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How to Get Rid of Head Lice and Nits With Vinegar and Conditioner

Suzie is a busy mom with three energetic kids. She loves discovering easy solutions to those little problems every parent faces.

Trying to get rid of lice?

Trying to get rid of lice?

Dealing With Head Lice

When I first noticed little dots in my five-year-old daughter's hair, I wasn't concerned because I thought it was dandruff. However, when they didn't disappear after being washed, I decided to check with the school. They confirmed that her class was indeed experiencing an outbreak of head lice.

Like any mother, I was horrified, and I immediately sought advice from everywhere I could. Just the thought of these little critters living on your scalp will probably have you literally scratching your head!

After conducting my own research, I found an easy, non-toxic solution. I was able to implement this treatment fairly quickly (in the space of only about an hour!), and I'm happy to report that the lice have not returned. In addition, no one else in the family has been infected. This method cost me a fraction of the cost of regular medical treatments, and I didn't need to put harsh chemicals into my daughter's hair. Try it out!

What You'll Need

  • A nit comb, or a strong, very fine-toothed comb, metal if possible (these cost approximately $14 at the store).
  • A bottle of white vinegar.
  • A bottle of cheap hair conditioner.

Instructions for Treating Lice at Home

  1. Soak the hair in white vinegar. First, I wrapped my daughter in a towel, and then I had her put her hair over the bathroom basin. Then I soaked her hair in white vinegar. I made sure that it really was saturated, including the scalp. I didn't rinse it out—I just tied her hair up and out of the way. My daughter then put on her swimming goggles (vinegar has a very sharp odor), and she sat outside in the fresh air for half an hour.
  2. Part hair and comb. After half an hour, I sat outside with her and parted her hair into small sections, each secured with a clip. (I did this outside because I didn't want to risk putting any live eggs into the house.) Using the nit comb, I then worked on combing out the eggs until there were none visible in each section. I rubbed a generous amount of conditioner into each section as I finished, and then I clipped it again before starting on the next section. This was time-consuming but worth it.
  3. Leave the conditioner in, comb again, then rinse. Once I had finished, I left the conditioner in my daughter's hair for an additional fifteen minutes. Then I combed her hair through once more with the nit comb. Lastly, she took a shower to rinse it all out.

Just to be safe, all members of our family also did the vinegar rinse and left it for half an hour before rinsing out. We then put a generous amount of conditioner through our hair and left it for another hour before rinsing again. A pleasant side effect is that it left the whole family with beautifully pure, clean hair.

Theory Behind the Technique

The theory behind this method of treatment is that the vinegar loosens the nits so they are easier to remove. It also gets rid of impurities in the hair, so that new eggs will not stick easily. Meanwhile, the conditioner smothers any living lice and kills them.

Follow-Up Checks

Ever since I treated my daughter's hair, I have been diligently checking all of my family members' hair every day. So far, we all appear to be clear.

If I had found any sign of nits, I would have immediately removed them with the comb. Then I would have thoroughly covered the hair and scalp with conditioner and left it for as long as possible (overnight, ideally) before rinsing it out.

I am no expert on head lice, but I am happy to report that this method worked for my family. It's cheap, avoids harsh chemicals, and is comparatively easy!

Once your child's hair is lice-free, you may like to try some of these ideas to prevent reinfection from head lice.

Good luck!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

Question: Do the head lice shells stick to the hair shaft?

Answer: Nits are head lice eggs. To make them stick to the hair shafts, lice produce a strong glue as they lay the nits. Once a nit hatches, the empty eggshell can stay stuck to the hair until it is combed out or until the glue weakens over time. The main purpose of using vinegar is to help relax the glue, making the nits and the empty eggshells much easier to comb out.

Question: Can Benadryl ointment kill head lice?

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Read More From Remedygrove

Answer: Benadryl can certainly help calm the itchiness from inflammation caused by head lice biting the scalp. However, it is not known to kill the lice, just to relieve one of the symptoms.

Benadryl is a trading name for an antihistamine called Diphenhydramine. Antihistamines work by blocking your body's natural reaction to a harmful substance. In the case of head lice, biting lice cause infection to the scalp. The body responds by making the infected area itchy.

Antihistamines such as Benadryl can block the itchiness from inflammation, but they won't kill the lice, and they won't stop the itchiness caused by live lice crawling on your scalp.

The best time to use Benadryl would be if the scalp still itches after the lice have definitely all been eliminated. Of course, while side effects are rare with Benadryl, it is always best to check with your doctor before using medication.

