Nit Pickin' in Lincoln Park
By Margaret Lyons in Miscellaneous on Jan 3, 2008 6:36PM
A few weeks ago we noticed a press release announcing the arrival of "Hair Fairies – The Head Lice Helpers," a national delousing agency, to Lincoln Park. Our natural first reaction to this sort of news was, of course, horror at the thought that Chicago might be in the midst of a head lice epidemic (not true), which then gave way to curiosity.
So who are these people, and what sort of racket is this anyway? Well, for starters, they're not just selling toxic shampoo or tweezers (although they do offer all the necessary accouterments, and they're non-toxic); instead, the service offered is for you to actually visit them at their state-of-the-art salon where a person – or "Hair Fairy," if you prefer – picks the nits and lice from your head for you.
Now, Trib reporter Kristen Kridel is on the case, leaving no stone unturned as she checks in on the business, consulting with a Harvard entomologist, a pediatrician from Vermont, and several industry experts along the way. Replete with a video of the place and a spiffy graphic, plenty of resources were pumped into the story, but the only thing that we can really take from this is what we had assumed from the beginning: that this is a service for fancy folks who pay $95 per hour to avoid picking the lice out of their kids' hair themselves. (Can you blame them?)
We've got to hand it to Hair Fairies for their marketing though, especially the image that portrays a lice infestation as little worse than tickle-inducing pixie dust. They even go as far as to offer the comforting fact that "having head lice is not associated with a lack of cleanliness. In fact, just the opposite is true, as head lice prefer clean hair." So, uh…stop washing that hair, kids. -- Mark Boyer