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Last updated: January 18, 2021

What Would You Do: My Client Had Bed Bugs!

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Clients With Bed Bugs? Read Advice From Hairdressers!

As hair pros having a client come in with lice is NEVER IDEAL but sometimes, part of the job. But what if you had a client come in with other creepy crawlers? A member of the BTC fam shared their experience when a client sat in her chair and a bed bug was crawling down their back. Of course, we couldn’t wait to share what the BTC community had to say about this itchy subject.


“A month ago, one of my customers had a bed bug crawling on her shirt. I told her and she replied, ‘Yes we have an infestation of these things because we bought a chair off Craigslist.’ Long story short I cleaned and washed everything that she touched after that visit, called and gave her the name of an exterminator and told her I couldn’t take her anymore until they did something in order to prevent spreading them to other people. She understood and agreed to call an exterminator. $3,400 for an exterminator and a week in a motel later, she comes back in and says they’re gone. At the end of her visit I saw another one on her collar!!! I showed her and I told her to call me when she talked to her exterminator again. To add to this, someone just told me another one of my customers has had them for a couple years! Does anyone else deal with this? If so, what do you do to prevent them from spreading?”



Notice and Spot the Difference

(Left) Bed Bug (Right) Lice. Image Courtesy of


Although bed bugs and lice live within the same realm of gross, they are not the same. According to Orkin, you can tell the difference between the two simply by looking at them. Lice tend to be white or gray in color and have an oblong shape. Bed bugs are normally brown or mahogany in color and have flat, oval shaped bodies. Another difference is where they prefer to live. Lice as you may know, are prone to live on the human scalp and cannot live long without a host body. Bed bugs however, do not need a host to survive and prefer to live in the hiding places of your home, i.e. cracks in the walls, the seams of your mattress and furniture.


Well First Things First



“F*ck that.” – @injuliewetrust


“OMG WHAT A NIGHTMARE!” – @tee_restaino


“NOPE 👎🏼.”– @architeqtnorth


Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?



“Bed bugs are travelers and anyone can have one in their purse or pockets. You can be at a restaurant and pick one up and take it home. It’s pretty disgusting that it’s come to a point with your client that they are crawling off her clothes and rode over with her! Hell are they in her car?!” – @tushabeautyboutique_shay


“Bed bugs travel, on people’s clothes, on their pets. You have to be careful when you take public transportation as well.” – @italianqt2323


“They can come from department stores, the gym, hotels, etc. Also, always, always, when you get something new, either clothing, bedsheets, towels, etc. put them in the dryer on high heat for 20min. Better safe than sorry!” – @melissafife_hairstylist


“Bed bugs are the worst! They can live for up to a year without a food source. And are EXTREMELY hard to get rid of.” – @totwiththegoodhair



Losing a Client Sucks, But Not As Bad As Bed Bugs In Your Salon



“Just eww. I don’t know if she actually spent that kind of money to kill bed bugs, but I’d rather lose her as a client and not have to deal with that problem myself in the future. Next!” – @diegoyluna


“I would have politely asked her to leave.” – @merboy66


“Fire this client. Move on. I love my clients like family but it’s not worth risking infestation of yourself, your home, and your salon.”– @skip2mylue


“This has happened to our salon twice. We immediately asked the customer to leave (as tactfully as possible.) Then, we called an exterminator to come to the salon to check it out. We close the salon down both times this happened until we got the ok that it was alright. We were fine both times and reopened the next day. You don’t mess around with bed bugs, nor do you want to take them home and deal with your own infestation. I would either no longer take her or ask if she can bring confirmation from the exterminator that the problem is resolved. It’s a health code thing, so if you tell her it’s your policy, she will either understand and comply or you won’t hear back and then you don’t have to stress it anymore.” – @jessieg_painted_me


“First, if any client has lice or bed bugs the service is immediately stopped and the client is politely asked to leave. We explain to the client how easily they can spread and if they are still resistant to leaving or keep trying to come back, we explain to them that the salon could get shut down. Usually that makes them realize the situation because who wants to be the reason a business had to shut down.” – @amytaylor6491


Be Proactive in Your Salon for Safety and Sanity



Always, always, always check your client’s hair and/or clothes for lice/bed bugs before you drape, shampoo or start any sort of service on them.” – @thegreatbatzy


“Make sure all your towels and clothes are washed in hot water and dried in extremely hot heat. Your client needs to unfortunately bug bomb her living situation again and get rid of things.” – @rachaelashlee


“Throw cape and towels away!!! Not worth it. Bed bugs are impossible to get rid of. I’ve NEVER heard of them crawling on someone. That’s BEYOND infestation…I would say if a client tells you they have them, throw out any fabric that touched them. When u go home, undress outside including shoes and immediately wash and dry your clothes on high heat!!!!😬😬😬😬😬” – @mittykittylove


“Wash/dry your capes and towels on high heat. Don’t hang your coats in the same area and sanitize. Bed bugs are nocturnal, normally they move and feed at night. I own a salon and a pest control company. I personally have never had this issue in the shop, but we have treated customers’ homes for bedbugs before. Don’t panic! They are more common than you think. Just be smart!” -Ashley Breien 



Be Gone!

Unlike lice, bed bugs take serious time and money to get rid of. If you see a bed bug in your salon or household, we strongly recommend that you contact a professional. Unlike lice, bed bugs are able to stay alive for long periods of time without a host. In addition to contacting an exterminator the BTC community gave these helpful things you can do to help eradicate an infestation:

  • Vacuum everything that has a fabric surface including:
    • Rugs
    • Mattresses
    • Curtains
    • Sofas, ottomans and fabric chairs
    • Your car (even if you have leather seats, vacuum the floors and ceilings)
  • Wash and dry everything including clothes, pillows, blankets and stuffed animals in the highest heat setting. Some recommendations include drying your clothes first with the highest heat and then beginning a wash and dry cycle as heat is known to kill bed bugs.
  • Buy over the counter products such as Diatomaceous Earth or Borax


Happy Friday Hair Friends!



“I’m off to set my eyes on fire now!” – @vickievale_wayne


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