© 2010 Suzie Armstrong


Olivia on September 03, 2018:

I've had this issue for 3 years now. My frustration is getting rid of the dead ones. There's so many dead ones, those things stick like glue to the hair shaft. I have twins and it's becoming very painful to constantly get rid of.

Jessica on June 04, 2018:

If I leave the vinegar on overnight will it suffocate the louse and loosen the eggs so that the next morning I could take a shower and use the nit comb then the infestation would be gone?

Suzie Armstrong (author) on November 21, 2017:

Thanks for the advice. This would work the same way as the vinegar to loosen the glue that the lice use to attach their eggs (nits) to your hair shafts. Just be careful using alcohol too often, as it can dry out your hair and your scalp.

Ann on November 08, 2017:

I did a treatment but I still see little eggs or whatever on the strands of hair and they don't wanna come off help their is many what do i do i put rubbing rubbing alcohol on the day after the treatment

Suzie Armstrong (author) on October 23, 2017:

The nit comb really is quite easy as long as you soften your hair with conditioner, and is definitely the most effective. Some chemical preparations allow you to apply them without combing out the nits, but I worry about what is in them. Sometimes your scalp will itch after the nits and lice have gone, just because of the extra stimulation from all the combing. Hopefully your lice have disappeared. Good luck.

Dee on October 05, 2017:

Thank you very much for your advice. I found lice on my 3 year old son. As soon as I noticed it, I buzzed off his hair. I didn’t catch it soon enough because now I have them too. I tried your remedy with the vinegar and it seems to be working. My only problem is that I’m a single mom living on my own, so it’s hard for me to use the nit comb. What can you recommend? I’ve used the remedy twice already, but my scalp still itches.

Thank you.

Leesha on September 07, 2017:

Can I use baby oil instead of vinegar ? Wouldn't this make my child's hair smell ?

dave crook on August 20, 2017:

apply a good amount of insect repellant with a lot of deet in it. kills the live ones almost immediately. leave in for a few hours then wash out hair with normal shampoo. repeat a couple of times over the course of a week. best way to get rid of the lice ive ever seen

Suzie Armstrong (author) on August 09, 2017:

Yes. If you follow the instructions and are very careful to make sure you don't miss parts of your hair, it will work. It will get rid of the live lice and most of the nits immediately. By repeating the combing every few days, you will catch any remaining nits and hatching lice. Good luck!

Kayla on August 08, 2017:

I have head lice for 2 months already and we're going back to school in one week will this really help

Connie on August 06, 2017:

Thank you I'm desperate i can't get rid of the head lice on my kid and me since several months now i will try this method .

Suzie Armstrong (author) on July 30, 2017:

Hi Crystal, The only way is to be persistent and thorough. If the nit comb is not removing the nits, you could try loosening the nits with vinegar and conditioner, sitting your child in the sun so you can see clearly, and using your fingers to systematically slide each nit off the shaft. This is very time consuming, but effective.

It sounds like someone else is reinfecting your child each time you remove the nits and lice. Unfortunately there is no failsafe way to prevent this, but you will find some ways to minimise the risk here:

Good luck.

Crystal on July 30, 2017:

How do i remove the nits properly? I've tried everything. Plus every time i remove all the lice & nits my child catches it right back. This has been a constant problem for the past 2 years.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on July 25, 2017:

Hi Becky, You need to comb them out with a nit comb. They have quite possibly laid eggs, so I suggest you follow the instructions in the article to make sure you don't end up with more. Good luck!

Suzie Armstrong (author) on July 17, 2017:

My pleasure :) Thank you for your lovely comment.

Ma Nithya Virajananda on July 14, 2017:



Suzie Armstrong (author) on June 20, 2017:

Yes, you need to get rid of the eggs (or nits) as they have hard shells and usually are not harmed by the chemical treatment. Normally a chemical treatment should advise to do two or more treatments a week apart so that you kill hatching lice before they are old enough to breed. The method I describe in this article is a natural treatment that should remove nits and hatching lice.

Lizzie on June 19, 2017:

I got head lice about a week ago and got a treatment from the pharmacy, i did the instructions on bottle, i think i got rid of all the live head lice but not the eggs, i didnt know there was eggs at the time. But could you tell me if i should use this method and if it will work

Thank you.

Kc on June 14, 2017:

In your original directions you stated that you took her outside and combed the nits out then put conditioner in each section and pinned it back up. Then after you finished you recombed each conditioned section after you had finished the entire head the first time. In another post you stated to do the vinegar treatment then cover the head in conditioner divide into sections then comb out. I just wanted to know which way was correct

Suzie Armstrong (author) on June 13, 2017:

Glad to hear, Alexis. Thanks for commenting.

