Head lice are not poisonous to humans, so it is not surprising that they have adapted to live for long periods of time in water. They have learned to close their breathing holes and remain immobile in water. This allows them to conserve energy and prevent water from penetrating their bodies. This means that lice that have been in water for a long period of time may look as if they are dead. They are actually in a hibernation state, which prevents them from drowning.
It is believed that head lice do not drown because they remain tightly attached to the hair. This allows them to stay alive for as long as eight hours, but eventually they will die due to a lack of food. Their life cycle begins as a nit, a whitish-yellow speck about a millimeter long. These nits attach themselves to each strand of hair, which allows them to survive submersion.
There are several types of treatments for head lice. Some of these include heat treatment and using products such as Lousebuster. Home hairdryers can also be effective, but be cautious when using them, as they can cause severe burns to children. As a general rule, you should consult a health care provider for proper treatment.
The first step in getting rid of head lice is to thoroughly clean your hair. You can use a nit comb, but it is better to use a nit comb with long teeth. Use white toilet paper when washing your hair, and dispose of the used one in a waste-paper bin lined with carrier bags. Make sure to run the nit comb from the scalp to the tip.