Home / Hair Care / How to Check for Lice?

How to Check for Lice?

Lice (pediculosis) are parasites that live on human hair, scalp and in clothes. They gain nourishment by feeding off human blood. Head lice, in particular, are very common. It is possible that you may have got head lice at least once in your life. This type of infestation is observed to occur mostly in children. This is because of their habits of sharing close contact, such as touching heads, with any playmates. Whilst these parasites are not carriers of diseases, they cause immense irritation and frequent scratching of the scalp. In this article, we shall look at methods to check for lice and then remedies to get rid of them.

how to check for lice

Methods to Check for Lice:

There are 2 methods by which you can check for lice on the head. Both require the use of a nit comb. This is a fine-toothed comb that is used specifically to check for lice and remove them. Read on to see the methods to remove the lice.

1.) Method I – Dry Combing

This is probably the simplest method by which you can check for lice. All it requires is a wide-toothed comb to detangle the hair and a fine-toothed nit comb to remove lice. Additionally, you can use a torch to micro-inspect the scalp.

  • Step 1 – First, comb with the wide-toothed comb to detangle the hair. Divide the hair into sections. This will make it easier to keep track of the area you have checked. Place a white towel over their shoulders to make it easier to discard nits and lice that dislodge from the hair.
  • Step 2 – Now, use the fine-toothed nit comb to firmly run through the scalp down till the end of the hair strands. If the nits are problematic to remove, you can try soaking the hair in a 3% white vinegar bath. Then comb with the nit comb again.
  • Step 3 – Periodically check the nit comb while combing through the sections of hair. Use a pair of tweezers to trap the lice against the comb. Place the lice you find in a cup filled halfway with rubbing alcohol. This is because lice can survive in water and may escape.
  • Step 4 – Brush through each section in a systematic manner, pausing to check for any escaping lice. Repeat this routine twice. This ensures you haven’t missed any errant lice.
  • Step 5 – Once you are done, soak the combs in rubbing alcohol for at least an hour. You must perform this procedure every day for 2-3 weeks. This is important as the nits take a while to hatch, so if you have missed any then the lice infestation will return.

2.) Method II – Wet Combing

Another method to check for lice on the head and scalp is by combing through wet hair. This method may be easier to catch lice. The moisture will temporarily restrict the movement of these parasites. It also allows the comb to glide through with ease.

  • Step 1 – Wash the hair with shampoo first. Then use a conditioner to condition the hair well. Wash this off. Wrap a towel around the hair to soak up excess water. But do not dry the hair.
  • Step 2 – Use a wide-tooth comb to remove tangles and knots from the hair. This step will ensure the nit comb glides easily through the hair and cause less pain.
  • Step 3 – Place a white towel over their shoulders. This helps to catch any lice or nits that fall loose, making them easy to discard. Now, divide the hair into sections. Use the fine-tooth nit comb to brush through each section thoroughly.
  • Step 4 – Start from the center of the scalp. Comb out firmly till the ends of the hair strands. Systematically brush through each section, pausing to check for escaping lice. Be extra vigilant around the area behind the ears and at the base of the neck. These tend to be a favorite hiding place for the parasites. With each stroke, pause to examine near the hair follicle for nits.
  • Step 5 – After each stroke, inspect the comb teeth for any lodged lice or nits. Wipe the comb with a wet towel or rinse it under running water to dislodge these creatures. Comb through the entire scalp twice to get rid of any lice that may have run and escaped the first time.

Other Remedies to Treat Lice:

1.) Tea Tree Oil to Cure Lice

This is a very effective treatment for lice infestation after you check for lice. Tea Tree Oil is considered a natural insecticide that effectively kills lice. In addition, it contains soothing properties that help to calm the severe urge to itch the scalp. Also, it helps to regenerate any damaged skin tissues of the scalp that are a result of scratching too harshly.

You Will Need:

  • Tea Tree essential oil.
  • Your regular shampoo.
  • A nit comb
  • A hair dryer

Method for Use:

  • Add 5 drops of the tea tree oil into each ounce of your shampoo and mix.
  • Use this mixture to wash your hair.
  • Run the nit comb through the wet hair to collect and dislodge nits and lice.
  • Turn the hair dryer on to hot air and dry the hair.
  • Repeat this daily for 4-6 weeks.

2.) Treat Lice with Almond-Lavender Oil

Once you check for lice, a good method to remove them is to use a medicated shampoo. But most of the time, you may need to try out a couple OTC brands to see which one is most effective for you. If you are not feeling up to this, you can always make your own. It is easy, inexpensive, and quite potent.

You Will Need:

  • Almond oil – ½ cup
  • Lavender oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Eucalyptus oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Bergamont oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Shower cap or clear film.

