How to Remove Head Lice
Learn how to effectively remove head lice with our step-by-step guide. Discover the importance of early detection, choosing the right comb, and prevention.
Head lice infestations are a common issue, particularly among school-aged children. However, with the right knowledge and tools, they can be effectively managed and prevented.
Understanding what head lice are, their life cycle, and how they spread is the first step in tackling this issue.
What are Head Lice and Nits?
Head lice are tiny insects specially adapted to the unique environment of the human scalp. They feed on human blood several times a day, a process that often causes an itchy sensation.
Head lice saliva contains an anticoagulant, which prevents the blood from clotting while they are feeding. This anticoagulant is often the cause of the allergic reaction that leads to itching.
Each louse is about the size of a sesame seed and have a greyish-white or tan colour. These parasites have six legs, each equipped with a claw, enabling them to grasp onto the hair shaft tightly.
Itching to learn more about head lice and nits? Check out our head lice facts!
Upon close examination, you may be able to see the lice in the hair. However, they are very small and move quickly, which can make them difficult to spot.
A more visible sign of an infestation is the presence of nits. These lice eggs are laid close to the scalp and are firmly attached to the hair shafts. They are oval and usually yellow to white in colour.
Female lice lay eggs, or nits, on the hair shaft close to the scalp where the temperature is perfect for incubation. Nits are oval and usually yellow to white. They're often confused with dandruff, but unlike dandruff, they can't be easily brushed out of the hair.
The female louse glues each nit to the hair shaft with a waterproof, cement-like substance, ensuring it stays in place.
It's worth noting that dandruff, residue from hair products, and even dirt can sometimes be mistaken for nits. However, unlike these substances, nits cannot be easily brushed out of the hair.
Checking for a Head Lice Infestation
To check for head lice, you'll need a good light source and a fine-toothed lice comb. Start by wetting the hair; this slows down the lice and makes them easier to spot. Then, part the hair and check the scalp. You're looking for both lice and nits.
Nits are tiny, oval, and usually yellow to white in colour. They are glued to the hair shaft close to the scalp. If you find a potential nit, try to slide it off the hair shaft with your fingers. If it easily slides off, it's probably not a nit as they are glued firmly to the hair. If it's hard to remove, it could be a nit.
Finding live head lice is a sure sign of an infestation. However, they are fast and avoid light, so they can be difficult to spot. Combing the hair with a lice comb over a white towel or piece of paper can help. The lice will stand out against the white background.
If you find lice or nits, don't panic. Having head lice is not a sign of poor hygiene or an unclean home. It's a common issue that many families face. Thankfully, with a bit of patience and diligence, you can get rid of them.
Head Lice Combs
Choosing the right lice comb is an important step in effectively removing head lice and nits. The type of comb you choose can significantly impact the success of your lice removal efforts.
Lice combs come in a variety of materials, including plastic, metal, and even electronic versions. Plastic combs are often less expensive, but they may not be as effective as metal combs at removing lice and nits.
Metal lice combs, particularly those with long, fine, closely spaced teeth, are generally considered the gold standard for lice removal. The teeth of the comb should be long enough to go through the hair but close enough together to trap lice and nits. Many KP24 products come with a metal lice comb included.
Electronic lice combs are another option. These combs use an electric charge to kill lice on contact. While they can be effective at killing live lice, they may not be as effective at removing nits, and can be more expensive than regular lice combs.
Combing for lice is a process that requires patience and diligence. It's not a one-time thing. You may need to comb the hair every few days for at least two weeks to ensure you've removed all the lice and nits.
How to Comb Out Head Lice
can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your efforts.
Step 1: Preparation
Start by washing the hair with regular shampoo. Then, apply a conditioner, but do not rinse it out. We recommend using KP24 Rapid Combing Solution, a special soft conditioner specifically formulated for head lice and egg removal.
Step 2: Apply lice egg remover
Next, apply KP24 Lice Egg Remover. This product is formulated to break down the glue-like substance that lice use to attach their eggs to the hair shaft, allowing for easier removal. Apply the product to wet hair and leave it on for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Detangle the hair
Using a regular wide-toothed comb, or the other end of the KP24 Dual-Action Lice Comb, gently detangle the hair. This makes the lice combing process smoother and less painful.
Step 4: Divide the hair
Divide the hair into sections. This ensures that you comb through every part of the hair thoroughly. You can use hair clips to keep the sections in place.
Step 5: Start combing
Take the lice comb and start at the top of one section, as close to the scalp as possible (since this is where lice and eggs are usually found). Comb through the hair from the roots to the ends. After each stroke, check the comb for lice and nits and wipe it clean on a white paper towel or rinse it under running water.
Step 6: Repeat
Repeat the combing process for each section of the hair. Be sure to thoroughly comb through each section several times before moving on to the next.
Step 7: Rinse
Once you've combed through all sections, rinse out the Rapid Solution and the Lice Egg Remover. You can then dry and style the hair as usual.
Step 8: Regular checks
It is often necessary to repeat the combing process every three to four days for at least two weeks. This is important as it ensures that you remove any lice that may have hatched after your previous combing session.
Patience and diligence are key when it comes to combing out head lice. It can be time-consuming, but with the help of over-the-counter products like KP24 Rapid Combing Solution and Lice Egg Remover, you can effectively get rid of head lice.
Prevent Head Lice from Coming Back
Prevention is just as important as treatment. Regular checks for head lice, education and awareness, personal hygiene practices, regular cleaning, and the use of preventive products, such as KP24 Lice Defence Spray, can all help to prevent head lice infestations.