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Velaterapia: The Brazilian Hair-Burning Treatment That Stops Split Ends

The city of Brazil is in the headlines at the moment, with World Cup news dominating as eager fans watch to see whether their team has won or crashed out of the competition. One story that is as far removed from football as it can be is the tale of a new hair treatment much favoured amongst Brazilian models.

Image © www.claudiadalpozzo.com.

Image © www.claudiadalpozzo.com.

The treatment involves a hairstylist using a lit candle to burn off the split ends, this then cauterises and seals off the end, which allows the moisture to stay inside, taking nothing off the length. This new method is called velaterapia or candle cutting, and can only be carried out by professionally trained stylists, so don’t think of going home and trying to burn off your own hair.

The stylist sections your hair and then twists it into bunches which they then run the lit candle along to burn off the split ends. Apparently this method of controlling the split ends is used in particular by Victoria’s Secret models including Brazilian supermodel Barbara Fialho, Alessandra Ambrosio and Isabeli Fontana.

Barbara revealed that this is the secret to her luscious locks: “They burn the hair to get rid of split ends.” And she is very careful about how she trusts her tresses with, as she frequents the top hairdressers São Paolo, called Laces and Hair Salon.

Image © www.claudiadalpozzo.com.

Image © www.claudiadalpozzo.com.

But aren’t we told time and time again that heat is bad for your hair? And isn’t there a danger that some people might try this technique at home? Elizabeth Cunnane-Phillips, veteran trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Clinic in NYC, says: “While burning split ends might remove the split in the hair, you are also creating a potential vulnerability to the fiber itself, which results in weaker strands. There are a lot more effective ways to remove split ends than to burn it off. I would say, don’t take the risk.”

Cunnane-Phillips recommends regular trims to keep the split ends down, as she warns that using a lit candle on your hair can quickly turn into a disaster. She also advises that the heat on appliances should be turned down as these as the biggest cause of split ends, and to use a heat protecting serum. But remember our article on heated scissors a few months ago, where the heat of the scissors cauterised the ends just as they were cutting them? Seems like a similar idea to us.

However, with the velaterapia treatments costing between $150-200, we’re pretty sure its just supermodels who’ll be able to afford this method on a regular basis.

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