Lice treatment is not always successful, and many parents have to deal with the fact that head lice keep coming back. Yet many people also overlook the most crucial step in their battle against these parasites: combing lice and nits. Combing with a lice comb is actually one of the best and most reliable treatment for head lice, and here how to use a lice comb.
Indeed, if there were a contest to determine the best lice removal method, for sure the lice comb would be the winner, not the lice shampoo. According to some British Medical Journal research, lice combs are the surest way to get rid of head lice.
However, there are certain rules you should follow when using a head lice comb and here are these rules.
- Make sure to choose a metal lice comb, not a plastic one. The best lice comb is made of steel and has very thin teeth. You can purchase these combs at CVS or Walgreens and you get to choose between several brands such as Licemeister, Liceguard or Nit Free terminator lice comb. Some people swear by the electric lice comb, which can remove adult lice very well, but they are more expensive and they do not remove nits.
- Combing out head lice requires some preparation. Wash your hair first, to make it softer and easier to brush through. Cover your shoulder and back with a white towel. It will protect you from lice going under your clothes. You can see them easily, when they drop on a towel. And brush your hair with a regular comb to remove any knots.
- The combing should be done from top downwards. Try to comb as close to the scalp as possible. Nits are located high up in the hair, very close to the head (usually within half an inch). Make sure to comb the hair lock by lock. This way you can remove most adult lice and lice eggs.
Do not just brush through the entire hair. Go lock by lock, selecting small portions of hair. You may braid them after you are done with combing each lock. Or, you may move from one side of the head to another, separating the brushed hair from the un-brushed one. Clip it together with a clip.
Once you see you have combed out a lice or a nit, you should remove it from the nit comb. You may immerse it in the hot water or clean the comb, using the towel. Comb the hair, until no nits or lice can be found on it. The combing and hair inspection should be done in clear light or sunlight. Else, you miss some of the parasites and leave them on the head. The combing should be finished up by shampooing your hair and rinsing with warm water.
The areas of your head that lice favor the most are the back of the neck and behind the ears. So, these should be given a special attention. Lice feed on your blood and in those areas it is easier for them to get to it. Those areas of the head are the warmest, so most nits are laid there. Some precautions have to be taken after the combing is over. Wash your clothes and clean the comb in hot or boiling water, if it is made of steel.
The combing out of head lice is not a one time treatment. It has to be done over and over again for several days in a row. Some live lice may lay more nits and you should not allow for those nits to hatch.
Lice combing is a time consuming task. It should be done thoroughly and may take a couple of hours every time you do it. It can be tiresome for kids, so make sure to provide them with some kind of entertainment during this process.
When you get re-infested with head lice, there is no need to purchase a new lice comb. Use the old one, and only make sure to clean it well every time you use it.