The AirAllé® device concept originated in the laboratory of Dr. Dale Clayton at the University of Utah, where he is a professor in the Department of Biology.
1980‘s – Early 1990’s
Dr. Clayton successfully cultured lice on captive birds, such as common pigeons, for basic research purposes.
When he moved his lab to the University of Utah, from Oxford University in England, he encountered great difficulty keeping lice alive on captive birds. He was informed that, because of Utah’s arid climate, they too had difficulty keeping insect cultures alive.
When his elementary school children contracted head lice, he thought it might be possible to control by reducing the level of humidity near the scalp. The question was how to accomplish this trick.
The culmination, of years of work and prototypes, was the publication in 2006 of a paper in the journal Pediatrics along with a press release by the University of Utah generated a feeding frenzy of worldwide media attention that validated widespread interest in such a device, and the critical need for it.
A follow-up study was published in the Journal of Medical Entomology that showed the LouseBuster (which is now the AirAllé® Lice Device) was highly effective at killing lice and eggs. Subsequently, the FDA-cleared† the AirAllé for head lice treatment.
In a clinical report on head lice by the American Academy of Pediatrics (Pediatrics volume 135, number 5, May 2015), the AirAllé device was listed as the only device to kill lice and eggs through desiccation. It stated regular blow dryers should not be used for treating lice.
March 2015 survey of professional lice clinics, clinic owners reported successful treatments in a single visit over 99 percent of the time, on average, when using the AirAllé device.