Professional head lice removal services are a growing industry mainly because head lice are showing increasing resistance to traditional OTC head lice treatments.

In some areas resistant head lice are common and parents may have to treat their children for head numerous times before the lice are gone. Their children may also get lice again and again from their school- or sports mates.

A head lice removal service can be handy when parents don’t have time to sit for several hours combing out lice.

Types of Head Lice Removal Services

Head lice removal services are often found in higher socio-economic neighborhoods and can be divided into two types:

  • Head lice removal salons – these businesses operate like hair salons, with the difference that they don’t cut hair, but specialize exclusively in removing lice and nits.
  • Head lice removal home services – these businesses are less common and they do home visits to help people get rid of head lice in the comfort of their own homes. Sometimes a head lice removal salon will also do home visits.

Who Uses Head Lice Removal Services?

For certain people it has more advantages to consider using a professional head lice removal service. Consider using a professional service if you:

  • Have tried different OTC products several times without success.
  • Are allergic to any of the ingredients in OTC head lice products. Most salons use treatments free of chemicals and pesticides.
  • Feel overwhelmed with the idea of treating the head lice infestation by yourself.
  • Are pregnant, breastfeeding or if you have asthma or other diseases. People with asthma or other diseases often show a reaction to the ingredients in OTC head lice shampoos and lotions.

What Can a Head Lice Removal Service Do?

The specific treatment regime differs from lice removal service to lice removal service but generally a head lice removal salon will include one or more of the following procedures:

  • Treatment with a specific head lice product. This differs from salon to salon and the exact ingredients are kept secret to keep a competitive edge.
  • Specialized combing sessions by trained nit pickers.
  • A treatment with a device called the LouseBusterTM. This device makes use of hot air to kill lice and nits. There is a small risk of burning the scalp and the device must be used by a trained operator. It is suitable for use from four years of age.
  • A rinse with a special herbal shampoo that inhibits the hatching of lice eggs.

Not all salons offer all of the above services and at most salons the procedures are tailor made for the customer based on the following factors: length of hair, age of the customer, level of infestation and persistence of the lice. Some services guarantee to get rid of the lice in only one visit, while others require a follow-up visit within seven to ten days.

Apart from these services, some head lice removal services also sell anti-lice hair- and laundry products.

What Are The Disadvantages of Head Lice Removal Services?

The main disadvantage of making use of professional head lice removal services is the cost. One family reported on spending up to $500 at a head lice removal salon to get rid of a head lice infestation.

However, it is also true that families who are getting rid of lice at home regularly spend more than $500 on lice products, without really managing to eliminate lice.

Since head lice removal services are a new industry, they are not regulated by a governing body like hairstylists and cosmetologists are. Therefore, there is a risk that some salons may use unapproved products or methods.

It is often best to ask the school nurse or medical practitioner in your area to recommend a head lice removal service instead of visiting one without references.

What Are The Costs of Head Lice Removal Services?

The cost structure of head lice removal salons differ widely. A common price for salons to ask is $45 per half hour or $90 per hour.

The amount of visits, length of hair, and length of time per visit and severity of the infestation will determine the total amount necessary to get rid of head lice. Health insurance may cover a part of the treatment costs.

A good head lice removal service will help parents get rid of head lice efficiently. Making use of such a service can lessen the anxiety and shame associated with head lice infestation.