Eco ‘Lice Assassins’ have real star appeal
By Meynem Hussein
Getting ourselves in the local news…
‘Head lice may not be the most glamorous of topics – bringing to mind images of scratching scalps and pungent potions. But the latest trend on the leafy Georgian streets of Primrose Hill is organic and eco-friendly louse-busting that counts among its fans celebrities such as television presenter Jonathan Ross, the Body Shop founder Dame Anita Roddick and lifestyle guru and Cherie Blair’s friend Carole Caplin. The Hairforce, which shuns chemicals in favour of lice hoovers, special combs and nit-picking by hand, was launched a year ago. Since then, business has boomed.
It is run by Dee Wright, who used to be a partner in the agency behind the Pot Noodle and Tango adverts, from her four-storey home in St. Mark’s Crescent, Primrose Hill.
Ms Wright, 47, said: ‘When we started out, we had two lice assassins and me – and maybe two or three customers a week. ‘Now we can have up to 25 to 30 customers a week and, including me, seven lice assassins.
‘I have probably had about 10 celebrities including actors, major business owners and writers. Carole Caplin came here with her god-daughter and then wrote about it in a magazine. We had about 400 calls.’
Jonathan Ross’s family has come in. Anita Roddick has mentored me and brought in someone for treatment. ‘It’s really beginning to take off.’ So why has the business been so popular? Ms Wright said: ‘It’s a simple solution to a massive need.
My daughters – Mia, 11, and Ines, nine – have had lice maybe a dozen times each in their lives. Lice are prevalent in schools and parents are always talking about it. ‘Nearly half of four to 11 year olds get it every year and 50 per cent of people don’t itch.
‘But people are throwing money on chemicals that half the time won’t work. She added: ‘We get environmentally conscious people who don’t want to use any chemical-based things on their children. Others have used lots and lots but have been driven insane because the products have been ineffective.’