Brazilian Supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio demonstrates candle-cutting. (Photo: Instagram)
If Gisele Bündchen, Adriana Lima, and Alessandra Ambrosio are any indication, Brazil spawns some of the finest specimens this planet has to offer. The south American country is also a leader when it comes to hair care — Brazilian waxes and Brazilian blowouts (aka keratin treatments) both created international frenzies and their body hair lightening products are starting to make waves, too. But we have to admit: Their new hair craze sounds more like hair crazy to me.
Velaterapia, also known as “candle-cutting,” uses a lit candlestick to singe off your split ends. Marie Claire reports that the technique emerged in Brazil in the 1960s, and supposedly opens the hair follicle to help it retain moisture. To avoid lighting your whole head of hair on fire, a stylist twists small sections so only the split ends stick out, and burns them off. This is followed up with a deep conditioning treatment.
Forgive me for being skeptical, but has any woman out there ever burned her hair by accident? An ill-placed candle in a nightclub once singed off a chunk of my hair — I didn’t immediately notice until someone said, “What is that horrible smell?” The odor was awful, yes, but what remained of my strands was worse: Frizzled, curled, coarse, lifeless ends that needed to be trimmed off.
Still, Stateside salons are catching on and offering the Velaterapia to willing victims — I mean, clients. “It’s more effective than a normal haircut when client wants to keep hair length and get rid only off the split ends,” Fernanda Lacerda of the Brazilian Maria Bonita Salon in Manhattan told Marie Claire. “With the hair twisted, only the split ends are burned off, so pretty much all length is kept.”
Ambrosio, a Victoria’s Secret model with an admittedly enviable head of hair is a fan of the treatment, and posted a photo of herself during a candle-cutting session on Instagram session earlier this year. How many woman will follow suit? In my world, getting burned — physically or metaphorically — has never been a good thing. This is one trend I’m not willing to try.