Innovation That Matters

Assassins tackle nits and head lice in London and Rio

Work & Lifestyle

When we featured The Texas Lice Squad back in 2007, a few of our team members doubted whether professional head lice removal made for a sustainable business. It seems it does—The Texas Lice Squad has since opened two storefronts, and is still going strong. It’s an idea that’s spreading to other parts of the world, too—as witnessed by two recent spottings. In the UK, London-based Hairforce offers full service lice and nit removal at its Hairforce Lounge, as well as in-home and at schools. Hairforce treats de-lousing like guerilla warfare, declaring lice the ‘enemy’ and dubbing their employees ‘Lice Assassins’. Many of its staff members are mothers who have fought battles with lice in their own homes, so they know the importance of keeping kids happy during the process of removing their lice. Hairforce offers kids computer games, magazines and DVDs to occupy them during their appointments. The cost for each of the three infestation clearings required to de-louse an individual is GBP 40. Hairforce will also check for lice on other household members—from parents to nannies—at a cost of GBP 25 per 30 minute inspection. Meanwhile, in Rio de Janeiro, Marli de Freitas Fernandes Braga has opened a dedicated lice-removal salon at Rua da Passagem 83. Higienex (no website) is located in Rio’s Botafogo neighbourhood and offers its services at BRL 55 per hour. The company’s founder is a lawyer who spotted a business opportunity after spending hours removing lice from her granddaughters’ heads. Videogames and popcorn are on offer to distract kids. Time-poor (or exasperated) people will always be eager to outsource some of their domestic chores, especially to service providers who clearly know what they’re doing. What’s next…? Spotted by: Anisa Topan and Erica Oliveira



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