Lice, with the scientific name Pediculus humanus capitis, is a living parasite on human hair, scalp, and clothing. They do not carry any disease but they do cause itching, which causes us to scratch our heads often and may be infected. They are very contagious and are a common phenomenon when children are going to kindergarten or elementary school. Lice infestation has been identified as one of the most common infectious diseases in children, ranks only second after the common cold. Especially, lice are often confused with dandruff, so you need to be aware of their appearance to avoid confusion. So how to know if you have lice or dandruff? In this article, let’s discover how to distinguish the difference between dandruff and lice with us
Signals of lice and nits on your hair
Contrary to everyone’s mind, having lice does not mean you have poor hygiene, as they actually prefer cleaner hair. This creature can not jump so it only spreads by crawling from one person to another. So children with long hair when playing together will easily spread the lice back and forth. Head-to-head contact is the most likely route to spread, but there are many other ways that you can infect lice, such as sleeping in your home, wearing a hat, using a comb, lying on your bed. Also, long or short hair are all likely to be infected by lice.
>>See more: The complete guide about lice in hair
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According to Live Science, some people with lice will not even know they are breeding these obnoxious creatures. However, there are many signs that the presence of lice on your head.
According to some of the most outstanding signs when you have lice may include:
- Feeling on the scalp or neck
- Itchy scalp (due to an allergic reaction to the saliva of lice)
- Small rashes on the scalp, neck, and shoulders
- Find lice on scalp and hair
- Lice found in the hair
- Difficulty sleeping, causing a sense of discomfort
Addition, you also need to pay attention to nits. They are lice egg in a special protective shell, attached to the hair. They are nits, not lice, which can be easily recognized with normal eyes when looking at infected heads – they look like tiny white dots, located at different distances from the root of the hair. Also, it is visible in those with dark hair. Lice eggs are also considered as white or yellowish dots on your hair, with the size of a sesame seed. They are 0.8 millimeters long and 0.3 millimeters wide. What happens is that lice eggs have a grey or caramel color when they are laid by the female lice, and they will turn yellowish to white when they are empty. Therefore, as the color is not always the same, this should not be your only feature to be considered when you want to know if your head has lice eggs. As the nits are actually very difficult for you to see by eyes. Therefore, after hatching, the lice eggshell can still lie in the hair for several months more, because it is firmly attached to the hair with special substance as a glue.
Signals of dandruff on your hair
Symptoms of dandruff are obvious, which are white patches of skin that are slightly greasy on the hair and shoulders and may be accompanied by itching. Skin flaking is the most visible sign of dandruff and you can see it on your hair and also on your shoulders. This happens when the body speeds up the skin’s cell replacement, causing dead cells to appear on the scalp and peeling. Although this may be the easiest sign, that ‘is not always the first sign. Itching is usually the first symptom of dandruff and can act as a warning sign before the scab starts to appear. Skin and red rash may also appear early, making you feel scalp.
This condition can be worse in autumn and winter because warmers can dry the skin. Symptoms usually diminish in the summer.
When your scalp becomes irritated, it reacts like other areas of your body, so you may feel and experience:
- Dry skin
Dandruff Vs Lice: What are the main differences?
You may find it difficult to tell apart as lice and dandruff share similar symptoms which include an itchy and irritated scalp as well as white flakes on hair. You might be confused and want to know the answer of “how to know if you have lice or just dandruff. Lice produce nits, which have a very similar color to dandruff which may make you mistake them. So how do you know if you have lice or dandruff? Here are some difference between dandruff and nits:
- Dandruff flakes can be easily moved off your hair fibers
- Nits firmly stick to the hair, unlike dandruff flakes
- Dandruff can be found on both the scalp and hair
- Nits can be found on the hair fibers only
- Dandruff flakes have a light yellow color, while nits and lice are in white and yellow color
- Nits have a teardrop-shape
How to find lice on your hair
After finding out the answer for the question “how to know if you have lice or just dandruff”, you can now verify it once again to make sure if it is lice or just dandruff. When you or your child have a continuous scratch on the scalp, you can take the following steps to check if there are lice on your and your baby’s head. If your head has lice and nits problem, you will need to provide your hair with a special medicated shampoo as well as manual combing to prevent this annoying problem.