Alexis on June 12, 2017:

Thx so much for this! I have lice and looked on the internet and I'm for sure doing this tomorrow or the day after. It really helped

Suzie Armstrong (author) on May 13, 2017:

Agree! It saves so much money too, as over the counter treatments are expensive.

Michelle How on May 12, 2017:

I couldn't even begin to guess who much I have paid in treatments for my kids. It was only when I bought a very fine toothed comb and used the conditioner method every day that I finally got rid. I would never buy over the counter treatments agin.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on May 02, 2017:

I think you have done enough cleaning. It's not really necessary (but it does feel better to know you have got rid of any dead lice.) Lice are more likely to be spread by brushes, hats etc which could come in touch with the hair quickly after being on an invested head.

Removing all lice and nits from the hair would end the infestation immediately. Only live lice can spread, but nits (eggs) will eventually hatch into live lice, and, because nits have a hard, protective covering, it is difficult to kill them. You need to remove nits before they have the chance to hatch. The problem is that when eggs are laid they are really tiny and can easily be missed by a nit comb. You have to comb every few days to remove nits as they grow. If you have removed all lice, there won't be any new nits, just the remaining ones growing. You don't have to comb every day - just every few days for a couple of weeks until you are sure all the nits are gone.

Tea tree oil will work as a deterrent, but there is no way to 100% definitely keep lice off hair. It will work just as well as expensive chemical products, and tea tree always good to have in the house anyway as it has many uses. When there are lice infections at school, I have my daughter comb her hair with a nit comb once a week just to make sure there is nothing there. Catching them early before they can mate and lay eggs is the best control.

Cas on May 01, 2017:

Its not necessary to have them change all their bedding again than right? only do that if they get another full blown outbreak? Because I dried their pillows for like an hour last night, so they should be ok for now?

And if their are still nits in their hair on Friday, do another treatment?

Cas on May 01, 2017:

so as long as they dont have live ones we are ok as far as them not being contagious anymore? so just continue combing everyday on dry hair, or with vinegar and conditioner? You think I should do another treatment just to be safe on Friday, as that would be the 7 days? Thanks for all your help. I've never had to deal with this before and am really freaked out. I'm trying to prevent it from the rest of us getting it. Does that tea tree stuff really work as far as prevention? I've been spraying my hair and my sons hair, in hopes of not catching it. otherwise I was going to go the store and buy like a lice free spray, leave in conditioner type of thing. Let me know your opinions. thanks so much :)

Suzie Armstrong (author) on May 01, 2017:

Oh Cas, I can feel your frustration! To answer your questions:

Firstly, you asked if there is anything else you should do. You didn't mention it, so just in case, it is essential for you to use a proper nit comb. The teeth in normal combs are too wide apart and you will not be able to remove any nits.

It sounds like you have been extremely thorough. The lice won't live very long at all without a host. The nits will live until they hatch, but then they will also quickly die without food, so I would say that your house is now safe.

I wouldn't worry about the vinegar and conditioner for you, your husband or your son unless you see definite signs of lice. You can easily check by using just the nit comb on dry hair every few days until everyone is in the clear. If nothing comes out of your hair, you are okay.

For the girls, you can put the conditioner directly on dry hair. As there are lots of nits, I recommend using the vinegar first, as it loosens the glue they use to stick to the hair. You can spray the vinegar or just pour a little onto each section of hair and comb through. After the first treatment, if you keep combing with just the nit comb (no vinegar or conditioner) every few days, you should be able to gradually remove baby lice and nits until the hair is clear. If the nits are hard to remove or there seem to be large lice, do the vinegar and conditioner treatment again.

Lice sit in the hair and will crawl from one head to another with contact. If you keep up the treatment as per my article, you will be removing the live lice each time as well as most nits, so the girls should be okay on furniture.

The lice treatment their mom did would probably have killed all living lice (although some lice seem to be immune to it), but it doesn't kill the nits. You will have to keep removing the nits with a nit comb every few days until they are all gone.

I hope this all helps. Good luck Cas!

