If you can't be with the comb you love, use the comb you're with.

I've recommended specialty lice combs on this blog because combs designed for the task of lice and nit picking - combs with long, rigid, tight metal teeth - save you a lot of time.  But what if you don't have access to an actual metal lice comb?  Grab the comb you do have. If it has teeth that are narrow and close together (i.e. not a hair pick), it can still have some effectiveness. The more rigid the teeth the better. Wet, condition, and detangle the hair. Then start combing.  If  you have large egg-laying bugs on your head, you should still be able to comb out a lot of them out.  This is still progress. Get the better comb when you can but for now, just get busy.


Bella08 said...

Hello Cathy I need advice! So my two year old got lice (not the age to get it) and when I found out i immediately went and got nix and a terminator comb and combed through. Through research I found out professional nit pickers exist! So I hired one and she did two treatments. On the second treatment the comb came out clean. Nothing was found or seen in her head. I have clinically diagnosed OCD so of course I did another comb through and nothing came out again and neither did I see anything. I read on your blog that after the first clean comb through you suggest still combing every two to three days for two weeks. Is this advice the same even though I hired someone? I plan on doing another comb through today but is that just overkill? I just want to be sure all is out! But in all honesty I am exhausted. All the cleaning and I also have a first grader who didn't get it thank god and I'm a stay home mom so I have those duties as well I am just pooped. Help! Lol should I keep combing until next week which would be two weeks or after two clean comb throughs is my nightmare over?! Thank you!!!!

Cathy, the Nice Lice Lady. said...

Repeat after me. Combing, not cleaning. Combing, not cleaning. You say you have OCD, so this may be difficult for you, but any cleaning beyond your normal cleaning (washing bedding every day, bagging stuffed animals, vacuuming furniture)has no proven effectiveness. Please read more posts about this on this blog.

Even if a professional nit picker comes to your home, I always recommend coming every 2-4 days until you have had 2 weeks of seeing nothing. Everyone can miss something. I don't put faith in treatments as I have never been called to a home where a lice "shampoo" hadn't already been tried.
Stop the activity that makes you tired and busy but does nothing. Just continue with wet combings (with conditioner) every few days with your great lice comb until your two weeks are up with no new lice sightings.

Sue Ferenczy said...

KAthy! Look what one of the links you have says! (about):Wet combing

There is little evidence in support of wet combing as a primary treatment for head lice (21,22). In a randomized trial of 4037 school children in Wales (21), mechanical removal of lice through combing of wet hair with a fine-toothed comb every three to four days for two weeks was compared with two applications of topical 0.5% malathion lotion seven days apart (21). Wet combing resulted in a cure (no detection of live lice after two weeks) in 38%, while the malathion treatment resulted in a cure in 78% (21). In another study, the addition of wet combing to the topical 1% permethrin treatment protocol did not improve the efficacy of permethrin treatment alone when assessed at days 2, 8, 9 and 15 (combing 72.7%, no combing 78.3%) (22). While vinegar has been suggested as a home remedy to aid wet combing, there are no studies showing benefit.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2724133/ (Linked under pediatric and child health website)

Sue Ferenczy said...

please how do I add my other email address to be noitifed of follow up comments and replies? i dont use my gmail account.

Cassie said...

I found that study Sue Ferenczy. It said no live lice after 7 days of completing treatment. It stands to reason that combing may still leave some live lice after that amount of time because of the life cycle. The malathion is a highly toxic pesticide (and also very expensive in the US-$280 per treatment as of this month in WA State).