GHR history

GHR history

1976 Judith Stephens starts a career in hair removal scams, buying into Depilatron Company’s AC electric tweezer.

1982 Judith Stephens claims to have learned needle electrolysis in 3 weeks.

1984 Judith Stephens begins making and selling AC electric tweezers under the name The Guaranty System in McAllen, TX

1987 The US Federal Trade Commission wins case against AC electric tweezer Removatron (23 July)

1987 Judith Stephens uses loophole in FTC ruling; changes to DC electric tweezers and changes company name to GHR – Guaranty Hair Removal. Judith Stephens claims to have invented the device. Patent records indicate her device is merely a copycat of a device patented in 1981 by (Hubert) Lee Cole – Patent US5026369

1988 Judith Stephens claims she received SCME electrologist certification

1988 IGPE, a trade group involved in the FTC case against Removatron

1989 Rival AHRS files an FDA 510(k) (29 March) [Docket K892514]

1989 GHR makes claims that their device is permanent based on the IGPE "standard"

1990 GHR sues IGPE and others for 5.5 million dollars, claiming restraint of trade (22 March)

1990 Rival AHRS is cleared by FDA (9 August )

1990 GHR files an FDA 510(k) (13 November) [Docket K905125]. This is 20 months after rival AHRS. Even the GHR lawyer states GHR is identical to the earlier device.

1991 GHR is ordered by FDA to remove references to FDA from their device and ads (29 May)

1991 GHR is cleared by FDA as identical to AHRS (5 August)

1992 Judith Stephens files for Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy (23 January)

1992 After a 2-day trial, GHR and IGPE settle their lawsuit with an unsigned agreement to have GHR tested at two medical facilities. Stephens’ bankruptcy eliminated her obligations in this agreement. (28 January)

1992 Judith Stephens enters an AEA convention under one of her assumed names (October

1997 GHR is sent a letter by FDA ordering them to remove all references to FDA in promotional material. GHR does not comply with the letter.

1998 A GHR salesperson opens the "Kitty’s Consumer Beware" website (, which promotes GHR under the guise of a consumer site.

1998 FDA reclassifies electric tweezers, stating there is no evidence they can achieve permanent hair removal

1999 Judith Stephens is caught promoting GHR using bogus clinical studies plagiarized from rival AHRS

2000 FDA dismisses claims that GHR is substantially equivalent to electrolysis, writing that it’s "an erroneous assumption that these devices have been found substantially equivalent to needle-type epilators." (5 January)