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Andiroba Seed Oil: Natural Head Lice Repellent That Works!

Head Lice

Are you dealing with a head lice nightmare? Wonder how to keep them away? Let’s be honest. Head lice can get the best of us. If head lice outbreak affected your little one or yourself, you are not alone. Yet, before you nip to the pharmacy, check out andiroba seed oil. Why?

Andiroba oil is an emollient used in head lice treatment for its insecticidal actions. Abundant in essential fatty acids (Omega 6 and 9), vitamin E and terpenes, it is a highly effective natural insect repellent that not only can help you get rid of head lice but also maintain healthy hair and scalp. 

So, before you set the house on fire to get rid of the pesky little troubles, scroll down to learn more about them and how you can get rid of them naturally. 

Table of Contents

About Head Lice

Head lice

Head lice are little insects that feed on human blood from the scalp. A head lice infestation most often affects children resulting from the direct transfer from one child’s hair to another. If you wondered, it isn’t a result of poor personal hygiene or a dirty home, quite the opposite, head lice like clean hair.

What is the head louse?

A head louse is a greyish insect about the size of a sesame seed that lives on the human scalp. It feeds on an individual’s blood from the scalp. The female attaches the egg to the bottom of the hair shaft by producing a sticky substance. 

Head louse life cycle

A louse goes through three stages of its life. 

  • In the first stage, it lays eggs, which hatch in between six to nine days. 
  • In the second stage, nymphs (baby nymphs) mature after nine to twelve days.
  • In the last stage, the females lay six to ten eggs a day and live between three to four weeks. 

Common symptoms of head lice infestation

Common symptoms of a head lice infestation can include:

  • Itching. People suffering from lice infestation commonly experience itching on the scalp, neck, and ears.
  • Lice on the scalp. Adult lice measure about 2-3 millimetres in length, which makes them difficult to spot. Head lice can’t jump or fly; they crawl. 
  • Head lice eggs are difficult to spot as they are very tinyIt’s easiest to spot them around the ears and the neck’s hairline. If you find a few, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are dealing with an infestation.
  • Sores on the scalp. As it goes for children, it’s hard to stop them from scratching themselves. That can irritate skin and result in small, red bumps that can occasionally get infected with bacteria.

How do head lice spread?

Head lice often spread directly among children or within a family by direct head to head contact. However, lice can spread through the use of personal items such as hats and scarves, hair combs and accessories, headphones, pillows, towels and upholstery. 

How to prevent head lice from spreading?

Preventing the spread of head lice can prove challenging as children, in particular, work and play closely. However, to help avoid a head-lice transmission, you or anyone affected might like to avoid sharing personal items, particularly combs, hats and scarves, and discourage children from sharing a bed with you or their siblings. 

You could try over-the-counter or natural remedies to treat head-lice infestations. However, be mindful that head lice have built their resistance against commercially produced products. Giving a go-to natural alternative, like andiroba oil, could be a way forward. 

About Andiroba

Andiroba, also known as Crabwood, is a tree found in the Amazon rainforest, especially in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and Paraguay. It is very adaptable, and you would find it in dry and temporarily flooded land, along streams, rivers and mangroves.  Indigenous people of Amazon have been utilising andiroba’s therapeutic properties for centuries using bark, leaves and oil from the seeds. 

Andiroba oil (Crab oil) composition

Thick, creamy with earthy notes, the andiroba seed oil is extracted from the seeds of Carapa guianensis using the cold-pressed method. Abundant in vitamin E, essential fatty acids (Omega 6 and 9) and limonoids, this oil is a kid-friendly insect repellent that won’t only prevent the head lice from spreading it will also give your child’s hair a natural shine. 


INCI: Carapa Guaianensis Seed Oil
Common Names: Crabwood Oil, Carap Oil
Common extraction method: Cold-pressed from the seeds of Carapa guianensis, a tree native to the Amazon region.
Appearance: Thick yellow oil.
Fragrance: Woody, earthy notes.
Absorption rate: Absorbs slowly to the skin, making it a great massage oil.
Recommended usage: You can use it as it is or mix it with other oils and/or butter.
Substitute: Just like all oils, andiroba oil’s composition is unique. Saying that neem oil could work, as it is similar in its composition.
Storage: Store in a cool, dark, dry container, away from the sunlight.

Let’s look at some of the notable compounds found in the oil:

Vitamins found in andiroba oil:

  • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps with maintaining a healthy scalp and hair growth. 

Fatty Acids Composition: Andiroba (Crab) oil is rich in oleic, palmitic, stearic and linoleic fatty acids, crucial for maintaining healthy skin. Essential fatty acids play a vital role in protecting the skin’s barrier from external threats while keeping it well-hydrated. 

Remedial substances found in andiroba oil: The oil has gained popularity in recent years thanks to its various curative properties. Notably, its content of:

  • Limonoids that show anti-inflammatory and insect repellent properties.
  • Meliacine possesses antimalarial and antiparasitic properties.
  • Terpenes, excellent skin penetration enhancers, and 
  • Tannins improve blood circulation and also treat rheumatic pain.

What Makes Andiroba Oil A Potent Natural Head Lice Repellent?

Head lice outbreaks are a widespread and reoccurring issue. Over the past decades, these little pests have built resistance to commercially produced insecticides. Consequently, leaving many of us without a practical solution. Hence, cosmetic producers turned to natural ingredients to resolve the predicament and found andiroba oil. Used in Amazon for generations, recent studies confirmed its efficiency. 

Limonoids in the non-saponifiable portion are likely the greatest representatives of the terpene class and responsible for the insecticidal activity of andiroba oil.

Dantas et al., 2000

Compared to commercial equivalents, hair treatment using andiroba oil is free of chemical insecticides and rich in limonoids, affecting lice physically, making it a kid-friendly alternative. The new scalp and hair treatment, using andiroba oil, is a welcome natural substitute. Easy to use, it is highly beneficial to anyone in need of head lice treatment. 

Where To Buy It?

If you are looking for high-quality, unrefined andiroba oil, then you might want to check out Rainforest Chica. Her products are of superb quality, and the price point is fantastic! You can purchase the andiroba oil online and in various skincare stores.  

Yet, if you would like to try a shampoo, I have recently purchased Head Lice and Nit Treatment Shampoo “#CommissionsEarned” from Santaderm Parasites. Although the shampoo was a bit runny, it sure did the job! 


As you can see, andiroba oil is an efficient natural head lice repellent favoured for its anti-inflammatory, cicatrising and insect repellent actions. Highly effective and kid-friendly, the oil will not only get rid of the head lice but also look after your child’s hair. 


What is andiroba oil good for?

Andiroba oil reduces fine lines’ appearance, treats inflammation, prevents cellulite and hair loss, and reduces muscle and joint aches. It is a natural insecticide and an effective natural mosquito repellent. 

What substance makes andiroba oil an effective head lice repellent?

Limonoids found in Andiroba oil have anti-inflammatory, insect repellent and anti-tumoral properties and have been used by indigenous Amazonian people for many generations. 


  1. Assessment of the Efficacy and Safety of a New Treatment for Head Lice
  2. Limonoids from andiroba oil and Cedrela fissilis and their insecticidal activity
  3. Plant-based insect repellents: a review of their efficacy, development and testing
  4. Dantas DA, Maganha M, Beretta TE, Nozu P, Pereira GS, Matias R, Solon S, Resende U, Koller WW, Gomes A 2000. Estudo fitoquímico dos frutos de Melia azedarach L. (Cinamomo, Meliaceae). II Encontro de Pesquisa e Iniciação Científica da UNIDERP. Campo Grande, Brasil.

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