There are few things in life that strike terror in the hearts of parents everywhere like the word "lice." The nasty little creatures can live on the scalps of young children in daycare or school and spread through the shared use of hats, scarves, hair brushes, pillows and more. When that first egg or bug is spotted, you might have the overwhelming urge to burn your house down because you know how much work is ahead of you. But with a good lice comb and the proper knowledge, you can eradicate the lice quickly.
There are two types of lice combs on the market--metal and plastic. These combs help to remove nits, or lice eggs, from the hair. This process is the single most important part of head lice control treatment and stopping the lice cycle. Metal combs have stiff tines with narrow slits between the tines, which will effectively help remove or crush nits. Plastic combs are not ideal for nit picking because they are not as effective. Plastic combs should only be used to untangle long hair before nit-combing with a metal comb.
Metal nit combs come in both short and long-tined versions, and the tine length corresponds to the hair length that it works on best. Short-tined combs work best with short hair and long-tined combs work best with long hair.
A good nit comb is just as important as the preparation for the combing and taking your time during the combing. Hair should be washed to make it softer and easier to brush through. Shoulders and back should be covered with a towel to keep lice from going on and under your clothes and continuing to infest your house. Use a plastic comb to remove any knots in the hair, and then get to work with your metal lice comb.
You should start at the top of the hair, combing as close to the scalp as possible and then going downwards. You need to comb the hair lock by lock in order to remove most adult lice and eggs. If you have combed out an adult or a nit, you should remove it from the comb by immersing it in hot water or using the towel to wipe it off. When the combing is complete, wash your clothes and clean the comb in hot or boiling water.
Unfortunately, lice combing is not a one-time treatment. You need to do it over and over several days in a row to be sure that all nits and adult lice have been removed.