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Can You Comb Out Head Lice and Nits?

sammamish lice or regular comb out nits bugs

Updated on June 25, 2020

By LiceDoctors Technician, Kelli Ogle
April 20, 2020

Having a high quality lice comb, good lighting, a lot of patience, and plenty of practice combine for a good start to eradicating head lice. When in doubt, call in LiceDoctors Lice Treatment and Nit Removal Service and your technician will clear you of this problem.

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 (lice eggs).  

Why Do You Need To Comb Nits and Lice?

sammamish why how to remove all nits lice egg bug important

Here’s the deal. There is no lice treatment available that will get rid of the nits in your hair. You read that correctly. There is nothing, nada, not a single lice medication that kills nits. Even the best prescription lice treatment and the most effective home made natural lice remedies, and the most popular over the counter permethrin or pyrethrin lice shampoos will not get rid of the nits. There are some options for how to kill lice at home, but the only way to get rid of nits is to comb and nitpick. If you don’t eliminate all of  the nits, then you will soon have live hair lice....again!

So does lice shampoo kill nits? No. Does mayonnaise kill nits? No. Does Ovide or Natroba kill nits? No and no. How about Nix or Rid...do they kill nits? Again, the answer is no. Some people think that they can beat the system by drowning the nits or killing nits with an at-home hot air dryer. That won’t work. Last resort people wonder does chorine kill nits? Sorry but none of these common lice remedies works to kill or get rid of nits. As I said, there are ways to kill lice but NOT nits.

sammamish thorough professional comb nit pick essential to eradicate lice

Combing Nits and Nitpicking is Essential to Getting Rid of Head Lice

Here's the deal: you have to include in the treatment process a step that physically lifts the nits from the hair. They are cemented to the hair and will not just fall of by themselves. As we showed above, chemical lice removal does not work in getting rid of nits. Unless, you have lice fairies living in your home, you are going to need to pull out those nits. Your pediatrician doesn’t have the time to become a lice doctor, spending concentrated amounts of time performing a professional lice removal of those nits.

Combing with a lice comb is one of the best and most reliable treatment for head lice, however, there are certain rules you should follow when using a lice comb and here are the rules.

Here's what you need to know to make combing work for you:

  • Buy the right comb. You need one with long metal tines that are very close together. Make sure you know how to use lice comb and section the hair to allow yourself to comb small segments at a time. There are various ones out there that will do the trick. Do not rely on the one that comes with a lice treatment kit. LiceDoctors Nit Free Lice Comb 
  • Set time aside for combing lice out of hair every few days. Whether it's quick or long depends on how much hair your child has. If your child has lice in long, thick hair, plan to spend several hours combing out the nits and bugs. The more experienced you are, the faster it will go. At the beginning, when there's more to get out, it will take longer; after a few days, it should go faster.
  • Have good lighting, and a cup of water (or sink) nearby for cleaning the comb after each swipe, if there are a lot of nits in the comb.
  • The hair needs to be tangle-free or the comb will get stuck. You can put conditioner on or use detangling spray.
  • Separate the hair into sections, and comb from the scalp out. The nape of the neck and behind the ears are where lice are most likely to reside.
  • Use distractions, like a video, while you comb, or make up stories together. 
  • Keep combing until you've gone 8-10 days without finding anything--that's how long it takes for an egg to hatch. 
  • It's a good idea to comb everyone in the house to be on the safe side. 
  • Be sure to wear a shower cap when combing out nits and lice to prevent from getting lice yourself when treating in your house.

Don’t Waste Time Treating The House

And speaking of the house, lice will not survive off the head in the house. Lice don't live very long off of people, but there are a few things you may want to do:

  • Make sure everyone has his or her own brush and comb. No sharing allowed.
  • Wash bedding the day you find the lice. 
  • Lightly vacuum furniture.  Don't buy the anti-lice furniture sprays--they can be toxic, and vacuuming works just fine.

These after-lice treatment cleaning steps are not absolutely necessary. Many people want to feel that they are being proactive so they clean the floors, furniture, toys, and sheets, which may make you feel better but they are not the key to getting rid of lice. As long as you have an after-care plan for your head from your lice professional, you do not need to treat the house. 

What LiceDoctors Will Do To Get Rid Of Lice And Nits

The absolute secret to lice removal is combing and picking out nits. What good does does it do to kill lice and leave behind lice eggs? You have only completed half the job. In the case of doing half the job, with head lice, that is a waste of time and energy. The nits that are left will hatch, the nymphs that come out will mature, and they will start to reproduce within 10 days. A couple of weeks later the nymphs from those nits will be mature enough to reproduce and before you know it you will have hundreds of lice in your hair. While you can’t prevent a lice infestation when you do not know that you were exposed, you certainly can prevent lice from coming back by getting rid of the lice and nits permanently that are in your hair, and that is what combing and nitpicking does.

As you can see, this is not a quick and easy process, but done correctly, it will work. Head lice and eggs stay close to the scalp and the nits stick to the hair. In order to get rid of the head lice infestation, you must remove all bugs and nits. This is what LiceDoctors does for you right in your home. You do not need to run out to a lice salon or a lice clinic when a lice specialist will come to you. Best of all, the cost of LiceDoctors professional lice treatment averages about half the cost of salons that use hot air devices and is usually less expensive than some prescription lice treatment. LiceDoctors has treated over 500,000 clients. 

Your technician will come to your home at the time you designate. With her expertise and professional supplies, she will check and treat your family. She will apply oil, divide the hair into sections, and will comb out lice and nits. Although she uses the best lice comb available, there may be several tiny nits still in the hair. That is when she will use her expertise to find and remove all signs of nits. She will finish up by giving you an easy aftercare plan that will ensure that all nits are gone and that the lice do not return.

If you need help with treatment and combing, please call professionals to help you get the job done. It can be very daunting for a lay person to eliminate lice as this is definitely a task where practice makes perfect. A LiceDoctors technician will gladly do the treating and combing for you! Call today at 206-316-8637 in Sammamish and Issaquah and all surrounding areas to ensure that the job is done completely the first time.Technicians are available to make a house call day or night any day of the year.