The thought of setting an open flame to your hair is terrifying. Or is it?
Celebrities and supermodels have taken up a trend that has been popular with Brazilian beauties since the 60s. It’s called Velaterapia or candle cutting, and it’s exactly what it sounds like—“cutting” your hair with a candle.
The goal is to rid yourself of split ends without sacrificing length. Dry hair is twisted into small sections and run over with an open flame to singe off splits, leaving your hair smooth and frizz-free. The treatment is for people with dry, damaged hair that results from colouring, chemical treatments, and excessive heat styling.
So, it’s like fighting fire with fire? It seems rather counter-productive to treat heat-damaged hair with more even more heat (FIRE no less) but many people swear by it. Apparently, cauterizing your hair will open up the hair follicle so that it is more receptive to absorbing nutrients in conditioning treatments (although TBH I don’t really understand the science behind this theory). Victoria’s Secret models Barbara Fialho and Alessandra Ambrosia have disclosed Velaterapia has their go-to hair treatment, with the latter recently posting a pic of the process on her Instagram.
It takes a few hours and costs about $150-$200 at the salon. Of course, you COULD save a few bucks and take a flame to your head at home, but we DO NOT recommend this. If you’re going to try this, it’s definitely the kind of thing to leave to the professionals.
Is it worth it? A few notes to keep in mind. First of all, Brazilians are notorious for having very thick, full hair so their hair is probably a little more fireproof than those of us with thinner hair that is more prone to breakage, leading us to believe that this candle cutting might not be for everyone.
Secondly, the hair burning must be followed by an application of an intensive deep conditioning treatment, so it’s kind of hard to say what is really doing the work. Is it the candle or the conditioner? Models, celebrities, and the like have access to the best of the best in terms of hair care, so it might be a lot easier for them to maintain luscious locks in comparison to the average woman.
Thirdly, as much as we might want to keep our hair long, the fact is that regularly trimming your hair is the best maintenance. Your hair will be healthier and will even grow faster than it would if you skipped trims. Although burning your split ends off might be good to try once or twice, doing so regularly would most likely end up significantly weakening your hair, leaving it more broken than ever and in desperate need of a cut.
Oh and there’s also that whole risk of your entire head going up in flames. Hair is highly flammable so this is definitely some seriously risky bizz, even if you do go to a professional. Not sure if smooth hair is worth the risk of no hair (or eyebrows) at all.
So go ahead and book your appointment if you’re feeling risky (big risk = big reward, right?). However, there’s nothing wrong with good old fashioned regular trims at your salon to nip the problem in the bud. Rather than constantly damaging your hair only to try to find ways to reverse the damage, avoid the whole issue. Put down the hairdryer/curling iron/straightener and just let your hair do its thing. Use a good hair strengthener or moisturizer to keep your hair in check and just embrace your natural locks.