How to Remove a Tick From Hair

Mother and daughter at home
Use a comb to check your hair for ticks after a hike in the woods. (Image: Alexander Shalamov/iStock/Getty Images)

Most ticks are harmless, but some ticks carry serious diseases, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Using insect repellent and wearing a hat can help reduce your risk of tick bites, but if you spend time in the woods or fields, checking for ticks afterward is essential. Your hair makes a great hiding place for ticks, but you can use a fine-tooth comb to spot any insects hiding in your hair. If you find one, remove it quickly and completely.

Step 1

Part the hair so you can clearly see the entire tick. Use a pin or clip to hold the hair back if you need to.

Step 2

Use the fine-tipped tweezers to grab the tick by its head.

Step 3

Lift the tick straight up with the tweezers, using a firm, steady movement. Do not twist or turn the tweezers or rock them back and forth.

Step 4

Put the tick into a plastic bag or plastic container that you can seal tight. Save the tick so that you can show it to your doctor if you show any symptoms associated with tick-borne illness.

Step 5

Wash your hands thoroughly. Wash your hair with shampoo and water.

Step 6

Apply a little alcohol to the spot where the tick was attached to your head.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine-tip tweezers

  • Container or plastic bag that seals tightly

Tip

Do not use a hot match or petroleum jelly to remove ticks. This common folk remedy is not as effective as using tweezers to lift the tick from your hair.

Warning

Call a doctor if you notice any redness or swelling in the area where the tick was attached, if a rash develops near the bite or on another part of your body after removing the tick or if you experience symptoms such as headache, fatigue, joint soreness or neck and back stiffness. You should also call a doctor if you are unable to completely remove the tick or if you suspect the tick may have been attached to your head for more than 24 hours.

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