Jennifer Eisenberg and Kathleen McGrath take the fear and discomfort out of Lice Removal in their chic salon setting.
Lice– That four-letter word will make most people cringe and automatically start itching their heads. And, just the mere mention of those creepy crawlers will freak out and embarrass most parents because the common misconception is that scalp scavengers thrive in the locks of dirty children. (False, hair can be clean or dirty).
Not too long ago, Southwest Florida residents Jennifer Eisenberg and Kathleen McGrath were right there with most> cringing, scratching and freaking out. But in September, the two women got nit picky about picking nits, and became the head lice whisperers at Lice Wizards, Collier and Lee counties’ first professional lice removal business.
HATCHING LICE WIZARDS
When McGrath’s 2-year-old daughter was diagnosed with head lice, the removal process was grueling –for both mother and daughter, says McGrath who has more than 20 years of health care experience as dental hygienist.
McGrath complained to friend and fellow New York native, Eisenberg, who sympathized, reminiscing about her own lice removal process as a child.
“My mother threatened to cut off all my hair when I complained she was hurting me,” Eisenberg laughs.
Eisenberg, who is in the sales and marketing field, says she remembered hearing about a lice removal business in New York, but when the two lokked for a local place they found none.
Why not start a lice removal service here in SWFL, they said.
But when they pitched the idea to the Small Business Development Center for advice on starting a business plan, they aid they felt like there were treated like they actually had lice and were being sent home.
“The one guy sat there with us for a while, and he’s like, ‘I’m going to be honest with you, I think that you guys should go home and do a bunch of research, because I don’t think you should do this,”‘ Eisenberg says.
So they did. What they found was a large number of people posting online that they were looking for help with lice removal, and decided it would be a good idea.
The lice removal business in New York was certified by the Shepherd Institute -founded by Kate Shepher, who is recognized as one of the top head lice experts in the world -so Eisenberg and McGrath decided to attend the institute. The women became certified in the Shephard Method of lice and nit removal, as well as products that assist for safe, effective lice removal.
They started their company, called Lice Wizards, and began making house calls. In September, as their business began bustling with infested heads, the women decided to open a salon, which is the only certified lice removal business in Lee and Collier counties. “Our long-term goals [are] to open up a few of these salons in Lee and Collier counties as well as be able to reach the families in Immokalee,” says McGrath, adding that they still go to preschools, day cares and schools in the area -many of which deny any lice issues, according to the Lice Wizards.
In another attempt to help others, Eisenberg says they record the school of every child that comes in the Lice Wizards for treatment. For each school on record, a percentage of the treatment goes into savings account for that school. “So, if a child comes from that school as they can’t afford it, that money is used for that treatment,” Eisenberg says.
Eisenberg and McGrath stress the importance of having a professional help you with treating lice and communicating with those around you that your child has been treated for lice. This can avoid further spreading of the chlid obtaining lice for a second time. “Have no fear”, Eisengerg says, “the Lice Wizards are here.”
HEAD LICE FACTS
- Lice can live in clean or dirty hair
- Only 50% of people itch from lice, as it’s an allergic reaction to their saliva.
- Lice cannot jump or fly, they require head-to-head contact, or shared brushes, etc. to spread.
- Lice can only live 24 hours off the human head.
- Each female louse lays 8-10 nits (eggs) a day.
- Most over-the-counter treatments contain toxic pesticides.