Head lice can cause most parents to lose their minds.
The stress associated with having infestations of these small insects is tremendous. Besides the stigma attached to such a dreaded problem, the real struggle remains how to rid these nasty bugs without burning down the house.
Typically discovered in their children's hair, parents usually run to the nearest drugstore and buy any product that promises to kill the lice. Unfortunately, many don't work well.
Who can you call if you need some extra help getting rid of the creatures?
The “Lice Busters,” aka Summer Steel and Ashli Scott at Liceology. The duo operate a company whose motto “completely removing annoying little bugs and their eggs from hair” precisely explains their work.
“People believe lice are easily detectable and can be washed out and gotten rid of with a good head scrubbing and some clean sheets,” Steel said. “Sadly, this could not be further from the truth.”
Before Liceology, Steel and Scott were good friends who parented a combined total of six children. Their first exposure to lice was when the children of one of the pair contracted them.
Lice lay small white or brownish eggs called nits that stick to hair shafts about an inch or so from the scalp. “A nit or egg is very tiny, also slightly smaller than a pin head and are oval in shape,” Scott said.
Hair that contains a lot of oil or harsh sticky styling products tend to make a difficult homestead. Clean hair, in contrast, is optimal. Lice thrive on the ability to grab onto individual hair strands, move quickly and deposit eggs that won't slide off. They use heat from the scalp to incubate. Although they can't fly or hop, lice spread through close personal contact such as sleeping in the same bed or hugging. Outbreaks often involve schoolchildren in class together. Lice also spread when people with an infestation share clothes, hats or hairbrushes.
Most commonly, the bugs are found at the nape of the neck and hairline behind the ears.
“The truth is this — everyone is susceptible to lice,” Scott said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates between 6 million to 12 million infestations occur annually among children. Experts agree that while head lice are an annoyance, they don't pose a health hazard.
“Head lice are not a sign of poor hygiene and persons from all socio-economic means can get it,” said Dr. Don Wilber, a Midwest City pediatrician. “It's not a big deal.”
To the Liceology ladies, the elimination of lice is an easy fix. They are the first such Oklahoma City business to provide advanced care in their kid-friendly salon.
“We were able to design and build a successful company, offering a unique service that had never before been provided in Oklahoma,” Steel said.
The business carries a line of safe and effective, pesticide-free products and combs that are effective at lice removal. Cost is $60 for an in-home kit. Besides selling directly to customers, they provide appointments for personal assistance. A one-time-only treatment includes application of lice killing shampoo and comb out and the client is given a special take-home lice comb.
Service takes between 45 to 90 minutes and is $95 per hour for a technician. Additionally, the company provides free head checks to help identify family members who also may have lice.
Another bonus is the pair happily answers any lice-related emails and phone calls for free. Visit their website at www.liceology.com for more information.
“We are there to listen and give accurate, helpful advice,” Scott said.