For more information on how to handle lice, please read our guide:
What Do Lice Look Like & How To Do Away With Them Fast: The Ultimate Guide That Puts Kids First
Screen for lice by combining through hair daily or at least twice per week. (Lice eggs hatch within 7-12 days of being laid and regular combing is what provides the greatest degree of success.)
The LiceMeister® lice comb works on dry, wet or conditioned hair. Some parents comb through their child’s hair before bedtime, others comb after bathing. (For general safety reasons, do not comb your child’s hair while they are in the bathtub.) Parents have reported that performing this simple practice every day keeps their child lice-free among a classroom of kids that continue to battle head lice.
After washing the comb in soapy water and cleaning the tines, parents can screen themselves.
If you suspect that your child has head lice, follow this step-by-step process to remove lice:
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- Comfortable chair for your child.
- An activity to keep them engaged.
- Regular comb or brush to detangle hair.
- The LiceMeister® lice comb.
- Hair clips or bands (if working with long hair).
- Bowl of water.
- Paper towels.
- Conditioner, coconut oil or olive oil to detangle the hair and slow down live lice that run from light or disturbances such as a comb or brush. Australian lice expert Rick Speare noted that hair conditioner stuns lice for about 20 minutes. You can also use these 100% non-toxic products: Keys Mangrove Conditioner and Keys RediCare.
- Magnifying glass or a cell phone. A cell phone camera allows you to take pictures of suspected nits and lice and zoom in for confirmation.
- Lint roller tape
Ready to Start
- Sit your child in the chair.
- Ideally, work outside in the sunlight or indoors under a bright light.
- Detangle dry hair with a regular comb or brush.
- Condition the hair with one of the substances mentioned above, ensuring each strand is covered from root to end.
- Comb through with a regular comb again to ensure coverage and remove remaining tangles.
- If the child has long hair, part it down the middle. Tie one half in a ponytail to set aside while you work through the other half.
- Using the LiceMeister®, take a section of hair and run the comb through.
- After each pass, remove any nits, lice or debris. Use the paper towel to wipe the comb off or dip the comb into the bowl of water and then wipe it with the paper towel. You can also use lint roller tape to remove lice from the comb. When done, throw paper towels or roller tape into a wastebasket.
- Continue going through each section of hair on the entire head. Make additional passes until there is no debris.
When it’s time to shampoo your child’s hair, we suggest using one of these 100% non-toxic options: Keys MetaClean, Keys Mangrove Shampoo or Branch Basics (see User Guide Page 5).
Going through your child’s hair in a meticulous, organized way the first time will bring your child relief and bring you success in eliminating lice and nits.
In this video, you’ll see how to do this.
“We can’t remove every potentially harmful chemical exposure from a child’s life,
making it imperative to remove those that we can.”
– Deborah Z. Altschuler, NPA President
The LiceMeister® lice comb is a completely safe and effective way to manage head lice without the use of toxic ingredients and potentially dangerous side effects.
Removal with the LiceMeister® lice and nit comb:
- prevents infection from scratching.
- prevents harm from chemicals, pesticides or other toxic ingredients.
- ends the infestation of lice, a communicable disease.
- ends the spread of lice to others.
It is a child-friendly, family-friendly and earth-friendly approach that addresses increasing concerns over lice treatments polluting our environment and water supplies.
“Diagnosis of louse infestation using a louse comb is four times more efficient than direct visual examination and twice as fast. The direct visual examination technique underestimates active infestation and detects past, nonactive infestations.” (Emphasis added.)
– Mumucuoglu et al., 2001
by Deborah Z. Altschuler, President, National Pediculosis Association
The March 11, 2010 New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published a study comparing the use of a pesticide called malathion to the use of an oral antibiotic called ivermectin to determine the efficacy of each in treating children with head lice (pediculosis).
According to this report, head lice are universal human parasites affecting over 100 million people worldwide each year. The study was conducted on children who had already been treated with topical insecticides yet continued to have live lice. “Infestation was confirmed and monitored by means of fine-toothed combing.” Adverse events for the participants included gastroenteritis, nausea, vomiting, impetigo and convulsions.
The ivermectin (antibiotic) comparison study was performed on children as young as 2 years of age. Earlier studies using malathion have been performed on children as young as 6 months of age. A list of various other new products for killing lice are being studied with future ivermectin trials scheduled for very young children.
Study after study reminds us that none of the experimental treatments, or those already cleared by the FDA, are 100% effective against lice and nits (lice eggs). This is why the product label for pediculicides (pesticides) recommends retreatment in 7-10 days. It also reminds us that children are exposed to 2 applications of pediculicides with the purchase of one treatment. Therefore it is curious that the NEJM article offers “that in real life, the persistence of live lice one day after insecticide application strongly suggests resistance.” There are many variables to account for treatment failure. Resistance is just one of them. Remaining nits that hatch new lice is another.
And while we have documented evidence of lice resistance to some of the most widely used products, it is unimaginable that physicians would choose to use a heavy hand with antibiotics when safer choices are available.
Rather than take the inherent health risks of following one insecticide or chemical or prescription with another, a more rational approach would be the same method researchers rely on to account for their scientific findings. They use combing for lice and nits to validate an active infestation, quantify lice and nits by counting what the comb removes from their test subjects, as well as confirm and compare therapeutic efficacy. In fact, the development of effective combs has been a boon to clinical studies – allowing for more objective data collection. The combing method is accepted and published as an integral part of clinical trials.
Perhaps with a dose of irony, the NEJM article is another example in which combing is required for research and product development. This includes a study NPA found not only promising as an important compliment to combing, but also as a much more rational non-chemical alternative to pesticides.
As published in 2006 Pediatrics: “After using a louse comb to confirm infestation, one side of each participant’s scalp was combed thoroughly to remove all lice and eggs as a control. The child’s whole head was then treated, followed by a thorough combing of the non-control side of the head.” (Italics added for emphasis).
Perhaps the greatest benefit to recent clinical studies is the way in which they offhandedly and consistently stress that “all lice and eggs” can be removed and accounted for with combing.
And it’s not just about live lice as the NEJM article seems to imply. Nits must also be accounted for. Infestations are established by lice laying eggs that hatch new lice. This is their cycle of life – their basic biology.
Combing is a scientifically reliable method to remove all lice and nits – which is another way to say it can end an infestation – literally. Combing is the safest and most cost effective approach that accomplishes what chemicals cannot. It enables families to be self-reliant, proactive, and preventive. It allows for regular screening and early detection which makes the combing approach even more practical and realistic.
While chemical treatments, pediculicides, and broad spectrum antibiotics develop resistance and potentially adverse health effects, nothing compares to the kindness of a comb.