Lice Service Cost
Most lice services charge by the hour for treatments and use a flat fee for lice checks.
The hourly fee averages about $100 per hour. How long it will take depends on the thickness, texture, length of the hair and the severity of the infestation. The more hair and the harder it is to get a comb through the longer and more expensive it will be. Here’s a rough guide to how much it costs by hair type and length. For children it is usually on the low end of the range because they have smaller heads and are less likely to have colored or damaged hair. All numbers are averages and should not be expected to be accurate for all situations.
Average Head Lice Treatment Costs for Hourly Pricing
Shoulder length, straight hair and average thickness and average infestation severity: 1 to 1.5 hours. For a child it is closer to the lower end of the range.
Hair shorter than 4-6 inches: 30 minutes to an hour.
Hair down to the mid-low back: 1.5-2 hours.
Average Head Lice Check Fees
Lice checks usually run from $15 to $25 and take about 10 to 60 minutes depending on hair type and length.
What Type of Hair Takes the Longest to Check and Treat?
African american hair or similarly kinky, thick, and long hair can drastically increase the time it takes to both check and treat hair. If you have this type of hair, it is strongly recommended that you straighten your hair before your appointment to save time and reduce the pain from the comb pulling on the hair.
How to Save Money on Lice Treatment
There are a few easy steps you can take.
- Detangle everyone’s hair.So you don’t end up paying someone else $99+ per hour to do a simple task.
- Get it cut shorter and/or trim the ends.This will reduce the treatment time and make it less likely the lice comb will get caught and cause painful pulling and slow down the process.
- Treat with a drugstore lice kit beforehand.If you don’t mind pesticides, these kits can help thin the number of live lice and ensure a successful treatment. However, if the infestation is already light, then it is an unnecessary expense.
- Don’t buy gimmicky devices to do it yourself.Lice removal takes skill, diligence, and the proper tools. Unless you are interested in spending days worth of your free time learning how to properly lice comb, you are better off hiring a professional. That’s not to say you can’t do it yourself, you can, but is it not easy and it will not be fun for you or your family because of how painful amateur lice combing can be and how much longer it will take.
- Don’t invest a ton of money and time on home remedies.Some of them can work, but not because of the olive oil or coconut oil. It’s luck and lice combing. Unless you are extremely lucky and catch the infestation very early on, it is very unlikely just slathering coconut or olive oil on your family will work. If coconut or olive oil worked, there wouldn’t be lice businesses because those home remedies are easy to find on social media or YouTube.The danger of those methods is that it can make the problem worse because you will think it’s solved, but it’s actually still growing and spreading to friends and family members. A good rule to follow with lice treatments, and life in general, is: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
- Don’t wait too long.A few days without being treated won’t hurt, but if you go more than a week it is going to get harder and more expensive to treat. Exact numbers are hard to come by, but if one louse lays 5 eggs a day after a week that is 35 eggs. When the eggs hatch 8-10 days later the number of lice goes from increase by five each day, so about a week later you now have 36 lice. Another 8-10 days later, the new female lice start laying eggs and a small, relatively expensive problem to fix becomes much, much worse.
- Don’t catch it again.Easier said than done, but there are precautions you can take. Try to figure out where it came from. Your lice professional may be able to give you an estimate of how long you’ve had it. Use that info to think back on any camps, sleepovers, playdates you had, or family friends or others you have heard talking about it. If you think you know where it came from, talk to them. For most people it’s not the most comfortable conversation, but try to not be aggressive or accusatory and place blame – that won’t help anyone. Let them know you had it, that it’s going around, and that they should get checked and give them a suggestion on who they can call to do it. Make it as easy as possible for them.
- Get the Usual Suspects Checked at Your AppointmentIf you have a suspicion where it came from, see if they want to make some time to come with you to get checked and treated. This is easier with in-home lice services since your neighbors or extended family can come over or they can decide to have the lice technician go to their home and check them.
Lice Clinic, Lice Salon, Lice Center, Lice Service – What’s the Difference?
Nothing. Theses are all just different names for businesses that essentially do the same thing: get rid of lice. The real difference is the marketing. Some business prefer to present themselves as family-friendly salons while others choose a medical and more authoritative marketing angle. Which one you choose comes down to the reviews, the price, and the convenience for most people.
Mobile or In-Home Lice Removal vs On-Site Lice Treatment Facilities
The main difference is obvious: one comes to you vs you travel to the other.
The real difference is in the convenience, comfort, and privacy, which mobile services win hands down. Lice removal can take 2 hours on average, sometimes 5+ hours for large families or severe cases. Spending 2-6 hours in a public facility can be very stressful for parents and children because of boredom, hunger, discomfort from the combing process and the hassle of dealing with traffic (especially when traveling to the Portland area).
By staying home, you can do whatever you want while your family is treated and aren’t stuck at a salon or clinic for the duration with nothing to do but wait. Watch tv, work, catch up on chores, help the kids with homework, the convenience factor is huge.
It is more expensive in most cases, but not always. In a public facility the lice technician might be responsible for answering phones, greeting people, running the register, etc. All this can distract from your families treatment and increase the time it takes to get you out of there. An in-home lice technician has no distractions from their job.
Most mobile services charge about the same rate as salons or clinics and have a travel fee between $50-$100 depending on travel time and distance. It’s up to you to decide if the convenience and comfort of staying home is worth the cost.
How to Get Rid of Lice
Unless you are willing to shave everyone’s head with a razor.
There is no process to eliminate lice that doesn’t involve combing. Even hot air devices require combing afterward because it is absolutely necessary to ensure a successful treatment.
The only real requirements are a high quality lice comb, a lubricating agent to help the comb move through the hair, and the skill and patience to go through an entire head of hair.
The Best Treatment for Lice
Is hiring a professional – if you can afford it. That’s the only way to get lice free in one day and get a guaranteed free retreatment if it comes back.
If you can’t afford professional, get a high quality lice comb, some LiceMD and learn how to lice comb. Do it at least once a week for a month and you should be able to fix the problem.
How to Get Rid of Lice with Vinegar
It doesn’t work and it’s bad for your head to be exposed to an acid substance repeatedly and for a long period of time. Your skin has a pH level of around 4-5.5. When you disrupt that balance, you encourage bacteria growth and damage the skin’s ability to regulate its moisture levels leading to acne and oily or dry skin among other potential issues.
- Home Remedies to Control Head Lice. Journal of Pediatric Nursing.
- Apple Cider Vinegar for Lice. healthline.com.
- Lice – Head Lice Treatment. Center for Disease Control.
- A lousy choice: When kids get lice, should parents DIY or go pro? Today.com.
- What’s the Treatment for Lice? WebMD.com.
- Head Lice Infestation. Wikipedia.org.