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Long Locks, No Lice: How to Get Rid of Lice with Long Hair

Long Locks, No Lice: How to Get Rid of Lice with Long Hair
Created on 
April 18, 2017
Updated on 
March 26, 2024

“You have such long, thick beautiful hair!” If I had a dollar for every time someone provided that compliment to my daughter, I would be rich. As with all hair types, they come with their upsides and downsides and most everyone wants to have a lot of hair until there are lice hiding there!

When I discovered my daughter had lice, I wished that she had finer hair and a cute pixie cut! Fighting head lice is challenging, but especially so if you’re trying to perform the best lice treatment for long hair in a jungle of seemingly endless hair! At LiceDoctors, here’s what we recommend.

How Can You Tell If You Have Lice in Your Long Hair?

Detecting lice in long hair requires thorough examination. Start by parting the hair in small sections and using a fine-toothed comb to meticulously comb through the strands, especially near the scalp and behind the ears. Look for small, oval-shaped nits (lice eggs) attached to individual hair shafts.

These are usually yellowish-white or tan in color and can be mistaken for dandruff but are difficult to brush off. Additionally, search for adult lice, which are about the size of a sesame seed and can move quickly. Their presence might cause itching or a tickling sensation on the scalp.

If you suspect lice infestation but you’re still unsure, check for common symptoms such as persistent itching, particularly around the scalp, neck, and ears. Scratching may lead to redness and irritation. Watch for signs of irritability or difficulty sleeping, as lice are most active during the night. You can also inspect for small red bumps or sores on the scalp, which can develop due to scratching. Early detection is crucial to prevent the spread of lice to others and to begin effective treatment as soon as possible.

Essential Equipment for Eliminating Lice in Long Hair

Dealing with lice infestation in long hair requires specific tools and products to ensure effective treatment. Before you embark on the journey to eradicate lice from long locks, you’ll need to gather all the necessary supplies. Here's a comprehensive list of items you'll need:

  1. Fine-Toothed Comb: A fine-toothed comb is essential for removing lice and nits from the hair shafts. Look for a comb specifically designed for lice removal, as these typically have closely spaced teeth to ensure thorough combing.
  2. Natural Oil: We recommend purchasing a natural oil, such as olive oil to help condition the hair and make removing lice easier.
  3. Shower Cap or Plastic Bag: After applying treatment products to the hair, you can cover the hair with a shower cap or plastic bag to trap the oil and help suffocate the lice. This will help enhance the effectiveness of the treatment.
  4. Towels and Washcloths: Have a supply of clean towels and washcloths on hand for wiping off your hair and protecting your clothing.
  5. Lice Killing Shampoo: You can supplement the natural treatment with a shampoo specifically formulated to kill lice and their eggs. These shampoos usually contain active ingredients such as pyrethrin or permethrin, which are effective against lice.
  6. Cleaning Supplies/Detergent: Vacuuming, disinfecting, and washing all bedding, clothing, and items that may have come into contact with lice isn’t necessary because lice won’t survive long without a human head, but is a good precaution to take. Use quality products to effectively kill lice and their eggs.

By ensuring you have all the necessary supplies before starting the lice treatment process, you'll be better equipped to tackle the infestation effectively and efficiently. Additionally, having these supplies on hand allows for a smoother treatment experience to minimize the risk of reinfestation and promotes successfully removing lice from long hair.

How to Get Lice Eggs Out of Long Thick Hair

get rid of head lice treatment for long thick hair successful

Are lice eggs causing frustration in your long hair? Don’t worry! This step-by-step guide will give you the knowledge and tools to effectively remove those pesky eggs. Follow these proven methods and bid farewell to lice for good. Let's reclaim your hair's health and vitality together!

