ο What do nits look like on a person's head?

What do nits look like on a human head?

Some people don't even know what nits look like on a person's hair.

However, in our time, the problem of lice and nits still remains relevant. Kindergartens, schools, sanatoriums and other institutions sometimes "cover" this scourge. And adults are not immune from pediculosis.

But, armed with certain knowledge about this disease, you can quickly cope with the trouble that has arisen.

First of all, you should understand what these small parasites are.

A little about nits and lice

Nits are lice eggs. The "shell" of eggs is a shell of a sticky substance that has the property of solidifying.

Thanks to this sticky substance, the nits are so firmly held on the hair that it cannot be removed even with nails.

Such a "dead grip" of the nit makes it possible for it to survive. Inside the "shell" is only one egg.

If we consider the photo of the nit, we can say that in shape it is similar to an oblong capsule.

On one side, the nit has formed a kind of wide "tail" of the same sticky substance as the rest of the shell. With the help of a "tail", the lice egg is firmly glued to the surface of the hair.

On the other hand, the nit has a "lid". When the lice hatch, the "lid" is pushed out.

The size of the nits is very small. If you look at the photo of nits, you can see that their length is less than 1 mm, and the diameter is 0.5 mm.

It should be noted that hollow shells and nits with developing lice outwardly look exactly the same: they have a silvery-white tint and are equally firmly held on the hair.

Lice eggs on black or brown hair are especially noticeable.

If pediculosis in a person is in an advanced stage, then it seems that the curls are sprinkled with cereals, since there are more empty shells on the hair than live eggs.

The hollow shell is not removed from the hair. It can only be removed with the hair.

If lice and live nits were destroyed, and only hollow capsules became on the curls, then doctors call it "dry" pediculosis.

It should be noted that lice eggs can be found not only on the head, but also on almost any hairy area of the human body.

Numerous photos indicate that with severely neglected pediculosis, they can be located even on eyelashes.

Stages of development of nits and lice

The female lice, having reached adulthood, interbreeds with the male and begins to lay eggs at the root of the hair.

Moreover, lice lay eggs on the same hair extremely rarely, only in case of severe infestation and "dense population" of the hairline.

Important to Read:  Tar Soap Helps Kill Lice

Every day, a female lice can lay 3 to 7 eggs. The louse moves through the hair from the bottom up, at this time releasing an egg that is enveloped in a sticky substance.

Due to the movement of lice during the laying process, the adhesive substance flows down the surface of the egg, forming a wide sticky "tail" at the end, with the help of which the nits are firmly glued to the surface of the hair.

Eggs develop within 5 to 9 days. The most optimal temperature for nit growth is 28C.

With a decrease or increase in temperature, their development slows down, and at a temperature below 22 C and above 40 C, it stops altogether. At + 45 C, both lice and nits on human hair die.

From the egg, a nymph of the first age hatches, then it develops into a nymph of the second age, then the third, only then becomes an adult.

This entire period of development is about 14 days. There are many photos that show different stages of the life cycle of nits and lice.

A mature individual immediately begins to bite and drink human blood. At a time, the insect is able to drink 0.7 mg of blood. It is believed that after the first saturation, the louse is able to multiply.

The day after mating, the female lice lays eggs. During her entire life cycle, the female manages to lay 140 eggs.

The life expectancy of a mature individual is 27 - 30 days. Its length reaches 2 - 3.5 mm.

Nuances about nits

Both nits and dandruff on a person's hair look the same at first glance - white inclusions in curls.

Dandruff is dry particles of the scalp. Dandruff is always easily shaken off curls. If shaking off does not remove dandruff, then, most likely, we are talking about nits.

You can determine them by the following features:

  • Nits are always tenaciously attached to the hair. They are not so easy to remove from the curl;
  • Nits have a rounded oblong shape. They are almost all the same size, unlike dandruff flakes;
  • If it is difficult to determine what is on the hair - nits or something else, then it is better to examine the curls for the presence of lice. They are the ones who leave the eggs on the hair;
  • If the nits are squeezed with nails, you can hear a characteristic clicking sound. Sometimes there may not be a sound. Perhaps an empty capsule is already found on the hair, especially if it is located at a distance of more than 2-3 cm from the roots. As mentioned above, the female lice lays eggs in the root zone. Nits mature within 5 to 9 days, and hair grows in a month by an average of 1 cm. Therefore, the location of nits at a more distant distance from the roots suggests that the nits are already empty.

Nowadays, it is quite easy to fight pediculosis, especially if treatment is started in the early period, when lice and nits are detected in a timely manner.

Important to read: Ways to get rid of lice on the head 

To do this, it is best to purchase drugs in a pharmacy that destroy not only mature lice, but also their eggs.

Basically, these funds have the active substance permethrin. It contributes to the destruction of the "glue" that retains nits on the hair. In addition, permethrin destroys lice, larvae, and eggs.


