Dubliner Michelle Hennessy has launched the Hairforce lice treatment to tackle a problem which affects 50% of all 4-11 year olds and results in thousands of lost days in school and, more worryingly, ongoing health problems for young victims.
Hairforce Ireland uses a device invented in the United States by Professor Dale Clayton, Department of Biology at the University of Utah. Resembling a hairdrier, the Hairforce is applied to hair, drying out lice which allows them to be hoovered up from the scalp. Lice eggs are also removed in the same process.
Michelle Hennessy said: “As a mother I know only too well the scourge of nits in children’s hair. Most conventional treatments, involving chemicals and other substances, simply do not work. The Hairforce is different, efficient and very effective and provides a long term solution.”
The original device has been in use for over a decade in the United States and for several years in Britain. The “Louse Buster” was approved for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2009. Its effectiveness has been the subject of various academic papers and its inventor, Prof Clayton, has received several awards and citations.
Ms Hennessy said: “We don’t have statistics in Ireland for days lost at school because of lice. However, pupils in the US are estimated to miss up to 24 million days at school because of nits. More worryingly, lice infestation has a serious impact on self-esteem and your child’s wellbeing.”
“Health effects can be low level flu like symptoms; a runny nose; irritability; poor sleep; poor concentration. This could mean they don’t do as well as they should at school. On top of the physical effects are the emotional ones – where your child may be excluded from playing with others; from social events with their peers and even from friendships – and you may not even realise that these are affecting your child. This can mean that children withdraw to protect themselves and to hide the fact that they have lice,” Ms Hennessy said.
“Over 50% of all 4-11 year olds now get head lice and not only is the number rising for this group but the over 11s and under 4s are joining them in significant numbers too,” she added.
The treatment involves:
- Removing lice with the specialist lice hoover
- Dehydrating the eggs through heat application
- Combing out the eggs
- No chemicals are used in the process
The process involves two treatment seven days apart. It is carried out by trained personnel and is 100% guaranteed. It has already featured on Channel 4’s “Embarrassing Bodies” programme.