Quick Guide: Head Lice Removal

Facts and general information about head lice removal: diagnosis, treatment methods, and cost.

I.     Introduction

Head lice are small insects that live on people’s heads and feed on human blood. Head lice infestation is a widespread problem in children and causes concern among parents and childcare workers. However, they don’t transmit infectious diseases.

II.   Symptoms and spreading

You may get a tickling feeling on your head with itching and sometimes redness. Itchiness does not mean that a person has head lice and head lice don’t always produce symptoms.

Head lice spread through direct contact among children (head-to-head), or indirectly on items such as hats, combs, hairbrushes, headbands, and helmets. The head lice that live on people cannot live on pets or other animals and vice versa.

III. Diagnosis

Carefully inspect each person’s hair and scalp. Look for head lice eggs (called nits), which are oval and about the size of a pinhead. You will find them firmly attached to the hair shaft and they cannot be brushed off easily.

A female louse may lay about three to eight nits per day. The louse attaches the nits to the hair fibers within 1.5 cm of the scalp and needs the warmth from the head to hatch. Head lice do not have wings or jumping legs, so they cannot fly or jump from head to head. They can only crawl.

The most effective way to find them is to use the conditioner and remove them with a comb weekly:

Step 1: Comb hair conditioner onto dry, brushed hair to make it easier to comb and slow the lice’s movement.

Step 2: Section the hair and go from root to ends with a fine-tooth head lice comb.

Step 3: Squeeze tightly around the comb and wipe it onto a paper towel.

Step 4: Look through the towel and comb for lice and nits.

Step 5: Comb through every part of the head at least four or five times in different directions.

Step 6: You must treat every person that shows signs infestation to eliminate head lice.

IV. Treatment

There are three basic self-treatment options for head lice:

• topical pediculicides

• wet combing, and

• oral medication.

Some salons offer head lice removal services. The only downside is the price. This services will cost you good money (it can cost a few hundred dollars per children), and you’ll have to go there more than once. Rates aren’t fixed, but the price for this service is about $100 per hour.

Another alternative is a head lice removal specialist, found in some areas of the country.

Topical pediculicides

Head lice products can be divided into four groups based on the active compound:

• pyrethrins

• synthetic pyrethroids

• organophosphates, and

• herbal products.

Effective pediculicides kill both lice and eggs. The pediculicide should be applied to dry or wet hair, left for the advised time, then rinsed thoroughly with warm water. No treatment kills 100% of eggs. Therefore, the procedure must be repeated 7–10 days after the first treatment to kill any nymphs that have hatched from remaining eggs.

If over-the-counter products containing pyrethroids do not work, it is unlikely that prescription strength (5%) permethrin will either. For children 2–12 years of age, preparations containing permethrin or pyrethrins are safe. All infected members of the patient’s family should be treated simultaneously.

Wet combing

Pediculicides are not recommended for children under two years of age. Therefore, mechanical removal of lice on wet hair with a hair conditioner and a fine-tooth comb is an alternative.

Oral Therapy

 A recent trial of oral trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim) in addition to permethrin rinses, only increased the cure rate marginally (89–95%).

Ivermectin has also been investigated for the treatment of lice resistant to conventional pediculicides but is not approved for the treatment of head lice.

Post Treatment

The scalp might become itchy after the lice treatment. This does not mean that the treatment didn’t work. Anti-itch medicine, such as Benadryl or another antihistamine, may help.

Lexi was kind and efficient and skillful - she really saved the day- we are so grateful
J Glasser
J G.
18:46 02 Nov 19
I called at 8am and Lex was there by 10, everyone got checked and lice removed by noon. It was so convenience to have everyone at home so I could do laundry, send emails, and keep siblings entertained while Lex worked. She was also very informative and helped us understand how to handle and prevent lice infestations. Would totally use them again!read more
Kimberly Mason
Kimberly M.
20:10 16 Oct 19
We had the best possible experience thanks to Alexis. She checked everyone in our family and then treated our daughter. I learned a ton from Alexis and what to check for moving forward. I highly recommend calling her as soon as you find the little buggers.read more
Cara Taormina
Cara T.
21:11 04 Oct 19
After learning I had head lice, I went online and found Lice Charmers. Called immediately and got an appointment within 2 hours. Lex showed up on time and proceeded to clean my head! She was very informative and thorough. She is awesome! Highly recommend her!read more
carole taormina
carole T.
20:31 04 Oct 19
I went to get a haircut and was told I had head lice! After freaking out I looked online and found Lice Charmers and called right away. Got an in in home...
Gayle T.
Gayle T.
13:29 04 Oct 19
Lex is the absolute best!!!!!! She called me back at 11 pm. We got an appointment right away. She is extremely thorough!!! She was so sweet to my kids and...
Susan V.
Susan V.
13:22 28 Sep 19
Holy hannah, Lex is a LIFESAVER! Here are the top 5 reasons why I love her and this company!1. She is prompt with her communication. She emailed me back at 11pm the night I messaged her to set up an appointment, and she was able to get us in for a next day appointment!2. She saved us hours and hours of lost time at a lice clinic! I was able to cook, clean and carry on life while she worked on our family.3. She is *extremely* knowledgable about lice and gave us amazing research-based advice about how to clean the house and prevent future outbreaks.4. She stays true to her word of 30-day guarantee! Unfortunately, we suffered a second lice outbreak within the 30 days, and she came back to help us out free-of-charge. (We have since narrowed down the issue to our gym's daycare so we are officially pulling our kids from this program! Ugh!)5. We successfully used our HSA account to cover the cost!read more
Shannon Robertson
Shannon R.
06:40 25 Sep 19
Very personable and attentive. She did a thorough search and comb through plus good conversation. I felt very relaxed in an already tense situation. I feel clean and happy going to sleep tonight :) thank you lice charmers!!!read more
shannon vasilev
shannon V.
02:48 14 Sep 19
We had a great experience with Alexis and are grateful to have such a quick response for an in-home lice check and removal. She was prompt, pleasant and good. What else could we ask for?
Matt Martin
Matt M.
20:31 10 Sep 19
This was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with an in-home lice treatment. The technician was right on top, very proficient and super friendly. As much as one could enjoy the experience of removing nits, this was it! Thank you Lice Charmers!read more
Lucinda Salinas
Lucinda S.
05:08 10 Sep 19
Lex was super friendly and professional. This was a hard experience for my foster kids, but she made it better. She was easy to schedule with and very educated and understanding with my concerns. Having her in my home was easier than going to a salon, making it easier to care for my traumatized kiddos. She showed them compassion and respect. I am completely happy with our experience.read more
Julie Nielsen
Julie N.
18:34 09 Sep 19
Lex is very good at what she does. Very friendly at answering our questions. I would defiantly call her again! Such a stress relief to have her come to our home. Thanks Lex, you're the best!!!!
Janine Olson
Janine O.
19:21 07 Sep 19
Totally great expertise! Lex was knowledgeable and patient. She was especially great with my 4 year old who has trouble sitting still. Hoping I never have to deal with this again, but will use lice charmers if we do.read more
Sierra Chapman
Sierra C.
18:39 04 Sep 19
So friendly and convenient!! Lex knows her stuff and is so thorough. Anyone that has ever dealt with lice time and time again knows how time consuming it can be. She allowed me time away from dealing with the tedious treatment and combing to continue on with my endless parental responsibilities and for that I am endlessly grateful!read more
Sarah Okerlund
Sarah O.
03:14 29 Aug 19
Such a great experience in such an unpleasant situation. Having Lice Charmers come to our home was easy, informative, and most importantly, effective. For...
Aubray C.
Aubray C.
17:25 26 Aug 19

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