Head lice are tiny human parasites that live entirely on your head.
There are three stages of head lice.... Adults, Nymphs & Nits.
In order to be successful getting rid of them, we must first understand their life cycle
Lice have about a 4 week life cycle.
The egg (nit) stage is about one week, then another week for it to grow through the nymph stages. Finally as an adult, the louse lives for approximately 2 more weeks.
Adult lice are the troublemakers in the lice world. They are the only ones that can lay eggs and they're the only ones that will come off the head onto another person or an object.
Adult lice are about the size of a sesame seed and are dark in color.. almost completely black.
Male & females need to only mate once before the female can start laying eggs. She can lay about 8-10 eggs a day, every day. If there are a few adults laying new eggs, the infestation can go from low to a high level in just a matter of days. Adult lice will live for 14-16 days
Once the adults are off the head either by treating or combing out, then the removal is all about continuing to break up the life cycle by combing out every 3 days. This prevents anything from developing into an adult and that's what guarantees complete removal
Nymphs are immature head lice. These are the babies and teenagers of the lice world.
They are about the size of a pinhead and look like an adult louse except they are not black. Nymphs can be either clear, grey, brown or even bright red, depending on where they are in the life cycle. Nymphs go through 3 distinct stages before they become an adult louse.
Nymphs feed a lot and need the warmth of the scalp to survive so they stay close to the scalp and do not travel. They will not come off the head and will not transfer to another person or an object.
It takes 7-10 days for a nymph to develop into an adult.
Nits are lice eggs. They vary in color from clear to brown to black.. but are never white. They may look white in the hair but when you take it off and put it on a white piece of paper you'll see that it isn't white.
The female louse cements her egg onto a single strand of hair using super strong glue. These eggs are firmly attached and will look and feel like a grain of sand stuck onto the hair. Nits will not come off on their own and will definitely take some effort to get off the hair.
They can be found anywhere along the hair shaft but are usually found close to the scalp. Nits are commonly found in the warmest areas of the head... around the ears, at the nape of the neck and the crown of the head. Nits take 7-10 days to hatch.