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How to Check for Lice?

In this article, we will learn ways to check for lice. It is important to confirm a lice infestation before treating. It’s interesting to know Six to 12 million kids in the U.S. get head lice each year, and just as many tears are shed by kids—and adults—trying to get rid of them. Infestation of the lice can be one of the most annoying things to deal with, not only for the person affected but also for the people around, it tends to make life hell for everyone. It is sneakily contagious and can cause a lot of distress, not to mention severe itching and burning. These organisms are really hard to see, as they are usually the size of a sesame seed.

However, head lice cannot jump, hop or fly and usually direct head-to-head contact is necessary for someone to get contaminated. Head lice can affect anyone irrespective of age, but it is usually among children who are between three to fourteen years of age as it is most commonly seen. It is important to check for lice as soon as you start having a hint and begin to see the symptoms, don’t delay it in order to get rid of them.

ways to check for lice

What are Lice? Know More

Lice in the hair are actually caused by Pediculus humanus capitis, a six-legged parasite that sits and feeds on the human head till it is forcefully taken out. Though its effects are not profound, but it leads the sufferer with an undying urge to scratch his/ her head continuously. They say even high amounts of chlorine in a swimming pool cannot kill lice. Mostly lice cause by the usage of an infected comb, clothing or bedding belonging to another person suffering from lice.

How Do You Know There Is Lice In Your Hair? Identify From The Below:

  • If you have a strange feeling like something is crawling over your head, it is possible you have lice.
  • Have you spotted tiny brown bugs in your hair anytime? It is definitely lice in your hair.
  • If you ever experience swollen lymph nodes on the back of your head, there are chances lice are roaming around on your head.
  • Suffering from a pink eye? Get yourself checked for lice.
  • A Continuous itchy scalp is the first sign of lice in your hair.

Type of Lice:

It’s important to understand the types of lice as well in order to check for lice and to get rid of them:

Nymphs: A nymph is released when the egg hatches. The nit shell, then becomes a more visible dull yellow and remains attached to the hair shaft. The nymph is about the size of a pinhead and look like an adult head louse. To live, a nymph must feed on blood. They become adults about 7 days after hatching.

Nits: Nits (head lice eggs) are often confused with dandruff or other hair debris; however, nits are connected to the base of the hair shaft and will not easily move. If it flakes off, it is not a nit. They are 0.8 mm by 0.3 mm (about the size of a knot in the thread), oval and usually yellow to white, though they can sometimes appear the same color as the infected hair. It takes about one week for the nits to hatch. Viable eggs are usually located within 6mm of the scalp.

Adults: The adult louse has 6 legs (each with claws), is tan to grayish-white and is about the size of a sesame seed. In persons with dark hair, the adult louse will appear darker. Females are usually larger than males and can lay up to 8 nits per day. Adult lice can live up to 30 days on a person’s head. Adult lice need to feed on blood several times daily in order to live. Without blood meals, the louse will die within 1 to 2 days off the host.

Best Methods to Check for Lice:

Get hold of the below methods to check for lice in your head. These methods are the most effective ways to check for lice and to help you get rid of them. Opt for these:

Tips for Success:

Examine the head under bright, natural light and use a clean, wide-tooth comb to remove any tangles. Head lice may be hard to detect because they move quickly and are very small. Check for live in almost every minute section of your hair.В 

Have the person you are checking sit in a comfortable area where it is easy for you to maneuver around him/her to check for lice.

A magnifying lens will make it easier to check for lice and their eggs (nits). This is a good place to begin looking for lice, if there has been excessive head scratching in a particular area.

The Right Methods to Check for Lice:

Detection Combing: Dry Hair Method

This way to check for lice will take at least 3-5 minutes to check each head, depending on hair length and thickness. Although dry combing is an option to check for lice effectively, it is not useful as a treatment.В Untangle the dry hair using an ordinary brush and comb.В Once the comb moves freely through the hair without dragging, switch to a detection comb, as described above.В Starting from the base or the side of the scalp, comb the hair from the scalp down to the end of the hair. Before moving to an adjacent section, comb each section of hair 3-4 times.В 

Check for lice as the comb is drawn through the hair.В If a possible louse is seen, trap it against the face of the comb using your thumb. This avoids the risk of the louse being repelled by static electricity as the comb is pulled out of the hair.В Make sure you comb the hair section by section until the whole head of hair is combed through in order to check for lice.

Detection Combing: Wet Hair Method

  • Depending on hair length and thickness this will take 5-15 minutes to check each head. It is an effective method to check for lice easily and to get rid of them.
  • To begin your check for lice, use an ordinary shampoo and wash your hair thoroughly.
  • Rinse out the shampoo and put on lots of ordinary conditioner.
  • Comb the hair with a normal comb to get rid of tangles.

When the hair is untangled switch to a detection comb. This is a special fine-toothed comb. (The teeth of ‘nit combs’ are too close together than in the normal combs) Most pharmacies stock detection combs.

