PLANTATION, Fla. – A South Florida lice treatment business may not be being straightforward with customers.
Back in August, Local 10 News first exposed Lice Troopers after outraged parents complained about COVID-19 testing happening at the same Plantation facility where children were being treated and checked for lice without warning.
Lice Troopers is a salon-style business with multiple locations around South Florida that guarantees to rid you of head lice.
Local 10 featured their technique in a 2013 story.
After our August story about the COVID testing aired, former and current employees of the business told us there was more questionable activity happening.
“Once I saw that I was like, ‘OK, it is time to come out and say like what’s going on in that clinic. It is not OK,’” a former employee said on the condition of anonymity.
That employee said she signed a non-disclosure agreement with the company. That employee told Local 10 about questionable practices she witnessed firsthand and said she quit when she saw what was going on.
She said one afternoon she walked to the back of a Lice Troopers location and confronted another employee.
“She was back there and I was like, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ and she was like, ‘Oh, I’m just changing the labels because the conditioners came in’ and I was like, ‘What do you mean?’”
She asked the employee to elaborate.
She then told that employee: “‘I thought those were all-natural treatments that he made for the company?’ And she is like, ‘Oh no, these are the conditioners that we change the labels’ and she showed me the labels and then she showed me the conditioner and it was the Pantene one.”
Another employee who declined to be interviewed sent Local 10 News pictures of those labels, which were verified by the former employee we interviewed.
“He had one trusted employee that would change the labels,” she said, explaining a Pantene label would be peeled off and replaced with one from Lice Troopers.
Local 10 went to one of their locations and bought the shampoo we saw listed for sale on their website.
We were sold a 16-ounce bottle, marked as an all-natural lice treatment shampoo for $18.
The bottle said the shampoo hydrates, nourishes and leaves the hair lice-free after a combing.
So what’s in the bottle?
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that ingredients be listed on the bottle, there are none.
Even on their website, Lice Troopers claims you’re treated with all-natural, organic, environmentally friendly, completely chemical-free products.
According to their website, Jennie Harel is listed as the Principal Owner. Her husband Arie is the CEO.
Attempts to reach them for an on-camera interview were turned down.
Local 10 attempted to speak with them, but while approaching Jennie Harel, she wouldn’t comment after being asked what was inside their hair treatment bottles.
Days after trying to speak with her, Arie Harel reached out over the phone but refused to do a sit-down or on-camera interview.
He admitted that Pantene was inside the bottles but insisted they add an “all-natural enzyme” to the Pantene and that “not all the technicians know that,” adding that he didn’t want them to.
He told us he is “very, very upfront” with clients, but we pointed out that Pantene isn’t all-natural and isn’t chemical-free, to which he answered, “We will look into that.”
Only after Local 10 started poking around and asking questions did Lice Troopers pull their shampoo off their website.
The Harels now say a new line of products with ingredients listed will be coming out soon.