Electrolysis has been clinically proven permanent since 1875. I have included selected articles from the past 140+ years, as well as selected books by practitioners.
Human clinical studies
Bordier (1924): First published report of permanent hair removal with thermolysis, by the inventor of the modality.
Niedelman (1945): Fifteen-year clinical observation of galvanic and thermolysis leads to his preference for thermolysis.
Ellis (1947): Clinical and histological data showing galvanic is more effective than thermolysis.
Peereboom-Wynia (1975): Clinical report of 11 women with hirsutism, with positive outcomes.
McKinstry (1979): Makes a case for destroying the upper follicle to improve electrolysis efficacy.
Verdich (1979): Of 56 women treated, 90% were satisfied, but most found it expensive and slow.
Avnstorp (1982): Describes high regrowth in 11 women with hirsutism after thermolysis. Shows why hirsute women should also have hormone levels checked.
Kligman (1984): A good overview of histologic changes following thermolysis, but comparison to galvanic is considered flawed. The co-author sells a thermolysis machine, which may explain the biased comparison.
Peereboom-Wynia (1985): In a small sample of 9 hirsute women, they found blend faster and slightly more effective (differences not statistically significant).
Kobayashi (1987): In 73 patients given 3 to 8 treatments at 2- to 12-week intervals, almost no regrowth was observed in observations 6 to 36 months after final treatment with Kobayashi-Yamada thermolysis.
Urushibata (1995): Compared blend with plucking in 14 women, with armpits as test site. Plucking did not decrease hairs; blend took an average of 10 sessions over 27 weeks to achieve permanent hair removal.
Gorgu (2000): 12 patients had one armpit treated with electrolysis and the other with alexandrite laser. 14 weeks after final treatment, they reported electrolysis had 35% clearance and laser had 74% clearance.
Lerner (1942): Review of 18 years of thermolysis medical papers. States approximately 200 hairs an hour can be treated with thermolysis.
Hinkel (1968): Book with first published report of permanent hair removal with blend, by the developer of the modality. Makes case for use of his blend method.
Caldwell (1972): A negative report on home electrolysis kits (called electronic pencils in Britain).
Caldwell (1972): A short review on referring patients for electrolysis.
Johnson (1975): Observed epilated follicles regrow for less time at a slower rate.
Mahoney (1976): A brief letter on electrolysis referrals.
Rydahl (1981); This Danish article discusses electrolysis in hospital for hirsutism.
Ridley (1985): A brief comment on the use of electrolysis.
Kobayashi (1985): An overview of the Kobayashi-Yamada thermolysis system with special insulated needles.
Wagner (1985): An excellent overview of electrolysis.
Hobbs (1987): A very good overview of electrolysis.
Kobayashi (1987): Tests showing the effectiveness of insulation used on needles in the Kobayashi-Yamada thermolysis method.
Fogh (1989): Recommends electrolysis to treat hirsutism, noted significant decrease in hair at six months.
Richards (1991): By far the most thorough and useful book on electrolysis. Essential reading for practitioners and consumers seeking in-depth information.
Wagner (1993): This paper outlines their successful university-sponsored electrolysis clinic as a guide for other institutions.
Bono (1994): A very good practice manual that makes a compelling argument for the blend method.
Lasker (1996): Suggests a method for establishing a baseline for evaluation of treatment efficacy.
Wagner (1997): This article looks at the claims that du Villards used electrolysis before Michel.
Wagner (1998): Looks at dermatologist attitudes toward independent non-physician electrologists and laser practitioners.
Gior (2000): A very good book for practitioners summarizing electrolysis basics.
Vogt (1973): Reports on the formation of keloid scars following electrolysis.
Blackwell (1977): Instructions on releasing ingrown hairs and subsequent electrolysis treatment.
Petrozzi (1980): Describes a patient in whom flat warts were spread by electrolysis. Shows why abnormal skin should not be treated.
Unknown (1989): This letter discusses electrolysis and blood-borne infections.
Cookson (1981): Claims a woman contracted a heart infection from electrolysis.
Ditmars (1998): Looks at a case of sporotrichosis (a fungal infection) following electrolysis on a patient’s neck.
Dumesic (1997): This well-designed study estimates 1.7% of women under 50 seeking electrolysis have undiagnosed glucose intolerance.