Use a magnifying glass and take the child out in a well-lit room to look at the baby’s head. This makes it easier for you to examine and distinguish between eggs and dandruff. You can ask someone to do the same thing for you
Brush part of the hair and check near the scalp of the head and along the hair shaft for any lice.
Just brush to the ends of the hair and check all areas of hair and scalp. For whom with shorter hair, just look for lice on your hair and scalp using your fingers. Particular attention should be paid to areas such as neck, neck and behind the ear, because it is a favorite place that lice usually live.
For lice that live on the scalp or cling to hair follicles, oval eggs are often attached to the hair follicles. Or feces of lice appear as small black spots on the scalp. In this process, you can also find small bites that bleed on the scalp or neck. These are the bites of lice.
Take a comb to brush your hair on a blank sheet of paper. Check the paper if lice or lice fall, it must be killed immediately. Carefully brush to remove any lice and lice eggs left on the scalp.
Brush through the hair with a special electronic comb (specially designed for lice detection) as a way to replace other testing methods. Then listen to the signals from this electronic comb that can detect the presence of lice. Note that you only use this comb on dry hair and avoid contact with the scalp while brushing your hair. According to the University of Nebraska, you have to spend an average of $20 on an electronic comb to find lice.
How to prevent lice with simple and easy ways
5.1. Cut hair short and try to kill lice by hand
If new lice are found, please pat your comb with a thick brush and use your hand to catch even with lice eggs before washing your baby clean.
It is important to note that with this method, you need to be persistent because it is difficult to catch all parasitic eggs on the hair. Also, you can also cut short hair for her baby to catch the lice more easily.
5.2. Use salt to kill lice
If lice develop too fast, you can apply this tip to improve the situation. You can use white salt mixed with 100-150ml of white vinegar at a ratio of 1: 1, then saturate the mixture on the hair and scalp, gently massage hair, then incubate hair in 20-30 minutes then wash with water. Repeat this incubation for 3-5 consecutive days until the head lice.
5.3. Use white wine
As soon as you detect lice, you can use white wine to massage their hair and remember to rub the root of the head as lice and their eggs can stick to the root of the hair. Incubate the hair for 15-20 minutes, then wash the head with water. Use a thick comb to make lice and eggs fall off the head. Repeat this shampoo once a day, consecutive 4-5 days will be extremely effective.
5.4. Use mouthwash
With tips for using mouthwash to wash your baby’s head, many people have succeeded in getting lice to work. How to do is extremely simple, you use the mouthwash to rub your hair soaked damp, strongly crushed to permeate the entire head from hair roots to each fiber. Carefully mite the hair in 5-10 minutes for high-quality lice treatment. The next step is to use shampoo, and wash your hair as usual. Wash 3-5 consecutive days ensure the head will clean lice without worrying about hair loss.
5.6. Use vinegar
Vinegar has many uses in cooking as well as beauty, cleansing … and also very effective in preventing lice. Take about 100ml of white vinegar mixed with water in a ratio of 1: 1. Incubate hair for 15-20 minutes, then wash your head with water. You can repeat this 2-3 times in the next few days to clean up all lice.
Food vinegar has many uses in cooking as well as beauty, cleansing … and also very effective in helping mother lice for lice.
Use essential tea oil
You can also use 30ml of tea tree oil, mixed with shampoo to massage head. Let your hair sit for 15-20 minutes before shampooing. Wash 5 days with clean lice and lice eggs in the hair.
5.8. Use fresh lemon
You can use fresh lemon to massage the hair if you have head lice. You can also add a little white salt to the lemon solution, apply this mixture to the hair before shampooing her head with water. This can be repeated many times to achieve more effective. Fresh lemon can also help your hair to get rid of dandruff and dirt, become softer and smoother.
5.9. Use a lice shampoo
Do not worry too much when you find out that you have been exposed to lice. In addition to the above, the mother can also buy lice shampoo is selling on the market to eradicate lice on the head. Remember to carefully read the instructions printed on the product packaging.
In order to prevent lice from reoccurring on the head, you should investigate the cause of hereditary lice infection. You also need to clean mosquito nets, pillows and bedding clean to thoroughly remove head lice and lice clinging to these places.
How to get rid of dandruff
Base on the guide on how to know if you have lice or just dandruff, you can know that your hair only has a dandruff problem, so now let’s find out how to stop this problem yourself.