Cas on May 01, 2017:

Please help!! Both of my step daughter's got lice, they were at their mom's over the weekend so she did a lice treatment. I washed all their bedding and clothes, vacuumed the entire house, and furniture. I also sprayed the furniture and beds with tea tree oil (furniture numerous times). I was just wondering if there is anything I have missed. I also checked my husband and son for lice and my husband checked me. I don't think we found anything on us three, but my husband and I have been itching. Do you recommend we do the vinegar and conditioner thing. I just feel so gross and want this cheap gone. How do I do the vinegar, do i comb it in, spray it in?m

Also I did the conditioner thing on the girls last night, but I put it on dry hair. I saw lots of nits in my one daughter's hair and got a dead louse out of the other daughters hair. Should I wet it first and then put the conditioner in? And should I do the vinegar as well? And how often should I do the conditioner?

I haven't been allowing them to sit on the furniture, or do you think it's ok for them too.

Thanks for your help and I will be waiting to hear back from you.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on March 05, 2017:

I have heard that the sulfur in onion juice can kill lice, but don't know personally know anyone who has tried it. I hope it works for you. It might be distressing for children, as onions can be very irritating to the eyes. Just like vinegar, onions won't kill the nits, as they are protected by a shell until they hatch. However, if it kills all live lice, you could repeat it weekly until the cycle was broken.

lice on March 05, 2017:

I want to get rid of lice I just put some onion and vinegar on my scalp

Suzie Armstrong (author) on March 03, 2017:

Hi Jazzylittlelady, My method won't work with dreadlocks, as it requires combing out the nits and lice. You will need to apply a commercial product to kill the lice. Then you will have to let the nits hatch and then kill those lice also. Most products will instruct you to comb out the nits, but as you can't do that, just reapply as per instructions on the product or once a week for several weeks to break the life cycle of the lice. The empty shells left by the hatching lice will eventually fall out of your hair. Good luck!

Jazzylittlelady on March 03, 2017:

I have lice, nits and dreadlocks help?

Suzie Armstrong (author) on March 02, 2017:

Apple cider vinegar is more expensive, but it will work the same as normal white vinegar. The vinegar will not kill the lice (although I can imagine it doesn't make things very pleasant for them!). It loosens the glue that holds the nits to the hair shafts, making them easier to remove. You need to comb out all the lice and nits to ensure that you don't get reinfected.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on February 12, 2017:

Yes, you can use just normal vinegar, but it won't work just on its own. You need to physically remove the nits and lice with a nit comb, and this is where the conditioner comes in. If you are very thorough, you can rid hair of nits and lice in a couple of weeks, but sometimes it can take longer. Just one pregnant louse can start the whole cycle again. That is why, even when you think that the lice are gone, you should keep checking every few days to make sure. Don't worry. It is a very common problem.

SIMAR on February 11, 2017:

can i use simple vinegar nd plz tell the conditioner name

munmun bakshi on February 10, 2017:

hello. can we use a simple vinegar?? and will it really work?? i am worried!! how long will take to get rid of them?

Suzie Armstrong (author) on January 19, 2017:

I hope it works for you!

armeen on January 19, 2017:

Thankyou so much ! I will surely do it as i think the best way to smoothen hair before combing which us the main problem as my comb usually gets stuck.i will soon put the results, thanks again.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on January 18, 2017:

@armeen Hello, I understand how much harder it can be to rid very thick hair of lice. My suggestion would be to lather your hair in conditioner under the shower twice a week, and systematically comb through from the scalp to the tips of the hair, making sure you comb over your whole scalp. After each comb, rinse the comb out under the water. The conditioner will make the nit comb glide through quickly and easily. Doing this will not remove all the nits, but it will eventually remove all the live lice as the nits hatch before they can lay again. This will effectively break the life cycle so the lice and nits will be gone. It must be done at least twice a week or you will give the lice a good chance to reproduce and the cycle will begin again. If you see nothing in the comb for three weeks, you can be pretty confident that they are gone. Good luck!

armeen on January 18, 2017:

Hello i am a 15 year old girl and have this problem for quite a time i and my mother have tried many treatment but the nits won't be hair are really thick so i find it really difficult to clean i have a lot of burden of studies so no one has time to pinch out every nit and take it out.i find your solution quite easy but I'm afraid what if it doesn't work out and can you tell me something that i could easily comb into my thick hair ? Hope to end this cycle because i want to get rid of it because teenage ssometimes comes out an embarrassing age.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on December 08, 2016:

Great to hear!

farace on December 06, 2016:

I have tried this on my daughter's nanny, and i should say 98% (thousands) of lice and nits were removed. Thank God I have found this blog. I have really done thorough research for remedies, luckily this first attempt of getting rid of lice and nits really, really worked! Thumbs up! Proven and tested! I have verbally shared it with friends, neighbors and officemates, am amazed with the wonders of white vinegar! Hahaa...

