It’s been a couple of years now since a new trend of ‘hair treatment’ re-emerged from Brazil. The technique called velaterapia is a process whereby the stylist will literally light up the hair ends with a burning candle for a few seconds to shocks split ends by fire and seal/melt them. The question is: Could blazing split ends really be the answer to get rid of them?
To my surprise, this technique is not native to Brazil only. Other salons around the world have been using fire with hair cutting for a long time. A recent article by Huntington post revealed a one-of-a-kind barber who has been using his burning match for over 72 years in Milan. He swears by this technique, claiming that this is the best way to keep hair healthy. With that being said, he also warns of amateur barbers who might not be skilled enough for blazing split ends properly.
In another article by Today, we find a salon in New York City using this candle burning technique as well. According to Fernanda Lacerda, owner of Maria Bonita Salon and Spa in New York City:
“People choose to get a velaterapia rather than a regular cut when they want to keep their hair long, but have split ends that are making hair look dull and unhealthy. The process is more successful than a haircut when the client really wants to keep the length of the hair [since] the process only burns off the split ends.”
Does Blazing Split Ends make sense?
Experts agree that this is not a technique that you should attempt at home. Setting your hair or anything else on fire is a real danger.
Safety aside, there is also no proven data to suggest the benefits of this technique. In fact, the unpredictability of using a flame, suggests that you could also be denaturing part of your healthy hair protein. This will weaken those fibers and make matters worse.
If you do want to try this method in a salon, just a heads-up: be prepared for the smell of burning hair (burning sulfur).