24 Aug Can You Get Rid of Head Lice Just by Combing?
One of the best tools you have to fight head lice is wet combing. This technique involves combing out lice, nymphs and nits before they have a chance to mature and reproduce. But it’s important to know how and when to use wet combing for the best results.
Typically, we recommend wet combing for the following purposes:
- After a head lice treatment. Once you apply a head lice treatment, you should wet comb your child’s hair regularly for at least two weeks. This way, if any eggs were missed and hatch, you can catch them and pull them out.
- During a lice outbreak. If there’s a lice outbreak at your child’s school or daycare, you should wet comb their hair regularly. If you find a louse, you can remove it right away.
- After exposure. If your child was exposed to someone with a confirmed case of lice, you should also watch for signs of lice. Rather than waiting for symptoms to appear (which can take 4-6 weeks), comb through wet hair to identify potential lice.
Can Head Lice be Eradicated with Wet Combing?
In some cases, wet combing can successfully find and eliminate head lice. To make this process work, you need to perform combing treatments every 3-4 days for a two week period. This breaks a louse’s life cycle because you’re removing them before they can mature and lay eggs. Wet combing is a safe and low-cost way to treat head lice, but it does take time and diligence and may not work for severe cases.
If your child has lice, you’ll probably find it easiest to take them to a head lice salon for a full treatment. This way, you’ll know for certain that the lice have been eradicated. You can then use wet combing to pick out any eggs that have hatched as well as prevent new infestations that can be picked up from school, daycare and other social settings.
Tips for Performing Wet Combing
Here are the steps you should follow when wet combing your child’s hair.
- Add conditioner to dry hair. Cover the scalp and all of the hair – apply generously!
- Untangle the hair using a wide-toothed comb. This stainless steel nit picking comb is highly recommended for picking out lice.
- Put the comb flat against the scalp. Draw the comb through each section of the hair from the roots to the ends.
- Wipe the comb after each stroke. Use a white paper towel so that you can check for lice and nits.
- Comb each section multiple times. We typically recommend combing through the hair at least 5 times to pick up all lice and nits – they can be stubborn!
- Clean off the lice comb. Do this every other day for a couple of weeks until the lice are gone.
Once your child is lice free, we still recommend wet combing your child’s hair from time to time, especially if there’s an outbreak or exposure. If you have additional questions about wet combing, contact My Hair Helpers today.