How To Use a Head Lice Comb
Head lice are a pesky problem that many parents face. Once you confirm that you have an infestation in your home, it's important to act fast and to use the right tools for the job. A head lice comb is a vital tool, and you simply won't be able to eradicate this pest problem without one. Of course, it should still be used alongside other treatments like medicated shampoos or other home remedies.
What kind of head lice comb should I buy?
- Avoid the complimentary plastic ones that come with the treatments. These are not very durable, and soon bend after a little use.
- Instead buy one with metallic teeth that are finely spaced apart. These are not very expensive, and will be much better value for money, and far more effective.
- Electronic models are also available. These are powered by batteries. They are quite a bit more expensive than the normal, manual models, but some parents find them more convenient, and worth the extra money.
Ultimately, which model com you end up choosing is up to you, but you MUST purchase one. It is one of the most indispensible tools at your disposal and should be used alongside other treatments as part of a combined strategy to rid the hair and scalp of an infestation.
How to use the comb effectively
You have the right tool, now to master the technique. Remember that you can and should use this tool daily and alongside other treatments to put an end to an infestation for good.
Manual Combs (Non Electronic)
1)Â Â Â Â Â Wash the hair, using a medicated shampoo and a separate conditioner. Towel-dry the hair lightly, ensuring that the towel is placed immediately in the wash.
2)Â Â Â Â Â Section the hair into four manageable pieces.
3)Â Â Â Â Â Concentrate your efforts on one section at a time.
4)Â Â Â Â Â Divide the section into smaller 1 inch sections as you work.
5)Â Â Â Â Â Place the teeth of the comb as close to the scalp as possible and drag it downwards all the way to the tip of the hair strands in one stroke.
6)Â Â Â Â Â After each stroke, dip the comb in warm water or white vinegar to rinse off any insects and insect eggs (nits) caught in between the teeth.
7)Â Â Â Â Â Keep combed hair away from uncombed hair.
8)Â Â Â Â Â Work slowly, and be thorough. Be aware, this is not a five minute task (unless your child has very short hair). The task could take up to an hour; but the reward will be a dramatic reduction in live insects and nits on the scalp as well as the alleviation of the symptoms of infestation (such as an itchy and sore scalp). Doing this regularly will also reduce the risk of recurrences.
Repeat Steps 2 to 5 on dry hair.
Bear in mind that you will need to keep combed hair away from uncombed hair to prevent cross contamination.Â The charge emitted by these electronic devices should kill both nits and the insects instantly; leaving you the easier task of just sweeping the dead insects off the hair and scalp.
These special combs we use today are an adaptation of a more traditional method of extraction. In the past, parents would attempt to manually pick out the insects and nits using a pair of tweezers (with the help of alternative treatments as well as other home remedies). Given the maneuverability of the common head louse, this was no easy feat. This tweezers-based method is far more time consuming and less effective than the comb-based method.