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.

The team at Lice Charmers was wonderful. They communicated regularly about available times and about Lex's arrival time. Once she arrived, she did an amazing job delousing our family of four. I have... very thick hair and she did a thorough job removing the mother load of nits and lice. A week later, I found a live bug on my son which he probably got from a friend. Lex returned the next day to treat us again fulfilling their guarantee. Professional. Friendly. High-quality. Convenient. I would recommend Lice Charmers 100%.read more
Deborah Pleva
Deborah P.
01:42 22 Jan 20
The team at Lice Charmers was wonderful. They communicated regularly about available times and about Lex's arrival time. Once she arrived, she did an...
Deborah P.
Deborah P.
17:40 21 Jan 20
Lex is incredibly discreet and professional and we felt very comfortable with her in our home. Having lice is a stressful event! She was a comfort and a calm to both my daughter and I. I’ve... recommended Lice Charmers to every parent in my child’s elementary class.read more
Joanna temple
Joanna T.
22:39 17 Jan 20
Lex was so sweet with the kids and made the experience just about as positive as it could be. I have already recommended Lice Charmers to my friends and family.
Emily Traetow
Emily T.
02:48 13 Jan 20
Lex came over within an 1.5 hours on a Saturday night. She was great. She was so gentle with our 2.5 year old daughter. We'd absolutely recommend her.
Josh Lieberman
Josh L.
04:50 09 Jan 20
When head lice first showed up on my daughter a year ago, I didn’t know what to do. Naturally I tried the over-the-counter lice shampoo treatment first and alas, it didn’t work!  So I sent a message... to Lex at Lice Charmers one evening and she got RIGHT back to me and offered to come the next morning, to my relief.  She got rid of the lice in a single treatment and even checked me too. When lice showed up AGAIN a year later, I knew exactly who to reach out to - Lice Charmers!  Lex is professional, knowledgable, and thorough.  She is responsive, fun, and truly makes the best out of an unfortunate situation. The convenience of treatment inside the comfort of your own home is SO nice and the rates for service are fair. Having head lice is unfortunate. Having Lice Charmers come remove them from your life is the exact opposite of unfortunate; it’s a pleasure. I can’t recommend Lex and Lice Charmers enough!read more
Jessica Zutz
Jessica Z.
17:27 08 Jan 20
Easy & painless. So nice to have Lex arrive at the house! Lice Charmers will be first call if we ever get lice in the future!
Justin Youngers
Justin Y.
18:30 07 Jan 20
They were very quick to answer our texts and very helpful and friendly!
Jennifer Sahli
Jennifer S.
16:34 30 Dec 19
This was the best experience for such a hard situation. We where made to feel like everything was normal and okay. She was absolutely amazing and carried out conversations with my child to help... distract her throughout the process.read more
Brittany Berg
Brittany B.
01:37 10 Dec 19
Lex was very easy to work with and professional. We called late in the evening and were able to get an appointment for the following morning. She arrived in a ordinary car and brought all of her own... supplies. It was much less stressful to have her come to our home then needing to go across town. She was very thorough in her work. The peace of mind from knowing our daughter was treated and cleared 💯 was worth every penny. I would highly recommend Lice Charmers.read more
Sarah Schauer
Sarah S.
23:06 08 Dec 19
Fast, in-home service made this process so easy. Lex was great: full of information, friendly, efficient with a tedious process, and was able to come to our house just a few hours after I contacted... her. I hope in the very best way possible that we don't have to call her in the future, but if we have a lice reappearance I'm so glad I know she's there. Highly recommend her!read more
Hannah Love
Hannah L.
22:12 08 Dec 19
I have never had nor dealt with lice before, so I called lice charmers and scheduled her to come out in the evening. She showed up and checked my hair, my son's, and then my daughter's hair who was... the only person with lice. She got all the lice, and nits out of my daughter's hair and my daughter's hair is very thick. She was very thorough and knowledgeable about lice and how to get rid of them and keep them away. I highly recommend calling her to take care of your lice problem, she also guarantees her work.read more
Michael Krout
Michael K.
03:40 27 Nov 19
Calling Lice Charmers was a great decision. Lex was wonderful with our 3 year old as well as extremely thorough. I recommend Lice Charmers... 100%.
Billy Marlowe
Billy M.
23:26 26 Nov 19
Definitely recommend this company! We called Lice Charmers late in the afternoon after finding out at least one of our kids had lice. They were able to come out first thing the next morning. Lex was... very nice and worked diligently with all four of us. We felt free of lice and were much more educated than we had been about the subject. Lex even brought a fun kids book about lice. It was great not having to go anywhere to get checked and treated. Thank you so much!read more
Sarah S
Sarah S
22:21 18 Nov 19
Definitely recommend this company! We called Lice Charmers late in the afternoon after finding out at least one of our kids had lice. They were able to come out first thing the next morning. Lex was... very nice and worked diligently with all four of us. We felt free of lice and were much more educated than we had been about the subject. Lex even brought a fun kids book about lice. It was great not having to go anywhere to get checked and treated. Thank you so much!read more
Sarita Chandler
Sarita C.
22:18 18 Nov 19

In-Home Lice Removal

One appointment and you’re lice free!

No devices, chemicals, products, or aftercare required.

503-505-6695
Book Now
Call
Text

Make An Appointment

Effective, private, and affordable treatment in the comfort of home.

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT