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A little girl with lice in her hair being treated at No More Lice, Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: At a time when everyone is combating the coronavirus, an unlikely service in the UAE has become the talk of the town for helping residents fight lice.

Yes, you read that right.

“Lice is not nice,” said Paola Furdo, the Italian founder of No More Lice, who claims the salon is a regional first as it focuses exclusively on lice-busting.

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And if you think no one has head lice these days, you are highly mistaken.

“Despite the current pandemic, we treated 120 children in our Dubai salon alone last month,” said Furdo who also operates a branch in Abu Dhabi.

“Before COVID-19 struck, we would treat more than double that number monthly,” she added.

Furdo said contrary to popular belief that lice infestations are rare in modern times, it’s very easy to get head lice, which are tiny, parasitic insects that feed on human blood.

“The lice don’t jump or fly. But spread through contact, whether it is a school desk, or a taxi, plane or cinema seat. Lice can spread through shared belongings too. It’s not just children who are prone to getting lice, but also adults,” she noted.

Furdo said the idea of starting a salon dedicated to the removal of lice came to her when one her two children became a victim of lice. “I realised at the time that most shampoos don’t quite remove the nits or the eggs of the lice, so the menace needed a deeper solution.”

The answer, she said, lay in the use of specialised lice removal machines which essentially work like a mechanical comb, pulling out the lice and nits through a suction system.

“We also use preventive products which are natural, organic and chemical-free,” she added.

The process involves three stages: inspection, suction and combing and the service can be availed either at the salon or at the comfort of one’s own home.

Furdo said one session is usually enough to clear the lice in someone’s hair, unless the infestation is very heavy. Rates start from Dh395 per session. A free follow-up is done after seven days.

How lice can cause harm

Usually found on the scalp, head lice suck on the person’s blood, and can cause constant scratching and itchiness. The scratching can lead to small bumps that can get infected with bacteria at times. Lice eggs, also called nits, can be difficult to brush out and require special treatment to be removed.

Furdo said besides these issues, children with lice are often bullied by friends and schoolmates.

“They face social stigma and the threat of isolation. But thankfully, the problem can be addressed once and for all.”