Detection Combs:

  • A good detection comb can be bought from pharmacies to check for lice.
  • Slot the teeth of the detection comb into the hair at the roots so it is touching the scalp.
  • Draw the detection comb through to the tips of the hair.
  • Make sure that all parts of the hair are combed by working around the head.
  • Check the comb for lice after each stroke. A magnifying glass may help.
  • If you see any lice, clean the comb by wiping it on a tissue or rinse it before the next stroke.
  • After the whole head has been combed, rinse out the conditioner.
  • Repeat the combing procedure in the wet hair to check for any lice that might have been missed the first time.
  • Using the Magnifying Glass to Check for Lice:
  • Lift a 1-2″ section of hair, starting as close to the scalp as possible and slowly comb through this section of hair to the end. Wipe off the comb with a tissue or paper towel and use a magnifying lens to identify any objects you may find.
  • Pin back this section of hair and continue combing through another 1-2” section, repeating this step until the entire head has been checked for lice and eggs. Be sure to look carefully around the ears and on the back of the neck, where lice are commonly found.
  • If you do find lice or eggs you can stop combing and begin the RID 3-Step Process for Lice Treatment.
  • However, if no lice or nits are found, do not treat. Carefully re-inspect daily for at least 2 weeks following suspected exposure to lice.
  • Also, continue to inspect family members who may have been exposed to lice.

Remedies to Get Rid of Lice:

When you have adopted the above methods to check for lice, opt for the below remedies to get rid of them:

Lemon Juice

Lemon is acidic in nature which helps to treat a number of problems. For getting rid of lice, just take four large cloves of garlic and mash them to a fine paste. Now add one tablespoon of lemon juice to it and apply this mixture all over your head. Cover with a thick towel for about 30 minutes. Use a mild shampoo and wash off your hair. Use a nit comb and hair dryer further after wiping the hair with a towel.If done continuously for 5-6 days it will help completely eliminate lice and help you get rid of lice faster than you could imagine.

Hot Oil Treatment

Coconut oil and Indian lilac oil are the best for getting rid of lice naturally and permanently. They have great antifungal properties that help in getting rid of lice easily from the hair. Both of these oils lubricate the hair and are good antiseptics as well.

For a hot oil treatment, heat up the coconut oil or the Indian lilac oil. The oil should be hotter than warm, but should not burn you. Apply the oil nicely into the hair and massage off well into the scalp. Leave it for at least 30minutes and use a nit comb to comb your hair. This will cause the ice to fall off from the hair and help you get rid of lice quickly.This method can be done daily as well if you want.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is highly effective and widely recommended for getting rid of lice. You can use tea tree Oil by mixing 20 drops of it with 2oz. of olive oil or 4 oz. of alcohol. For the first method use a cotton ball to put the oil onto your head, for the second uses a hair spray. Leave the mixture overnight on the head in both the cases and cover your head with a plastic cap. The next morning wash off the hair well with a shampoo and sue a nit comb.

With this method, you will completely get rid of lice in two or three applications only. However, if tea tree oil itches you then you can also opt for these oils: eucalyptus oil, peppermint Oil, cinnamon leaf oil, Aniseed oil, Neem oil, Clove oil o Nutmeg oil.

Almonds

Almonds are a great way of getting rid of lice. This is one of the most effective home remedies for lice that can be practiced naturally at home. To benefit from almonds, just soak about 10 almonds overnight in a little water. In the morning peel the skin off and grind these almonds to a smooth paste. Now mix 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to the paste and apply this paste to your head and your hair well. Leave it for at least 2 hours and after that wash your hair with fresh cold water. Do this treatment at least twice a well to get maximum benefits.

Hair Gel

Hair gel also works on the same principle of mayonnaise. It helps get rid of lice by suffocating them. Though there aren’t many scientific studies to prove this, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that puts it as an effective method.

To get benefits from a hair gel, simply apply liberal amounts of hair gel to the roots of your hair. Now, cover the head with a plastic cap and leave it overnight. Wash off with a mild shampoo and use a nit comb to comb your hair. It helps you get rid of lice to a great extent.

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise works wonderfully for getting rid of lice. It helps eliminate lice from the hair by suffocating them and thereby killing them off.

For this, simply cover each and every inch of your hair with mayonnaise. Now cover your head with a plastic cap and wrap a towel around it. This will also prevent mayonnaise to drip from the hair. Cover your head for about six hours. Then use a mild shampoo and wash your hair, be patient not to leave any of the mayonnaise in your hair. Wipe your hair with a towel and then use a hair dryer to dry it.

Do this twice in a week for about two months as its one of the most effective and commonly used home remedies for lice. It will help you get rid of lice completely.

Onion

Onion is a natural agent that has many beneficial effects on the skin and hair. It contains sulfur that helps in getting rid of lice most effectively.

For this, just take about six regular size onions and blend them in a mixer. Now sieve the mixture such that the juice is separated. Use the juice to spread all over your hair, including the roots. With a plastic cap cover your head for about two hours. Use a mild shampoo to wash your hair and then sue a hair dryer and nit comb. To start with, do this treatment for three consecutive days and then limit it to twice a month for two months.This is one of the best home remedies for lice and will help them go away in a month’s time.

Precautions:

  • While applying the above remedies, take the below precautions as well to check for lice and to get rid of lice:
  • If you are suffering from lice, never share your combs of belongings with any other person.
  • Vacuum all upholstery, mattresses, and carpets.
  • Once in a while, comb your hair with a nit comb.
  • Seal all non-washable items of yours in plastic bags for about a week.
  • After treating lice, wash all of your clothing and bedding in hot water. This is essential to keep your belongings sanitized and completely free from lice.