It wasn't long after the discovery of x-rays, that people realized they could be used to remove body hair. In 1899, the American X-Ray Journal
noted the "epilating properties of the X-Rays," and suggested that hair removal might be a profitable side-business for x-ray technicians.
However, as far as I can tell, it wasn't until 1945 that anyone got around to patenting the idea of x-ray hair removal
. The patent was granted to Violet Arnold of Detroit. Columnist Frederick Othman wrote about it in a Dec 1945 column:
Her boyfriend was the inspiration, with his whiskery chin. Now he has no whiskers, thanks to U.S. Patent Number 2,389,403, the X-ray razor...
Miss Arnold's shave consists of two X-ray treatments of five to ten minutes each with the rays going through an aluminum plate before they hit the whiskers. That makes 'em curl up. Then she attacks the wilted whiskers nine more times in five weeks with rays going through aluminum and a bottle of water, too.
Amarillo Globe Times - Dec 3, 1945
The X-ray razor never caught on, probably because of the risk of serious, disfiguring burns. However, the idea lingered on in popular culture for a few years and was featured in several ad campaigns.
Crowley Post-Signal - Dec 12, 1952
Washington Court House Record-Herals - Jan 6, 1953