After treating curls with this drug, it is recommended to comb out the nits remaining on the strands.

And here there are doubts, are all the eggs dead? It's easy to verify. If you squeeze dead nits with your nails, then there will be no characteristic click.

In addition, dead eggs "lose" in volume, and they no longer have a characteristic rounded shape.

Differences between fleas and lice

Many people mistakenly believe that nits are eggs not only of lice, but also of fleas. There is another contrary opinion that fleas can never be on the human body at all.

It is necessary to dot all the i's and fully understand this issue.

Few people know, but in nature there is a kind of real human fleas, the "owner" of which is a person.

But, unlike lice, human fleas do not live permanently on the human body. After saturation, insects try to immediately leave the "host".

Therefore, flea eggs, or rather, their larvae, cannot be found on the head in any way. They live in places where organic residues accumulate.

If you enlarge the larvae of fleas and take them in a photo, you will see that they look like worms.

A distinctive feature of fleas is that they do not have a proboscis for sucking blood, and the insect is forced to plunge headlong into the skin.

In addition, fleas in the process of evolution have not developed enzymes with which other blood-sucking insects anesthetize their bite. Therefore, flea bites are very sensitive.

The size of adults reaches 3 mm. If you consider the photo of the insect, you can pay attention to the flattened shape of its body.

This structure of fleas allows them to move freely among the hair on the human head. In addition, thanks to such a flat shape, it is very difficult to crush even a well-fed flea.

It is worth noting that human fleas have great similarities with dog and cat relatives.

Differences between them can only be found by an entomologist using an enlarged photo or microscope.

Pediculosis in children

According to statistics, it is children who are most often at risk of the disease. Why do lice and nits prefer the scalp and hair of the child more?

The fact is that children are an open and generous people. They are happy to share with each other hairpins, combs, try on hats.

Collective outdoor games or, on the contrary, joint rest on one pillow also sometimes causes the child to suddenly have lice.

From the moment of infection to the first signs of the disease, it may take several weeks.

Important to read: How can lice be transmitted? 

You can safely diagnose pediculosis if the child has the following symptoms:

  1. Severe itching in the occipital, temporal areas of the head and behind the ears;
  2. Red small rash on the back of the neck and on the scalp;
  3. Combs. If the disease is not immediately detected, then the number of parasitic insects will increase significantly, itching will increase much more and scratching may appear in the bite sites. Sometimes these places are covered with purulent crusts;
  4. Nits found on a child's hair.

As soon as pediculosis has been established, you should immediately begin to eliminate lice and nits on the child's head.

As a rule, doctors recommend the use of pharmacy drugs in the form of shampoos, emulsions, etc.


For a more successful fight against the disease, it is also proposed to carry out combing with a frequent metal scallop.

Starting treatment, it is necessary to remember about precautions, since the child's body is more vulnerable than an adult.

If the child has irritation or inflammatory processes on the skin, chemicals can not be used. It is important to protect your eyes from the ingress of a chemical drug.

The product used should not have a pungent odor, since many children may experience irritation.

During treatment, it is necessary to strictly observe the dosage of the drug, otherwise an allergic reaction in a child may occur.

After hair treatment, a second preventive procedure should be carried out in a week.

When using folk methods of destruction of lice and nits, it is not necessary to apply radical control measures (for example, kerosene or dichlorophos), because irreparable damage can be caused to the health of the child.

The best way to combat pediculosis is to prevent it. It is necessary to inform children that some items should be only in personal use (comb, hairpin, hat, etc.)

The child must explain the basic rules of compliance with sanitary standards in public places. In places of mass gathering of people, it is better to pick up hair.


Therefore, when visiting a kindergarten or school, it is desirable to braid curls into a braid. As a preventive measure, the child's head should be systematically examined for lice and nits.

If the child returned from a camp or sanatorium, then all his belongings, especially hats, must be washed and ironed.

To repel insects, you can use essential oils of rosemary, thyme, lemon balm.

So, the above material revealed the topic of what nits look like, how they develop, where they live, what are their features, etc.

We hope that this information will help you, if necessary, to quickly recognize the disease and, accordingly, quickly cope with it.

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12890 3 Published on December 25, 2015
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  1. Galina

    What a tenacious insect! Nowadays, when store shelves are simply bursting with a wide variety of hair care products, in the departments of household chemicals, washing powders for every taste, and in pharmacies there are a lot of drugs to combat this filth - they still live and the problem remains relevant.

  2. Tanya

    Wow, I didn't know you could confuse nits with dandruff... In kindergarten, someone used to constantly manage to pick up lice, apparently, now the situation has not changed much. Dihlofos, of course, you still need to think about it.

  3. Ekaterina

    What a mess these lice are. My daughter, thank God, has not yet appeared this infection in kindergarten. But since they have children from bad families in their group, anything can happen. Now I will check my daughter's hair more often, because I know who to look for.

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