WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are seeing white specks in the hair and they flake off, that is likely dry scalp or Other debris. While parents are sometimes told to clean and quarantine all of a child's stuffed animals, experts say this is not necessary. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend: Dandruff often responds well to OTC anti-dandruff shampoos. Fine-toothed combs are another way to get rid of lice. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice. To survive, adult head lice must feed on blood. The nits are round or oval specks that are tightly glued to hairs near the scalp. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Adult head lice may look darker in persons with dark hair than in persons with light hair. Nits (head lice eggs) generally die within a week away from their human host and cannot hatch at a temperature lower than that close to the human scalp. (15)   BSIP / Phototake -- All rights reserved. Head lice are treated through manual removal with a comb as well as special shampoos containing chemicals that kill lice. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. If a friend or family member shares your comb or scarf, the head lice can crawl onto the new host and lay eggs, spreading the infestation. Head lice nits are cemented firmly to the hair shaft and can be difficult to remove even after the nymphs hatch and empty casings remain. Three forms of head lice exist: nits, nymphs, and mature adults. Head lice are found worldwide. What are the signs and symptoms of head lice infestation? Sources The good news is while a head lice infestation can be annoying and possibly uncomfortable, this common condition is treatable. Head lice would have difficulty attaching firmly to smooth or slippery surfaces like plastic, metal, polished synthetic leathers, and other similar materials. If you were to treat this person and miss an egg, you will more likely see it than if it were in brown hair; you can then remove it. It's not common, but sores from scratching can become infected. Your technician will also show you a follow up treatment that is hassle free and will ensure your case of head lice is completely eradicated, no matter what color your hair is! (CDC Photo), Illustration of egg on a hair shaft. A lice specialist will come directly to your home and perform an all natural lice treatment that is effective even against the dreaded super lice because all of the live bugs and visible eggs are completely removed. Examples include: Dogs, cats, and other pets do not play a role in the spread of head lice. An immature louse (or nymph) looks like an adult, but it’s about the size of a pinhead. Head lice feed on human blood several times a day and live close to the human scalp. CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance (accessibility) on other federal or private website. Lice are parasites that live on the scalp and eat human blood. In the United States, infestation with head lice is much less common among African-Americans than among persons of other races, possibly because the claws of the head louse found most frequently in the United States are better adapted for grasping the shape and width of the hair shaft of other races. What Does Lice Look Like In Blonde Hair? If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. As mentioned previously, it is easier to detect head lice and their lice eggs in blonde hair than in other hair colors. People can treat a head lice infestation with over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medication, which will kill the head lice. Over-the-counter (OTC) lice remedies work well, but some lice are resistant to these medicines. That should kill any creepy-crawlies. Head lice have six legs and are usually grayish-white or tan. So if the first treatment does not work, a person may want to see a doctor for an alternative prescription remedy. Head lice are equal-opportunity parasites. Some other issues that can resemble head lice include: Hair casts are white, tube-like debris, and they surround the hair shaft. The American Academy of Dermatology recommend shampooing with an anti-dandruff shampoo twice a week unless a person is African-American. Head lice move by crawling; they cannot hop or fly. All rights reserved. If you know what you are looking for, it is unmistakable. Even if just one nit or adult louse is found, treatment is advised to reduce the threat of a full infestation. Finally, treat everyone who's infected at the same time. (4)   Darlyne A. Muraawski / National Geographic To live, a nymph must feed on blood. If you see sticky white things in the hair, those are most likely product residue or DEC plugs which are exudate from oil glands. They produce between seven to 10 eggs (nits) annually. Sometimes lice are resistant to these. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts. There are no cures for genital herpes, but a number of…. People with light-colored hair should avoid shampoos with coal tar since this can change hair color. Data show that head lice can survive under water for several hours but are unlikely to be spread by the water in a swimming pool. When fed, head lice can live for up to a month, but they will die within a day or two if they are not able to feed on blood. Head lice and their eggs (nits) soon perish if separated from their human host.