Electric tweezer medical data
Electric tweezers have been available since 1959. In 40 years, there has been no published clinical data demonstrating these devices can achieve permanent hair removal as claimed. The only published medical paper demonstrated temporary results.
Because of the lack of legitimate data on these devices, I have included in-house reports prepared by electric tweezer manufacturers, and reports prepared by those questioning the unsubstantiated claims of electric tweezers.
= recommended only for in-depth researchers
= may be worth ordering
= strongly recommended
Verdich (1984): 8 women received one treatment from a Depilatron electric tweezer. At 5-7 months, there was no significant change in amount of hair. Cited by FDA in reclassification of electric tweezers as evidence the devices have not demonstrated permanence.
Feughelman (1982): This clinical overview of hair properties shows that hair is a poor conductor of electricity and indicates that electricity does not travel through a hair shaft as claimed by some electric tweezers. Includes Dr. Feughelman’s comments on van Orden (1998)
Unpublished reports by electric tweezer manufacturers:
The reports below were submitted to FDA when tweezers were being reclassified. FDA determined the following reports were "only suggestive" of permanent hair removal.
Depilatron affidavits (1975): In the mid-70’s Depilatron settled numerous legal actions by state attorneys general and dissatisfied consumers, then quietly disappeared. As part of their attempts to fight these lawsuits, they solicited sworn affidavits from physicians. Submitted to FDA by Removatron.
Foster (1983): Treated a black mouse with Removatron and then observed five biopsies, one taken every 24 hours. Of 40 hairs, Foster concluded 12 showed histopathologic evidence of damage.
Konnikov (1990): This report commissioned by Removatron compared plucking with electric tweezing on 15 women. After six months of treatment, patients were only observed for three months. Again, FDA dismissed this unpublished report as "only suggestive" of permanent hair removal.
Edgar (1995): This report prepared by Helene Edgar followed 7 clients for 8-12 weeks, with follow-up at two and four weeks after final treatment. They claim better results than rival tweezer GHR, but the comparison is uncontrolled.
The reports below were submitted to FDA for 510(k) clearance to market.
Cole (1990): Electric tweezer maker American Hair Removal System (AHRS) submitted four unreviewed, in-house reports for FDA as its submission for 510(k) clearance.
Stephens (1990): Electric tweezer maker Guaranty Hair Removal System (GHR) submitted unreviewed, in-house reports for FDA as its submission for 510(k) clearance. These reports are heavily censored in the best available copy. Includes discussion of AHRS data stolen by GHR and has claimed as their own in promotional material.
LeMaster (1990): Although this report was paid for by GHR, it shows that treating hairs with a conductive solution "only affects the outer surface," thus indicating that electricity does not travel through a hair shaft as claimed by some electric tweezers.
Unpublished reports by non-manufacturers
Schuster (1992): Demonstrating that electric tweezers cannot deliver energy down the hair to the hair root as claimed by manufacturers.
van Orden (1998): Demonstrating that hair cannot conduct electricity down to the hair root as claimed by electric tweezer manufacturers. Includes a third-party review by Feughelman (1982)
Ruggera (1991): A test performed by FDA engineer Paul Ruggera raises the question if any energy from electric tweezers like GHR can actually reach the follicle base.