Help for creepy crawlies

The dreaded call came just minutes after I’d arrived at work. Lice had been rampant in the third-grade classroom and my two daughters had been swept up in the latest icky bug raid by the school nurse. With no choice but to return home, the kids and I spent the day washing hair, picking out nits and trying to free ourselves of these nasty little homewreckers.

Now there’s an easier way. A salon just for treating head lice opened Dec. 3 in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Hair Fairies, a chain of elegant, stigma-busting lice treatment centers, provides a non-toxic, nurturing environment for dealing with the bugs.

“People come in so emotional,” says Hair Fairies founder Maria Botham."We’re breaking stigmas, educating them about misconceptions and nurturing them as well.”

While the lice experts work on children (or adult’s) hair, patrons can play video games, watch DVDs or access the Internet. The three required treatments last one hour each and cost $95, which is often picked up by insurance, Botham said. The treatment approach requires stylists to search through each client’s hair one strand at a time. This is followed by two non-toxic treatments to ensure that no nit or egg remains behind. The three-visit treatment approach comes with a 100 percent guarantee and includes the use of shampoos and rinses that inhibit the bugs’ ability to breed.

For parents and schools, letting Hair Fairies treat a child’s lice makes sense."Head lice is the number one reason kids miss school,” Botham says. And if kids are missing school, chances are parents are missing work as well."You miss a lot of school and work and have a lot of heartache when you do it yourself. To treat lice yourself is arduous.”

Visits to Hair Fairies can usually be scheduled the same day you call. Children are cleared to return to school after the first treatment.

All three visits are required for the guarantee to apply. Call (773) 327-0800 or visit for more information. The salon is located at 2336 N. Clark St. (between west Fullerton Parkway and west Belden Avenue in Chicago).

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