Kids head off to camp filled with excitement, ready to make friends and enjoy new experiences. But one thing you hope they don’t pick up while they’re away is lice. Just the word itself is enough to fill anyone with scalp-tingling anxiety.
The insidious pests seem to cause panic in even the calmest individuals, explains Linda Strand R.N., who spent years as a sleep away camp nurse, where she learned how to successfully manage and treat head lice.
Knowing the stress the condition induces, Strand founded Short Hill’s Lice Be Gone, specializing in non-toxic, chemical-free head lice removal services. Just how does the nurse rid your locks of bugs and eggs without harsh treatments? She and her staff of trained technicians perform wet screenings and comb-throughs until they are 100 percent certain every louse and nit has been removed from the hair and scalp.
“I always say lice brings out the crazy in people,” Strand says. “They come here very anxious and we try to reassure them and make them comfortable.”
Over the course of the next weeks, Strand says she and her team of expert “nitpickers” will comb through the heads of more than one hundred children who are headed to summer camp.
Having a pre-camp screening is a great way to remove a child’s fear and anxiety as he or she waits in line for the inevitable on-campsite lice check.
“They get so nervous and worked up and for the ones who do have lice, they have the added fear that no one will want to befriend them,” she says. “All that can be avoided with a pre-camp screening.”
Recognizing that people want peace of mind and to be rid of the parasites as soon as possible, Strand offers flexible same-day appointments, available seven days a week. Flat-rates are as follows:
- $30 short hair
- $50 shoulder-length hair
Complete Comb-Through & Removal
- $150 short hair
- $225 medium-length hair
- $250 shoulder-length or longer
There are no additional fees for evening or weekend appointments.
“I’ve been here some nights until 1 a.m. People appreciate that we don’t charge by the hour. They’re not watching the clock. As part of our quality control we make sure we have two cleans checks before anyone leaves. If the second person finds something, we start again and then call over a third checker to see if they can find anything. ”
After two clean checks, clients receive a wash, conditioning, and a blow-dry before receiving a dry check. To pass the time while waiting for that final inspection, the center offers WiFi, flat screen cable TVs, snacks and coffee, providing a soothing environment.
Strand, who hopes to open a second location in Bergen County when she finds the right space, says she chose to start her business almost seven years ago at 553 Millburn Avenue because it’s centrally located and easy to reach thanks to the area’s nearby highways.
One Morris County mom who was referred to Lice Be Gone says the business proved to be a sanity-saver for her and her daughter.
“I was in a panic,” the mom recalls. “They were able to accomodate us the day I called. The women were very calm and good at explaining the process to me and to my daughter. They explained how they rid the hair of lice, how to rid your home of lice, and were upfront about the cost of the treatment.
“The process was very calm, clean, and professional. The best part was that my 8-year old-daughter felt very comfortable with the women. She was able to talk and laugh with them as they washed and combed her hair for the better part of two hours. I have and will continue to recommended Lice Be Gone to those in need. I feel that they provide a truly valuable service.”
Strand says while she shows parents exactly what to look for during a wet check, if one person in the home has lice, she advises having other members stop in for a screening.
“We’re not pushy about it but we do recommend it. If it were easy to remove on your own, we wouldn’t be in business. You don’t have to be a genius to do this job, but you do have know what you’re doing. It’s a skill set,” she notes.
Lice Be Gone’s post-camp screenings are also popular, says the nurse who has hundreds of appointments booked for late August. Adding peace of mind, the service is 100 percent guaranteed.
“There’s something about it that brings out the hysteria in people,” says Strand. “It’s contagious yet there’s no rhyme or reason to who gets it. We’ve even seen the bugs in wigs and toupees.”