How to Check for Head Lice

You receive notice that your child’s school has head lice. You see your child scratching their head. Don’t panic! First you will want to confirm there is head lice crawling around his or her head.

See pictures of head lice to help you identify them.

Although concerns over head lice may cause a range of reactions such as stress, panic and worry, lice is commonly misdiagnosed or confused with minor scalp irritations, like dandruff. Once you know how to check for head lice, it will help prevent unnecessary stress.

We have created an easy way for you to check your family for head lice infestation. It is as simple as combing through the hair with a lice comb and you do not need to be a lice expert. 

How to check for head lice. How do you know if you have lice.How to use a nit comb to check for lice:

  1. Work with small, 1 inch sections of the hair, and under a bright, natural light.
  2. Hold or lay a white piece of paper under the hair section your are combing.
  3. Pull nit comb through hair to the end of the hair strand allowing anything removed to fall on to the paper.
  4. Check the paper and see if a louse was removed from the hair.
  5. If you come across a tiny, clear object that is not easily removed from the hair it may be a nit. If it dislodges easily it may be dandruff.

NOTE: Lice may move quickly away from the light as you check the hair.

Here are a few tips when checking for head lice:

  • It is not always necessary to treat every family member for head lice. Only apply treatments to those family members if you have found head lice in their hair.
  • It is not necessary to use chemical pesticides to treat head lice. Affordable, over-the-counter, non-toxic head lice treatments, such as Licefreee! are becoming the first choice for treatment.
  • Recheck your family for head lice within 7 days of treating head lice. This will find any newly hatched lice if any eggs survived.
  • Cleaning your home is important when treating head lice. See How to Get Rid of Head Lice at Home.
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This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.