Suzie Armstrong (author) on November 25, 2016:

If you comb all your hair from the roots to the tips really carefully with the special nit comb, you'll remove all visible lice and nits. This will save the embarrassment of having the school nurse find them! Keep up with the combing and eventually you'll also remove all nits and lice from your hair. It does take longer with long hair. If you have lots of hair, comb out any tangles with the conditioner before using the nit comb, as that will make it easier. Good luck!

Thishi on November 22, 2016:

I've got lice and I'm sooooo embarrassed to even go to school. I have quite long hair and that's even worse. I don't know what to do. Sometimes our school nurses check all kids for lice. And I'm so scared. In how long do you think this will work?oh I'm a girl by the way.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on November 07, 2016:

No, not in one day. The only way to remove lice and nits in one day is to have an expensive salon treatment, and even that doesn't always work. Chemicals will kill the lice, but will not kill unhatched nits. If done carefully and properly, this natural treatment will remove most of the lice and nits in your hair, but you need to continue to comb out your hair with the nit comb every couple of days for at least two weeks to make sure you catch all the tiny lice and stubborn nits. Otherwise, any missed nits will hatch and the baby lice will grow and start the cycle all over again. However, the first time you do this you will feel a lot better, as most of the lice and nits will be gone. The rest of the time you are only catching the "strays".

vaibhavi on November 07, 2016:

by following this method can we remove lice and nits in one day????

please......reply.....its urgent

Suzie Armstrong (author) on October 28, 2016:

Thanks for sharing your experience. I agree with you that no-one should feel crazy in this situation. Lice and the resulting nits are nothing to be ashamed about. They are spread very, very easily and are extremely common. Washing everything excessively is not really necessary, as lice don't live very long without a host. However, it made me feel better doing it, so if you want to, go ahead.

Someone's Mom on October 28, 2016:

I have been doing excessive laundry lately because of this; bedding, clothing, couch cover, pillows, etc. My daughter, who has long hair has had success with a mixture of white vinegar and sea salt as a 10 minute pre-shampoo rinse. And anyone who feels crazy in this situation shouldn't.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on October 23, 2016:

Hi Chole, Yes, if you follow the directions and you really take the time to comb out the lice and nits, it will work. The only way lice and nits can stay in your hair is if you leave them in there. Remove the lice before they have a chance to lay more eggs, and you will solve the problem.

Chole on October 22, 2016:

hi i am a 13 year old girl recently i just got head lice and i have nits like crazy i feel like shaving my head do u really think your advice will work thank you

Suzie Armstrong (author) on October 19, 2016:

Hi Nayely, Yes, this method definitely does work. Don't hurt yourself getting out the lice. You just need to make sure you comb all your hair from the scalp to the tips to make sure you are removing the nits and any new hatching lice. I combed my daughter's hair in the shower and washed the lice away, and over the bathroom sink or bath. That way you can simply wash any lice or nits straight down the drain. Another way is to have someone else comb your hair out in the sunlight, as they will be able to see the nits more clearly to remove them. There could be some lice or nits already in your house, but they don't live too long without a host. If you are thorough, even if one or two find your hair, you will remove them again. One more thing - if you wear your hair down on Monday, I suggest when you get home you comb it out that day, as it is easier to get reinfected when your hair is down. Good luck, and have fun at twin day.

Bbg.slat on October 19, 2016:

HI my name is Nayely I have lice and curly hair if I try to take out the lice it hurts my hair does your method really work I got lice from this new girl at school and Monday is twin day and I really want to take my hair down also if I take out all the lice and nits how do I take them out of the house???? Please answer I will be waiting for you xoxo

Suzie Armstrong (author) on October 19, 2016:

Hi Esmeralda, You will need to comb your hair thoroughly with a proper nit comb every three days for two weeks. After that, you should see that there are no nits or lice coming out in the comb. The vinegar will definitely loosen the nits, but sometimes they are too small or too stuck to get out of your hair and will hatch. I would only use the vinegar once as if there are no new nits being laid, using it more often would probably be a waste of time. If you just comb really carefully every three days to remove anything that is there, you should be able to catch any new lice as they grow and before they get big enough to lay their own nits. You could also try using a hair straightener as this will squash a lot of the nits and kill them before they can hatch. However, the only sure way to get them all is to keep combing for two weeks. Good luck!

