Dubai denies claims head lice are used as hair loss treatmentWe’ve heard of some bizarre treatments for hair loss, but this one makes our skin crawl. Literally. According to news authorities in Dubai, local beauty salons have been accused of accumulating damaged hair from the shop floor, exposing it to high heat, using it to cultivate and harvest hair lice, and selling them on (at nearly £3 per lice!) to customers as a treatment for hair loss.

Why would anyone want to subject themselves to that? Because, according to someone on Twitter, when head lice start sucking the blood from your scalp, they also kick off an on-going cell renewal process which grows out the hair. In actual fact, it doesn’t, and should be avoided at all costs.

A virtual Nitterstorm

Like most weird stories nowadays, this one started on social media, with posts suddenly emanating from the Arabian Gulf proclaiming the benefits of nits a few months ago.

Not surprisingly, Dubai – the home of thousands of beauty and hair salons – was singled out as the prime culprit, including one rumour that a certain salon was selling lice at a mind-boggling £12.50 per louse, forcing its regulators to investigate if the stories were true.

A lousy story?

However, the Twitterstorm about head-lice-as-hair-restorer has left the head of Dubai Municipality’s health control department very bemused. “We have not received reports of such practices taking place in salons around Dubai,” he said. “It might be taking place in other countries, but we have not caught a case like this in Dubai so far.”

This theory was backed up by a hair salon owner in Dubai who claimed the rumour started in a neighbouring country, where head lice were sold in markets as a beauty treatment – and he’d never heard of it in Dubai either. Which leaves us, well, scratching our heads at it all.

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By Ian Watson

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