Former BeautyFirst executives Lee Rogers and Pat Neville have worked on a lot of different ventures together in the last 30 years.
Their latest is still in the haircare realm, but it’s not strictly beauty-related.
The two, along with Rogers’ wife, Omega Ortegon, are licensees for Utah-based Lice Clinics of America.
“Basically I come from the world of salons,” Rogers says.
“It was kind of a nice follow up,” he says of the clinics.
Neville opened one in Texas 18 months ago and another in Oklahoma City a month ago. Then Neville, Rogers and Ortegon acquired an existing clinic in Columbus, Ohio, in December. Their first Wichita one is at 2552 N. Maize Ct. across from NewMarket Square.
“Basically it’s a lice treatment clinic specifically for head lice,” Rogers says. “It’s one session, and you’re done.”
The decade-old chain has 145 clinics nationally.
Rogers says the guaranteed treatment is far different than traditional treatments in the past that were either toxic, difficult or ineffectual.
“I had lice as a kid and had to go through that stupid thing,” he says. “The first several treatments didn’t work.”
His children had it, too.
“We spent months trying to get rid of it,” Rogers says. “They hatch. They reproduce. Here we go all over again.”
The treatment that Lice Clinics offers takes about an hour to an hour and a half and consists of three steps.
First, there’s a device that generates heated air that’s administered for about 30 minutes in a pattern over someone’s head. Rogers says there’s a lot of overlap that basically kills 99.8 percent of nits and 90 percent of live lice.
Nits are the eggs that lice produce, and they become adults very quickly and start reproducing themselves.
“They’re attached to the human hair shaft,” Rogers says. “That’s what becomes such a huge problem (and) so hard to get rid of.”
The second step involves what Rogers calls “a terminator comb,” which he says is a thin-spaced comb that cleans debris, including any leftover nits and lice. This takes 30 to 45 minutes depending on a person’s hair.
Finally, there’s a topical treatment that stays on for 20 minutes.
“This is just a final precaution to make sure there is absolutely no live lice or nits,” Rogers says.
A client leaves with the product in his hair and then washes it at home.
Rogers says he likes how simple and safe the treatment is.
He’s hired a clinic director, so he won’t always be there.
“It’s OK to slow down a little bit,” Rogers says of his work life.
He and his partners opened on the west side first because he says their research showed “there’s .75 more children per household” there.
“We’d like to have a second location on the east side,” Rogers says.
“We’ll see how things go.”