When it comes to tackling a case of head lice, one recommendation you’ll find over and over by lice experts is to do combing. Combing can serve as both a confirmation of whether someone has head lice, as well as a way to treat an infestation by physically removing the bugs and nits.
“If you are going to treat lice at home, you will definitely need to comb out the lice and nits, even if you are using some sort of topical solution,” says Kristi Winkler, owner of Northern Virginia Lice Clinics, which has three locations within the Lice Clinics of America network.
Many tools known as lice combs are available on the market today to aid in the combing process. But is a dedicated comb for head lice truly necessary? What differentiates a lice comb from regular hair combs?
Hair Combs vs. Lice Combs
Typically, an adult louse grows to the size of a sesame seed. The eggs (also called nits) that they lay are, of course, even smaller. Because the size of head lice and their eggs is so small, the gaps between an average hair comb’s teeth are just too big to effectively catch them. The plastic material that most hair combs are made of is also too smooth to “grip” any nits and bugs enough to remove them from the hair.
By comparison, lice combs have teeth that are precisely spaced so lice and eggs of all sizes are unable to pass through. Most lice combs have durable metal teeth that often have grooves specifically designed to help the comb “grip” and remove any lice and eggs that are found. This is especially important in the removal of lice eggs, which are fixated so strongly to the hair shafts that the only way to remove them is by forcefully sliding them for the full length of the hair strand. Without the features of a dedicated lice comb, a hair comb will have little to no effect on an infestation of lice.
Even with a dedicated lice comb, effectively removing all lice and nits can be a challenge for someone who has never done it before.
“People come in all the time to our clinics saying, ‘I’ve been combing every day for weeks, but we still have lice,’” Winkler says. “There is certainly a technique to using a lice comb effectively. While most clients prefer us to do the treatments for them, we are happy to instruct them on how to properly use a lice comb if they decide to self-treat at home.”
The Lice Clinics of America lice comb adheres to the standards required of a lice comb to be effective. Our professional technicians use the comb in all of our lice treatment clinics worldwide. You can purchase a Lice Clinics of America lice comb for home use from one of the three Northern Virginia Lice Clinics locations.
Lice Clinics of America has successfully treated more than 675,000 cases of head lice. The company has more than 265 clinics in 20 countries, making it the world’s largest network of professional lice treatment centers. Northern Virginia Lice Clinics has three locations. Woodbridge is located at 13895 Hedgewood Drive, Suite 113, Woodbridge, VA 22193, Manassas is located at 10625 Crestwood Drive, Manassas, VA 20109 and Stafford is located at 2781 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Suite 107, Stafford, VA 22554. Each clinic is open Monday through Saturday and appointments are available by appointment. Call (703) 586-9398 or visit www.NorthernVirginiaLiceClinics.com for more information or to schedule an appointment.