This old world technique is gaining popularity for people wanting to save the hair they have by taking a flame to the follicles.
All the cool kids are doing it — or at the least the pretty ones are.
Some of the world’s most famously beautiful (dare, we say ‘hot’?) women have recently discussed a new method of a maintaining their hair that involves an open flame. Victoria’s Secret super models Barbara Fialho, Isabeli Fontana, and Alessandra Ambrosio all have shared their experience with the ‘art’ of velaterapia – the process where an open flame is used to burn off split ends without taking off any length.
Why would anyone let someone else take a candle to their hair? The main reason is that when exposed to the flames, not only is are the split ends singed off, but the fire makes the hair more receptive to conditioning. What you end up with is a stronger, healthier hair.
How it works
Take a moment to check out the video here.
First, lets clarify the whole “new” thing. This special hair treatment has been performed all over the world for years now. While new to most Americans, South America and Africa have been on trend with velaterapia for quite awhile now.
The stylist/flame-wielder first braids and twists the dry hair all over the scalp. Once braided, the braided strands are then massaged causing the split ends and ‘fly aways’ to pop out of the braided, becoming exposed to the flame in the next step. Then the stylist will use the flame from a candle to move up and down the braid, singeing off the split ends.
The heat from the flame causes the hair follicle to open up, making it more receptive to the nutrients in the conditioning treatments.
Elle magazine reports that such a hair treatment takes approximately three and half hours for a session of a velaterapia, and that enthusiasts will do this once every four months or so.
Just for girls?
So this is just for women looking to control those pesky split ends, right? Wrong.
Master barber Franco Bompieri has been performing a modified treatment for men out of his famous Milan barbershop for years. Bompieri, 80, who wrote the book on hair care (two of them, actually), says, “baldness and all other hair and scalp conditions are not due to a lack of care, but a lack of prevention.”
“if you burn the hair…it looks like you did when you were twenty.” says Bompieri in a video featured on the popular mens fashion and lifestyle sight, mrporter.com. To be a master barber, one must know what he’s doing and be able to identify split hairs, the owner of the famed Antica Barbieria Colla says. And that these split ends should be, you guessed it, burnt off with a candle.
“When you burn the tips, hair no longer falls out and it recovers it’s natural colour,” explains Bompieri. “The hair closes up, inflated and looks like it did when you were 20 years old.”
And who are we to argue with a master barber with over 65 years experience?
What does a treatment like this cost? Prices for velaterapia start around $150 to $200. While that may seem like a lot of money to pay for something that could be done at home, imagine the price as an investment in buying off the risk of setting your head on fire.