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How to Get Rid of Head Lice

Nit-Picking to Get Rid of Head Lice

The most important activity in treating head lice is nit-picking, which is careful combing of the hair with a lice comb. If you do not pick nits regularly, nothing else you do will work.
It is important to use an effective lice comb for nit-picking. Many nit-removing combs are available. Some of these fine-toothed combs come in the box of lice treatments, such as Rid® and Nix®. These combs do not seem to be effective for getting rid of head lice, however. Two combs that work very well in the removal of nits are the LiceOut™ comb and the LiceMeister™ comb.
Once you have bought a quality head lice comb, you should then perform the following steps on day one of head lice treatment:
  • Allow yourself enough time to do a good job. It may take as long as an hour if the hair is long and thick. Work in good light.
  • Apply one of the lice treatments as described in the following section.
  • Place a towel between the hair and shoulders of the person who has head lice.
  • Part the hair into four sections, and pin the hair with clips to prepare it for combing.
  • Starting with one section, select a small area of hair that is about 1 inch square. Start at the scalp, and pull the comb all the way through to the ends of the hair.
  • If nits remain attached to the hair shaft, comb through the hair strands again.
  • Wipe the comb off with a paper towel or toilet paper after each stroke through the hair.
  • Repeat these steps in the remaining three sections of hair.
  • Wash the towel and clothes the person wore during the combing as described in the following section.
  • Flush all of the used tissues down the toilet or seal in a garbage bag and throw away.
  • If you are picking nits for more than one person at a time, pour boiling water over the nit comb, hair clips, and regular comb, and let soak for 30 seconds.
  • When finished with the last person, soak all the combs and hair clips in bleach water.
  • Wash hands completely when done.
Every day for the next two weeks, shampoo and follow with careful nit-picking as described. For some medicines, you may need to wait two days before shampooing and nitpicking daily.
For some medicines or alternative treatments, you may repeat the treatment 7 to 14 days later in order to catch any head lice that have hatched since the first treatment. After two weeks, continue inspecting the scalp daily for another week.
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