GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - There are lots of things on the list for that first day of school from notebooks and pencils, to a trip to the salon. Although you probably hope Mike Brehmn's salon doesn't make the list. "We're trying to break down those barriers of lice being a bad thing or something that you did wrong."
Brehm's is the owner of Rapunzel's Lice Boutique in Plainfield Township, the salon offers treatment for lice in a more dignified way, "You can tell your children hey, we're going to go to Rapunzel's and they're gonna help you out with the treatment of your hair."
The most current Center for Disease Control (CDC) statistics show six to 12 million school children contract lice every year. "Lice actually like a clean environment which a lot of people don't associate with lice," says Brehm.
The process of ridding the hair of lice at Rapunzel's takes about two and a half hours, "We have a three-step process, the first is with our louse buster machine which is the only FDA approved device for the treatment of head lice." Brehm's says the louse buster machine uses heat to loosen lice and nits. Then an organic enzyme is sprayed on the hair to loosen any remaining nits. After that your child sits for 20 minutes while the enzyme works on removing the lice. Then it's time for the comb out to remove the lice and nits and finally oil is placed on the hair along with a plastic shower cap killing any remaining lice.
The process has been about 99% effective Brehm's says in the over 100 children they've treated. The Grand Rapids location of Rapunzel's has only been open since May; however, locations on the east side of the state have been delousing for four years and have treated nearly 5,000 heads with the same success rate.
By comparison over the counter lice remedies that use pesticides are only about 68% effective. Researchers have found lice built up an immunity to the chemical used in these treatments over the past 40 years, so it could take several tries for an at home remedy.