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Nit-picking is a profitable business

Nit nurses are so last century. Teachers who are fed up watching lice-infected pupils scratching their heads should consider following the example of Dina Shields. It could even prove a money-spinner.

Mrs Shields, who lives in Rockridge, near San Francisco in California, has left teaching to set up a hair salon called NitPixies that specialises in ridding children of nits. Parents pay $100 (pound;50) an hour for three hour-long sessions in which their children have their hair combed by technicians and then their scalp sprayed with a solution which stuns the bugs. The children are distracted by being shown films.

We wish her luck, although she faces stiff competition - a similar service is already offered to families by a few other Californian salons including Love Bugs in Lafayette and Hair Fairies in San Francisco.

Mrs Shields, who taught for 12 years, said it was her "first-hand experience of coping with lice in the classroom that provided the inspiration and motivation to help others conquer these pests".

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