near the scalp and needs your warmth to survive.

Nits cannot be shaken loose, and most specially made lice treatments and shampoos aren't enough to get them out. Instead, many people use lice combs to break this bond through physical strength rather than a chemical additive.

But, how does this relate to Coca Cola?

To put it simply, soda lacks the materials required to dissolve a nit's strong bond with the hair follicle.

Although it includes phosphoric acid and citric acid, they have never been proven to help remove an egg from someone's hair.

Wig makers use numerous chemical baths on the hair they receive for wigs, and even that isn't enough to eliminate nits without physical labor and careful combing.

There's also nothing special about the other chemicals in Coca Cola that would make it toxic to lice, either. Sugar, caffeine, and caramel coloring would have no effect on the pests.

We don't recommend Coke to get lice out of your hair, but we do recommend RID Shampoo and the Lice No More products. Check them out!

Other Lice Information

Curious about other lice related products? Check out our other detailed guides to help you deal with your pest problems.

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If coca cola can't kill lice what does?

Most lice treatments include pesticides like permithrine, which are toxic to the pest.

Other treatments might use natural ingredients like rosemary or star anise oil, which can repel lice but are not effective as actual treatments.

wig makers chemicals nits

Unless the product you are using contains some form of pesticide or natural repellent, it will be ineffective against head lice. Because Coca Cola lacks these ingredients, it cannot be used as an effective killer.

The nits also still need to be removed by hand, otherwise the infestation will return.

Is there any evidence for Coca Cola?

While you might read stories online about how Coca Cola was effective for somebody, there is not hard scientific evidence to prove that soda kills lice.

If you search the remedy on the Internet, all of the sources which pop up are blogs, unofficial organizations, and companies trying to market a product.

While products like pesticides have years of study to prove they can fight and kill lice, Coca Cola simply lacks the credibility required to be an effective treatment. If you want a reliable solution to head lice, choose a product which has the science to back it up.

So, what should you do?

You might have hoped a bottle of soda would be your (cheap and affordable) salvation, but there simply is no proof that it could work.

Indeed, there is more evidence to suggest that it wouldn't do anything besides leave your hair a sugary mess. Instead, sample different lice treatments and shampoos.

If you're looking for an inexpensive alternative, we recommend a lice shampoo with a decent lice comb. Many are cheap, reusable, and only require your effort to eliminate adult lice and the tough to master nits. 

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