The removal of head lice from an infested head as well as the
removal from home and personal items can be testing. The most
important part of any lice removal regimen is to treat the infested
person with a head
lice treatment, also known as a pediculicide. The use of a
pediculicide along with careful combing and clean-up will result in
successful lice removal.
using most head lice treatments, combing the hair and removing the
dead lice and nits is part of the process. Use a fine-toothed
lice comb to remove the lice and nits by carefully and slowly
starting at the nape of the neck and moving forward. Sectioning the
hair off and moving inch by inch is a successful practice of
combing. Using an additional conditioner or detangler may also be
helpful in the combing process as many chemical head lice
treatments can cause the hair to be dry and brittle.
Self-medication and self-combing is not a good idea, as a second
person is required to effectively comb-out lice and eggs.
Some products may kill the nits, such as Licefreee
Spray!. In this case, combing may not be necessary to prevent
reinfestation, but still may be required by your child's
Be sure to check to see if your child's school has a no-nit
policy. If your school has a no-nit policy, your child will not be
able to return to school until every louse and egg has been removed
from his or her hair.
Clean-up after an infestation
Cleaning up after a head lice infestation is a
tedious, but significant step in lice removal.
- Wash all bedding and clothing that the infested person has been
in contact with in hot water (at least 130° F). After washing, run
all items through the dryer at the hottest setting for at least 30
- Consider dry-cleaning items that cannot be washed and dried at
- Place items, such as stuffed animals and pillows, which cannot
be cleaned in a tightly sealed plastic bag for 10-14 days.
- Soak all hair care items (such as combs, brushes, and hair
clips) in hot water (at least 130° F) for at least 15 minutes to
kill any lice or eggs.
- Vacuum your home thoroughly including the mattress and
furniture the infested person has been in contact with.
- Using bug bombs or garden insecticides in closed areas of the
home is not recommended.