When I first started reading about the AirAllé, a heat treatment that kills head lice AND nits, I got so excited. It was still in development then at the University of Utah. Now it's rolled out, and treatments are available in cities across the United States.
(Update: AirAllé technology is featured exclusively at Lice Clinics of America.
Before opening a clinic location, operators must receive training on proper use of the equipment for maximum effectiveness.)
The machine blows heated air, which dries out and kills head lice and their eggs. The air is not as hot as a hair dryer, but it blows harder. The technician operating the machine uses a hand tool to lift hair slightly from the scalp, and directs the warm air precisely at each area of the scalp for short periods of time.
Treatment takes about 30 minutes. After the machine is used, the technician should comb all the hair with a lice comb in order to remove dead lice and nits, and any that survived the treatment.
I've never actually seen the AirAllé … when my kids got lice, there was no one in my area yet offering this service. If my family were to get head lice in the future, though, I would check around and investigate possible treatment with this device.
The heat treatment only takes about 30 minutes, and a clinical study concluded that it kills/removes 95% of lice and kills 99% of the eggs.
99% of the eggs? Yikes! Yippee! Almost nothing kills eggs like that. Which is the whole reason head lice are so dreaded. Normally you have to comb out every single nit, to make sure you're really done. If 99% of them are dead before the comb-out, though, your odds of being done even if you miss a few just shot through the roof.
If you want to look for a business near you that treats head lice with the AirAllé, go straight to our list of professional lice removal businesses. Check out those in your area to find out if they have one of these machines.
First, though, visit the lice removal service page and read the list of questions you should have at hand when interviewing and choosing a provider (whether they use this machine or another treatment).
If there's no one in your area with a machine, or if the service is too pricey, I recommend home or professional treatment with either Licefreee (which also kills eggs when used correctly) or an enzyme shampoo. Most professional services use enzyme shampoo. The enzymes are non-toxic to humans, but cause lice exoskeletons to dissolve. And they loosen nit glue so that nits comb out quite easily.
Head lice can be removed safely and successfully. Just stay calm, follow through, make sure all lice and viable nits are gone.