van Orden report, 1998 (unpublished)

This unpublished report was written to disprove that hair grasped by an electric tweezer can conduct electricity through its center in amounts strong enough to kill a hair’s root. Electric tweezers have made unsubstantiated claims that this is how their devices can remove hair permanently.

Mr. Mark van Orden is an engineer at R.A. Fischer, a manufacturer of needle electrolysis machines. R.A. Fischer staff conducted several in-house experiments under controlled conditions to determine the conductivity of human hair. They tested both direct and alternating current and measured results at levels of 100 to 5000 volts. Both dry hairs and hairs soaked in a salt water solution were tested.

Results indicate that hair is an extremely poor conductor of electricity, casting further doubt on claims by electric tweezer makers.

This report was submitted to third-party review by Dr. Max Feughelman, cited by electric tweezer maker GHR as an authority on hair conductivity. Dr. Feughelman found the R.A. Fischer results to be accurate and consistent with expected results (see Feughelman 1982).

See also:

LeMaster, 1990: also shows a minuscule amount of current travels on the outside of a hair shaft.

Schuster, 1992: shows this tiny amount of electricity dissipates upon contact with a more conductive surface like skin.

The full text of van Orden’s hair conductivity test was available at the R.A. Fischer website: