The AirAllé® heated-air device concept originated in the laboratory of Dr. Dale Clayton at the University of Utah, where he is a professor in the Department of Biology. While researching the effects of live lice on birds, he discovered that while he could successfully culture the lice in his lab at Oxford University in England, he had great difficulty keeping them alive on captive birds when he moved his lab to the University of Utah in 1996. He learned that due to the arid climate in Utah, the large surface to volume ratio of the lice made them vulnerable to desiccation.
The AirAllé® device is used by lice professionals on individuals with dry, untangled hair that can be easily combed. During the course of a 30-minute treatment, the trained AirAllé technician gently places the device’s applicator tip under the hair and against the head, moving its position every 30 seconds until the entire head has been treated.
The AirAllé device blows heated air through its applicator tip along the scalp and hair shafts at a higher flow (but much cooler temperature) than a hairdryer. The technician will stop the use of the device immediately if an individual being treated gives a verbal or physical sign of discomfort.
Because the purpose of the AirAllé device is to kill the lice and eggs through dehydration (and not to blow them out of the hair), dead lice and dead eggs remain in the hair after treatment. AirAllé technicians do a post-treatment comb-out (which usually takes 30 minutes) with a good quality lice comb to remove the dead lice and eggs. Most technicians then apply a post-treatment rinse using dimethicone oil to kill any remaining hatched lice that may have survived the treatment.
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