Telling the difference between Head Lice and Dandruff

If you are like most parents, you worry about your kids getting head lice. If you get a glimpse of something not right on your child’s hair, your anxiety shoots up, right? Other than head lice, another common affliction that produces out-of-place specks in hair is dandruff. It’s important to be able to tell these apart since the remedies for each are completely different. 

So, what’s the difference between dandruff and head lice? Dandruff is a chronic skin condition that produces dry, flaky bits of skin. Head lice are small, parasitic insects that feed off the blood under your scalp. Dandruff will typically be found directly on the scalp where they fall off easily. While head lice look like the tiny, sesame-seed-sized bugs they are, their nits (lice eggs) can often look like dandruff flakes; however, nits stay firmly attached to the hair shafts.


While lice are very contagious, dandruff definitely isn’t,” says Sonia Watt, clinic owner of Lice Clinics of America – Texas Lice Removal, which is part of the nationwide Lice Clinics of America clinic network. “Head lice spread from person to person through direct head-to-head contact. And on rare occasions head lice may also spread to someone sharing a hat, helmet or other headgear of an infested person.”


Both dandruff and head lice could make your head itch. “We have had people come in thinking they have lice, but it turns out they just have dandruff,” says Sonia. “If you can easily brush or pull the flakes off, it is probably dandruff. If they are stuck on the hair, it is probably nits.”


Lice Clinics of America uses a proprietary FDA-cleared medical device, the AirAllé, that takes care of removing live head lice and their nits in about an hour. The clinically proven treatment is 99.2% effective and has successfully treated over 950,000 cases nationwide.


Lice Clinics of America has successfully treated more than 950,000 cases of head lice. The company has more than 265 clinics in 20 countries, making it the world’s largest network of professional lice treatment centers. Lice Clinics of America – Texas Lice Removal has three locations. College Station is located at 4444 Carter Creek Parkway, Suite 101, Bryan, Texas 77802. Tomball is located at 11601 Spring Cypress, Suite C, Tomball, TX 77377. The Woodlands is located at 2219 Sawdust Road, Suite 2003, The Woodlands, TX 77380. Each location is open seven days a week by appointment. Call 979-481-6144 for College Station, 832-648-619 for Tomball, or 832-957-0373 for The Woodlands or visit for more information or to schedule an appointment.