How to Get Rid Of Lice

Do you need to know how to get rid of lice? The following lice treatments are effective if pursued carefully. You can't get rid of lice without significant effort. Make sure you do the job right the first time or you'll end up with even more lice after the nits hatch.

Choose an Over-the-Counter Hair Treatment
You can find an over-the-counter lice treatment at your local drug store. Follow the instructions carefully, shampooing hair and then combing through the hair once with the comb provided. The shampoo will kill any live lice and many of the nits attached to your hair shafts. Leave shampoo in hair for as long as recommended in the instructions.

Rinse With Vinegar
Once you've shampooed, rinse your hair with water, then rinse with vinegar. Leave the vinegar in your hair.  You will want to use a copious amount of vinegar. Vinegar loosens the nits on your hair shaft, making it easier to remove the nits.

Do a Thorough Comb-Through
Using a nit-removal comb with fine teeth, comb every inch of your hair, paying special attention to the hair shafts close to your scalp. Have someone else go through your hair strand by strand, combing out every single nit. This may take a very long time, but it is essential that you remove every single nit. While you can hope that the shampoo killed the nits, it's very possible that some of the nits are still fine, and when they hatch, you'll have new lice that will lay more eggs in your hair, causing a re-infestation. It's important to remove all the nits, even if this takes hours.

Rinse Your Hair
Now you can rinse the vinegar out of your hair using water. Feel free to shampoo with your regular shampoo and conditioner.

Repeat This Process With Everyone in the Household
While children under age two should not use an over-the-counter lice treatment, everyone else in the house should. Wear a bathing cap or swim cap to protect your own hair if you have to treat others in your household.

Wash All Washable Items That Might Be Infested
Wash all bedding, clothing, stuffed animals and other items that might have lice or nits on them in hot water. The water must be at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit or 54 Celsius for this to be effective, so check your water heater if you have a scald guard on your heater and turn it up for the time being so you can kill the lice and nits. After washing these items, dry them on high heat.

Seal Up the Unwashables
Anything you can't wash should be sealed in a plastic bag for two weeks. While lice should die in a matter of days, the nits may hatch, so you need to allow enough time for the lice that hatch to die also.

Vacuum
Vacuum everything possible. Throw the vacuum bag away immediately.

Wash Hair Items
Anything that comes in contact with your hair-hair bands, combs, brushes-should be soaked in hot or boiling water. Another solution is to soak hair items in alcohol for an hour.

Repeat
If you see any signs of re-infestation, repeat this process as soon as you suspect you still have lice in the household.

Related Life123 Articles

Need to know how to identify head lice? Use these cues to spot cases of head lice before it spreads.

What does head lice look like? These troublesome insects need to be nipped in the bud. Learn how to spot them, take them on and emerge victorious.

Frequently Asked Questions on Ask.com
More Related Life123 Articles

Not sure what the telltale signs of lice are? Make sure you check out this primer on identifying different types of lice.

Need to know what body lice looks like? If you suspect you might have body lice, but aren't sure, check out this checklist. 

Perhaps you've heard about using mayonnaise to treat head lice. Read this article for the whole scoop.

© 2014 Life123, Inc. All rights reserved. An IAC Company