How to Get Rid of Head Lice
How to get rid of head lice is one of the most difficult problems a person can deal with. It is much easier to prevent head lice than to get rid of them, but once you are stuck with them preventative measures won't help. Read on for some head lice solutions that really work.
Kill The Lice
The first thing you need to learn if you want to know how to get rid of head lice is to kill the lice themselves. This is best done by washing the hair with a pesticide-containing shampoo. Over-the-counter shampoos that contain pesticide which kill lice include Rid and Nix, or for a persistent problem you can get prescription only treatments of malathion and lindane. All of these treatments are somewhat toxic so although it may be tempting to use them repeatedly to make sure you're rid of the problem, their use should be limited. After treating as directed with the pesticide shampoos you can switch to tea tree oil shampoo, a natural remedy.
Removal of Nits to Get Rid of Head Lice
The next step is removing the nits, because if you don't they will hatch into more live lice and you will just continue the problem. Some people recommend treating the hair overnight with a greasy substance such as hair conditioner, mayonnaise, olive oil, or Cetaphil facial cleanser. You are then supposed to cover the head with a plastic bag and leave the treatment on overnight. Those who think this step is crucial in how to get rid of head lice the right way believe it works either by suffocating the lice if any live ones are left or by making the nits easier to remove. This type of treatment is very messy and you will have to wash the hair over and over again to fully remove it, which may get rid of some of the nits in the process.
The final step in learning how to get rid of lice is removing the remainder of the nits from the head. This must be done physically and is very tedious. There are three methods for nit removal: going through the hair from root to ends with a fine-toothed comb; removing the nits with tweezers, or cutting off strands of hair that have nits on them.
Removing nits with a comb or tweezer is very time consuming and it can take several hours to complete the job, but it is the best way to ensure that all of the nits are gone.
Most pharmacies sell very fine-toothed combs for the removal of nits for around $5-$7. These combs are the most effective way to remove the nits but they only work for relatively thick hair, so if your child's hair is extremely fine tweezers work better for this purpose, or if the nits are limited to a small area you can also snip the strands off above the nits with scissors. If the child is very small, giving them a razor cut (shaving their head close to the scalp) can also help, but this can be traumatic for older children.