Remove Lice From The Hair

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

Headlice is a fairly common problem, and is especially prevalent among school-aged children.

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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.

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

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The greatest danger to your child after they've contracted head lice, is your good intentions to get rid of the pests, using dangerous chemicals, when there is no need to.

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What Are Head Lice?

Infection of head lice is called "Peculosis" and the head louse is called "Pediculus Humanus Capitis".

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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 that grow 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.

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

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Ways to Stop Lice Infestation

  1. 1
    Cover the hair in mayonnaise or Vaseline.
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    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.
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  2. 2
    Get a bottle of rubbing alcohol.
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    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.
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  3. 3
    Boil the lice eggs out of clothing.
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    Wash your clothes at the highest temperature that the fabric will tolerate without shrinking
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    These pests can be killed without using harsh chemicals that may harm people.
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  4. 4
    Keep the furniture clean.
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    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.
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  5. 5
    Cover the upholstery with plastic for a month or so.
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    Wipe everything down daily
    .
    This will reduce the chances of re-infection.
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  6. 6
    Be sure to clean all hardwood surfaces and floors with bleach or phenol.
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    This is an effective way to disinfect the home
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    Do this at least twice per week.
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  7. 7
    If one person is infected, treat the other people in the household simultaneously to prevent re-infections.
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  8. 8
    Use a special comb to take out lice
    .
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    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.
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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.
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  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.
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Alternative Method

This is an effective way to remove lice and nits from your child's hair, without the use of any dangerous chemicals. If you've got longer hair, tie it up while you're doing this process…just to be safer.

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What You'll Need

  1. 1
    Conditioner
    .
    Get a bottle or jar of thick conditioner – doesn't have to be expensive.
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  2. 2
    Shampoo.
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  3. 3
    Two towels.
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  4. 4
    Four clips to hold hair out of your way.
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  5. 5
    Plastic bag that will fit over the affected person's head.
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  6. 6
    Fine-toothed comb.
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  7. 7
    Blow dryer.
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  8. 8
    Flat iron
    .
    This isn't a clothes iron, but like a curling iron, but flat. Girls use it to straighten their hair.
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Instructions

  1. 1
    Put on your gloves.
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  2. 2
    Put a towel around the neck of the person you're helping.
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  3. 3
    Work with dry hair that has been combed to remove tangles.
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  4. 4
    Part the hair into four sections.
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  5. 5
    Smother them
    .
    Starting in the first section, from the nap of the neck, part the hair in ½ inch sections, putting a big dollop of conditioner at the roots. Make the next parting, more conditioner, and so on.
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  6. 6
    Remove the clip each time you start a new section.
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  7. 7
    You'll actually see the critters crawling out of your way, and by the time you get to the front – where the bangs are, you'll see them all huddling.
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  8. 8
    Smother the roots with conditioner.
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  9. 9
    Now add tons of conditioner until the entire head is covered thickly with the conditioner.
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  10. 10
    Place the plastic bag over the head, only covering the hair, and clip to secure.
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  11. 11
    Spend a half an hour holding the blow dryer on high heat, all over the head
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    Make sure you don't spend too long in one place, as you might burn the person you're treating.
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  12. 12
    Take off the bag, and lean them over a sink or the tub
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    Comb the hair over and over – with the conditioner still in the hair. The comb should move fairly easily through the hair. As you comb, you'll see dead lice coming out of the hair. Comb and comb and comb.
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  13. 13
    Shampoo the hair – twice.
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  14. 14
    Clean up half way through
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    1. Throw away the gloves and the plastic bag. Put them into another plastic bag, tie it, and put it right outside in the garbage.
    2. Wash the comb and clips carefully.
    3. Put the towel you've used straight into the washer.
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  15. 15
    Now you've killed the lice, but you still have the nits to deal with.
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  16. 16
    Heat up the flat iron.
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  17. 17
    Dry the hair completely – it cannot even be damp.
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  18. 18
    Section the hair the same way you did for the conditioner.
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  19. 19
    One section at a time – starting from the nap of the neck, iron each section of hair with the flat iron trying to get close to the scalp, but taking great care not to burn your child – or whomever you're helping
    .
    The heat of the iron will kill the nits.
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  20. 20
    When you're done, comb the hair.
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  21. 21
    Shampoo the hair and condition.
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  22. 22
    Keep your fingers crossed that your child or friend is now lice-free.
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Tips, Tricks and Warnings

  1. 1
    Avoid using the lice shampoo you buy at the drug store
    .
    The shampoo contains, among others, the chemicals, permethrin, malathion pyrethrin and malathion. These are dangerous toxins used in popular lice treatments like Nix, Ovide, Nix, Kwell and RID. The greatest danger to your child after they've contracted head lice, is your good intentions to get rid of the pests, using dangerous chemicals, when there is no need to.
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  2. 2
    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.
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  3. 3
    Keep your child entertained while checking for lice
    .
    Give kids something to occupy 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.
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  4. 4
    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.
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Referencing this Article

If you need to reference this article in your work, you can copy-paste the following depending on your required format:

APA (American Psychological Association)
Remove Lice From The Hair. (2017). In VisiHow. Retrieved Mar 26, 2017, from http://visihow.com/Remove_Lice_From_The_Hair

MLA (Modern Language Association) "Remove Lice From The Hair." VisiHow, visihow.com/Remove_Lice_From_The_Hair Accessed 26 Mar 2017.

Chicago / Turabian VisiHow.com. "Remove Lice From The Hair." Accessed Mar 26, 2017. http://visihow.com/Remove_Lice_From_The_Hair.

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Categories : Health & Wellness

Recent edits by: Nerissa Avisado, Lynn, Eng

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