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Lice Removal Now A Booming Business

By Joyce Vega - 17 Oct '16 18:49PM
  • Common Head Lice
  • (Photo : Sean Gallup / Staff) There’s a money-making industry that few people think of when it comes to sheer profitability and demand: Lice Removal.

There’s a money-making industry that few people think of when it comes to sheer profitability and demand: Lice Removal. Aside from the difficulty in removing these parasites, there has often been a stigma attached to children who have them, and to their parents. They have been labelled and considered dirty, which has often led parents in the past to secretly acquire dodgy medicinals to treat the ailment.

New York families now can outsource their afflicted loved ones to “lice ladies” who manage the process of lice removal, sometimes paying as much as $250 per child in order to do so. Places such “Licenders,” a homely salon with state-of-the-art equipment, are increasing notoriety as demand increases. These businesses often make house calls or work from converted homespaces, favouring discretion for their customers.

According to facts stated by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lice often stay in the heads of children as they tend to get out more and dirty when playing. The parasites then drain blood from the child, eventually laying their eggs at the root of the hair. Lice are notoriously difficult to remove since if even one egg is left, they come back. Moreover, so-called “super lice” which are resistant to common pesticides used to kill them are becoming more numerous.

Ivy, a New York City mother who wished to remain anonymous told reporters that she preferred that professionals did the process, rather than taking chances with an untested shampoo.

With over 12 million lice infections in America every year, business has never been sweeter for lice removal entrepreneurs with an estimated worth of more than $4 billion per year. This is predicted to rise with the coming years.

Some such as Maria Botham, Hair Fairies founder with an annual sales of about $3.75 million, petitioned for insurance plans for her services, envisioning that demand will only grow with the coming years.

Services such as Hair Fairies, Licenders, and Fairy Tales Hair Care (based in New Jersey) often appeal to parents wary of more chemical pesticides. Their treatments often include ingredients such as marshmallow root, sounding like something one would use for tea. Indeed, Fairy Tales’ rosemary hairspray lice repellent sold out in Tribeca last month when students in a nearby school were infected with head lice.

With sales of almost $2 million per year, Licenders has been looking to expand its locations, reports NY Post. Possible places include Brooklyn, New Jersey, and Boerum Hill and Park Slope. Hair Fairies plans on opening new salons in Hoboken, NJ, Scarsdale, NY, and the Upper West Side. Five more are planned for next year. Opening its 3rd Long Island salon was Fairy Lice Mothers.

Meanwhile, Emma Richman launched one of the latest lice removal service, “Lice Erasers,” in Long Island City following the success of legendary Brooklyn Orthodox Jew lice elimination professionals. She delouses long hair at $225, and is currently developing a holistic lice-elimination treatment line. Lice removal services are definitely booming, and has the potential to grow in the coming years.

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