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Use of tar soap against lice: is it really effective?

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Let's try to figure out how much tar soap is effective against lice and nits in the hair ...

Tar soap is considered one of the most famous folk remedies for lice. Moreover, its popularity is fully justified: this tool has practically no contraindications and side effects, very effectively heals skin lesions on the head, is easy to use and quite affordable.

However, experts are well aware that the pediculicidal effect of this soap, although it can effectively deal with lice, is often overestimated.

Opinion of experts: it is unlikely that it will be possible to completely remove the lice using only tar soap.

If tar soap was chosen by you as the main drug for lice, then be prepared that it will take a lot of effort to completely destroy the parasites ...

It is interesting

Birch tar was known as a powerful antiseptic since the time of Ancient Russia. Then, however, it was used not as part of the soap, but on its own, treating wounds, scratches and other skin damage.The popularity of this remedy in the fight against lichen and inflammation on the skin was so high that already in the Middle Ages, on the basis of tar, they began to prepare "tar water" and ointment to protect against mosquitoes and nasal delusions.

And only a little later actually tar tar and ointment on the basis of tar appeared: Vishnevsky ointment, Wilkinson ointment and others. Interestingly, tar soap lice began to be applied relatively recently.

The bactericidal properties of tar has been known for a long time, and today it is part of many well-known medicinal ointments.


Action tar soap on lice

The effectiveness of tar soap in almost any application is determined by the presence of a large number of phenol derivatives (phenol itself, cresol, etc.) and alkali in its composition. It is the combination of these components that so effectively destroys bacteria, fungi, viruses, and various microscopic parasites.

For this reason, soap has proven itself in treating wounds and skin damage in general - in these cases, all disease agents that can lead to infection and the development of inflammation are reliably destroyed by the components of tar soap (the antiseptic effect of this soap is confirmed by numerous reviews).

It is interesting

Birch tar from lice is effective because it contains substances from the phenol class that burn against organic tissue, leading to denaturation of proteins. However, tar has no pronounced insecticidal action. Interesting that tar against lice in general, less effective than, for example, from caterpillars in the garden - in the latter the body covers are more permeable and are more easily affected by the components of the substance.

Birch tar is a strong antiseptic, but does not have a pronounced insecticidal effect.

Birch tar is an effective antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent.

So, the components of tar soap in significant concentrations are detrimental to lice. However, there are several nuances:

  • It is important to understand that the short-term (say, 5 minutes) application of tar soap on the corresponding hairy part of the body will not be enough to destroy the parasites. In order for the product to work, the components of the soap must contact lice for at least 30-40 minutes during each treatment.Tar soap will have to stand on the hair for a long time to at least somehow affect the lice
  • It should also be borne in mind that tar soap from nits does not help at all. This means that even with the most correct use of the product, it will be necessary to carry out at least two treatments for the hair: first, the main population of parasites is destroyed, and after 1-2 weeks - those insects that hatch from the nits that survived the first procedure. In practice, often even 2 treatments are not enough.Against nit, tar soap is absolutely ineffective.


I, on the advice of my grandmother, bought tar soap from lice, read reviews, instructions, washed my head three times, but they continue to crawl. Essentially did not buy any chemistry, I decided to bring lice in a healthy way. In the pharmacy, I was advised to have a good comb, so they went with him. At first I wash my head, wash it, comb it. Three days so raised and lice ended. Six months later, in the same way I removed the lice to my younger sister and managed without insecticides.

Alena, Kirov

By and large, the use of tar soap to get rid of lice - a slight misunderstanding. The fact is that this remedy has always been known as a reliable cure for skin diseases, including the scalp. For this reason, the tar soap has long been trying to deal with hair loss, and dandruff, and with the symptoms of lice - redness, itching, scratching.

Tar soap has long been used against skin diseases, including those caused by lice

Indeed, the soap helped in some way to relieve pain and improve the condition of the skin, effectively preventing scratching and scratching from secondary infection with bacterial infections. However, lice, as the root cause of the appearance of these symptoms, it acted weakly.

On the lice themselves tar soap weakly affects

However, the use of tar soap to fight lice eventually became a kind of tradition, a popular recipe.

In fairness it should be noted that tar soap can still somewhat ease the fight against lice, if used in conjunction with other pediculicides.

Often, those who do not want to use chemical insecticides try to remove lice with tar soap, adhering, for example, to the opinion that “any chemistry” is harmful. In this case, the tar soap from lice is best used in conjunction with special combs: after applying, curing and washing off the soap, some parasites lose mobility, weakened. As a result, it becomes much easier to comb them with a comb.

It is best to combine tar soap using a thick lice comb

On the photo - lice combed using a special comb


One comb can only be used to comb the head to the point of insanity - these combs do not stick nits, and until all the adult lice are removed, the procedure will have to be repeated. Take at least the same tar soap - from it the small larvae die, it will go faster. We did that when we did not want to buy Parasidosis. Well, now there is Nyuda, with her there are no problems at all - both safely and effectively.

