How to effectively use a nit comb to remove head lice
Head lice are pretty much an inevitability for children at school. Any child can pick up head lice, especially if they’re fond of playing closely with other children. But even though you can expect to see a case of the nits at some point in your child’s life, it doesn’t mean that they have to cause a huge problem. If you catch them early, you can eliminate the problem before it has a chance to develop. Knowing the signs to look out for and the best head lice treatment to use will help you to tackle any problems quickly. If you want natural remedies for nits, knowing how to comb them out properly is an effective treatment.
Detecting Head Lice
Picking up on signs of head lice in the hair as soon as possible will make them easier to deal with. Parents should be on the lookout for signs of lice, ideally checking hair once a week. You can choose a time that’s convenient for you, but many parents find that Friday after school or perhaps Sunday before going back to school works for them. It’s also important to be particularly vigilant after the holidays, when children can often return to school with head lice and start spreading them among their classmates.
Watch out for your child scratching their scalp, which could be a sign of head lice. When you check their hair, look out for both head lice and nits (their eggs). The eggs usually sit close to the root of the hair and are brown before hatching and white after. As well as doing a visual check, combing through your child’s hair can help to catch anything that you might not see.
Using a Nit Comb Effectively
A nit comb (Like this one) is a fine-toothed comb that helps to pull out both head lice and their eggs. It’s a good product for head lice removal, but even better if you know how to use it most effectively. A metal comb can be more effective, but a plastic comb works well too.
- Wash your child’s hair – you might want to use a special lice treatment shampoo, or you can use a natural remedy, such as tea tree oil, to help kill the lice.
- Apply conditioner – conditioner makes it easier to pull the comb through the hair and can also help to suffocate the head lice.
- Put a towel around your child’s shoulders to prevent any lice getting on their clothes and use a regular comb first to remove tangles.
- Comb your child’s hair in sections, focusing on removing the lice and eggs from one section at a time. It might be helpful to use hair bands or clips to section their hair and keep the sections separate, and you can also plait sections after combing them.
- Comb from top to bottom and try to get as close to the scalp as possible.
- Wash your child’s hair again to remove the conditioner and help to wash out lice and their eggs.
- Repeat the process again in a few days to make sure you have got everything. You might even want to do it every day for several days.
When you comb your child’s hair, make sure you have good lighting so that you can see what you’re doing. You can choose natural nit treatments or a shampoo before you start combing, but allow for time to do them. Some treatments need to be left in for half an hour or even overnight.
Can Head Lice Live on Bedding, Clothes and Toys?
Parents often want to know if head lice can live on bedding and other items. While they much prefer to be on hair, lice will still sometimes fall onto clothes or bedding. Washing bedding and clothes if you spot any head lice will help you to get rid of them for good. You should also clean hairbrushes and combs that have been used recently.
Are Head Lice Attracted to Dirty Hair?
Many people think that head lice prefer dirty hair, but this is actually a myth. In fact, they would much rather live on clean hair. They will choose any hair colour too, although they can be easier to spot on people with lighter hair.
If you do spot any head lice on your child, it’s worth checking your own hair too, as well as anyone else in the family. Head lice can’t jump like fleas can, but they are easily passed from person to person, especially if you cuddle up to each other. Remember to check for lice regularly so you can catch any problems sooner.