How to Tell If You Have Head Lice

Head lice are tiny insects that live in hair. They only live on the human scalp.  Nits are empty egg cases attached to the hair that head lice hatch from.  Head lice are a common problem. They are largely harmless, but can live in the hair for a long time if not treated and can be irritating and frustrating to deal with.


The most common symptom of any type of lice is itching. It is an allergic reaction to the lice saliva. However, only 40% of people that have lice itch.  However, 60% of people do not itch and you may not notice any symptoms for up to six weeks the first time you get lice.


A tickling feeling or something moving on your head or hair.  You may also notice the appearance of lice eggs, or small white objects in your hair that you aren’t able to brush out-they are glued to the hair strand.


The easiest way to be sure someone has head lice is to find a live lice by combing their hair with a special fine-toothed comb.  At Lice Clinics of America Los Alamitos and South Bay, this is the absolute first step we take to determine if an infestation is present before treating. However, live lice are not always present at the time of head screening. That’s because an adult lice lives for about 30 days before it dies. Also, it is possible for the adult lice to have transferred to someone else’s head. If you or your child has lice, the head screener will notice small, brown insects the size of sesame seeds moving around or nits the size of a grain of sand that look like they’re cemented on to the individual hairs.