Head lice are tiny insects that live in hair. Nits are the empty egg cases attached to hair that head lice hatch from.
Head lice are a common problem, particularly in school children aged 4-11.
They're largely harmless, but can live in the hair for a long time if not treated and can be irritating and frustrating to deal with.
How to spot head lice
Head lice can be difficult to spot, even when the head is closely inspected.
They're very small whitish or grey-brown insects that range from the size of a pinhead to the size of a sesame seed.
The only way to be sure someone has head lice is to find a live louse by combing their hair with a special fine-toothed comb. This is called detection combing.
Less reliable signs of head lice include:
- small white eggs or nits (egg cases) in the hair behind the ears or at back of the neck
- an itchy scalp
- a rash on the back of the neck
- feeling as though something is moving in the hair
How to get rid of head lice and nits
Treatments to get rid of head lice are available to buy from pharmacies, supermarkets and online. You don't usually need to see your GP.
The main treatments are:
- lotions or sprays that kill head lice – these can be very effective, but some aren't suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or for children under 2
- removing head lice with a specially designed comb – this is suitable for everyone and relatively inexpensive, but needs to be repeated several times and can take a long time to do thoroughly
We strongly recommend that you use the NitNOT comb alongside our NitNot Eco Head Lice & Nit serum to combat head lice. Our hypoallergenic, pesticide and chemical-free treatment kills all lice and eggs without harming sensitive scalps, meaning you only need to concentrate on removing dead lice and eggs with the comb*.
Not only is NitNOT certified by the government's Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), but it's also the only lice treatment that has been endorsed by The British Association of Professional Nannies (BAPN). Contact us for more information about our products or head lice.