Dealing with split ends means regular trims, but some women who don’t want to lose any length are praising velaterapia, a new hair trend hailing from Brazil. Using the open flame of a candle, split ends are singed off in a controversial procedure also known as candle cutting.

Find out more about the potential benefits and drawbacks of candle hair burning, and learn which celebrities are already on board with the trend. From the basic principle to the cost of this hair treatment, here’s everything you need to know about candle cutting.

What Is Velaterapia?

After splitting your hair into small sections, the hair stylists twists them around before running a flaming candle along it, without getting too close to the scalp. Candle hair burning has been promoted as an alternative to trimming away split ends and keeping them away for up to 3 months, but it also promises to deliver other benefits.

Candle Hair Cutting

While candle cutting can take a few hours and isn’t cheap, velaterapia also promises to help your hair lock in moisture, along with a smoother finish.

Celebrities Who Use Velaterapia

The first celebrities in line to use candle hair burning have been Brazilian models. Victoria’s Secret Angels including Alessandra Ambrosio, who posted pics of the procedure on her Instagram, have already tried and praised the trend. Barbara Fialho and Isabeli Fontana have also tried candle cutting.

Candle Hair Burning Pros

With the same principle as cauterizing a wound, velaterapia promises to lock in moisture in the hair shaft, helping it look better and keeping away split ends. If you’re brave enough to try this procedure, you should also expect a deep conditioning treatment afterwards, and a little scissor cutting to make sure all the flyaways are gone.

Getting Rid of Split Ends

Hair stylists that offer velaterapia claim the the heat from the candle’s open flame is the best way to close the hair cuticle and get rid of split ends. Unlike a regular trim that fixes split ends, you won’t lose any length if you try candle hair burning.

Better Conditioning

After the candle’s open flame “works” on your hair, the cuticles are open, which allows for a better deep conditioning treatment. When you try candle cutting, you’ll also benefit from a treatment that will close the cuticles and help your hair lock in moisture much more than with a regular conditioner.

Getting a Smoother Texture

Another benefit of candle hair burning seems to be a better overall texture. The open flame, followed by the strong conditioner, should leave your hair looking smoother, without any trace of split ends or flyaways.

Candle Hair Burning Cons

The most obvious drawback of this hair treatment is the fact that hair is flammable. Even with an experienced hair stylists, there’s always the risk of one wrong move that could set your hair on fire and cause plenty of damage, and in the worst case scenario, you’ll walk out of the salon with your hair a lot shorter. Even if everything goes according to plan, there are other cons to candle cutting.

Dealing with the Smell

If you have long hair, this procedure can take up to three hours. Throughout the entire time, you’ll have to get used to the smell of your own burning hair.

Risking Hair Damage

Detractors of candle hair burning claim that velaterapia is truly dangerous for your hair. Heat damage isn’t just caused by styling tools, it can definitely occur when and open flame is touching your hair. That can also dry it, stripping away moisture from the ends.

It Doesn’t Work Miracles

You can’t expect the hair treatment to magically restore dry and damaged hair. Even with a deep conditioning treatment, keeping your strands in the best condition starts with your diet and with the way you treat your hair.

Candle Hair Burning Before And After

Candle Hair Burning Cost

Since it takes 2-3 hours and involves a very steady hand, velaterapia isn’t cheap. The salons that are already offering this Brazilian hair treatment usually charge between $150 and $200 for a session. If you’re willing to accept all the risks involved in the procedure, make sure that you choose a hair stylist with experience in candle cutting.