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Lice: Removing Nits From Hair - Topic Overview

Lice eggs stick to the hair and can be hard to remove. It is possible that if some eggs survive treatment and are not removed from the hair, they may persist.

Wet combing is an option for people who can't use lice medicines or choose not to use them. Also, some people use a comb to remove eggs after using lice medicine on the hair or just because they don't like the look of lice and eggs in the hair.

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You can try wet combing to remove eggs and lice:

  • Wet your hair and add conditioner, vinegar, or olive oil. Then comb your hair with a fine-toothed comb. Comb for at least 15 minutes (until you find no more lice.) Repeat this process every few days. Stop 2 to 3 weeks after the last session in which you found an adult louse.
  • If you are using medicine to kill lice, you can use a fine-toothed comb after you've rinsed the medicine from your hair. The combs are often packaged with over-the-counter lice shampoos. A flea comb that's made for dogs and cats will also work.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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