Lice Detection & Prevention

Detection – It’s important to know what to look for and how to find lice and/or nits

How to do a visual head check

  • Check clean dry hair in sunlight or bright indoor light
  • Inspect small sections of hair 1/4″ – 2″ from the scalp
  • Look for tiny unmovable teardrop shaped nits, varying from cream to brown, on hair shaft
  • If found treat properly and tell school, friends and family to check
  • Check weekly until college

How to do a combing head check – For a more thorough search

(This is the best way to check if you have a good metal nit comb)

  • Perform on damp or towel dried hair and make sure it is free of tangles
  • Section hair by clipping hair on top of the head leaving 3-4” of hair down in the back of the head at the nape of the neck
  • Start combing with the metal nit comb by very gently scraping the comb along the scalp and dragging the comb all the way to the end of the hair shaft-be sure to comb in 4 directions
  • Wipe the metal nit comb clean on a white paper towel after every few strokes of the comb
  • Inspect paper towel for nits or lice (If unsure what you are finding, click on Nit Support to learn how we can inspect it for you.)
  • Let the next 3-4” of hair down. Continue combing and wiping the comb on the paper towel
  • Complete the combing throughout the head. (takes 5-10 minutes)
  • If found treat properly and tell school, friends & family to check a few times for 3 weeks
  • Check weekly until college

If you find even 1 nit, you need to…

  • Treat properly using safe and effective products (be wary of OTC products that contain pesticides lice have grown resistant to the pesticides)
  • We recommend The LouseBuster™ treatment, a revolutionary way to desiccate nits so they will not hatch
  • We also recommend the products used in our service, Lice Lifters® products. Check our website for retail stores or order by going to the products tab of this web site
  • Launder items that have been worn as well as linens that have been used. Just put into the dryer on hot for 30 minutes, vacuum cloth items or put aside for 2-3 days. Lice do not burrow, live long off the head or go to our pets. See the Great Clean Up house cleaning tips
  • Communicate with your community, car pools, play dates, school, teams, family and friends that you have lice
  • Relax! Lice are harmless, just a nuisance. They have been around a long time. You will get rid of them

Prevention – The “One Head One Bed Approach”

  • Check your family weekly for nits by doing a combing head checks on wet hair. (Combing 5-10 minutes on wet hair after a bath or shower & wipe comb into paper towel). If lice are detected in your community, check 2-3 times per week for a period 3 weeks
  • Visually inspect brushes for bugs. Brushes with a lighter background make it easier to spot lice. Keep brushes free of hair where lice can hide and do not share. Pinch the hair out of any brushes and combs after each use
  • Wear hair in a gathered ponytail, bun, or braid. If your child is old enough and is coordinated enough you can teach them to do their own hair up dos. Even if it is not perfect, they will love it and be very proud
  • Do not share coats, jackets, hoodies, sweat shirts or towels
  • Never share hairbrushes, combs, hair ties, headbands, etc…Even in your own house. Have a brush and/or comb for each person in your house. A plastic stackable shoebox is a great way to keep each person’s hairbrushes and accessories separate. Each person can decorate their own box and put their name on it. They can decorate their own brushes/combs to match their box
  • Wear a hoodie sweatshirt to sit on public or movies seats and tuck all hair into the hood. Bring a towel and drape the towel over the seat or bring a sticky lint roller then clean the seat back with the lint roller
  • Follow our proactive preventative treatment schedule and summer camp proactive treatment schedule
  • You can use a mint or citronella spray as a deterrent. Apply in the morning before school and again before an afternoon activity or play date. Be advised, this is NOT a treatment. You must also do the other precautions as well to avoid possible infestation
  • Lice are survivors. If you make it easy for them they will find a human host even if you’re using a deterring mint spray

Narrowing the Target – Up-Do Hair Do Suggestions

Girls with medium to long hair should wear their hair up when going to school, camp or activities. Your objective is not to have loose swinging hair. Head lice are fast travelers and will move quickly to a new host just by hair touching someone else’s hair. It‘s best to have hair pulled up in the back of the head and not on the sides where hair is more vulnerable.