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While it’s certainly not fun to find lice in your child’s hair, you know the next step is to start treatment right away. But what happens when you find only nits and not an adult louse

This can be confusing, but it does happen. Nits are lice eggs, so the presence of them in your child’s hair suggests that a louse was there at some point. And, it may still be. Lice can be hard to find, so a single louse can easily hide. 

Another possibility is that the louse laid eggs and then crawled onto another head or fell out while brushing the hair. 

We also want to suggest that it could be something other than nits that you’re seeing. Dandruff is commonly mistaken for lice because both look similar and are found close to the scalp. Dandruff pulls out more easily, however, while nits stick to the hair. 

Let’s explore the differences between nits and lice and what to do if you find only eggs in your child’s hair. 

What are Head Lice Nits? What Do They Look Like? 

Nits are lice eggs, or eggs laid by an adult louse. They are very small and look similar to dandruff, though they secure themselves firmly to the hair. You can usually find them on the scalp, around and behind the ears and at the nape of the neck. Nits are typically yellow or white in color. 

Nymphs are newly hatched lice that are yellow or tan in color. They, too, are very small. Lice are adult insects that crawl instead of fly. They’re bigger than nits and nymphs but still about the size of a sesame seed. 

When You Find Nits But Not Adult Lice 

If you’re going through your child’s hair and notice nits, the next step is to check for adult lice. But what if there are no lice? 

We still recommend treating the nits because there was a louse at some point. Even if the louse that laid eggs is no longer there, the nits can hatch and restart the life cycle. 

There are a couple of ways you can treat lice eggs: 

  • Wet combing. It’s possible that wet combing is all you need to remove the nits. Use a high quality lice comb that has teeth close together. This way, you can easily pull out the eggs. Wipe the comb on a paper towel to make sure you remove all the lice.
  • Nit treatment. My Hair Helpers has a solution that works specifically on lice eggs. My Mint Mousse is non-toxic and made from strained yeast enzymes and clinically proven to dissolve nit glue. Apply this treatment to your child’s hair to destroy lice and their eggs. 

Once a Week, Take a Peek! 

To ensure you’ve removed all the lice eggs, comb through your child’s hair in a few days. Wipe off the comb to make sure it’s coming out clean. And from this point forward, take a peek once a week! Being proactive is key when it comes to avoiding severe lice infestations.