Ann810 from Sunny Cali on September 30, 2016:

Thanks, this is an informative article. I use apple cider vinegar to clarify my hair from all the hair products. Who knew vinegar was good for lice as well.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on September 29, 2016:

Sorry to hear about the nits. Please follow the instructions in my article. The vinegar will loosen the nits, the conditioner will help trap any live lice and make it easier to comb the hair, and combing with a proper nit comb will remove lice and nits. You will need to repeat every few days until you are sure that the nits have gone and that there are no surviving lice in the hair.

Abc on September 28, 2016:

Please help with steps to remove white nits in hair

Suzie Armstrong (author) on September 15, 2016:

Remember, everyone, you absolutely MUST use a proper nit comb, like the one pictured in my article. A normal comb will not work. The nit comb is especially designed to catch lice and remove nits.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on September 15, 2016:

Chiya, try the treatment I have suggested. Comb, comb, comb the lice out. Be thorough and persistent. Eventually you will remove them all before they can lay any more eggs and you will be lice free. Good luck!

Suzie Armstrong (author) on September 15, 2016:

Thanks brandi hendrix. It's great to hear success stories. I have managed to get rid of lice in my daughter's hair without the treatment shampoo, as my daughter has sensitive skin and I'd prefer not to use chemicals unless the situation is desperate. Lice are gradually becoming resistant to known chemical treatments, so it's good to have an alternative method just in case. I've found that persistence is the key. Even when you think you have captured and combed out everything, they can still be lurking. Just keep conditioning and combing, or at least combing, every few days until absolutely nothing appears for a couple of times. It works, and it's very cheap.

brandi hendrix on September 06, 2016:

My 3 year old daughter came home with lice from head start. I ignored her itching for almost a week. I have dry scalp so i figured thats what it was. I googled alot! I bought rid shampoo... Did that and i put leave in conditioner in her hair... Lots of it and i combed and combed and combed. Then i got some lice repelling shampoo and washed her hair with it very good. Scrubbing with my nails... Then i combed and combed some more.... Then when her hair dried i used a flatiron.... Eggs or lice vannot stand that extreme heat... I had it as high as it will go and went very slowly and pushed hard... Now she is lice and nit free

Suzie Armstrong (author) on August 07, 2016:

The vinegar stage is to loosen the glue that the lice use to fix nits to the hair. It won't kill the lice or nits, but it will make it easier to comb out the nits. Keep combing with a nit comb every few days to remove nits as they grow, and any emerging new lice. Once you can see that nothing is coming out in the comb, your daughter should be free of lice and nits.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on August 07, 2016:

Hi Tas, Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean. After you have put the conditioner in your hair, you need to comb it out from the scalp to the ends with a proper nit comb. The conditioner immobilises the lice, making them easier to catch.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on August 07, 2016:

This treatment physically removes the lice and most of the nits, so it is instant. However, it is possible to miss some lice, so it pays to repeat the treatment until you are certain that all the lice are gone. Also, a nit comb is not fine enough to remove tiny, just laid nits. As they grow, you will be able to remove them, so you need to keep thoroughly combing your hair with the nit comb every few days and checking for nits / lice until there is no sign of them.

Duane on August 05, 2016:

My 4 year old has thick hair and she is covered in eggs will the vinger still help

Tas on August 04, 2016:

After the conditioner should we do it part wise or together

Leslie on August 03, 2016:

Hello. I've had head lice for a while now, and next week, I go back to school. Does this treatment work within these days I have left of summer? I want to take them out immediately.

Please reply ASAP.

Thank you.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on August 02, 2016:

At first the nits will be too small to be caught by the nit comb, even after the vinegar has loosened them. If you can see the nits, you can individually slide each one down the hair shaft with your fingers, but it is easy to still miss them. Alternatively, if they are not too close to the scalp, you can fry them with a hair straightener. Very satisfying! Otherwise, the nits will keep growing until they hatch, so if you persist with combing the scalp and hair thoroughly with a proper nit comb every you will eventually be able to remove them.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on August 02, 2016:

It sounds like you have very sensitive skin. In your case, skip the vinegar step and just use conditioner. There are two reasons why they could be coming back. Firstly you may be accidentally missing a couple of lice that then are able to reproduce and start the cycle again. You need to keep thoroughly combing your entire scalp and hair with a nit comb every couple of days until the lice and nits have been gone for at least a week. The other reason could be that someone you know has lice and is reinfecting you.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on August 02, 2016:

That sounds like you have been very unlucky. Another family member may have picked up some live lice and transferred them accidentally to you before the lice had time to lay. The anti-lice oil should kill any lice living in your hair, but it won't kill the nits. You need to make sure that the nits are either combed out, or you are either killing the lice as they hatch or combing them out too if you missed them.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on August 02, 2016:

