Remove Lice From The Hair

Edited by Rubab, Eulalee, Eng, Lynn and 2 others

Head lice are a fairly common problem, and are especially prevalent among children who go to school.


Lice are wingless insects that live on the scalp and in the hair. They can be very difficult to exterminate, but it's worth the effort, as their presence is not only unhealthy, but is also definitely a source of shame and embarrassment. Moreover, these parasites can easily spread, infesting other people in your household. If there is one infected member in the family, it is best to get rid of it right away to prevent infecting others, including the other kids in school.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Infestation can happen through sharing of things like combs and brushes, hair accessories, baseball caps, clothes and by personal contact. As infestation goes uncontrolled, eradication becomes more complicated.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help


What are head lice?

Infection of head lice is called peculosis and the head louse is called Pediculus humanus capitis.


They exist in three forms: Nit, nymph and adult louse. Immature nymphs emerge from the eggs (nits) and adult lice share the same attributes and look identical except in size, with adults growing up to 1/10 to 1/8 inches upon maturity. Head lice don't fly or hop like the rest of their kind, but they can crawl really fast.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Their eggs are called nits. These are white and are strongly glued in the hair strands about half an inch from the scalp, which makes it hard to eradicate infestation completely. Just like any infestation, the strategy is to break the life cycle. If the adults that can be easier to remove are regularly and continuously removed, soon all the nits will go or disappear. If infestation in the household is successful, re-infestation can then be ruled out.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Ways to Stop Lice Infestation

  1. 1
    Cover the hair in mayonnaise or Vaseline.
    S5HSW11-03 1.jpg
    1. Put on a shower cap and apply heat from a hot blow dryer to kill the lice.
    2. Take a shower. Wash the hair out with water and then shampoo it.
    3. Put the shower cap back on and allow the shampoo to break down the oil from the mayonnaise or Vaseline.
    4. Then rinse it out well.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Get a bottle of rubbing alcohol.
    1. Apply it liberally to your hair, making sure that all the hair is wet.
    2. Rub your fingers through it and make sure the alcohol covers the entire scalp and hair. Get some conditioner, rub it in your hair and get a lice comb to check through the hair again.
    3. While using the rubbing alcohol, ensure that it does not get into your eyes.
    4. Take a shower and scrub the hair well. Shampoo at least twice to remove the alcohol and conditioner.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Boil out the lice eggs from clothing.
    Wash your clothes at the highest temperature that the fabric will tolerate without shrinking
    These pests can be killed without using harsh chemicals that may harm people.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    Keep the furniture clean.
    Vacuum and sanitize everything
    If your wall-to-wall carpeting is infected, you may have to remove it, since it may be difficult to properly clean it, and above all, it may be a source for recurring lice infestations.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  5. 5
    Cover the upholstery with plastic for a month or so.
    Wipe everything down daily
    This will reduce the chances of re-infection.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  6. 6
    Be sure to clean all hardwood surfaces and floors with bleach or phenol.
    This is an effective way to disinfect the home
    Do this at least twice per week.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  7. 7
    If one person is infected, treat the other people in the household simultaneously to prevent re-infections.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  8. 8
    Use a special comb to take out lice.
    1. If you don't want to buy an extremely fine-toothed comb, you may be able to bring your comb's needles together and tighten them with thread to take out lice babies and eggs.
    2. Do this every day for at least two weeks to ensure the elimination of lice from the head.
    3. Use a magnifying glass to better inspect the hair and scalp, as sometimes lice eggs can be mistaken for dandruff.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

How to Remove Lice by Combing

  1. 1
    Prepare the things you need.
    These are:
    1. A fine-toothed comb – Combs specially designed for lice removal are available.
    2. Hair clips or bobby pins – These are used to hold parted hair.
    3. A large towel - A white one works better, as it allows you see the lice that fall off while hair is combed. Wrap it around the shoulders while combing the parted hair.
    4. Facial tissue or paper towel
    5. Ammonia
    6. A wide vessel with water and a squirt of dishwashing liquid
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Prepare the hair.
    Apply some oil or conditioner to wet the hair and make it slippery. This will remove the tangles and keep the hair wet. Separate the hair into sections about the width of the comb you are using. Sectioning makes it easier to locate those nits, nymphs and lice.  
    1. Comb the sectioned hair. Hold the sections with pins or clips. Get a section, hold it with one hand and then put in the teeth/needles of the comb as near to the scalp as possible. Dip the comb in the soapy solution before gently and unhurriedly moving the comb through the hair a few times or until no more lice fall off or gather in the comb. Wipe off the lice and dirt from the comb using facial tissue or paper towel. Do this one section at a time and check after each. Continue to do this until all the sections have been combed.
    2. Clean up the stuff and wash the hair. You can flush the soapy bowl of water down the toilet. Discard those tissues so they won't be a source of infestation again. Soak the comb in hot ammonia water, then brush to clean the needles or teeth. Shampoo the child's hair twice in order to remove the oil.
    3. Check one last time. Make sure that you have done a good job by locating stray nits and lice. Do this when the hair has dried. You can manually remove them one by one, or schedule another "combing session" soon to prevent them from reproducing.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Tips, Trick and Warnings

  1. 1
    Do the combing in a well-lighted area.
    This will allow you to more easily see those nits, nymphs and adult lice. They crawl fast, so they can escape and hide somewhere and cause re-infestation.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Keep your child entertained while checking for lice.
    Give kids something to turn their attention to so they will stay seated while doing the combing. Find something entertaining that will not require any physical activity or movement, such as reading a book, playing with a handheld gadget, or coloring.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    How to prepare the ammonia water:
    Mix about a teaspoon of ammonia to 2 cups of hot water to kill whatever nits or nymphs are there.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help



VisiHow welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.

Eddie D
Premier Author
4 Articles Started
7 Article Edits
1,250 Points
Eddie D is a premier author with VisiHow. Eddie D has achieved the level of "Apprentice" with 1,250 points. Eddie D has started 4 articles (including this one) and has also made 7 article edits. 12,500 people have read Eddie D's article contributions.
Eddie D's Message Board
Eddie D: Hi, my name is Eddie D.
Eddie D: Can I help you with your problem about "Remove Lice From The Hair"?

Article Info

Categories : Health & Wellness

Recent edits by: Anonymous, Lynn, Eng

Share this Article:

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,915 times.

Do you have a question not answered in this article?
Click here to ask one of the writers of this article

Thank Our Volunteer Authors.

Would you like to give back to the community by fixing a spelling mistake? Yes | No