How to Loosen Head Lice Nits & Eggs


Head lice are parasites that feed on your blood. According to the Mayo Clinic, head lice are a very common infection. It is important to promptly treat a lice infection to prevent the spreading of the insects to others. During the course of your treatment, you should take preventative measures such as washing your bedding to ensure that you don't get reinfected. There are various non-toxic methods that can be used to get rid of lice nits, or eggs. However, if these methods don't work, you'll need to be prescribed medications from a physician to eradicate an infection.

Things You'll Need

  • Lice comb
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Shower cap
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Towel
  • Medication from physician

Dishwashing Soap

Buy a lice comb that has metal teeth. This type of comb is specifically designed for the removal of nits because the teeth of the comb are closely formed together and are firmer in texture.

Thoroughly douse your hair in a dishwashing soap. It's better to use soaps that contain a degreasing agent, as these types of soaps can help dissolve the material that helps the nit attach itself to your hair shaft. Use more soap around the scalp, and let the soap stay on your scalp for at least 10 minutes.

Gently pull the lice comb through your hair, starting at the scalp and working your way down the shaft of your hair. Dip the comb in hot water, and repeat the process of moving the comb from your scalp through your hair.

If you're removing nits from your child's hair, identify a nit by its oval shape and grayish to whitish color. As you're combing through your child's hair, you can remove a nit with your fingers and wipe the nit onto a paper towel.

Once you have combed through your hair, wash your hair with warm water to thoroughly rinse the soap from your hair. Soak your comb in vinegar and hot water to destroy any nits left on the comb. You'll need to repeat the process of soaping and combing your hair every four days for up to two weeks.

Vinegar and Water

Use a vinegar and water treatment. You can use this method after doing a treatment with Nix or Rid, which are over-the-counter shampoo products for the removal of lice. Follow the instructions for the shampoo methods before using the vinegar and water solution on your scalp.

Use three cups of vinegar and three cups of water to make a vinegar and water solution. Completely saturate your hair and wrap your hair in a towel. According to Washington County in "A Guide to head Lice Treatment and Prevention," you should soak your hair in the solution for up to 60 minutes, and no less than 30 minutes.

Wash the solution from your hair. Begin to comb your hair with a lice comb, removing any nits as you go along.

Petroleum Jelly

Coat your scalp with a thick layer of petroleum jelly. Take your hair and pile it under a shower cap. This method is messy, so you may want to wrap a towel around your shoulders prior to application.

Leave the petroleum jelly in your hair for a few hours. If you have a bad infestation, you can sleep with the petroleum jelly in your hair overnight. Be sure to lay a towel over your bed before going to bed if you sleep with the petroleum jelly in your hair.

Use a dishwashing soap to remove the jelly from your hair. Baby oil can help, but it may make your hair greasy and more difficult to shampoo both the petroleum jelly and oil out of your hair.

Once you have shampooed your hair, begin the process of combing the nits out of your hair. You can use this method as often as necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you're treating yourself for head lice, wash your bedding regularly.
  • Wash your bedding and stuffed animals in the hottest setting possible. Dry your bedding on the hottest setting for at least 20 minutes to kill nits.
  • Launder items that cannot otherwise be washed.
  • For toys that cannot be washed, place the items in a sealable plastic bag for more than 48 hours.
  • If you have lice, don't ever share hair products, such as hair brushes with others.
  • Don't share towels or clothing with others.
  • If none of the non-toxic methods don't sufficiently kill your head lice, you'll need to see a physician to be prescribed stronger medications to kill the nits and lice.

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