Hi Tania, Are you using a proper nit comb? They are stronger and have finer teeth than a regular comb. You really need to get the right kind of comb to catch the lice and comb out the nits. Make sure you comb from your scalp right to the tips and remove any lice or nits from the comb after each stroke. You also have to make sure you have combed every bit of hair and scalp. Do this every couple of days for two weeks, even if you think all the lice and nits are gone, just to be sure you have caught them all.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on August 02, 2016:

The little white things are nits which are the lice eggs. Keep combing these out. You will miss some to start with, but as they grow and if you are thorough you will eventually catch them all. Even if they hatch, as long as you catch all the young lice, you will break the cycle and get rid of them.

Suzie Armstrong (author) on August 02, 2016:

The conditioner should help with detangling. My daughter also has a very sensitive head, so I do know how it can be. I've found that it helps if I get the knots out of the ends with a larger comb first.

atara on July 30, 2016:

I need help my 10 year old daughter still has nits in her hair. I got out all the lice but cant get the nits any suggestions?

Megan on July 27, 2016:

My lice is almost gone but last time i used vinegar it burned and i screamed bloody murder. What should i do? I have also had lice for over 3 months. we thought it was gone so we let it go and i got it back twice as bad. i need your response SOON. thanks


xyz on July 24, 2016:


m a girl. I am currently staying at my home and no other family member has this head lice/nits problem. 4 days back I found out I am having this lice problem but I am not able to figure out the reason behind it as I haven't went outside and also no other family member has this . can u tell the reason behind this and also will ur method actually help bcz I used the mediker anti-lice oil and the nit comb but still I am facing this problem :(

Tania on July 19, 2016:

Hi I'm a 11 year old girl and I suddenly got lives from a new girl in our school first I too thought it was dandruff but then it grew and now I have so many nits and lives in my head. I'm so worried and I think they will never finish. I think of getting bald but I love my hair. I comb everyday but there is no difference. Please help me I'm on a holiday to California and I want to have no lices before school starts please help me!

I'll wait for your response

Anna on July 13, 2016:


I had nits about 2 weeks ago. I bought a treatment from the pharmacy and combed and combed and combed my hair until nothing was coming out. I currently design reed my hair was itchy like crazy!! The nits had come back I really need to get rid of them cause I am on a holiday in Hawaii and I don't want to come back to school with nits. Last night I put white vinegar in my hair overnight. This morning I rinsed it out and put tonnes of conditioner in it what should I do now?! Please please help me I need to get rid of them because not only am I on holiday but I am sick as well and my hair is so itchy but I haven't found any Lice only the white little things in my hair!

Will be waiting for your response thank you

DJ on July 07, 2016:

I have a red head, very tender headed- just brushing out tangles is a 30 minute ordeal. I am hoping the vinegar /conditioner will help with her sensitivity... as using the nit comb thus far are produced tons of nits and tears (and splotchy face).

Suzie Armstrong (author) on June 24, 2016:

Hi Sandy, If you follow my instructions in the article, you should be able to remove the nits. Lice love laying their eggs in the warm area around the nape of your neck. If you divide your hair into small sections and comb each section out with a nit comb, starting at the roots, you should be able to remove most of the nits. If you continue regularly with this treatment, eventually you will break the life cycle of the lice. I hope this helps.

Sandy on June 23, 2016:

I have a lot of nits towards the back of my neck (under my hair at the roots). Please suggest a way I can remove the nits from my hair for once and for all. When I tie my hair up, my hair looks disgusting with its small white eggs everywhere. Please reply ASAP:(

Suzie Armstrong (author) on June 13, 2016:

New eggs will stick, but if you get rid of the adult lice, they won't be able to lay eggs. If you remove all the nits, they won't be able to grow up and lay eggs. It's hard to see the eggs when they are tiny, but if you repeat the removal process until you are sure there are no more nits to hatch, you will break the cycle.

Paula on June 12, 2016:

New eggs will not stick? Since when?

Suzie Armstrong (author) on June 06, 2016:

Please don't shave your hair off. A friend of mine's son had his head shaved, and he still ended up with nits clinging to the tiny remaining stubble of hair. If nothing else, please buy or borrow a proper nit comb. They are not very expensive, and are handy to have so that if you ever get lice again you can act quickly. Using the method in this article will remove the nits and headlice and prevent you from having to shave your head. You need to keep up treatment until you break the cycle.

