This post originally ran in 2010. The venue was revisited and the prices were updated in 2013.
Visiting a lice removal salon and telling my readers about it? Why it was my pleasure! Not.
When my son's best friend at school was “diagnosed” with lice, an itchy feeling on my head told me we were next. And when I say “we”, I don't mean my kids – I mean my kids AND me.
My independent research and attempt to treat us left me feeling uncertain about how successfully I had eradicated the little buggers, so I sought professional help. My friend encouraged me to get the peace of mind that comes from knowing a professional nit picker had, um, picked my nits. So we went.
Located in Montclair, Nit Pixies looks like an average hair salon, but they do not cut hair at all. Bright lights hang down from the ceiling over each barber shop chair, allowing the staff optimal visibility into their client's scalps, which is the focus point of this hair un-styling session.
For $75, they will check your head to determine if you've got lice – either live bugs or eggs – and remove them via a thorough comb through with a metal-toothed comb known as the TERMINATOR. After the comb through, an extra $25 buys you treatment with a non-toxic solution applied to the head, which is then wrapped with plastic for twenty minutes or so. Then, your hair is rinsed, and you are free to go, or to purchase a number of lice-preventing products to add to your total, which is what I did.
$250 later, my 6-year old and I had both been treated, and I felt psychologically better, although not “cured”. I knew that the life cycle of lice means that I needed to continue combing through my kids and my own hair each day for a week or so. My obssessive laundering of pillowcases could not yet let up. The key value, however, was the education I received from the lovely ladies who took care of us at Nit Pixies. Now I knew how to comb properly, had the right tools, and knew what I was looking for. That, I felt, was worth the money.
Sure enough the next day, I found a nit on each of us. I don't blame the Nit Pixies folks; it's just the nature of the beast, so parents need to know that going in.
The website promises a sanctuary-like room for parents to sit in to relax from lice-induced stress. I didn't quite get that feeling. There is a set of industrial washer and dryer on the premises for those who want to launder large items such as bedding. I told my son it might be “fun” because I anticipated a kid-centric space that would keep him distracted from the mild irritation of the metal comb, but it was simply a DVD player and a shelf of videos from which he was able to choose. That experience I can replicate at home.
In the future — and I assume there will be more opportunities to exercise my new extermination know-how — I won't need to go to Nit Pixes, but for a rookie mom, I think it is a good move.