Step 1: Thorough Inspection

Thorough inspection is crucial in effectively dealing with lice infestation in long hair. Begin by parting the hair into sections and using a fine-toothed comb to carefully search for lice and nits (lice eggs). Check behind the ears, near the scalp, and along the hair shafts, as these are common areas for lice to reside. Take your time during this process, as missing nits can lead to reinfestation. It's essential to be thorough to ensure that all lice and eggs are identified before proceeding with treatment.

Step 2: Saturating Hair in Natural Oil

After completing the inspection, the next step is to saturate the hair thoroughly in a natural oil, like olive oil. This serves to trap and suffocate live bugs and facilitate the removal of nits and live bugs from the hair.

After this is done, you can supplement the process by using a lice-killing shampoo. Choose a shampoo specifically designed to eliminate lice, as regular shampoo may not be effective. Follow the instructions on the shampoo bottle carefully, ensuring that the hair is fully saturated, the product is left on for the recommended amount of time, and fully rinsed out after.

Step 3: Combing with Fine-Toothed Comb

After saturating the hair in oil and washing the hair with lice-killing shampoo, the next step is to comb through the hair using a fine-toothed comb. This comb is essential for removing both lice and nits from the hair shafts. Start at the scalp and work your way down to the ends of the hair, section by section, ensuring thorough coverage.

Comb through each section multiple times, wiping the comb onto a paper towel or cloth after each pass to remove any lice or nits. Be patient and gentle, as combing through long hair can be time-consuming and tangles may occur. Regularly inspect the comb for any signs of lice or eggs, and continue combing until no more are found.

Step 4: Applying Lice Treatment Products (Optional)

head lice treatment long thick curly hair nit removal

Following the combing process, you can apply additional lice treatment products to ensure complete eradication. Choose a treatment product recommended by healthcare professionals or pharmacists, and carefully follow the instructions for application. Apply the treatment to the hair, focusing on areas where lice and nits are most commonly found, such as behind the ears and at the nape of the neck.

Massage the product into the hair and scalp, making sure to saturate all strands thoroughly. Leave the treatment on for the recommended amount of time, typically a few hours or overnight, to allow it to fully penetrate and kill any remaining lice or eggs. After the treatment period, rinse the hair thoroughly with water and proceed with the remaining steps of the lice removal process.

Step 5: Washing Bedding and Clothing (Optional)

Once the hair has been treated, you can choose to wash all bedding and clothing that may have come into contact with lice, though it’s not strictly necessary as lice don’t survive more than 36 hours off of a human head. However, if you’d prefer to do this for your peace of mind, make sure you wash pillowcases, sheets, towels, hats, and any clothing worn in the past few days. Use hot water and high heat settings in the dryer to effectively kill any lice or nits that may be present.

Additionally, consider disinfecting combs, brushes, and hair accessories by soaking them in hot water or rubbing alcohol to keep them clean.

Step 6: Vacuuming and Cleaning Household Items (Optional)

As mentioned, lice don’t last long without a human head. However, if you’re concerned, you can vacuum carpets, rugs, and upholstery, paying close attention to areas where hair may accumulate, such as around beds and furniture. Additionally, wipe down commonly-touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, and countertops, with a disinfectant cleaner to eliminate any lingering lice or eggs.

Step 7: Repeating Treatment as Necessary

In some cases, a single treatment may not completely eliminate a lice infestation, especially if the initial infestation was severe or if some eggs were missed during the removal process. If live lice or nits are still present after completing the initial treatment, it may be necessary to repeat the entire lice removal process.

Follow the same steps outlined above, including thorough inspection, washing with lice-killing shampoo, combing with a fine-toothed comb, and applying treatment products as needed. Repeat these steps as needed until no more lice or eggs are found, and continue to follow prevention tips to avoid future infestations.