Method for Use:

  • Add the measures of essential oils into the ½ cup of almond oil.
  • Mix this very well to form the medicated shampoo.
  • Use generously to cover the base of all the hair follicles, as well as all the hair. You may increase the measurements by double if you have long hair.
  • Wrap your hair in the shower cap or with some clear film.
  • Leave on overnight.
  • In the morning, remove the suffocated lice and nits using the nit comb.
  • Repeat every night for 2 weeks.

3.) Petroleum Jelly to Treat Lice

This remedy is simple to follow and is quite effective, if not a little messy to get rid of lice. It works by blocking the breathing holes of the lice, therefore suffocating them. In addition, the petroleum jelly will act as a lubricant to slide nits off the hair shaft when you comb. Furthermore, this method is the best for those with very sensitive skin.

You Will Need:

  • A jar of unscented petroleum jelly.
  • Shower cap or thick towel.
  • Baby oil
  • Nit comb

Method for Use:

  • Use your fingers to cover your hair and scalp generously with the petroleum jelly.
  • Now, cover the hair with a shower cap, or simply wrap a thick towel over the head.
  • Leave overnight. In the morning, use baby oil to wipe off the excess petroleum jelly.
  • Use the nit comb to remove the dead lice and nits.
  • Once more rub in baby oil, then rinse off with your regular shampoo.
  • Repeat daily for 2-3 weeks.

4.) Indica Leaves Treatment for Lice

This medicinal herb is known to be a potent antibacterial and antiseptic. It can be counted under one of the most effective natural remedies to remove head lice. In addition, it is considered a mild natural insecticide which can kill head lice. Use this to effectively combat a lice infestation after you check for lice.

You Will Need:

  • Fresh indica leaves (neem) – A handful.
  • Nit comb

Method for Use:

  • Grind the indica leaves into a thick paste. Add water, little-by-little, to achieve this.
  • Coat the scalp thoroughly with this paste.
  • Leave overnight, or for a few hours till it is completely dry.
  • Scrub off with lukewarm water.
  • Use the nit comb to collect and dislodge the dead nits and lice.
  • Follow this remedy for a week at least.

5.) Vinegar to Cure Lice Naturally

This is another good way to naturally kill the parasites after you check for lice and confirm an infestation. The high levels of acetic acid helps dissolve nits. In addition, it is useful to kill head lice.

You Will Need:

  • ¼ cup Vinegar (white or apple cider)
  • ¼ cup mineral oil
  • A shower cap
  • Nit comb

Method for Use:

  • Mix together the vinegar and mineral oil very well.
  • Apply this to the scalp and coat all the hair, from root to tip.
  • Cover with a shower cap and leave on overnight.
  • The next morning, use a nit comb and run through the hair to remove the dead lice and nits.
  • Rinse your hair with your regular shampoo.

6.) Fenugreek to Treat Lice

When you check for lice, it is worth noting that this is another excellent natural method to get rid of them. The fenugreek seeds contain antifungal as well as antibacterial properties and is a very potent insecticide.

You Will Need:

  • 3-4 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon camphor

Method for Use:

  • Soak the fenugreek seeds overnight in water.
  • Take the soaked seeds and grind into a thick paste.
  • Warm the coconut oil and mix in the camphor. Add this mix to the fenugreek seed paste.
  • Apply this generously to the scalp and hair.
  • Leave it to sit for 30 minutes and then wash off.
  •  You can use the nit comb to brush out the dead lice and nits.
  • Repeat this daily for 2 weeks.

7.) Onions to Cure Lice Infestation

Onion juice is another good and inexpensive home remedy to use after you check for lice. It is high in sulfur content which is useful to kill any head lice. Organic onions are best for this method.

You Will Need:

  • 3-4 medium organic onions
  • Sieve
  • Shower cap
  • Hair dryer
  • Nit comb

Method for Use:

  • First, make a paste from the onions by grinding in a blender with just a couple spoons of water.
  • Use the sieve to extract the juice from this paste.
  • Apply this concentrated juice on your scalp and hair and massage in.
  • Cover the hair with a shower cap and leave to sit for 2-3 hours.
  • Now simply wash the onion juice out with your regular shampoo.
  • Use the nit comb to remove dead lice and nits.
  • Blow dry with hot air from the hair dryer.
  • Repeat this for 3-5 consecutive days.

8.) Olive Oil to Get Rid of Lice

When you check for lice and find them, this is an easy method to help remove them. Olive oil is inexpensive and is suitable for those with sensitive skin that cannot withstand harsh chemicals. It works as a smothering agent to block the breathing holes of the lice.

You Will Need:

  • Olive Oil
  • Shower cap
  • Nit comb

Method for Use:

  • Coat the hair and scalp with the olive oil thoroughly.
  • Cover up with a shower cap. Leave this on overnight.
  • In the morning, use the nit comb to remove the dead lice and nits.
  • Now, simply wash the oil off with your regular shampoo.
  • Repeat this process again after 6-8 days.
eXTReMe Tracker