Lice vs Dandruff Video Tutorial

two pictures are shown side-by-side. One is of dandruff, the other is of lice eggs. Lice expert in the foreground

Lice vs. Dandruff, what's the difference? There are 7 WAYS you can tell the difference between lice and dandruff. This video is loaded with side-by-side pictures and videos, so you'll be able to tell the difference quickly.

Let me introduce myself...

Lice nurse helping others

Hi there! I'm a lice expert, lice coach, Registered Nurse, and the creator of My Lice Advice. I help people with lice every day in my lice treatment center, in school districts, and in government work. But the thing I love the most is empowering parents to get rid of head lice in ONE DAY at home! 

You can eliminate lice in one day using the same proven professional technique I use in my lice center on your child. Follow along with the Step-by-Step Video System, and when you're done with the videos you're done with lice. PERMANENTLY!

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Transcript of video:

Hey, it's Theresa with My Lice Advice, and today we're talking about lice versus dandruff. How do you tell the difference? There are actually seven big differences between lice and dandruff, and I talk about all seven today. So let's get to it.

So before getting started, just so you know who I am. My name's Theresa with And I'm a Registered Nurse and I actually specialize in head lice, and I own, where I teach parents how to do a professional lice treatment on their child at home so that they can get rid of lice in one treatment.

Okay, enough about me. Let's talk about lice versus dandruff or something else going on in your kid's hair.

So, if you're finding bugs in your child's hair, then yes, they have head lice. This is what they look like. The trouble is that lice can be really hard to find because they blend in so well with the hair. So as you can see, this would be really hard to see. So when you're looking for lice, you're usually looking for lice eggs.

Another word for them is nits. So nits and lice eggs, those are the same thing. I always use the words interchangeably. And that's what's often confused for dandruff. It's hard to tell the difference between the two. So that's what we're going to talk about when we're talking about the seven big differences.


Difference number one

When in doubt, try to pull it out. Lice eggs are nits are literally glued to the hair strand, meaning that you have to physically pull them off. The only way to get lice eggs out of the hair besides having a really good lice comb is by pinching in between two fingers and dragging that lice egg all the way down the hair strand as opposed to most dandruff. You can just flick away, you can blow away. It moves up and down the hair strand pretty easily, whereas lice eggs, you literally have to pull them down the entire hair strand because they're glued on, they're stuck.

Now there is one kind of dandruff that really freaks people out because it looks similar to like eggs. Been me to tell you the difference here. So this kind of dandruff is called DEC plugs. And what this is is some people, their dandruff doesn't come off in flakes, but instead, it comes off kind of wrapping around the hair strand. So people often confuse this for nits or lice eggs because it goes around the hair strand and it stays on that hair strand. But the difference is, with this kind of dandruff, DEC plugs, you can move them pretty easily up and down the hair strand when you have lice, lice, eggs in your hair. They are literally glued. It takes a lot of work to pull them all the way down the hair strand, whereas with DC plugs, you can look and see how easy it is for me to move them up and down.

Whereas lice eggs, they're stuck. They require a lot more effort than that. Now let me just stop you right here. If you are finding these nits in your child's hair, then yes, your child has lice, but don't freak out about it.

Instead, just go to my website, I have tons of articles there, and I even have that step-by-step video system where I walk you through just exactly how to get rid of it.



Difference number two

Lice eggs are on the side of the hair strand like a leaf. Whereas dandruff is usually sitting on the top kind of like snow. So let me show you what I mean. Do you see this?

This is a lice egg and you think of this kind of like the stem of a flower, right? Lice Eggs are always glued to the side. So what I mean by thinking as a leaf is if this is the stem of a flower, then the lice egg is on the side kind of like a leaf on the side of the stem. They don't wrap all the way around it, and they don't, you know, just kind of stick on the top. So this is like eggs versus this is dandruff here, how it just kind of sticks on the top and it's more looks like a snowflake or something so misshapen.

And if it's that other kind of dandruff called DEC plugs, which I talked about before, it kind of gets stuck on the hair strand like this, but you can move it up and down pretty easily. But the difference is, even if you look at the two... look, the lice egg is on the side like a leaf. And a DEC plug, which is a kind of dandruff, goes all the way around. So if you're finding this where it's wrapped all the way around again, that's just another kind of dandruff that is not lice eggs.

Difference number three

Lice eggs have color to them. Most lay eggs are not white, they're either golden or they're dark brown. The reason why people think that nits or lice eggs are white is that after those eggs hatch, they can look white in someone with dark hair.

So look at this picture. All these up here, this is somebody that's had lice for like three years. All these are all old lice eggs, also known as nits. Right? These are all white. Like this because there is no longer a bug inside of them.

But when you're checking for lice, you don't want to look way down here. You want to actually look right up next to the scalp because these lice eggs down here, these brown ones. Those are the actual threat. Those have a bug inside of them.

So sometimes people get confused and they think that they're finding those darker lice eggs. Those must be dead or something. And you are exactly wrong. Dark lice, eggs, either the lighter brown color like this or golden or dark brown.

