Why These VS Models Are Setting Their Hair On Fire

Posted by in Hair

It’s hard to imagine what Italians and Brazilians have in common but Victoria’s Secret supermodels have found it: their hair cutting techniques. Infamous to Milanese barbershops and now a trending treatment worth hundreds, Alessandra Ambrosio and Isabel Fontana swear by setting their hair on fire!

This technique is called candle cutting and it’s not as dramatic as you think!

Candle cutting, or velaterapia, involves separating the hair into small twisted sections then running a lit candle along the length of the hair. This is followed by a basic trim and a deep conditioning treatment to ‘close the follicles’.

“In Italy, you did the job with a comb and scissors. Then, you’d get a candle, and use it to burn the hair ends. Burning the ends helps the hair evolve,” says Franco Bompieri, owner of Antica Barbieria Colla, a famous Milanese barbershop that first began doing this in Europe.

While previously popular amongst wealthy Italian men and Brazilians in the ‘60s, this treatment has become the new craze with salons across the UK offering the service for as much as £500!

Bompieri claims that the technique makes the hair ‘bigger and stronger’.

“[The flame] essentially singles off the ‘cauterized’ split ends, opening up the follicles to make the hair more receptive to conditioning,” says a Annabell Elliot, a reporter from the Daily Mail who first wrote on this trend back in 2014.

The whole procedure takes around 3 hours and stylists recommend doing it every four months.

However, not all stylists stand by this. Matt Fugate, hairstylist at Sally Hershberger Salon in New York, advises strongly against it saying that it is ‘the worst idea ever’.

In a conversation with Harper's Bazaar, he said: “Anyone who is educated in the layers of the hair shaft knows that this kind of process will ruin your cuticle (your clear coat of protection), weaken your hair and expose your cortex layer to the environment.”

Despite this, it is still a widely applied and offered treatment. Hair stylists and experts strongly advise against repeating it on your own at home, since it takes thorough training to get it right and not set your hair on fire! So, maybe your best bet is to stay away from this trend and treat your hair to a nice deep conditioning mask, completely flame-free!

If you're having trouble finding a flame-free mask that will definitely not catch your hair on fire and will definitely work for your hair type, find your flame-less match by taking our quiz!