Yes, you read correctly: burning your hair to get rid of split ends is called velaterapia. Velaterapia gained popularity recently in Brazil where this bizarre treatment was brought back to popular salons because supermodels were doing this. But candle burning, or hair singeing has been around since men and women have wanted to get rid of unwanted hair, or to get rid of dead or split ends. A Good Housekeeping article from 1865 discusses the benefits of hair singeing, or as we commonly know it now, candle burning or velaterapia.
It have been brought to the forefront of beauty trends because of Victoria’s Secret supermodels Barbara Fialho and Alessandra Ambrosio. They have the candle burning done and swear it makes their hair silky and gets rid of frizz and split ends.
Burning your hair to get rid of split ends by using a candle can actually work because the ends are being “cauterized” by the flame.
However, care must be taken not to do this yourself because you may end up with burnt hair or worse, a severe injury. Supposedly, the heat from the flame not only burns off the split ends but opens up the hair shaft so that it’s primed to absorb nutrients from conditioning treatments.
Typically done by twisting the hair so that the split ends can stick out, a candle is passed up and down the twisted hair strand until the frizz is burned off. Velaterapia is allegedly good for hair that is very damaged and dry.
So as you’ve now learned, this trend is definitely not new, but one thing is certain–women and men, will try any seemingly unconventional method to get beautiful locks! (Read our blog article about dusting your hair to get rid of frizz!)
If you decide to have your hair burned to get rid of split ends, make sure you go to a salon and please do NOT try this at home.