Updated on March 12, 2020
By Lice Technician Jessica Zachar
There are strategies you can take when checking your kids for head lice. Here are some ideas.
While lice can be conquered, one of the more difficult aspects of dealing with a lice infestation is making sure you don’t catch it yourself! We asked some of our lice technicians for tips and tricks that they use to keep their hair lice free during treatments. Jessica from Michigan reminds us that “Everyone gets itchy when dealing with lice – even if you are not infested! Make sure you avoid scratching your own head while treating someone else.”
The bugs will try to escape the comb any way possible – including running to a new host. Lice can run through human hair at a rate of 8 inches per minute, which means once they get to your head they can disappear fast. If you find it difficult to keep your hands off your head, you can use a clean hat, scarf, or even a shower cap to make sure that no lice can cross over. Lice are not able to burrow or dig through these materials – if they cannot reach our hair strands, they will not be able to stay on the head or lay any nits (eggs). In addition, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and clean under your fingernails after each treatment before you touch your hair.
Technician Laurie from Texas advises: “Make sure you are cleaning out the nit comb thoroughly between combings. I use a small scrub brush and regular dish soap to clean mine off, then soak them in rubbing alcohol overnight to sanitize. If you are using one of our recommended Terminator nit combs, you can also boil them after each use. To be certain that there are no nits (eggs) or bugs left, hold the nit comb up in front of a light source and you should be able to see anything caught in the teeth of the comb. This way you can use the same nit comb to treat the whole family without worrying about spreading the infestation!”
In addition to cleaning your nit comb, you will want to make sure that everyone in the family is using separate combs and brushes for regular hair care. If you don’t have enough brushes to go around and you can’t afford to buy all new ones, don’t worry! Just make sure that you clean any hair tools by placing them in the freezer overnight (or for at least 2 hours). Head lice cannot survive extreme temperatures, so putting things in the freezer for 2 hours, or in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes will guarantee no surviving bugs. While the Terminator nit combs LiceDoctors offers can be cleaned with boiling water, this will often melt or damage brushes made from plastic, wood, or other materials. The freezer is a great alternative to using heat! It is also best practice to clean all hair from brushes and combs after each use.
The only material lice can hide in is human hair. If you remove all stray hairs there will be nothing for them to hold onto. Ashlee from Oregon says “When I am treating for head lice, I like to wear scrubs or a shirt that buttons up the front. That way, if a louse falls onto my shirt during the treatment, I won’t be pulling the shirt over my head and giving it a chance to get into my hair. I also make sure that my long hair is secured in a bun and not brushing my shoulders.” While head lice can travel quickly through hair, they cannot crawl across fabric or skin effectively enough to travel from your shirt or pants into your hair - unless your hair is long enough for them to grab hold of. Keeping long hair pulled back is one of the most important things you can do to avoid head lice. We often recommend that those with long hair keep it in a braid or a bun if their school, workplace, or home is experiencing an infestation. In addition to these tips, there are also lice repellent products available for sale on our website.
Andrea from Virginia tells us “I spray my hair with Lice Doctors Peppermint Repellent Spray before every treatment. It always keeps me lice free! Many people think rosemary or tea tree oil is the best at repelling lice, but the #1 oil the lice hate is actually peppermint.” Our site offers lice shampoo and conditioner, as well as treat at home kits and nit combs. As always, the best way to make certain you don’t have head lice is to get checked early and often! If you think your child has head lice, give us a call at 800-224-2537 and an expert lice technician will check and treat so that there is zero risk to you. LiceDoctors makes house calls seven days and nights a week!