Tony Monturo Hate that Hair
Tony’s web page about TE is titled "Transdermal Electrolysis – From Both Sides."
Like most AHRS sales material, Tony mixes fact and fiction in a way that makes it all seem truthful. She starts with accurate information about hair physiology and the process of galvanic hair removal. Then she claims probe-based galvanic electrolysis is equivalent to TE’s method. To support this claim of equivalence, she offers the the four pieces of data submitted by AHRS to the FDA when it allowed them to claim permanence based on a 9-week test. I summarize the data below, based on the original documents submitted:
This is a very poor scan of a four-paragraph synopsis. A handwritten note adds that the test was completed down the road from AHRS offices at Sandhills Community College by William W. Rolland. The methodology is not fully described. Among the vital information omitted:
- what sort of skin/hair (human or animal, live or dead, terminal/vellus, etc.)
- the setting of their machine, indicating the amount of initial current.
- The composition of their conductive gel.
Here’s what they do say: They grasped the end of a hair with a stainless steel tweezer. They stuck an insulated electrolysis probe into a follicle, turned on the current, and measured the results.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Wait a minute– they used a needle, you ask? For their no-needle experiment? Here’s the quote: "a needle inserted along the shaft of a hair into the dermal papilla."
I am not an FDA scientist, but even my rudimentary knowledge of the field is enough to see that their study is completely bogus.
This is another very poor scan of a four-paragraph synopsis. Someone stamped "Best Available Copy" on it. Best isn’t very good, it turns out.
Their first study was full of holes, but it turns out this one’s literally full of holes. Someone had taken a knife and literally cut out all the pertinent data. It looks like a censored military document. About a third of the document has been removed, including:
- the number of test subjects
- number of hairs treated
- an entire sentence at the end of the first methodology paragraph
- the entire second paragraph of methodology
- part of the sentence describing the results
The second page has a table showing equivalent pH levels with the no-needle and needle devices. Of course, if this study used an inserted needle (as the first study did), then the results are moot, anyway. Since the methodology has been deliberately censored, there’s no way to know if they cheated in the same way they did in their other test.
The letterhead for this one bears a logo for the Academy of Dermology. No, that’s not a typo. AHRS made up their own field of study. It’s not Dermatology, that’s Dermology. No address or phone number is available for this Academy, but I’ll bet it’s very close to the AHRS offices, if not even in the same office. Mark E. Chandler, M.D., longtime AHRS shill, has signed the analysis.
Chandler claims he analyzed six facial hairs of a genetic woman: three treated with AHRS 629, and three plucked hairs. Since female facial hair is not the same as male facial hair, this study is not applicable for our needs. Also, since Chandler does not discuss his methodology in any detail, they may have inserted a needle as they did in the first piece of evidence.
Even if it were applicable, I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume, as Chandler states it is, that a difference in the appearance of a hair’s root means permanent hair removal has occurred. The only proof of that is long-term observation.
Survey data and "expert" opinions
Moving along to Tony’s survey data and expert opinions, we start with a 1997 publication from the International Organization of Non-Invasive Electrology. Again, I’d like the address and phone of this organization, which I have no doubt is another AHRS invention. This publication dances around permanence, saying TE "significantly reduces regrowth potential," but offering no clinical proof. They then chronicle important dates in AHRS history:
- 1990– FDA clearance to market
- 1991– Sales begin
- 1992– Doubled machine output to 1000 microamps
- 1993– They switched from tweezer and upped the power to 1500 microamps
- 1994– Findings are compiled from a coalition of scientists from such prestigious groups as the Dermal International Research Institute (again, let’s see that address!). No mention of what they found.
- 1995– Third generation of TE system equipment tested. This is the q-tip and 2500 microamp gizmo available today
- 1996– A customer survey is commissioned. As expected, their survey methodology is not explained. I would like to know the satisfaction rate of consumers who are completed with treatment. As I’ve said earlier, people are initially satisfied with devices like these, and enthusiastic. In all cases I’ve seen, this eventually fades. I want to see people who are done and have had permanent results. I do not believe they exist. Also in 1996, twenty "experts" submitted letters about the TE System. Tony includes scans of five of the expert letters:
- Dr. Elyahu Tamir of Vienna. Whether that is Vienna VA, or Vienna Austria can’t be determined– the return address has been altered and made illegible. Tamir never mentions seeing permanent results using the TE System.
- An unknown doctor whose name has been made illegible by altering the letterhead and signature.The text states he’s a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, and attended University of Puerto Rico Medical School. He’s pleased that his TE clients "keep coming back," indicating they’re not getting permanent results. Never mentions seeing permanent results using the TE System.
- An unknown TE practitioner, on letterhead from Permanent Hair Removal, Inc. of Cary, NC. Dated March 18, 1997. The address and phone have again been altered, as has the name of the author. Never says any clients have received permanent results using the TE System, only that they are likely to reach their goal of permanent hair removal. This speculation means nothing.
- Dermatologist Gordon Vice, M.D., based in "a town south of Nashville." Dated June 28, 1996. Never mentions seeing permanent results using the TE System.
- Valinda Riggins-Nwadike, M.D. OB/GYN. Dated November 14, 1996. She was getting treatment at Your Touch Salon for Hair Removal of Raleigh, NC. She had only been using TE for six months at time of writing. Never mentions seeing permanent results using the TE System.
I assume the other 15 experts’ letters are just as unimpressive.
Finally, Tony allows you to "see for yourself," with pictures of treated hairs.
As I said earlier in my discussion of data item #3, I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume that a difference in the appearance of a hair’s root means permanent hair removal has occurred. The only proof of that is long-term observation. If TE is permanent, show me someone who will say they had permanent results.
Tony concludes, saying: "There is data beyond that of the 9 week comparitive [sic] study to help support the TE systems claim of permanent hair removal." I find this data shoddy, vague and inconclusive. If they want to be taken seriously, AHRS needs a study performed by an independent researcher who was able to achieve permanent results. Their evidence does not prove permanence by any stretch.