Headlice are not only irritating but they can be embarrassing too. Head lice can also pass quickly from person to person so it can be difficult to completely avoid them.

If you suspect that you or your child has come into contact with someone with headlice, it's time to act quickly.

Here are some quick tips on how to check for lice.

1. Use a Lice Comb

Don't wait for your head to become itchy before you check for lice. When your head becomes itchy, it means you've likely had lice for over a week and they'll be more difficult to get rid of.

Use a lice comb to thoroughly comb through the hair and check for any lice. Your hair should be wet and detangled. Keep the comb close to the scalp and wipe it using a paper towel after each comb through.

If you notice small, dark specs on your paper, it's likely to be lice. You may also notice that the lice are moving on the paper. You can kill them by squeezing them between the paper or drowning them in soapy water.

2. Visual Check

It can be difficult to find lice through a visual check, in the early stages, but the longer the lice stick around, the easier it gets to spot them. To spot them more easily, keep the hair dry and stand under good lighting

Part the hair at every inch and remember to look for lice eggs as well as adolescent and adult lice. It's important to visually check the hair at least twice a week until you're sure all of the lice are gone.

3. Lice Shampoo

There are many over the counter shampoos specifically designed for killing lice. The common recommendation is two treatments per week until the problem has been resolved.

However, you'll still need to use a lice comb when using any shampoo treatment. Although the shampoo is designed to kill the lice and their eggs, it's important to remove them from your hair as soon as possible.

Top Tip

When anyone in the household has a case of headlice, it can help to wash bedding (especially pillowcases). Lice can jump from your head to your bedding and survive there until the next evening. 

It's also important to stop sharing hairbrushes when someone is confirmed to have headlice. Sharing a hairbrush will only increase the problem among family members.

How to Check for lice and Get Rid of Them Quickly

Head lice spread quickly when people are in close contact. For example, when friends hug in the playground or sit closely at lunch. If you're wondering how to check for lice, the trick is to get on top of it as quickly as possible.

If you aren't able to stop the problem without help, you can visit your doctor. Your doctor will be able to prescribe strong treatments that quickly kill off any remaining headlice and their eggs. 

Take a look at some at-home treatments that could help before contacting your doctor.