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Lake Oswego's Alana Engleman conquers nasty nits with Lice Ninjas

To the head lice of Lake Oswego, Alana Engleman says, “Go ahead. Make my day.” by: VERN UYETAKE - Using a convenient head of hair, Alana Engleman demonstrates how her LouseBuster uses high heat to get rid of lice. Her work helps her get many hugs.

With her new business Lice Ninjas, Engleman is coming to the rescue of those who suffer from the itchy varmints, thanks to her LouseBuster machine that boasts a previously unheard of success rate of 99.2 percent in getting rid of lice, eggs and all. Finally, Engleman is getting the last laugh on lice after being plagued by them so often through her life. She left a nice, steady job with the U.S. Post Office to help people get their lives back.

“I first got lice when I was 4 years old at a sleepover,” said Engleman, who is a third-generation resident of Lake Grove and is the mother of a daughter who is a fourth-generation resident of Lake Grove. “The last time I got them I was pregnant with my daughter.”

In between, while a college student, Engleman got “super lice” that refused to die.

On her last infestation, Engleman was fit to be tied and ready to resort to having all of her hair shaved off before finding a less drastic method to rid herself of the tiny terrors. Entering the lice-busting business was the farthest thing from her mind.

But Engleman’s mind began the process of changing when she casually started watching a news program on Nightline about a new machine that made getting rid of lice so much faster and efficient. It had been invented by a Utah professor whose own children suffered from head lice. Essentially the LouseBuster used heat to knock out lice.

“The LouseBuster kills the eggs, which is where most people lose the battle against lice,” Engleman said.

She meditated for several years about the possibility of quitting her job and starting her own lice busting business.

“I started thinking how great it would be if I could help other people.”

Now, Engleman is so glad she did. After acquiring her own LouseBuster, she started with a mobile service that came to people’s homes, but recently she opened an office at the Shon Tay Professional Center on Boones Ferry Road — with the catchy name Lice Ninjas. Her career as an anti-lice crusader has achieved great success.

“Lice can take over a person’s life,” Engleman said. “They end up doing 19 loads of laundry a day. It’s exhausting and if the lice come back they have to do it all over again. If a child has lice a parent cannot responsibly send them to gatherings with other kids, like birthday parties. You end up with a lonely kid.”

Besides money, Engleman gets paid with hugs. “Moms are soooooooooooo grateful,” she said.

Along with achieving a successful new career, Engleman has received a remarkable education since she became a lice buster. One thing she learned is that the lice-fighting business is booming and that it can be cut-throat capitalism at its worst, not a happy brotherhood of lice killers. by: VERN UYETAKE - Alana Engleman looks intimidating with her trusty LouseBuster. It has an amazing success rate of more than 99 percent at getting rid of lice.

“They go for the throat,” Engleman said. “I was amazed by this. When I started, other lice fighters would literally hang up the phone on me if I asked them for advice, and they were out of state! One of them changed her website so that if people were one letter off in trying to call up my site they would get her site instead.”

Fortunately, Engleman found a friend and role model who is a super-successful lice fighter with 10 franchises all over the state of New Jersey.

“She’s my hero,” gushed Engleman.

Engleman has also learned why too often people fight a losing battle against lice. A lot of misconceptions are out there.

“Acquiring lice does not happen because you are poor or use poor hygiene,” she said. “As someone who grew up in Lake Oswego, I’m proof of that.”

Also, there are a lot of faulty lice fight methods. Engleman’s head was used as a lice-fighting laboratory by her mother, who was desperate to rid her little daughter of the infernal nits; even using a notorious chemical called lindane that is banned in many places.

“People don’t comb with the right strategy,” said Engleman, who keeps a little bag of combs that fail dismally at getting rid of lice.

To people who suffer from head lice, she asks the question, “Why wait?” Instead of waiting for two months, they should call Lice Ninjas right away.

Lice Ninjas is located at 15800 Boones Ferry Rd. in Building C, Suite 202 of the Shon Tay Professional Center. For more information, call Alana Engleman at 503-927-6605 or go to the website LiceNinjas.com .

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