It happened. Your child came home from school with a note that one of their classmates has head lice. So you frantically start checking your child’s head and find that they have head lice too.
Nit combing is an important part of the lice treatment process. To successfully eliminate lice by combing, you need a good nit comb, a good technique, persistence, and a child who will put up with the process.
The good thing is, if you catch nits early, you can avoid a problem before it starts. In this article, we will explain what nits are, how to get rid of them, and give you tips on making nit combing easier and more effective so that you can get rid of lice as quickly as possible.
Nits are lice eggs. They are tiny, teardrop-shaped sacs that are white or yellowish. They often look like dandruff or hair product flakes. The difference is that a nit will stick to the hair shaft, and dandruff or other flakes can be easily removed from the hair.
You will find nits that haven’t hatched about a quarter of an inch from the scalp (they use the warmth of the scalp to hatch). After they hatch, the empty egg will remain on the hair follicle and grow out with the hair. So, if you find nits further than a quarter of an inch from the scalp, and do not see any active lice, it is not considered an active infestation.
It can be hard to spot head lice since they are so tiny, and nits are even smaller. Symptoms you should look for include:
If your child shows any of these symptoms, you should examine their hair for visual signs of head lice and nits. If you see signs of head lice, starting treatment as soon as possible can help contain the problem.
After you’ve completed the lice treatment of your choice, you will need to begin combing out the lice (nitpicking). Nit combing pulls out head lice as well as their eggs.
Before starting, make sure you have a nit comb, a hairbrush, a leave-in conditioner, and paper towels. You will also want to make sure you have a well-lit area to work in.
Make sure to use a nit comb and not a regular comb. The teeth on a regular comb are too far apart to pick up nits and lice. A high-quality nit comb, like the Licefreee! NitDuo, has long, fine metal teeth that are very close together, making removing lice and nits easier. The NitDuo has a grooved side to loosen nits stuck on the hair and a smooth side for less-invasive combing.
To start, apply the leave-in conditioner to your child’s hair and brush out any tangles. The conditioner will not only help the comb go through the hair easier, but it can also help suffocate the head lice.
Next, separate your child’s hair into one-inch sections. Then, working section by section, start the comb as close to the scalp as you can and comb out to the end of their hair. After combing every section, rewash your child’s hair to remove the conditioner and any lice and eggs.
Nit combing can take hours, depending on how long, thick, or curly your child’s hair is. Most kids won’t sit still that long, so letting them do things like reading a book, watching TV, or doing crafts throughout the process can make it less painful for you and your child.
You should continue combing daily or every couple of days until you see no lice for about two weeks. After the first combing, you should notice that most of the lice are gone. Every subsequent combing will remove more lice and any that have hatched since the last combing.
If you find that your child has head lice, you should also check everyone in the household for head lice. Head lice do not jump, fly, or hop. Instead, they crawl and can be spread through close contact with someone who is infected.
Licefreee is a safe, effective, non-toxic alternative to traditional lice shampoos containing chemical pesticides. In 1999, we launched our Original Non-Toxic lice treatment, Licefreee Gel, and have expanded our product line in the last two decades while still maintaining our reputation as one of the most trusted and reliable products on the market. If you or someone you know is dealing with head lice, don’t wait, pick up some Licefreee today!