How to Comb Out Lice

10 minutes. for reading

Pediculosis is a common problem that almost everyone faces. Many of us became acquainted with lice and nits in childhood when we went to kindergarten or school. And now our children may have brought them home. It is difficult to find other pests that would be so close to a person and spend so much time with him in constant contact. Even bedbugs and fleas live in furniture, and not on the body of their victim.

But how to get rid of lice and nits, where to start and what exactly will help in this fight? And, most importantly, how to prevent the appearance of lice and nits in our family? How to properly handle infected combs - in two bags or in three? And in what proportion should you mix vinegar and water? We will consider these and many other questions in this article.

Who are lice

These insects can boast of their ancient origins and a long history in contact with humans. However, instead of pride, they make us irritated. If they don't have access to their favorite food, blood, they will survive no more than a week. But as soon as they have the opportunity to attach themselves to their owner, they drink blood in literally every sense of the word.

Lice and nits - what's the difference?

Lice and nits are the same insect, but at different stages of development. A louse is an adult insect that lives in a host's fur (or, in the case of a human louse, hair), feeds on the host's blood, and moves from hair to hair to lay eggs. Lice eggs are called nits. One adult female can lay from forty to one hundred and twenty eggs in her life, and she lays from three to eight eggs per day.

The nit can be found directly on the hair: insects glue nits to the hair, where they remain until a new insect develops inside them. After the new insect hatches, the cycle repeats.

Not all nits survive: adult lice lay large numbers of eggs in the hope that not all of them will hatch. Live nits can be distinguished from dead nits by color: live nits will be whiter, while dead nits are usually gray in color. There is also a way to distinguish them, although it is not recommended due to the possible damage to the nit: if you pick up a nit and try to crush it between your nails, a living nit will make a characteristic sound, while a dead one will remain silent.

Thus, a nit differs from a louse only in its stage of development, but otherwise it is the same insect. But how to get rid of lice and nits on hair?

Lice and man

Human lice, as their name suggests, are exclusively parasites of humans. This means that a person, without suspecting anything or wanting it, becomes a home and source of food for lice and nits. Moreover, human lice can only be found on humans: in the absence of more suitable alternatives, these insects can “move on” to a dog or cat, but for them this is not an optimal option, since the blood of animals does not satisfy the needs of human lice.

Lice are classified as blood-sucking insects because they feed on the blood of their host. Warm-blooded animals, including humans, provide ideal conditions for parasitism, since the temperature on the skin is always constant and does not depend on environmental fluctuations.

This is especially important for nits, which need warmth for rapid and complete development inside the egg. Therefore, despite his unconscious role in this process, a person provides lice with optimal conditions that they could not get elsewhere.

Where do they come from

One might think that, like dysentery, which is called the disease of dirty hands, pediculosis (or lice infestation) is a “disease of dirty head.” However, this statement is not true: of course, not washing your hair when infected with head lice will slow down the healing process and negatively affect the condition of your scalp and hair. But there is no connection between clean hair and the risk of contracting head lice.

How can you “catch” lice:

  1. In case of close contact with an object that is a source of parasites: these may be objects that often come into contact with the infected person's hair. You could use a towel that a person with head lice used to dry themselves before you, put on his headdress, or comb his hair with his comb.
  2. In case of close contact with a human source of parasites: most often this happens in children's groups, such as schools, kindergartens and clubs. A child can become infected with lice from there and carry them home.
  3. From the sand on the beach: Although this is a rare occurrence, the insects are capable of spending some time in the sand near the water, waiting for the right opportunity to move onto the hair of a new host.

Thus, even with good personal hygiene and regular hair washing, if you are unlucky, you will have to remove nits from your hair. Infection with these parasites only means that you or a family member were in close contact with someone who did not deal with the problem in a timely manner.

Pediculosis Symptoms

The sooner the procedures for the destruction of these insects begin, the faster and more effectively the result will be achieved. However, in order not to confuse lice with ordinary irritation and nits with dandruff, it is important to be able to recognize the signs of infection.

Here are some signs that may indicate the need to comb out nits:

  • Quick: Itching, which should be carefully examined, usually appears on the temples, the back of the head and behind the ears - where insects most often live. Sometimes the affected areas itch so much that people scratch until they bleed.
  • Rashes: After a bite, a papule forms on the affected area, causing irritation and itching. This papule looks like a small pimple.
  • Nits and live specimens: The detection of nits and live nits on the hair is an accurate sign of infection. We discussed the difference between these terms and their relationship above.

  • Sensation of movement in the hair: This sensation can be either a false or a real sign that an insect is crawling on your head.
  • Psychological problems: This is especially noticeable in children, who may experience sleep and behavior problems due to constant discomfort.

Pediculosis most often affects children between three and twelve years of age, especially girls with long hair, although it can also affect younger children. Young children have more delicate skin, so hair infections are more difficult to resolve and can cause more discomfort.

If most of the signs on this list match your symptoms, this may mean that treatment should be started as soon as possible. However, it is important to choose a treatment method that is effective and will not damage your hair.

How to get rid of lice on hair

When you are faced with the need to comb out nits, experimenting with folk remedies means making the problem worse and wasting time. An effective solution is to treat your hair with specialized products, then begin combing each strand carefully using a special comb.

Before starting the combing procedure, hair should be treated with specialized products. Most often, over-the-counter dimethicone-based lotions and shampoos with the addition of essential oils are used to combat parasites. For those unfamiliar with the substance, dimethicone is a synthetic fat that does not attract lice. It is safe for humans and non-toxic, so there is no reason to be afraid of its use. Apply the product to your hair one strand at a time, after moistening it a little with water.

