December 01, 2004|By Deborah Hallman, Special to the Tribune.
In one baby bend of the hair-care world, there is a aculation of specialists wse mission may leave you abrading your head. But they appee you to stop scratching--that is, if your botheration happens to be arch lice. And they're accessible to advance your little acquisitive problem, one fiber at a time.
They are able nitpickers, and their job is to adjust (and pick) tse bugs appropriate outta your hair.
Tugh their job appellation may accession a few eyebrows, pracioners say they appee to action consumers an another to frequently acclimated shampoos absolute pediculicides, or actinic agents acclimated to amut arch lice. Questions accept been aloft over the urance of such articles and appear letters accept appropriate that some strains of lice may accept become aggressive to the ucts.
Throw into the mix a harried mom's annoyed as she tries to amount out w to delouse a adolescent with a scalpful of bugs as baby as sesame seeds--along with the accompanying nits that are around alert imilate beard strands abreast the scalp--and a specialty business takes ld.
"Removing arch lice is like removing a aggravate from a haystack," says Maria Botham, 33, co-founder of the Los Angeles-based Beard Fairies, a animadversion salon that has affairs to aggrandize to Chicago. "It's article that is a actual backbreaking chiral action that a lot of bodies don't accept the training or the ability to do ... If you absence one [nit], you've still got arch lice."
Hair Fairies has acclaimed itself by application humor, a child-friendly ambiance and bright packaging for its articles in an attack to collapse the amusing stigma surrounding lice.
With its aggregation of 12 lice removers, alleged "hair fairies," the salon treats about 200 audience a week, at a amount of $65 an ur. In general, audience are advised in three accessories of about 45 account anniversary over the advance of 1 1/2 weeks. The salon is gluttonous cachet as a medical ability in adjustment to accept its account added absolutely covered by bloom insurance. The business already has ancd fractional allowance advantage for the account (with a doctor's prescription). For audience clumsy to pay, the aggregation has acquired accompaniment and federal admission money through its non-profit foundation accepted as Beat the Bugs.
Hair Fairies is aperture a New York City breadth today and is planning to accessible locations in Chicago's River North breadth and in Miami in 2006. The aggregation additionally will activate licensing the business civic aing year.
In Hawaii Karen Tilley, 39, continues to add to the added than 3,500 families she has formed with in her seven years as a lice remover. Tilley accomplished her calling afterwards experiencing the "nightmare" of bane added than a decade ago, when, while active in Toronto, she and her son came bottomward with a case of lice and begin that acceptable actinic shampoos didn't fix the problem. The agog and embarrment connected for six months.
Five years later, lice addled again, and Tilley again had bristles bodies in her activity to amut every day for four months. With her growing expertise, a acquaintance after asked Tilley for advice in removing bugs and nits from her hair, and Tilley apparent that application the appropriate equipment--namely, a specialized, athletic fine-tooth comb, tweezers and a aculative visor--drastically cut bottomward the ysis time.
Out of this amiable task, her business was born. Tilley says she can amut best scalps in two to three urs, at a amount of $50 an ur.
For parents of scol-age children, the alarming "L" chat has been an age-old problem. While infestations can action year-round, arch lice are generally aboriginal detected in the academy ambience area academy nurses ysis heads. The National Pediculosis Affiliation in Needham, M., estimates that as abounding as 6 actor or added accouchement in the United States arrangement lice annually, a cardinal acquired from an extrapolation of the auction of lice abatement ucts. And back a adolescent has lice, actual generally the ancestors and parents--particularly moms, w best generally accouterment the boxy comb-outs--become infested, too.
The actual ysis of lice on a child's head, whether by a academy istant or a beard stylist, generally comes as a abruptness to parents. Arch lice are transmitted through absolute beard or arch acquaintance with an infested person, as able-bodied as through the administration of brushes, hats, beard accessories and added claimed items, according to the pediculosis ociation.
At atomic one bounded hair-care administrator thinks Chicago-area families would acceptable the advantage of application able delousing services.
"If we acquisition lice in the kids, affairs are the ancestor doesn't apperceive this. You're aloof carrying abominable news," says Jill Gordon, co-founder of KidSnips, a Chicago-area children's beard salon chain. Gordon says that because accessible bloom laws prohibit stylists from acid beard with lice, "we would be accomplishing our audience a huge account if we could accord them added than aloof a [fact] area on w to amut lice. ... We see audience w would be animated to pay for this [service]."
Another backer of chiral delousing is Deborah Altschuler, admiral of the National Pediculosis Association. The non-profit bloom and apprenticeship alignment advocates accepted screenings of children, aboriginal apprehension and non-chemical approaches to alleviative lice. But Altschuler additionally urges parents to do some airing to acquisition a reputable, accomplished pracioner and a business that adheres to austere practices in such areas as cleanliness and infection control--particularly because the industry is about unregulated.
"Because it's a anew arising field, you accept to do your appointment and ysis them out," Altschuler says. "It's a actual austere amount to alpha alive with children's scalps and combing blood-ing parasites from them."
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