Pavel, Moscow

But together with insecticidal shampoos, creams and even folk remedies such as vinegar and kerosene, soap can be used quite well - it helps reduce the risk of possible skin irritations from these agents, effectively washing away the remnants of drugs from the skin and hair.


What to do to tar soap helped lice?

Depending on the means with which the tar soap is used to kill the lice, the treatment of the head should be carried out in different ways:

  • if the soap is used in conjunction with a comb, then first the head is thoroughly washed and rinsed to remove grease from the hair. Then the soap is applied again, the foam is thoroughly whipped and aged on the head for about half an hour. There are no upper limits - there are no contraindications for soap, and only with individual hypersensitivity to the components of the tar can there be unpleasant sensations. Then the soap is washed off, and wet hair is strand by strand carefully and combed out from the very roots. This procedure must be repeated daily during the week.After the tar soap will be washed away from the hair, it is necessary to comb the lice with a comb behind the strand
  • When combining the same soap with insecticidal preparations, the head is first treated with an appropriate means for lice strictly according to the instructions, and then it is washed with tar soap.In this case, a single application of soap on the hair with its thorough foaming. The procedure is carried out once or twice, depending on the effectiveness of the additional drug.Tar soap is desirable to combine with the use of another pediculicidal agent.

On a note

Combining tar soap simultaneously with insecticidal preparations and using a comb to comb out lice and nits is, generally speaking, redundant, although in the absence of a scalp response to such a combination it may well be used.

Comb for lice and nits comb AntiV

In both cases, tar soap to some extent helps to get rid of lice, increasing the effect of the second component.


Does tar soap have contraindications?

There are few contraindications for tar soap, and side effects appear only in very rare cases.

For example, people with dry skin are not recommended to often use tar soap (and any alkaline soap in general) in order to avoid excessive exfoliation of the skin and the appearance of cracks - the soap dries skin very strongly.

Caution should be applied tar soap during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, tar soap should be used with caution.


I also tried to smear my head with lice with tar soap, but it dries my hair so much that after it the situation is even harder than after lice.In the end, I figured out the perfect combination: once I wash my hair with soap, wash it off, smear it with cobalt water and leave it. My skin does not react to it at all, and even more so after soap. And then comb out comb. For a week of such experiments, I brought out all the lice, took the guy. He had just returned from a business trip, and, apparently, either got infected from me even earlier, or I was from him. But in general it was just with him - he washes his head with soap, then he combed it. And on the third day he got tired of it and he shaved his head. Also, by the way, an option.

Antonina, Yaroslavl

In order to avoid the appearance of an individual allergic reaction with soap, it is useful to smear the skin on the crook of the elbow and hold it for several minutes.

Before using tar soap it is useful to check the skin for sensitivity to it.

If the skin does not respond, the soap can be safely applied. If red spots appear at the site of application, it is better to refrain from using it.


Birch tar against lice

Similarly, soaps for lice can use other products based on birch tar, including tar itself. However, it is dangerous to use pure tar - due to the high concentration of active ingredients, it can cause severe burns on the skin. Therefore, to combat parasites, it should be diluted to a concentration of 15-20%, getting the so-called tar water. Her head needs to be treated the same way as soap.

Tar is also a part of Vishnevsky ointment and Wilkinson ointment. It is possible to use them against lice, but it is absolutely irrational: these products have the same effect on lice as soap, but their cost is much higher.

A well-known remedy based on birch tar - Vishnevsky ointment (not effective against lice)

Anyway, for effective removal of lice together with tar soap it is highly desirable to use additional products - the same combs, shampoos, creams or sprays of your choice.


Useful video: combing lice combing with other pediculicides


Use of birch tar to treat skin and hair diseases

It is also useful to read: How to deal with lice


To write "The use of tar soap against lice: is it really effective?" 8 comments
  1. Amam:


  2. Sabina:

    Thank you very much for the tip.

  3. Aruka:

    Will tar lice soap help? How to apply it? Tell me please.

    • Anonymous:

      You need to wet your head, lather thoroughly with this soap, sit for 30-40 minutes, WASH.

  4. Kseniya:

    How long should I wash my hair with tar soap and how long is it?

  5. Vika:

    She washed her head with soap and froth, waited 15 minutes, washed off, rinsed with water and vinegar. Immediately combed 3 dead lice and one live. But the nits do not want to comb out. Tomorrow we will be poisoning with chemistry, but after washing the child really began to itch less, and no living adult lice were found.

  6. Vika:

    They found lice, immediately began to suck with vinegar, diluted with water.How effective is tar soap? Long hair, trim pity.

  7. Marina:

    Pharmaceutical factories are gorgeous on lice! It was a great tool - serortutnaya ointment. One time was enough! This is a really good tool, but very expensive! And its only 50 ml. And if, for security reasons, to process the whole family, it turns out to be quite expensive. Pedikulen does not guarantee complete destruction, the granddaughter slept the night - and still the lice are not all gone. The only way to remove both lice and nits in one application is kerosene with vegetable oil in the ratio of 1 to 4. That’s my opinion, gentlemen!

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