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Electric, Plastic, Or Metal: Which Lice Comb to Choose?

First Steps

Wet hair maketh the effective nit-remover. We’re pretty sure that’s in a religious book somewhere, and it’s absolutely right: please don’t try removing the odd louse or nit from dry hair; it’s just unpleasant.

lice-comb-with-baddiesNow, we’ve talked before about how all truly effective head lice treatments include, above all, one major feature: combing out the nits and lice with a comb.

Now that you know that, however, what comb should you choose, and what type of comb will be the best for you? Well, you’re in luck: today’s post covers just that, plus a whole lot more information.

Take note of the image to the left of this text, incidentally; in it, you can see a comb that’s absolutely rife with nasty lice life! If you’re doing your thing right, this is the unfortunate sight you can expect to see as you’re coming along. Lovely, isn’t it?

Forget Tweezers Right Away

Do you enjoy picking away at near-invisible tiny balls with, like, the world’s tiniest tools available? Forget it, tweezers are hell for you, and hell for the sufferer. They’ll also be hell for your eyes, and hell for your joints. No, if you’re going to make the effort that a good tweezering would need, you should go the full hog and do so with a comb.

Get A Metal Comb

anti lice tooth combWhy not plastic? It’s not like there’s a shortage of them, given how pretty much well every head lice treatment comes with a free plastic comb. If you’re lucky, you might even get two or three combs included for free.

So what’s the problem with these plastic combs?

Unfortunately, while plastic combs are durable and easy to leave around the house, the manufacturing process behind them means that their teeth cannot be as fine as we’d like to see, and they also can’t be terrible strong. In practise, this means that both lice and nits will slip between the comb’s teeth, refusing to come out, and you’ll walk away, frustrated from the job at hand. If you don’t walk away, you have our eternal respect; nothing gets so tiresome as combing and combing to little effect, especially when you’ve seen so many of the little critters escape with their lives.

Metal Lice Combs Rock

nit-free-metal-head-lice-combThat’s right: they absolutely rock. They’ll be noticeably finer than the plastic combs, and your concerns will now shift from trying to get the nits to come out, to wondering where all the nits have gone!

To be precise, the ideal comb should have teeth that are spaced no further than 0.2-0.3mm apart (which is c. 0.0079/inch for those of you who like such things).

Once you’ve seen nits or lice on your comb, it’s best to wash them off immediately. Repeat the process every 2-3 days for a couple of weeks, and keep checking; if you’re doing an effective job, the lice should all but have gone away.

What About Electric Combs?

electric-head-lice-comb-bootsHow cool does this one look? Pretty rocking, right?

Electric combs kills live lice by shocking them with tiny, tiny little electric shocks, and they’re shockingly effective at doing so. (Ho ho ho – see what I did there?).

The only downside is that the electric combs don’t kill nits; you can comb the nits out, but none of the fancy-pants electric-shocking-ness will have any effect on the eggs themselves. Our advice is that you should use an electric comb when possible, but if you don’t fancy the extra cost, or you love your existing metal comb, don’t feel pressured to get one, you’re likely only reducing the infestation time by 3-5 days.

Written by tom


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  1. Lice is a common concern that can cause intense itching. Great website to learn how to treat it and eliminate them.

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