The best way to treat head lice is to avoid sharing personal items. It is also recommended that you treat any household members who come into contact with the infested person. Avoid sharing hats, stuffed animals, and other items. When possible, wash personal items in hot water and dry them on a hot cycle. If you can’t wash or dry them, seal them in a plastic bag for at least two weeks. Also, make sure to wash your hairbrushes.
Head lice are small gray or tan insects that feed on the human blood that is found in the scalp. The female head louse produces a sticky substance that attaches her eggs to hair shafts that are less than a quarter-inch (5 millimeters) from the scalp. The eggs hatch after six to nine days, and the nymphs emerge as mature adult lice in nine to twelve days. Adult lice live for about three to four weeks, and they lay six to 10 eggs daily.
Head lice are highly contagious and are difficult to remove. Because they live only on the scalp, they spread easily through head-to-head contact and the sharing of personal items. It is important to avoid sharing clothing and sheets with other people and vacuum floors regularly. If you must share clothing, keep the clothing in a plastic bag for at least a couple of weeks to keep the infestation at bay. You should also avoid sharing upholstered furniture, especially with children.