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 Amanda Westerman, clinic owner of Lice Clinics of America – McKinney, 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 Amanda. “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 – McKinney is located at 3120 Hudson Crossing, Suite A2, McKinney, TX 75070 and is open 7 days a week by appointment. Call 972-954-2334 or visit  for more information or to schedule an appointment.