How do I Remove Nits?

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  • Written By: A.E. Freeman
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2019
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You need to use a comb to remove nits from someone's hair. Before combing the hair to remove nits, you should wash the hair with a medicated shampoo to kill any live lice on the head. Comb through the hair when it is still lightly damp from the treatment or dampen it with a spray bottle if you decide to skip the shampoo. A metal comb designed for nit removal is the most effective way to get rid of them.

Place a large garbage bag on the floor and set a stool or chair on top of it. Have the person with nits sit on the chair and aim a bright lamp at her head so you can see what you are doing. Wrap a towel around her shoulders to catch any nits that fall out.

Use a regular hairbrush or comb to get rid of any knots or tangles in the person's hair. Take a section of hair the width of the metal comb and comb through it to remove nits. Start as near to the scalp as you can and run the comb through the section of hair several times. If you see any nits that the comb isn't getting, pinch them off with your fingertips. You may need to trim the hair to remove the nits.


After combing through the first section of hair, secure it with a barrette or bobby pin so that you know it is finished. Rinse the comb in running water or a bowl of water. Wipe the teeth of the comb with a tissue or paper towel to remove nits or dead lice.

Begin combing through another small section of hair. Continue combing to remove nits, rinsing and wiping the comb after each section. Bobby pin or place a barrette in each section of hair once you've combed through it.

Once you've combed through all of the person's hair, dump the bowl of water down the toilet. Rinse out the sink if you rinsed the comb under running water. Place the towel in the laundry. Check through the person's hair again after it is dry to make sure you got all the nits. You may need to trim her hair to remove any particularly stubborn nits.

Boil the comb in water to sterilize and then wipe dry. Wash any sheets and towels the person had been using to make sure the lice and nits don't return. Inspect other family members' heads for lice and repeat the process to remove nits if necessary.


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