An Instagram recommendation has brought candle-cutting into the public eye.
"Why yes, I do smell like burning hair. Thank you for noticing." (Getty)
In case you didn't know, Brazilians take beauty seriously. They have every right to; in addition to its famous waxing technique, the country has produced some of the world's most beautiful supermodels, including Gisele Bündchen, Adriana Lima, and Alessandra Ambrosio. And that's not even to mention the bodybuilder who almost lost his arms because he injected them with oil to look like the Hulk.
All four of these people are major tastemakers, and when they jump on a new beauty trend, the world follows suit. That's why, when Ambrosio posted this picture of herself getting her hair did to Instagram, people took notice.
Friday treat @lacesandhair @crisdioslaces #hairtreatment #hidratação #multivitaminas
A photo posted by @alessandraambrosio on
Although it looks like Ambrosio is being tortured for information, her caption to the photo ("Friday treat") seems to indicate she likes having her hair set on fire. It's called Velaterapia, or "candle-cutting," and it was originally devised in Brazil in the 1960s. Its popularity has increased recently due to publicity from celebrities like Ambrosio touting its benefits.
Proponents of velaterapia claim that it opens up hair follicles and help them retain moisture. According to Marie Claire, it's taken off among women on the Internet recently. The magazine interviewed Fernanda Lacerda of the Maria Bonita Salon in SoHo, who said:
"It's more effective than a normal haircut when [the] client wants to keep hair length and get rid only off the split ends. With the hair twisted, only the split ends are burned off, so pretty much all length is kept."
But does it work? At up to $200/treatment, it better. However, Marie Claire advises anyone interested to make sure they only seek out candle-cutting from salons that specialize in the technique, because it's so easy for it to go horribly wrong. And for the love of God, don't try it at home.
Velaterapia salons claim that, when professionally done, the treatment is safe for all hair types, including chemically treated hair. We'd be very skeptical of that, however. If you have the wrong kind of product in there, you're liable to wind up looking less like a supermodel, and more like Ghost Rider.