How to treat head lice

With the back-to-school blues settling in, there might be something else settling in too. Head lice. Whether you’ve caught them from a younger cousin or your little one has had a warning letter sent home from school, you’ll want to zap those creepy crawlies – and fast.

These treatment options will not leave you scratching your head…

How to treat head lice

If you’ve got a sneaky suspicion that head lice have set up shop in your locks, there are two commonly-used techniques to rid your hair of them.

Targeted Treatment

One way of banishing them is by applying a targeted treatment direct to the scalp and hair to kill head lice. Available in many forms – lotions, sprays, mousses – and boasting super-speedy results they are a popular choice.

Most can be applied to dry hair  and then rinsed out. But, for added ease you can find spray-and-go options too.

Always check the label as each treatment will have tailored instructions and may need to be reapplied.  

Hedrin Hedrin Head Lice 15 Minute Treatment Liquid Gel 100ml £11.79 Buy Now
Lyclear Lyclear Head Lice Lotion 100ml + Nit Comb £6.99 Buy Now
NitWit NitWits All-In-One £10.99 Buy Now

Wet Combing

This technique can be used after a targeted treatment to manually remove the lice and eggs.

Wet combing is simple and effective. Follow these steps:

  1. Wash hair with shampoo and a nourishing conditioner. Brush through hair until all knots and tangles are out.

  2. Take a specially designed fine-toothed comb and work through hair going from root to tip.

  3. With every stroke of a section of hair, check for lice, rinse/wipe away and repeat.

  4. Work through every section of hair and repeat the whole head at least twice or until you can no longer find any lice.   
Superdrug Superdrug Elimiante Head Lice Nit Comb £3.89 Buy Now
Superdrug Superdrug Detect Head Lice Nit Comb £1.99 Buy Now

What are Head Lice?

Head lice are tiny, wingless insects that can live among our hair and feed on blood from the scalp.  The adults are known as lice and their eggs are known as nits (that once hatched take 6-10 days to develop into lice).

As lice cannot fly or jump, they can only move from head to head by close contact which is why is makes them a common problem for children.  

How to Spot Head Lice

The tell-tale sign of head lice is scratching the scalp. As the lice are so small to see at a glance, they can only really be spotted when using the wet combing technique.

If you suspect that head lice have taken up residence in your hair or your child’s hair, then a wet comb session should confirm your suspicions.