How to Detect Lice and Nits

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  • Part the hair all the way down to the scalp in very small sections, look for moving lice and nits. Look at the entire head this way.
  • If you find a bug, tape it to a white piece of paper so that it can be looked at without the risk of it crawling away.
  • If you find something that you think could be a nit, take the entire piece of hair and tape it to a piece of white paper. Nits are tiny oval-shaped eggs that firmly attach to the hair shafts usually within ½ – 1 inches of the scalp. They may be off-white to brown in color. Unlike dandruff, they will not brush or blow off the hair. Not everything that doesn’t move easily off the hair shaft is a nit. Look at the hair and whatever is attached to it while it is taped on the white paper.

Looking at nits when taped to a piece of white paper and still attached to the hair is the easiest way to determine if it is actually a nit. Notice that the nits are attached at a slight angle to the hair shaft and are only on one side. It has a dark color. Nits are never irregular, fuzzy, or encircling the hair.

  • Although they can’t fly or hop, lice crawl very quickly away from light. For this reason, it is usually easier to detect nits
  • Checking by combing with conditioner is the best method to detect signs of lice that otherwise may go undetected. Run a metal knit comb through clean damp hair. Wipe the comb on a paper towel and examine it for bugs or nits to indicate to click on the file to see actual moving.