An egg or young parasitic insect, nits are a common sight during a head lice infestation. Lice lives on scalps and eyebrows, even eyelashes, and can quickly spread from person to person. Itchy scalps, red bumps and tiny white specks are all symptoms of nits and head lice. For years, many people thought vinegar killed nits and lice, but this is not the case. While vinegar will not kill nits or lice, it will help treat the parasitic problem.

A common problem in children, people of all ages are susceptible to lice.

Nits and Lice

A common problem in elementary schools, lice are about an eighth-inch long and lay their eggs, called nits, on the hairshaft close to the scalp. People of all ages can develop a lice infestation. Difficult to locate, lice quickly move throughout the hair, causing the scalp to persistently itch. Nits look similar to dandruff in the hair but cannot be removed as easily.

Remove Nits and Lice

To remove the lice, use a shampoo designed specifically for ridding your scalp and hair of the parasite. Dampen the hair with lukewarm water. Add a generous dollop of lice shampoo to the palm of your hand. Rub the shampoo between your hands until lather forms. Work the shampoo into damp hair from the root to the tip until thoroughly saturated with the shampoo. Leave the shampoo on the hair for 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Use a lice comb to remove nits from the shampooed hair. Grasp an inch-wide bundle of damp hair and set the lice comb as close to the scalp as possible. Gently pull the comb through the hair to the root. Wipe the comb with a paper towel. Continue in this manner until you have combed through the entire hair. Repeat the entire nit and lice removal process seven to 10 days after the first treatment.


Natural and inexpensive, vinegar will not kill the lice or nits, but it will make removing the nits easier. After you have finished the complete nit and lice removal process, rinse the hair with apple cider vinegar. The vinegar will dissolve the nit glue, and its natural antiseptic properties will help soothe sore scalps. Let the apple cider vinegar dry on the hair overnight before rinsing it out of the hair with warm water. Run a lice and nit comb through rinsed hair to remove the softened nit glue.


Never share combs, brushes, pillowcases, hair decorations or hats with others. Check children's scalps regularly and whenever there is an outbreak of lice in their school, daycare or camp. When one person is positive for lice infestation, you must treat everyone in the home with the lice shampoo. Keep all children out of school and daycare during the lice infestation and inform their school that your child has lice.

Launder bedding and clothing in hot water temperatures that reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit or above and dry on high heat to kill lice and nits. Soak combs and brushes in a soapy mixture of water and lice shampoo for 10 minutes before rinsing clean with hot water. Vacuum carpets and upholstery as normal.