Updated on June 13, 2019
You bring your daughter into a salon for a haircut. You are on a tight schedule. You run in, give some brief instructions about cutting the hair and trimming the bangs, and wait while the hair cutter works her magic. Simple. What could go wrong?
Most parents don’t take time to check and be sure that the combs and brushes that the stylist uses have been cleaned properly. I know that I don’t. I know that my friend Amie didn’t and her daughter ended up with head lice.
Amie brought her daughter into a salon and a week later she found a louse in the hair, as well as some nits. Her daughter had not been around anyone who could have directly transferred lice to her because she had been on a canoe trip with her family for two weeks.
The truth is that many hair stylists use the same combs, brushes, scissors, curling irons, clips, etc. on sequential clients. They don’t even wipe them off. While lice are generally transported from one head directly onto another head, they can move into an object and then to a head. Lice do not live off the head for very long...up to to 24 hours. But if the styling tools are used on one person after another, and a louse ends up on one, there is plenty of opportunity to transmit that louse to someone else.
I actually treated a woman and her son awhile back who both had a lot of lice. The woman had called me because she had recently discovered lice on her son. I went there and realized that he had to have had that case for several months. There were thousands of lice and eggs. The mom, unbeknownst to her, also had a very advanced case which had been brewing for months. Here’s the thing: she was a hair stylist! Not only did it take her months to see the lice on her son, but she had been working on hundreds of people’s hair, using the combs in her shop, etc. I can not even imagine how many cases she had transmitted.
The bottom line is that you can not trust a salon to be proactive or a stylist to be knowledgeable about the do’s and don’t’s of head lice. You need to be PROACTIVE when you go a salon. Ask the stylist if the tools were washed, look at what is being used; if there is louse there, you will likely see it. Make sure that the stylist cleans the comb carefully by scrubbing in between the teeth of the comb and wiping it off. Following up with this before every haircut takes a moment, but may save you a lot of aggravation, effort, and money.
If you do find lice in your family, don’t fret. LiceDoctors will help you. With a single phone call to us, LiceDoctors will dispatch a lice expert directly to your home. Call day or night, any day of the week and weekends at 800-224-2537 for professional assistance today.