Detection & Prevention

Detection – It’s important to know what to look for and how to find lice and/or nits

How to do a visual head check

How to do a visual head check

1. Check clean, dry hair in sunlight or bright indoor light.

2. Inspect small sections of hair 1/4-inch to 2 inches from the scalp.

3. Look for tiny, unmovable teardrop-shaped nits, varying from cream to brown on hair shaft.

4. If found, treat properly and tell school, friends and family to check.

5. Check weekly until college.

How to do a head check with a metal nit comb- For a more thorough search

1. Perform on damp or towel-dried hair and make sure it is free of tangles.

2. Section hair by dividing the head into 4 quadrants, dividing down the middle from the forehead to the nape of the neck and again on each side of the head near the ear. Take a 2- to 3-inch section down to begin.

3. Start combing with the metal nit comb by very gently scraping the comb along the scalp and dragging it all the way to the end of the hair shaft. Be sure to comb in four directions, keeping the comb flat along the head and starting right at the part you created.

4. Wipe the metal nit comb clean on a white paper towel after every few strokes.

5. Inspect the paper towel for nits or lice. If you're not sure what you're looking for, see our Nit Support Program to learn how we can inspect it for you.

6. Let the next 2 or 3 inches of hair down. Continue combing and wiping the comb on the paper towel.

7. Complete the combing throughout the head. (takes 5-10 minutes)

8. If lice or nits are found, treat properly and tell school, friends and family to check a few times for three weeks.

9. Check school-aged children weekly until college.

If you find even 1 nit, you need to:

1. Treat properly using safe and effective products. Be wary of OTC products that contain pesticides, as lice have grown resistant to the pesticides.

2. We recommend the products used in our services. We will gladly ship products to you if you are unable to get to our West Long Branch, NJ office. Call us to learn more.

3. Tell your community, carpools, play dates, school, teams, family and friends that you have lice.

4. Relax! Lice are harmless, just a nuisance. You will be able to get rid of them!

Prevention – The “One Head One Bed" Approach

1. Check your family weekly for nits by doing combing head checks on wet hair. (Comb for 5-10 minutes on wet hair after a bath or shower and wipe the comb into paper towel). If lice are detected in your community, check two or three times per week for a period three weeks. Visually inspect brushes for bugs. Brushes with a lighter background make it easier to spot lice. Keep brushes free of hair where lice can hide and do not share your brush. Pinch the hair out of any brushes and combs after each use. Wear hair in a gathered ponytail, bun, or braid. Do not share coats, jackets, hoodies, sweat shirts or towels.

2. Never share hairbrushes, combs, hair ties or headbands - even in your own house. Have a brush and/or comb for each person in your house. A shoebox is a great place to keep each person’s hairbrushes and accessories separate. Each person can decorate their own box and put their name on it, and they can even decorate their own brushes or combs to match their box

3. Wear a hooded sweatshirt to sit on public seats and tuck all hair into the hood. Bring a towel and drape the towel over the seat or bring a sticky lint roller then clean the seat back with the lint roller

4. Follow our proactive preventative treatment schedule and summer camp proactive treatment schedule. You can use a mint or citronella spray as a deterrent. Apply in the morning before school and again before an afternoon activity or play date. Be advised, this is NOT a treatment. You must also use the other precautions as well to avoid possible infestation. Lice are survivors. If you make it easy for them they will find a human host even if you’re using a repellent product

Narrowing the Target – Up-Do Hair Do Suggestions

Girls with medium to long hair should wear their hair up when going to school, camp or activities. Your objective is not to have loose swinging hair. Head lice are fast travelers and will move quickly to a new host just by hair touching someone else’s hair. It‘s best to have hair pulled up in the back of the head and not on the sides where hair is more vulnerable.