How to Accurately Check for Lice

Checking for lice is probably one of the last things you want to do with your time, but if you can catch the infestation early, it is well worth the effort. As with everything else in life, there is a right and wrong way to do this. If your method is ineffective, it could leave you in for a long, tedious removal process.

Combing the Hair

The best method to use is the wet hair method, which requires your child to take a shower and completely cover her hair in conditioner from roots to tips. Once your child covers her hair in conditioner, you should comb it with a wide-toothed comb. The initial stage of the process is simply to get rid of any tangles so that you can easily see all parts of your child’s hair. Once you remove the tangles, switch to a fine-toothed comb or a special lice detection comb.

Start Looking

Starting at the root of your child’s hair, slowly move the comb all the way down to the tips. You should only have about a 4-centimeter section of hair with each stroke you take. Once you get to the tips of the hair, wipe the comb on a clean, white paper towel. You should then look for any eggs or nits on the paper towel. If you have trouble seeing anything, use a magnifying glass to ensure that you do not miss any signs of eggs or live lice. Repeat the process until you get through all of your child’s hair.

Rinse the Hair

Once the inspection is complete, have your child rinse the conditioner out. It is a good idea to run the detection comb through her hair one more time to make sure you did not miss anything. You can repeat this process as often as you see fit or at least once a week if an infestation occurred recently.

Checking Dry Hair

If you do not have the time to go through your child’s hair while it is wet, you can do the same process while the hair is dry. You will use the same techniques; however, you should go through the same sample of hair 3 to 4 times before you move onto the next section as it is harder to locate the lice, especially immature lice when the hair is dry.

Knowing when you should perform a lice check is paramount to your child’s wellbeing. Certainly, any time your child complains of an itchy scalp or as if something is on her head, you should do a thorough check. You should also make it a regular habit anytime there is a lice outbreak at school, which most schools will notify you with a written note. If your child mentions sharing a hat or hairbrush with anyone at school or friends outside of school, a check should be done at that time as well. There really is no bad time to check for lice, but if you do not check, you could be in for quite a long treatment if they get out of hand.

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