Dimethicone tends to clog pores, and many cosmetic manufacturers emphasize the absence of this component in their products. However, for combing out lice, this property of dimethicone is a real salvation: the solution envelops the insect, leading it to extinguish. Lice are not at risk of oxygen deprivation because they can survive without breathing for up to eight hours. But the second property of dimethicone - moisture retention - comes to the rescue: as moisture accumulates in the insect’s body, it expands it from the inside. As a result, the parasite dies.

Pros of Dimethicone

Why should you choose products with dimethicone? First of all, it is easy to apply to hair as a solution. Dimethicone is absolutely safe and gently cleanses the skin. Even if you accidentally overdo it and leave it on your hair a little longer, it won't be dangerous. In addition, it is easy to use - just treat your strands with it without resorting to complex methods such as wrapping your head with cling film or a towel.

Compared to other anti-pedicular agents, dimethicone is not toxic - its only property is to clog skin pores, which is not critical. Compared to traditional methods, such as spraying with vinegar, rubbing with soda, dust, kerosene, etc., dimethicone preparations are guaranteed not to cause a chemical burn. Treating your hair with dimethicone is safer than experimenting with hydrogen peroxide solution, vinegar or kerosene, which can lead to unpleasant consequences for your skin. Simply treat your hair with dimethicone and then rinse thoroughly with water.

Combing out nits from your hair

After applying the product to the hair and waiting the required time, the moment of combing comes. However, sometimes there are contraindications that may prevent the use of special products, and in such cases you have to resort to combing the eggs by hand. How to carry out this procedure correctly so as not to damage the hair and at the same time not miss a single egg in the total mass of hair?

First of all, you need to purchase special combs and combs. Regular combs will not work as they have too large spaces between the teeth and insects can simply crawl through them. Sometimes special combs are included with anti-pedicular medications. Before you start brushing, it is recommended to put a cloth bandage on your shoulders. After the procedure, this dressing can be immediately washed or thrown away to avoid the possibility of insects transferring from the clothing back to the hair.

In order to keep track of which strands have already been checked and which have not yet, it is useful to use bobby pins. If you find an insect or egg on the teeth of the comb, it is recommended to rinse it before continuing the procedure to eliminate the possibility of transferring parasites from one part of the head to another. After each insect or egg found, the comb should be thoroughly washed, preferably in a solution of vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

After combing

In addition to using special products, do not forget that it is also necessary to treat objects that could come into contact with hair and skin. Ideally, items that were close to the hair should be thrown away; however, this is not always possible, and sometimes it is a pity to get rid of them.

It is most preferable to get rid of things on which parasites could linger and which can easily be replaced: these are combs, combs, elastic bands and hair clips. Hats, scarves, towels, sheets and especially pillowcases should be washed at high temperatures. During the treatment procedure, a person is recommended to use a separate towel, have personal combs and elastic bands, and not share them with others, in order to prevent the possibility of parasites transferring to another person even during the treatment process.

How to prevent head lice infection

Avoiding contact with nits is quite simple, provided you follow simple rules. Here they are:

  1. Golden rule: do not use other people's hygiene products. This rule applies to both adults and children. Explain to children that combs and combs should be personal, and sharing hats or using someone else's combs can lead to unpleasant problems.
  2. Bed linen, such as pillowcases, duvet covers, sheets, and hand and face towels, should be changed when soiled, but at least once a week or week and a half.
  3. Wash regularly and rinse your hair thoroughly. Choose the frequency of washing your hair depending on the length of your hair and your skin type, but it is important to shower at least once a week. Be sure to have your own towel that you do not share with others.
  4. Visit only trusted hairdressers, where hairdressers maintain sterility and sterilize tools after each client.

By following these rules and maintaining your hygiene, you can easily avoid head lice. It's much nicer than worrying about how to get rid of nits.

In conclusion

For the final victory over lice, the main thing is to start taking action. Few parasites can compare with lice in terms of unhygienic and disgusting appearance. Starting to fight these pests is already half the success. Modern treatment methods make it possible to cope with this problem quickly and safely. Combing out nits and lice is the first step to getting rid of parasites. Rest assured that you will be able to cope with this unpleasant situation!

Lice Combing Techniques - How to Comb Lice out of Your Hair


How to recognize nits without lice?

Although this may seem like a strange question, the answer is simple: nits, or lice eggs, usually stay on the hair longer than the adults. Their number always exceeds the number of living lice, which makes them more noticeable when found on the skin. They are usually located closer to the scalp, behind the ear or on the back of the head. It is easier to detect nits than live insects.

What happens if head lice is left untreated?

Once infected with head lice, the scalp becomes itchy, which can lead to itchiness and discomfort. With constant scratching, there is a risk of infection by microbes through cuts and ulcers on the skin. If the problem is not resolved, irritation spreads to the neck and face. Allergic reactions may also occur. Therefore, it is important to solve the problem of head lice in a timely manner.

Can you get lice from animals?

No, you cannot get lice from pets. Head and pubic lice are only transmitted from person to person through close contact and cannot live on animals. Lice move slowly and are not able to jump, so it is also impossible to become infected with them in water, for example, in a water park or swimming pool.

What diseases can lice transmit?

It's important to note that head lice is not a lice-borne disease, but insect activity on the skin can cause itching and discomfort. Head and pubic lice do not carry infections. However, there are other types of lice, such as body lice, which can transmit certain diseases, including typhus and relapsing fever, especially in environments with poor hygiene standards.

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