Prevention Tips for Long Hair

Prevention Tips for Long Hair

Long, luscious locks are a source of pride, but they can also attract unwanted guests – lice. Fear not! With these savvy prevention tips, you can keep your long hair free from these pesky critters. From simple routines to proactive measures, let's ensure your mane remains a lice-free zone:

  1. Avoid Sharing Personal Items: Lice can easily spread through sharing personal items like hair brushes, combs, hats, scarves, and even headphones. Those with long hair should avoid sharing these items with others, especially in settings where lice infestations are prevalent.
  2. Keep Hair Tied Up: Long hair, when left loose, can come into contact with other people or surfaces where lice may be present. Keeping hair tied up in braids, buns, or ponytails can help reduce the risk of lice transferring from one person to another.
  3. Regular Hair Care Routine: Maintaining a regular hair care routine can help prevent lice infestations. Washing hair regularly with shampoo and conditioner not only keeps the hair clean but may also help dislodge any lice or nits present.
  4. Use Preventive Products: There are various lice repellent products available, such as sprays or leave-in treatments, that can help deter lice from infesting the hair. These products often contain natural ingredients like tea tree oil or neem oil, which are believed to repel lice.
  5. Educate About Lice Awareness: Teaching individuals, especially children and parents, about lice awareness is essential for prevention. Educate them about the signs and symptoms of lice infestation, as well as proper hygiene practices to minimize the risk of spreading lice.
  6. Regular Head Checks: Conducting regular head checks, especially after potential exposure to lice-infested environments like schools, childcare facilities, or camps, can help detect lice early before an infestation becomes severe. Use a fine-toothed comb to carefully inspect the scalp and hair strands for any signs of lice or nits.

Say goodbye to lice worries and hello to carefree, beautiful hair! Stay vigilant, stay proactive, and keep rocking those fabulous locks without lice in sight!

Should You Seek Professional Help to Treat Lice on Long Hair?

Seeking professional help to treat lice in long hair depends on various factors, including the severity of the infestation and personal preference. While over-the-counter treatments are available, they may not always be the most effective option, especially in cases of resistant strains. Professional lice removal services offer expertise in thoroughly combing out lice and nits, often using specialized tools and techniques.

Additionally, professional assistance can provide peace of mind and ensure proper treatment to reduce the risk of reinfestation. If home remedies prove ineffective or the infestation worsens, consulting a professional may be advisable to ensure the successful eradication of lice and to minimize the disruption caused by the infestation.


Lice is persistent. Banishing lice from long locks requires diligence and a systematic approach. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can bid farewell to those pesky parasites and reclaim your hair's health and vitality. Remember, prevention is key, so be sure to implement our handy tips to keep lice at bay in the future.

If you're facing a stubborn infestation or need expert guidance, don't hesitate to reach out to us at LiceDoctors. Our experienced team is here to provide personalized assistance and make your lice a thing of the past. See how our lice removal specialists can help you! Contact us today, and let's restore your hair's natural beauty, one strand at a time.

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Can I use natural remedies to eliminate lice from long hair?

When treating head lice, natural remedies like tea tree oil, coconut oil, or mayonnaise are often utilized. These substances are thought to suffocate lice or weaken their hold on the hair shaft. However, their ability to effectively eliminate head lice infestation and head lice eggs varies. They may not completely kill head lice, so we strongly recommend LiceDoctors’ natural treatment, which includes combing and the complete removal of nits and lice, as well as a detailed follow-up plan.

Can lice infestations in long hair be treated without cutting the hair?

Yes, treating head lice infestations in long hair is possible without resorting to cutting the hair. Nonetheless, it's worth noting that cutting the hair very short can facilitate the removal process and potentially decrease the chances of re-infestation, as it kills lice. Head lice live on the scalp and hair strands, and there are various methods available to treat head lice effectively.

How long does it take to get rid of lice in long hair?

Getting rid of lice in long hair, especially in a child's hair, can be a time-consuming process that involves killing newly hatched lice and ensuring thorough treatment of dry hair. This process typically takes several weeks as it requires consistent and patient effort to completely eradicate all adult lice and their offspring, known as nymphs. LiceDoctors’ evidence-based follow-up plan ensures that lice are completely eradicated.




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