By Carrie Taaca, Founder of Jacksonville Women’s Small Biz
As one might guess, as administrator of the Jacksonville Women’s Small Biz, I have learned about a lot of unique businesses here in North Florida. But I have to say that I was a little surprised when a new vendor form came through from a business called Heads Up of North Florida and it was a salon for treating lice. LICE! I hadn’t thought about lice for over thirty years… not since the days of head checks in elementary school. And it never even occurred to me that there would be such a thing as an actual place you could go to get treated for head lice instead of having to deal with it on your own at home. So I was a bit intrigued, but still just proceeded as usual to add it to my vendor list and introduce the business on my Facebook page, etc. …Little did I know that I was soon to become acquainted with Head’s Up’s services. (Yikes!)
So, yes, I was outside in the bright sunlight, combing my three year old daughter’s hair recently, and I spotted some tiny white things attached to her pretty brown hair in the back, around her neckline. They weren’t flakes that I could just brush off; they were stuck. Had I not just recently been thinking again about lice after learning about Head’s Up, I probably wouldn’t have recognized them. But I knew right away what I was seeing. And I thought, “Well, that’s a strange coincidence!” Yep, my daughter had lice…..or at least she the lice eggs (nits) that would soon turn into lice.
Like many moms, I tried the drugstore remedies first. I figured I could take care of it on my own. I did, to some extent, but it’s actually very hard to get every last egg out unless you’re experienced with this. (And I am not!) Plus, I think kids will sit still and behave better for a stranger than their own parent in cases like this. So, after wasting money trying a couple different things on my own, I went ahead and called Shelly, owner at Head’s Up. In hindsight, I wish I had just done that in the first place. Head’s Up is located at 3716 Crown Point Rd, Suite 7, right behind The Loop at the corner of San Jose Blvd and Crown Point Rd in the Mandarin area.
She got us in immediately and did headchecks on our whole family (thankfully my husband and I were in the clear!) and then treated our daughter. It was quick, easy, painless and thorough. She got everything out on the first try and I never saw any sign of them in her hair again. We went back a couple days ago for a follow-up check, just to be sure, and they are still gone. Easy peezy!
I got a little bit of lice education through this experience: First of all, kids ages 3-11 are the most susceptible to head lice because kids that age do not have good personal boundaries yet. While interacting and at play, their heads often come in contact with one another, which is how lice spread. Lice don’t fly and they don’t jump; they can only crawl. So strands of hair have to actually touch each other for lice to spread from one person to another. You cannot get lice from someone just be being in the same room with them. Shelly, for instance, who is around lice all the time in her job, has not gotten lice from one of her clients.
Another thing I learned is that lice lay their eggs on the hair shaft about an 1/8 of an inch from the scalp. They need to be close to the heat of the scalp to survive. So if you’re doing a headcheck, that’s the area where you’re looking, not way down at the bottom of long hair. Additionally, they tend to lay their eggs behind the ears and in the area above the back of the neck. Lice also cannot survive for long off the head and they start to die within 3 hours off the head. So, while it’s a good idea to wash bedding, etc. when there’s a lice outbreak in your home, the biggest thing is to get the heads of everyone who lives in the home checked and treated ASAP. Take care of that first and foremost. Anything that might have been left on your pillow, etc, will most certainly be dead within 24-48 hours. And lice are 98% passed from head to head contact; only 2% are passed from the environment through hairbrushes, pillows, hats, etc.
Heads Up also sells some preventative products. If you have a child in school or daycare, it’s not a bad idea to get their repellent spray, shampoo and/or conditioner. That way, if there is an outbreak at your child’s school, your child….and your whole family….can avoid it.
But if you do find yourself in the situation that I was just in, remember Heads Up Lice Removal of North Florida. LIKE them on FACEBOOK and bookmark their website for future reference. You never know when you might need it!