How to deal with your own head lice.
So, you are the one who has head lice. What if you don't have a buddy to help look through your head? If you are on your own, here's what you can do:
1. Grab your hair dryer. Separate your dry hair into at least 20 sections (or grab one small section at a time.) Turn your blow dryer on the fastest setting - fastest but not hottest. Keep it on the warm (not hot) setting. Directing the hair to the scalp, blow dry each section for at least 30 seconds on one side and then 30 seconds on the other. In a study from the University of Utah, this directed blowing with a regular blow dryer was found to kill 53% of the eggs and 98% of the bugs.
2. Use a regular brush or comb to get all of the tangles out of your hair.
3. Get a good metal lice comb. Check here for some options. When you are getting the lice and bugs out of someone else's head, a proper comb is very helpful. When you are removing the lice from your own head, it is ESSENTIAL.
4. With your now tangle-free hair, hop in the bath or shower. Wet your hair and scalp and saturate it with some hair conditioner (any kind). Lice stop crawling when wet. The conditioner will keep the hair damp and make combing so much easier.
5. Start combing with the proper lice comb. Comb your entire head - from root to tip. Check the comb after EACH STROKE, removing each nit or bug from the comb. You can do by rinsing the comb in the bath or wiping it on a piece of toilet paper. (If you can't wipe the bugs/eggs out of the comb, use dental floss to clean between the comb's teeth. Do not pry the teeth apart!)
How long do you comb? A long time. Here's an easy rule to follow - comb 100 times. If you comb out an egg or a bug, start your counting again from '1'. Don't stop until you have completed 100 strokes with no sign of eggs or bugs. Your head lice and nits may not be completely gone, but you've effectively reduced your problem. If you comb and comb and keep finding nits or bugs, don't be discouraged. With every stroke, you are making things better. If the process is taking way to long, then take a break, or just stop for now and get back to your scalp again later. But make sure you do get back to it.
6. Do it all again tomorrow. Keep spending time on your scalp until you have had 2 weeks without seeing lice or nits. Why two weeks? Because there is a small chance that even after a week of combing and blowing, you may still have a viable egg on your head that will hatch after 7-10 days. So, you need to keep combing to catch it. Don't worry, after a couple of days, this process will get quicker and easier. If the numbers are dwindling, you can start to alternate lice busting activities: comb one day, blow dry the next. And remember, if you remain diligent, you will be combing them out faster than they can reproduce.
7. Continue your search for a lice buddy. It is so much better if you find someone who can actually see your scalp, check your progress, and pick out any nits or bugs. Still, if you can't find a buddy, you can probably still deal with this if you are willing to put in the time and the effort.
But, Cathy, what about "shampoos" or "treatments"? Won't they make this process go so much faster? No.
No matter what lice product you use, you always have to manually remove all bugs and nits. No single treatment of any kind is 100% effective. You need to put in extra time to ensure that everything is gone. And you really can do it.