By Johnny Jackson
Hampton resident, Tommy Lambert, has made marked progress in his new profession as a head-lice technician.
"We've successfully treated over 500," said Lambert, who recently opened a lice-treatment facility in Roswell, Ga.
Lambert began treating for lice, in his home in 2009, when he and his wife, Heather, discovered their children had lice. He said their daughter, then 12, had a recurrence of the infestation; their son, then 9, had his first bout with head lice. Both were treated using standard chemical treatments from the store.
"The second time around, when my daughter had it, it seemed like it would never go away," Lambert said. The difficulty in getting rid of his daughter's head lice prompted him to learn more about the tiny insects. Lambert said his newfound interest, coupled with the downturn in the economy, spurred him to pursue head-lice treatment as a possible business for himself and his family.
He said he was laid off in March 2009, as an operations dispatcher with Landstar Logistics, Inc. In June 2009, he began a lice-removal business out of his Hampton home. He calls it Headhunters L.R.S., or Headhunters Lice Removal Service. "I still wasn't ... able to find a job," he said. "So, I kind of found something to do."
He believes there is a niche for head-lice-treatment services, particularly with parents who want the work done properly in the first round of treatment. He said parents had been limited to drug-store products providing novice chemical treatments.
On Aug. 9, he and his wife opened a head-lice-treatment facility in north metro Atlanta, in Roswell Professional Park, at 11205 Alpharetta Highway, Suite E-3, Roswell, Ga.
Lambert was trained and certified as a head-lice technician through the non-profit Lice Solutions Resource Network (L.S.R.N.), Inc., based in West Palm Beach, Fla.
"Head lice is a predominately annoying issue," said Katie Shepherd, executive director of L.S.R.N. "But it can cause secondary infections, and it spreads very quickly through contact. I always say it's like lining up the dominos and hitting the first one."
Shepherd trained Lambert in a method of treatment, the Shepherd Method, which utilizes a strand-by-strand combing process to remove lice, and nits in conjunction with a non-toxic enzyme.
"People get fixated on the mega house cleaning, but the house isn't the problem. The head is the source of the problem," Shepherd added. "[Treatment] is important, because 95 percent of the mothers that try to self-treat don't get all of it. We always say its better to get it right the first time."
Lambert said he has been able to build his small business quickly over the past year, through word of mouth, and making home visits throughout the metro Atlanta area.
"We do treatments and evaluations," he said. "There are many misconceptions about lice and the people who get them. Head lice is spread 95 percent of the time during head-to-head contact," he said. "If parents take a step back to see how children crowd around portable games, computers, or during play time, they will see how much head-to-head contact actually takes place."
An estimated 6 million to 12 million head-lice infestations occur each year in the United States among children, ages 3 to 11, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention.
The CDC web site states that head lice move by crawling, and are spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person. Signs and symptoms of an infestation include: a tickling feeling of something moving in the hair, itching, irritability and difficulty sleeping, and sores on the head caused by scratching.
Lambert said he will continue to visit area homes, schools, and camps to conduct screenings, and treat children and adults with head lice. To learn more, visit the CDC web site at www.CDC.gov, or visit Headhunters L.R.S., at www.headhunterslice.com.