Do not think aspirin is the only treatment for headaches. Aspirin contains salicylic acid – the active ingredient used in many shampoos. Salicylic acid has antifungal and antimicrobial properties while helping relieve scalp inflammation. You only need to crush 2 aspirin into a fine powder, then add a moderate amount of shampoo you use daily and apply to your hair for 1-2 minutes. Finally, you rinse your hair and rinse with normal shampoo.
6.2. Baking soda
Baking soda is a very popular dandruff treatment. Baking soda has a mild exfoliating action that removes dead skin and controls the amount of oil exuded from the scalp. In addition to the beauty of baking soda, alkalinity is also an advantage due to the ability to neutralize and balance the pH of the skin. Mix some baking soda with a few drops of water to make a paste, then massage and gently rub the solution on the scalp. Rinse your hair with lukewarm water. Note that you should not use shampoo after that. Your hair may get dry at first, but after a few weeks, your scalp will start producing natural oils to help your hair softened and no longer get dandruff. Besides, Baking soda is also used in the beauty sector.
6.3. Apple cider vinegar
Shampooing with vinegar sounds a little weird, but actually, apple cider vinegar has a lot of effects and one of them is the effective use of dandruff. Vinegar is highly alkaline, containing enzymes that can kill fungi and bacteria that cause dandruff on the scalp. Alkalis help clear the pores of the scalp while balancing the pH like baking soda. You can dilute 60 ml of apple cider vinegar with 60 ml of water in a spray and slowly spray on the scalp. Then, you take a towel and wrap it around for 15 minutes to an hour. When the incubation period is sufficient, remove the towel and wash as usual. Doing this twice a week will make your hair healthy.
Wash your hair with a mouthwash? Is this also a dandruff treatment? Indeed! You do not read wrong! Thanks to the ability to kill the fungus that mouthwash can also become… shampoo dandruff shampoo! You can mix 60 ml of mouthwash with 120 ml of water in a spray. After shampooing, spray or pour liquid onto the scalp, massage gently and incubate for 30 minutes before rinsing with water.
6.5. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is also a common way to treat dandruff. The plus of coconut oil is both able to kill the fungus and can moisturize the hair. So you do not have to worry about your hair getting dry and discolored after cleansing your dandruff. Before bathing, you should spend 3-5 minutes to massage with coconut oil, then let stand for about 1 hour. Finally, you wash your hair with normal shampoo, you will immediately see the effect. With this method, you can completely self-modifying coconut oil at home to beautify the hair.
Lemon is high in acid, can kill fungus and adjust pH on your scalp. Apply 2 tablespoons of lime juice on damp hair, wait for hair to dry and wash with water. Then mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with 237 ml of water and use this mixture to wash your hair. Repeat this sequence every day until you no longer see dandruff. Your hair will be clean with dewy white patches and scented with fresh lemon scent.
Salt is a great way to remove dead skin cells on the scalp. Common salt grains are ideal for cleaning scales from your hair before you shampoo. Sprinkle salt over the scalp, massage for a few minutes and then shampoo as usual. You will no longer see dandruff scales after applying this simple dandruff treatment.
Although it is used quite a lot in the treatment of mild burns and skin care, aloe vera also helps to reduce dandruff caused by it. Aloe Vera is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. The aloe vera cooling and analgesic properties can help soothe the irritation on the scalp. You can use a shampoo containing aloe vera or incubate the hair with fresh aloe vera overnight. Lifting hair will also help moisturize your scalp.
The antimicrobial and anti-fungal effect of garlic is very good. You can directly massage the shredded garlic with the scalp before each shampoo to completely remove dandruff. To avoid the smell of garlic on your hair, you can mix garlic with honey and massage over your scalp instead of just using fresh garlic. You should incubate about 5-10 minutes before shampooing your hair with normal shampoo.
When applying olive oil to the scalp, the dry skin will be kept moist to prevent dandruff. Olive oil also contains a lot of essential nutrients, olive oil is important in beauty, soften dandruff too thick, facilitate skin smoothness and moisture balance. Olive oil overnight is a pretty effective way to stop dandruff. Pour 8 to 10 drops of olive oil into your palms and massages on your scalp. Burns the entire hair and scalp overnight for 8 hours. Wash your olive oil in the morning with regular shampoo. Since olive oil can cause stickiness, it is best to spend a lot of time shampooing your hair.