How to Tell If You've Got Lice in Your Hair


No one wants to find out he has lice in his hair. While some people may be symptom-free, it's usually not too difficult to detect the presence of lice. Having lice doesn't mean your hair is dirty; lice inhabit hair whether it's clean or soiled. Young children are more susceptible to lice due to being in close contact to schoolmates, but anyone can get them. Once you find out you have lice, take steps to banish them and prevent their re-occurrence.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine-tooth "lice" comb
  • Mirror

Assess if your scalp feels more itchy than normal. While this isn't always an indication of lice, many people experience more itching behind the ears or on the back of the neck when they do have lice.

Look closely at your scalp and hair. It may be easier to have someone help you, especially when examining the back of your head. Use a mirror if you don't have assistance.

Check your pillows. If they look especially soiled, this may be due to louse droppings.

Use a special fine-tooth comb for detecting lice. You can buy this at a drugstore or pharmacy or order it online. The teeth in this comb are spaced 0.2 to 0.3mm apart.

Wet your hair with conditioner or olive oil when combing. It's easier to detect lice in wet hair. They move more quickly in dry hair and may escape detection.

Comb the hair from root to tip. The teeth of the comb will pull lice off the hair if they are present.

Tips & Warnings

  • Lice are spread by head-to-head contact, so you can't catch lice just by being near someone.
  • Living lice may be seen moving on the scalp, while eggs may be stuck to hair strands close to the scalp.
  • Don't share combs, brushes or head coverings with anyone.

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