That means that there's a bug in there. The closer the bug is to hatching, the darker it becomes after they hatch. Then they're this kind of white-looking color. So if you want to know whether or not these are lice, eggs or dandruff, well, look up next to the scalp.

If you find any of these, they look like coffee grounds or something like that. Those are lice eggs, whereas dandruff, it's always this white color or like even scalp can be like a little bit of a yellow color.

But lice eggs are going to be golden or brown.

Difference number four

Lice eggs are always teardrop-shaped, no other shape. So if I'm looking in this hair, this is a lice egg. You can see again that it's on the side of the hair strand, but also the shape of it.

It's not circular in the hair. It can look a little more circular. But if I actually literally pull it off and I pull it all the way down the hair strand and I put it on a white paper towel or some kind of background, then I can better examine the shape of it.

Lice eggs are always this teardrop shape. They always look exactly the same, so they have this teardrop shape to them. Whereas if it's dandruff like I said, it's going to look more like snowflakes. It's going to be just more irregular-looking.

And if it's that other kind of dandruff called DEC plugs, which I talked about before, that's going to look more circular like chunks of the scalp just kind of come out circular. They don't come out. This teardrop shape only lays eggs have that teardrop shape both in the hair and on a paper towel.

Let me just stop for one minute here to save you loads of time. So this is where people pull out and nit with their fingers or between their fingernails one by one like this, it's called nitpicking, and it is not the best way to get rid of these lice eggs.

It will take you forever and you will miss a bunch of them. I only recommend doing this when you're trying to figure out whether or not you have lice or not. If you know you have lice, then don't waste your time doing this nitpicking.

Instead, go to and check out that step-by-step video system because I show you how to get rid of all of the lice eggs quickly.

Difference number five

Lice eggs are all the same size. If you're finding dandruff in your child's hair, you're going to find lots of different sizes and lots of different shapes. So if you're finding lots of different sizes, then you can assume that that's dandruff.

Difference number six

The location in which you find them look in what's called the hot spots. The hot spots are the areas that lice bugs really like to lay their lice, eggs and the two hot spots where you're more likely to find lice eggs than dandruff are at the nape of the neck and behind the ears. So if you're finding a lot of things at the nape of the neck and behind the ears, then it's more likely to be lice eggs than dandruff.

Difference number seven

This is more of an advanced technique. If you're still not sure you remember how I talked about, you can examine lice eggs in the hair, or you can pull them off the hair strand and then put them on something like a white paper towel and examine them that way.

Take a look at it. So these are lice eggs. Do you see how they're all that teardrop-shaped like I talked about before? But do you see they also have a tail? Do you remember how I said lice glue the eggs onto the hair so they don't fall out?

Well, when you pull a net off of the hair strand, that glue comes along with it, and it always looks like a tail. So if you're still not sure, take anything in question. Pull it off the hair strand, put it on a white paper towel and take a look.

Is it that teardrop shape like I talked before? And does it have a tail on it? Now, as far as pulling these lice eggs off with your finger and then just taking a look at them like this, I'm just recommending that so you can know whether or not you have lice or dandruff.

But if you've discovered, yes, we have lice eggs, you have lice. Then again, I just recommend going to my website,


That is all seven differences, but I know I've given you a ton of information, so I'm going to do a quick review.

Number one, when in doubt, try to pull it out. Remember, lice eggs are actually glued on to the hair strand. They stick on the hair. You'd have to manually pull them all the way down. Whereas dandruff is not dandruff, you can usually flick away and things like that unless you're unless you have a specific kind of dandruff, which is called DEC plugs. Remember that kind of dandruff you can kind of move it up and down the hair strand.

Number two, remember lice sayings are on the side of the hair strand, and I want you to think of them kind of like a leaf,  as opposed to dandruff, you can think of more like snow that just kind of lays on top. And if they have, if you have that kind of dandruff that's called the DEC plug like I talked about, that is going to kind of be wrapped around the hair strand. But it's not on the side like leaf. It's just wrapped all the way around.

Number three, the shape of lice eggs. Remember, lice eggs are always teardrop-shaped as opposed to dandruff. It can be all sorts of irregular shapes. It can be circular, but lice eggs are always teardrop-shaped.

Number four, lice eggs are usually golden or brown. They can even look black as opposed to dandruff is white. Latex can look white in the hair like if you have dark hair, but you will still find some of those darker lice eggs close to the scalp, which is where they were originally laid. So if you're finding those darker, darker things in your hair, then that's more likely lice eggs.

Number five, lice eggs are all the same size. So same size then think lice eggs, and lots of different sizes think dandruff.

Number six, lice eggs love hot spots. Remember that's the location that you're going to find them, so you're most likely to find lice eggs at the nape of the neck behind the ears.

And number seven, remember lice eggs have a little tail on them, and that's the lice glue. And the way to see that is if you were to actually pull that lice egg all the way off of the hair strand, put it on a white paper towel, and examine it.

And if you do have lice and you'd like some help, then head over to There are loads of free resources there, including a free house cleaning checklist specific to head lice.

So that's it for today. Be sure to like and subscribe below and if you have a comment. Feel free to leave a comment. And if you want to learn more about how to do a professional lice treatment at home, you can also find that on I'll see you there.

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