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Manual search for Headlice or Nit eggs

A simple effective method to check hair for the presence of Head lice is to look for the new or old eggs or Nits.  

The Nit eggs are attached to the hair shafts close to the scalp so they are kept warm in order to incubate.  Since Nits are close to the scalp at the base of the hair, they are very difficult to see.  Use natural daylight or a strong light and look along the hair shafts.  A small magnifying glass can sometimes prove useful in identifying the Nits once found.

Hatched Nit eggs remain attached to the hair shaft. The hatched Nit egg is white and near translucent. It and can be seen as a small white blob stuck to a hair.  A Nit is smaller than a pin head.

Since Nits are firmly attached to a hair shaft, they move away from the scalp as the hair grows.  The hatched Nit eggs can therefore be seen more easily since they have moved away from the scalp as the hair grows. Nits can be found at any distance from the scalp depending on how far the hair has grown since it was laid.

Nits may be mistaken for dandruff, but they cannot be easily brushed away because they are firmly stuck to the hair. The Nits can be removed manually using nails and firmly pulling along the hair shaft.