Pinkie on June 06, 2016:

It's been a month that there are nits in my hair I m really embarrassed and my mother is saying to shave off my hair but it's my birthday the next week I don't want this to happen plss help me tell me how to remove nits

Suzie Armstrong (author) on May 18, 2016:

Repeated use of vinegar can dry out some hair types, but it should be okay just for this one use. It will do a lot less harm than the chemical treatments for lice. If you want to skip the vinegar step, you can. The nits are attached to the hair shaft by a kind of glue, and the vinegar weakens this glue, allowing you to comb out the nits more easily. If you miss combing out a nit, it can hatch and if there are more than one, you could risk the cycle starting all over again.

Kathryn on May 18, 2016:

will the vinegar bleach my hair or anything to that effect?

Morgan on January 06, 2016:

Just went through the whole lice thing at my house. We were able to get rid of them by using conditioner and combing through the hair (no chemicals). We did this every day and then kept checking every couple days after we didn't find anything. This turned out to be pretty crucial because we were positive we had gotten all the nits. Wrong! We missed a couple that became more visible as the louse inside grew and darkened (we are all blonde). We were diligent about doing laundry, trying not to cuddle, etc. I wanted to share a tip: if you have to check the head of someone with a very dry scalp, it can be really helpful to go through their dry hair with a blow dryer so you can tell if what you are looking at is dry skin (blows away) or nits (stays put).. Then have the person wash their hair, slather in conditioner and begin the combing process without all the dandruff in there. The blow dryer is also a great way to quickly check for live lice as it is essentially an automatic hair parting machine and they can't really move THAT fast. Wouldn't recommend for a huge infestation though, might cause them running all over but I found one louse hanging on for dear life this way that I had previously missed. Good luck out there!

Suzie Armstrong (author) on July 19, 2015:

Just follow the instructions in the article. One louse can lay lots of eggs, and that louse might not be in your hair any more. However, you need to get rid of the nits before they hatch, and make sure you've caught any nits that might have already hatched into lice before they get old enough to lay. Good luck!

Roxie on July 14, 2015:

Hi ! Im 16 & my sister noticed a few days ago that I have nits...I am freaking out !! The problem is that they do not itch and I cannot see any live lice either... please help me get rid of them easily & quickly !!

Suzie Armstrong (author) on July 08, 2015:

Yes. I used cheap white vinegar.

Julianna on July 03, 2015:

can you use regular vinegar on the hair

Suzie Armstrong (author) on May 16, 2015:

Hi Xandra, I would suggest that you contact the salon that rebonded your hair and ask, as the vinegar is acidic and might cause a problem. If you don't want to call them, forget the vinegar stage, and just do the conditioner and combing. All the vinegar does is loosen the glue that the lice use to attach their nits/eggs to the hair strands. If you condition/comb regularly, you will catch hatching lice and stop them relaying, which will break the cycle. Good luck!

Xandra on May 16, 2015:

Hi there, Im a 14 year old girl with lice and nits. Is it okay to soak the vinegar even if my hair is rebonded? Please reply thank you

Suzie Armstrong (author) on May 10, 2015:

It should work. The conditioner alone stops the lice from being able to escape when you comb them out. You need to repeat it every few days though, as there will be nits, and as they hatch into new lice, you need to remove them before they lay eggs. Good luck!

Miranda on May 06, 2015:

Well the other day I realized my head was itching directly on my neck and beside my ears and I knew it was lice I've had ir plenty of times, sadly but I put the conditioner in my hair hoping it will be a lot easier too get all the nits out, do you think it will work?

Suzie Armstrong (author) on April 17, 2015:

@hamda shahid. Don't worry. Firstly, have you tried the suggestions in my article? In my experience this method works very well.

hamda shahid on April 13, 2015:

I want to get rid from the head lices plz tell me some ideas to reduce the headlices am very worried

Suzie Armstrong (author) on April 11, 2015:

@vanshika It sounds like you are being reinfested. No matter how much you get rid of the lice, if you keep getting more from another source, they will never be completely gone. Washing all bedding and clothes in very hot water has been found to be helpful. You need to try and get rid of all adult lice at the same time, as they are continuously laying eggs. If this doesn't work, comb your hair every few days with conditioner and a nit comb to remove any lice or nits, and do the same for your sister. This will at least control the infestation. You might also try some of the ideas to repel lice in this article - Good luck!

vanshika on April 08, 2015:

I got lice from my sister. Her hair is filled with for more then 2 years . We have trred very much bt all in vain . Plz tell something so it can be removed fastly

Mahi cute on January 26, 2015:

Thank you so much...

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