The SUPER-Odd Reason Women Are Purposely Setting Their Hair On Fire

Photo: Instagram

What would YOU do for beautiful hair?

We've learned so many things from the 21 seasons of America’s Next Top Model, including how to smize (smile with your eyes) and booty-tooch (over-exaggerate the arch of your lower back to accentuate your butt). But mostly, we've learned that modeling is hard.

Lots of times, you have to do things you really don't want to, like model a bikini in the snow or walk a runway 25 stories up in the air, all while a photo stylist or photographer is yelling at you and treating you like crap.

To be a model, you have to things that aren't fun. And apparently, having someone light your hair on fire is one of them.

Velaterapia is a Brazilian hair treatment that involves a hair-professional running the flame of a candle up and down the hair; many models do it to get rid of split ends. Cutting doesn't do the trick?

Model Alessandra Ambrosio Instagrammed a photo of herself getting this new kind of Brazilian treatment:

Photo: Instagram/alessandraambrosio

Here's how Velaterapia, or candle-cutting, works:

First, the hair is separated into small sections, twisted, and like a moth to the flame, contact is made. Ina  kind of magical way, the burning causes the damaged parts of the hair to stick out, almost as if they were summoned by an unnatural force.

The stray hairs are singed, and the rest of the hair is given a deep conditioning treatment. The burning supposedly opens up the hair follicle (the official term is called hair-shock), making it more receptive to nutrients and making the conditioning treatment even more effective.

It takes three and a half hours, and Velaterapia fans get it done about every four months.

Burning hair is one of the worst smells on earth, and it takes a real commitment to having perfect model hair to willingly breathe it in.

While this treatment has been popular in South America for a long time, it's also available in some salons in the United States, such as the Maria Bonita Salon in New York.

The problem with this hair burning technique is that it damages the hair.

Elizabeth Cunnane-Phillips, a trichologist (someone who helps people who have hair or scalp problems) at the Philip Kingsley Clinic in NYC, says, "While burning split ends might remove the split in the hair, you're 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."

If you want an idea of how Velaterapia works, here's a video.


If this sounds appealing to you, please pay the $150 to $200 to have a professional perform the candle-cutting; don't try to cut costs by doing it yourself at home. You could actually light your hair on fire and hurt yourself, or others.